Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Rulers of Teiglin pt 2

Larissia Vandervaal, Baroness of Brandir
6th level fighter, alignment Neutral, age 32, gender female
Str 13, Int 13, Wis 12, Dex 13, Con 10, Cha 15
AC 1, Move 120', hp 25, THAC0 12, Att 1 sword for 1d8+3
Equipment: Banded armour +2, Sword +2 +4 vs dragons, Lance +1
Larissia is the only baroness in Teiglin, and feels like she has to prove herself to be accepted among her peers of the realm. Larissia is very much aware of economic and financial matters and will often put money ahead of everything else. Some barons consider her to be an inglorious, money-grubbing accountant AND a woman! However, she has looked after Brandir well, and she is popular among the common people as she has improved the wealth of Brandir without raising taxes or waging war. Nonetheless, she has been trained by some of the finest knights of the realm, and can defend herself and her realm when necessary.
Description: Larissia is 5'4" tall, weighs 110lb and has shoulder-length brown hair. She is beautiful but reserved, and is usually dressed modestly.

Garriol the Grand, Baron of Bauglir
8th level fighter, alignment Lawful, age 51, gender male
Str 13, Int 10, Wis 16, Dex 10, Con 14, Cha 12
AC 2, Move 90' hp 45, THAC0 11, Att 1 2-handed sword for 1d10+3
Equipment: Plate Mail +1, 2-handed sword +2
Garriol is tired with war, but knows that he cannot simply quit his duties. Garriol is the last of three brothers - the other two were both barons of Bauglir who were killed in battle against the forces of Chaos. Garriol is quite aware this may yet happen to him, and he makes sure his nephew and niece are ready to take the title of baron if he should fall (he has no children of his own). He is Baron of the land that has seen the worst raids and attrition from monsters and bandits. He knows that Teiglin must make itself secure by somehow closing the Chaos Portal in Erkhart but does not know how to do this. Garriol would pay handsomly if someone did find a way.
Description: Garriol is often in his bronze armour. He stands 6'0" tall and weighs 180lb. He has a weathered and rather strained face, hidden by a bushy gray full beard and big dark eyebrows. His left leg has been amputated at the knee after a nasty encounter with a trio of trolls, but he uses a prosthetic leg that is clad in the same bronze plate as his armour, so it seems he only limps when in his armour.

Regivald Engor, Baron of Luthien
9th level fighter, alignment  Lawful, age 54, gender male
Str 13, Int 13, Wis 13, Dex 10, Con 16, Cha 10
AC 0, hp 54, Mv 90' THAC0 10, Att 1 polearm for 1d10+3,
Equipment: Plate Mail +3, Polearm +2 +4 vs chaotic creatures
Regivald considers himself primarily a commander and soldier. He is really not particularly interested in administration or law-making, and he will delegate these matters to his chancellor. Regivald does not spend much time in Luthien Town, and is usually found in Luthien Keep, to the south of the town. He empathises with Blorinor's desire to bring the fight to the enemy, but has worked along side Garriol long enough to know that the fight is certainly not easy or painless. Regivald likes Delphinius' leadership and larger-than-life qualities, but thinks Delphinius is a bit full of himself.
Description: Regivald is 6'1" tall, weighs 220lb and has a portly figure. He enjoys his roast meat and beer a little too much. He has a clean-shaven round face and closely cropped red hair with a bald patch on top. He often wears his armour, particularly when either out and about or inspecting his troops in Luthien Keep. 

See also 
Rulers of Teiglin part 1
Rulers of Teiglin part 3

Monday, 28 March 2011

Optional Rule - The Halfling Scout

The Halfling class, as presented in the Labyrinth Lord rules is known in Kaelaross as the halfling scout. In most respects they are just like halfling adventurers from other worlds (i.e. they use the same rules and progression table). However, they are able to go further in power and experience:

Halfling    |  Minimum |           |
Scout Level |   XP     |  Hit Dice |  Special Ability
8           | 130,001  |    8d6    | 
9           | 240,001  |    9d6    |  Dodging Death
10          | 360,001  |    9d6+2* |  
11          | 480,001  |    9d6+4* |  Lethal Shot
12          | 600,001  |    9d6+6* |    
* Constitution adjustments no longer apply 

Special abilities
Dodging Death: When faced with a saving throw to take half damage from an attack (whether a spell, dragon's breath or trap) the halfling scout takes only half damage if he fails, and only a quarter damage (rounded down) if he succeeds in his saving throw. 

Lethal Shot: The halfling scout is remarkably effective at finding the enemies' weak spots with missile weapons. The halfling scout gets his dexterity bonus added to damage done with missile weapons (whether thrown or from a sling or bow).

I have added these extra levels because I feel that halflings, being confined to 8 levels, aren't taken seriously once characters reach name level. There is the whole debate in AD&D about whether it is right to limit the levels of demihumans at all, but in classic D&D, where race=class, the demihumans simply don't follow the same path as humans, and the higher levels are not mapped out for demihumans, and as such once human characters reach levels 14 and upwards, demihumans become sort of redundant, not quite able to compete at the same power levels. I guess these extra levels for halflings are not a complete answer to this problem, but a step in what I believe is the right direction.

Friday, 25 March 2011

Towns and Baronies of Teiglin - Bauglir

The Kingdom of Teiglin is split up into eight baronies, each centred around a town which gives the barony its name and is usually the seat of power for the baron. See the map of Teiglin for the context of this blog

The Barony of Bauglir is the most dangerous and most profitable for adventurers - it is on the border with the lands overrun by the forces of Chaos, and as such many of the King's own troops are stationed here to bolster the garrison. Whereas most baronies require 1 in 20 men to train as militia, in Bauglir this is raised to 1 in 5. Nonetheless raids by monsters and human bandits sometimes slip through the frontier to cause havoc and destruction.
It is the only barony that is land-locked, though the Foulflow River can carry large boats and barges to Mussel Bay.
Bauglir Barony has a population of 20,000 folk, mostly human but with some elves (1000) and halflings (1500) as well. The Foulflow river valley is fertile, and in the more peaceful areas there is much agriculture, including cattle, sheep and vegetables. Many talented chefs and cooks have been raised in Bauglir, and some interesting and tasty recipes have been created there, including Bauglir Pie (similar to Shepherd's Pie, but incorporating the unusually large cabbages that grow along the Foulflow).

The Town of Bauglir is home to 4200 folk. It now has extensive earthworks and wooden pallisades around it - the defences were started during the Wars between the Empires, and have been maintained since the fall of eastern Teiglin in the Summoning. The town council want to raise taxes, especially among adventurers laden with loot, to fund the building of proper stone walls, but the baron doesn't want to raise taxes so high that people avoid the town. The town of Bauglir has grown considerably due to refugees from Erkhart, Bladevale and other places overrun by chaotic monsters during the Summoning. The town has done its best to absorb these refugees, but there is a certain sense among the older families of Bauglir that the newcomers aren't pulling their weight.
See also NPCs of Bauglir

Firebright Keep is both a frontier fort and also a base for adventurers. Before the wars the keep was a wizard's tower where the archmage Valderin and his students lived. During the wars Valderin allowed the King of Teiglin to station troops and improve the physical defences (at the King's expense), as long as Valderin and his students stayed and practiced their magic there. Although Valderin has passed away (due to his strange philosophy he refused potions of Longevity), the students have stayed on as the Circle of Firebright Keep, and some of them have students of their own.
The keep is on a high hill overlooking the Foulflow River, and on the banks there is a small village where barges and boats can moor and load or unload trade goods. Brave traders will use Firebright Keep as a stop on their way to Castellan Keep in the borderlands.
See also NPCs of Firebright Keep.

Parnsus is a small village of 720 folk, about half of whom are halflings, the rest being human. Parnsus is vulnerable, and the villagers know it. They are uncomfortably close to both the Toadspawn Swamp and the borderlands. The village has a wooden pallisade, a garrison of 20 royal troops and 60 local militia but compared to the hordes of humanoids to the east or the lizardmen in the swamp, this is not much defence. It has been joked that refugees fleeing from Brasstooth and Semendia stopped in Parnsus to catch their breath, took a look around and continued running westwards.
See also NPCs of Parnsus.

Wednesday, 23 March 2011

Baronies and Towns of Teiglin: Luthien

The Barony of Luthien

See the map of Teiglin for context of this entry.
Luthien is one of the most prosperous of the baronies of Teiglin. The population (32,000, including 3000 elves) is one of the highest of the baronies. The barony's main products are wheat, vegetables and fish. The folks of Luthien are often considered to be wealthier than those from other baronies of Teiglin. This is not true, but the perception lingers.

The Karalos Woods hosts several small villages of elves who vigorously defend their woodland from timber merchants and marauders from the Toadspawn Swamp.

Warlock Harbour is on a small rocky island (officially not named but the locals call it Warlock Island) that sits off the coast of Luthien. The Baron of Luthien has always assumed that if the harbour were to be reclaimed, he would be given control of it.

The Town of Luthien
Prior to the Wars between the Empires, it was one of Teiglin's main ports, receiving cargo  mostly from other parts of Toutus, but also from other Empires on occasions as well.
Although the trade has greatly reduced with the collapse of the Toutus Empire, Luthien still sees business flowing through, typically from the Godsblood Straits and Walrus Freehold. The port is also used by fishermen and the nearby shore is dotted with small fishing boats.
Luthien has 2750 inhabitants (mostly human) and its layout is typical of many Imperial towns in having a central market square with the seat of power (here the Baronial tower) and other important buildings clustered around. Another legacy of Toutian architecture is the underground sewers which keep Luthien one of the nicer towns to spend time in. Unfortunately the sewers have become unsafe, partly due to crumbling masonry and partly due to monstrous vermin breeding in the sewers. Some say that the vermin are not the worst thing down there.

Click on map to expand it:

  1. Baronial Tower – serves as both the baron’s residence and local garrison and law court rolled into one. The baron (when he is present) is civil leader, military leader and dispenser of justice.
  2. Marketplace: This open area is filled with tents, stalls and cart
  3. The Shield of Honour Inn is the best inn currently running in Luthien. Merchants and visitors from all over the place will stop here before or after their sea voyages.  
  4. Merchants’ Guildhall is where a lot of business takes place, including tax collection and banking services.
  5. Church of Rhondus. Rhondus is the lawful god of defence, security and the home. His worship is popular in Teiglin, and Luthien is no exception.
  6. Chapel of Vought. Vought is the neutral goddess of water, oceans and rivers. As a sea port, Luthien has many folks who wish to stay on the good side of Vought.
  7. The Main Quay 
  8. Warehouses: These are not as busy as they were before the great wars: the collapse of the Empires has greatly reduced trade. The cargo that goes through these warehouses is not just for Luthien: most of it goes on to the rest of Teiglin. 
  9. Blind Beggar Tavern. This used to be an inn but now it just serves drinks, and not very good drinks at that. The Blind Beggar Tavern is at the low end of the social spectrum, and an interesting variety of unsavoury characters can be encountered there at various levels of inebriation.
  10. Shrine of Nemesis and Graveyard 
  11. Western Gatehouse
  12. Northern Gatehouse 
  13. Lord Willverin's Folly. This strange, shrine-like structure was built by an eccentric (some would say mad) former lord of Luthien. He held various exotic parties at the Folly. However, at the back of the Folly is an iron gate blocking steps that go down into the ground. The town elders are believed to hold the key to the iron gate, but would rather it stayed shut.
Wells are marked as (a) and have blue centres. Sewer inlets are marked as (b) on the map and have purple centres. The sewer inlets are 5’ wide manholes in the ground with an iron grid over them to let sewage and rainwater in but stop people and animals falling in. The wells have buckets and ropes and a small wall to stop dirt from the street washing in.

Monday, 21 March 2011

Optional Rule: Neutral or Unaligned?

I'm toying with the idea of adding a fourth option to alignment selection for characters (including monsters and NPCs) - unaligned. In the Classic D&D rules (and also Labyrinth Lord) there are 3 alignments - Law, Chaos and Neutrality. Neutrality has often been assumed to be when you don't really care about either Law or Chaos, but it is also chosen by those who don't want to be tied down to either Law or Chaos.

With the system I'm proposing, unaligned PCs, NPCs and other creatures would be essentially uninterested in the battles between Law and Chaos. In the case of monsters this may well apply to those who are not intelligent enough to have ethical behaviour, including most animals, vermin and some constructs. Unaligned creatures may show signs of chaotic or lawful behaviour or even both but they do not consistently act that way.

Neutral characters and creatures are what might be described as "consciously neutral", in that they strive to maintain balance between Law and Chaos at least within themselves, and perhaps in the wider world. Neutral NPCs may be deliberately careful and stand-offish about getting involved in other folk's disputes. They may work for a neutral deity or another force of neutrality (druids, if they exist, would be a good example). Neutral creatures tend towards moderation and don't pick unnecessary fights, but also are not so concerned with justice, mercy and loyalty as those who follow Law.

In my house rules, white dragons, stone giants, wereboars and centaurs are all unaligned, while blue dragons, cloud giants, weretigers, pixies, dryads and gnomes are all Neutral.

Friday, 18 March 2011

Rulers of Teiglin part 1

Thestor II, King of Teiglin
3rd level magic user, alignment Lawful, age 40, gender male
Str 10, Int 15, Wis 14, Dex 10, Con 12, Cha 10
AC 2, Move 120',  HP 7, THAC0 17, Damage 1d4+2,
Equipment: Dagger +2, Ring of Protection +3, Bracers of Armour AC 5
Spells: Magic Missile, Shield, Web
Thestor is the King of Teiglin, and is now getting used to the role after 10 years. He is quite adept at administration and law-making, and chooses competent advisors and deputies. However, he is not particularly charming or impressive, and some people say he is rather boring.Thestor has considerable interest in magic and wizardry, and has some ability as a mage himself.
Description: Thestor is 5'6", with thinning ginger hair and a bald patch on top. He is slightly podgy and his face is quite unremarkable. He wears clothes (usually robes) that are smart but never extravagant or impressive, and usually leaves the crown in his chambers except when on official business.

Baron Delphinius of Tredgor
10th level fighter, alignment Neutral, age 35, gender male
Str 16, Int 11, Wis 10, Dex 13, Con 14, Cha 16
AC 0, Move 120', HP 56, THAC0 8, Damage 1d10+4
Equipment: Plate Mail +2, Polearm +2 +4 vs giants, Boots of Levitation
Baron Delphinius is sometimes entrusted as the Marshal of Teiglin's armies. He is powerful, dashing, heroic, handsome and loud-mouthed, all in contrast to King Thestor II. He is not particularly clever or diplomatic. Although left to his own thoughts, he would be quite happy where he is, some in his court have whispered that he is much more impressive and imposing than the current king, and perhaps Delphinius would make a better king. Although Delphinius has not done anything, he has begun to listen to such chatter, and toyed with some very dangerous ideas.
Description: Delphinius is 6'2" tall, 200lb and muscular. He has dark hair, tanned skin, handsome features and a well-groomed mustache. He wears his armour far more often than is necessary.

Mellith Temeraine, Chieftain of the Elves of the Shorgan Forest, Baron of Glensor
8th level Elf Spellsword, alignment Lawful, age 144, gender male
Str 14, Int 13, Wis 14, Dex 10, Con 10, Cha 13
AC 0, Move 120', THAC0 10, Dam 1d8+4
Equipment: Chain Mail +2, Longsword +3, Shield +2, Medallion of Thoughts
Mellith Temeraine is the chieftain of Glensor, and as such makes it his responsibility to keep his people safe. He views humans with mixed feelings - they brought about the recent wars and the terrible Summoning, but he has also seen them fight with exceptional bravery against the hordes of Chaos. He views the Shorgan Forest as primarily elven territory, but not necessarily elven responsibility. Although he acknowledges the King of Teiglin as his superior, Mellith is reluctant to take direct orders from Thaldion. Fortunately Thestor II lets Mellith and his elves do their own thing except in emergencies.
Description: Mellith is 5'1" tall, weighing 100lb and with pale skin and snow white hair (but obviously not from aging). Mellith typically wears traditional elven robes and a circlet signifying his office, but if he is expecting trouble he will have his chain mail and sword underneath his robes.

There are other entries about the other barons of Teiglin:

Rulers of Teiglin part 2
Larissia Vandervaal, Baroness of Brandir
Garriol the Grand, Baron of Bauglir
Regivald Engor, Baron of Luthien

Blorinor Highhelm, Chieftain of the Dwarves of Stelmit, Baron of Stelmit
Corminius Twiceslain, Baron of Alvenir
Deserain of Rhondus, Sheriff of Thaldion

Tuesday, 15 March 2011

The Cosmology of Kaelaross

Although Kaelaross is just one world, its connections to other planes of existence have had profound effects on its history, especially in the last 50 or so years.
Kaelaross itself is on the Material Plane, which includes all sorts of other worlds but basically share the same rules of reality. Getting to and from these other worlds on the Material Plane is possible, but would require either magic spells or else ships that could fly beyond the clouds and into the space between worlds. Although a marvellous concept, this is somewhat beyond the scope of this description.

The Ethereal Plane is what links the other planes of existence together - it surrounds and borders all the other planes including the Material Plane, and nearly all travel from one plane to another will involve passing through the Ethereal Plane. The Ethereal plane is a relatively safe but boring place, with very few inhabitants, but also few dangers. The Ethereal Plane has been described as a place of silvery grey clouds without gravity or sunlight where travellers float as if suspended in water but without dampness or drowning. Those people who have travelled the Ethereal Plane say that their need for sleep, food and water is greatly diminished, and there is one account (though perhaps unreliable) of a wizard who spent 120 years in the Ethereal Plane and only aged a year or so. Some monsters on the Material Plane can not only sense creatures close by in the Ethereal Plane, they can use their deadly abilities against ethereal creatures. Medusae, basilisks and cockatrices are among these trans-planar threats.

The Elemental Planes of Earth, Air, Fire and Water are all hostile to normal life, but often include their own sorts of inhabitants. The Elementals that wizards and magic items can summon make their home here, and others such as Fire and Frost salamanders, djinn and efreet are also found.
The Elemental Plane of Earth is nearly solid stone and earth, with only a few pockets of air, water and lava found. Finding an air (or maybe water) pocket is essential if a human visitor is to avoid being crushed and suffocated. However, if a pocket of air can be found, the plane is tolerable in temperature and not many dangerous inhabitants. A few valuable minerals can also be picked out by those with skill in prospecting and mining.
The Elemental Plane of Water is like a vast, dimly lit ocean without a surface. There are pockets of air and earth (but no fire pockets). Any visitor who can cope with breathing underwater should be able to stay on this plane for a while. Creatures of seas and oceans of the Material Plane are occasionally encountered here, adding weight to sages' theories of gates between the Elemental Plane of Water and deep abysses in the oceans of Kaelaross.
The Elemental Plane of Fire has two major problems - firstly the intolerable temperature will kill any mortal creature without some sort of protection. Anyone travelling to this plane must be able to tolerate hot flames, or their death will be a quick one, with cremation rather than burial. Secondly the Plane of Fire is home to some quite dangerous and volatile creatures - Fire salamanders and efreet. Being able to either negotiate or else fight off these creatures is necessary for any extended stay where encounters are inevitable. There are some pockets of clear air, while lumps of rock from the plane of earth either melt into pools of lava or else glow like burning coals.
The Elemental Plane of Air is in many ways the safest of the elemental planes. The biggest problem is the electrical storms. This plane has no gravity, so everything - clouds, natives and visitors, float around. There are occasional spheres of earth and fire that float around. Any water here tends to evaporate and turn into clouds within a matter of hours, and visitors are recommended to bring water as they are likely to get thirsty. The djinn are found here, but they can be tempermental and fickle in dealing with those who intrude on their domain.

The Planes of Law and Chaos are the respective homes of archons and demons. With both sets, there is a progression of planes that get further and further from the Material Plane.
The Planes of Law closest to the Material Plane seem like material worlds, but more ordered and peaceful. As a planar traveler moves further up through the planes, they become less like the material plane and more
structured and abstract. Whereas the first plane of Law, Halloris, seems to be a pleasant countryside where crops grow healthily and there are fewer predators and bandits, explorers who have visited Iconnos, the 34th Plane of Law report it to be full of straight edges, flat surfaces and regular geometric shapes. Only one person has been to the 50th Plane of Law and returned to describe it - apparently it is full of different shining lights, each at a carefully set, finely tuned brightness. The lights themselves were arranged into exact patterns and the explorer felt that his very presence was upsetting the symmetry and harmony of the plane. The poor chap never quite regained his sanity and went blind after returning to the material plane due to his desire to stare at the sun. 

The reverse is true of the Planes of Chaos - the planes closer to the Material Plane are darker, more hazardous versions of the material plane, but the further away, down through the Planes of Chaos, the more hellish and nightmarish they become. Much more can be found about these here.

Sunday, 13 March 2011

The Standard Spells of the Magical Colleges

Magic-users of Kaelaross are pragmatic when it comes to using spells - they will generally rely on what they know works. The 105 spells of the Labyrinth Lord rules (or the 117 spells of the Rules Cyclopedia) are the standard spells of the magical colleges. These are considered the benchmark for reliable spells, and any magic-user can gain access to them when he has enough power and experience. Even after the Wars between the Empires and the Summoning, a magic-user growing in ability can reasonably expect to find and learn these standard spells.

Beyond these there are many hundreds of other spells but these are far rarer and finding them is certainly not easy as the spell-books in which they are written are often the personal property of jealous wizards. These rarer spells have been researched and created by powerful mages, written down in arcane journals and grimoires for the wizard's own use - hardly ever intentionally passed on to other spell-casters. There is also the possibility that such spells may not work as expected. Nonetheless, acquiring a spell-book with unique spells in it is the ambition of many a magic-user, and is worth risking life, limb and friends for. Even a non-wizard who recognises a spell-book for what it is can sell it for either a lot of gold or for a significant magic item. Since the Summoning, when many wizards were killed either by monsters, enemy armies or rival wizards, some of these spell-books have found their ways into treasure troves and the loot of powerful villains. And if such villains are capable of learning and casting such spells, retrieving the books could be very dangerous.

These "unique" spells can be taken from whatever source the DM wants, including other editions of D&D/AD&D, OGL products and game supplements. I particularly like Ed Greenwood's Pages from the Mages, where spellbooks often have themes that were of interest to their sorcerous authors. The idea that they can be introduced by the PCs finding a spellbook means that the DM has some control over what new spells the players have access to. The DM should always have final say as to whether a spell is used in his campaign, and can also raise the level of the spell by 1 or 2 if it seems slightly overpowered but not game-breaking. Compare the new spell to the standard spells from the Labyrinth Lord rulebook to see what level it would best fit.

If the character has the time and resources, the DM may allow the character to research their own unique spells. This is by no means a certain method, and failure can be frustrating and potentially dangerous. Similarly a character may try to use research to recreate a spell he has seen elsewhere. This may work, or it may result in nothing at all, or it may produce something either sub-standard or a spell that the character did not really intend - serendipity is an interesting source of new spells.

Wednesday, 9 March 2011

Optional Class - The Elven Ranger

The Elven Ranger:
Requirements: Strength 9+, Dexterity 9+
Restrictions: Elven Rangers can only use leather armour if they want to use their special abilities.
Elven Rangers can use any weapon
Saving Throws: Elven Rangers save as Thieves
Racial Abilities: As an elf, an elven ranger has the following abilities
            Infravision: An elven ranger can see in the dark up to 60ft.
            Immunity to Ghoul Paralysis
            Detect Secret Doors
Class Abilities
            Bonus with Longbow: Elven rangers gain +1 to hit with longbows and arrows.
            Hide in Wild: This is similar to a thief’s Hide in Shadows ability, but works better outdoors rather than in dungeons or buildings.
            Move Silently: This is the same as a thief’s Move Silent ability.
            Climb in Wild: This is similar to a thief’s Climb Walls ability, but works better outdoors rather than in dungeons or buildings.
            Tracking: This ability allows an elven ranger to follow a creature’s tracks even some time after it has passed.
Note that Hide in Wild, Move Silently, Climb in Wild and Tracking may all be subject to modifiers by the DM according to how difficult or easy the circumstances are.  These abilities also cannot be performed while wearing scale mail or heavier armour: only leather armour or no armour may be worn while using these abilities.

The elven rangers are the hunters and foresters of elven communities. Skilled in the use of longbows and stealthy as panthers, elven rangers stalk and ambush their enemies form the undergrowth or branches of their forest hom. Their skills make them good scouts and spies, especially in wilderness areas.

Elven rangers make excellent adventurers, combining the range of weapons available to human fighters with the stealth and skill of a thief adapted to a wild environment. Elven rangers usually stay with their community of elves but those who go adventuring usually do so out of curiosity and for the excitement. Some return to their elven tribes, more experienced about the rest of the world than before. Due to their stealthy and subtle instincts, elven rangers tend to be quiet, even introverted: few seek fame and glory.

Although lawful and chaotic elven rangers are known, most elven rangers are neutral in alignment. Rigid laws and codes of conduct seem inappropriate in the harsh and often surprising wilds, yet there is enough harmony and balance in nature that the destructive and uncaring philosophy of Chaos often leaves a trail of damage that rangers do not like.

Sunday, 6 March 2011

Notable adventure sites close to Teiglin

When I created Kaelaross, I was somewhat influenced by computer games like World of Warcraft where different areas have different levels of difficulty - simplistic and probably not realistic, but quite convenient as well. Teiglin was designated the starting area, and I have geared it towards character levels 1-5, after which PCs are ready to move on to newer, more dangerous areas such as the Godsblood Straits. This is by no means an absolute rule, and if DMs want to throw in some tougher threats, that's up to them.

Some of the notable locations for adventures include:

 Castellan Keep is the outpost of the Kingdom of Teiglin in the border lands between the kingdom and the lands under the shadow of Chaos. It is a product of a botched attempt to retake Erkhart, and is now a favoured base of operations for adventurers. It is nicknamed “the Keep on the Borderlands” as it is the only settlement to be well outside the baronies.

Haven is a mystical realm that is only about a square mile in size that is effectively independent from Teiglin, though it pays nominal fealty to the King. Rumour has it that Haven was ruled by Princess Argenta, “the Silver Princess”, but that recently the palace at the heart of the realm has been taken over by powerful chaotic forces centered on an artifact of evil, the Eye of Arik.

Quasqueton is the abandoned underground stronghold of two powerful adventurers, the wizard Zellighar the Unknown and the warrior Rohgan the Fearless. The pair had become famous before the outbreak of the Wars between the Empires, and they left to fight in the wars. They never returned, and are presumed dead. Their mysterious lair Quasqueton is known to hold great treasure, vicious monsters and strange traps. 

Semendia - Just outside this place is a hill with a ruined monastery, the lair of the Hobgoblin King. The rest of the town is ruined. Monsters in the ruins include hobgoblin and bugbear allies of the hobgoblin king. 

Warlock Harbour is a ruined port that used gems that had magical powers to repair damaged ships anchored in its docks. It was attacked during the wars between the Empires by a team of wizards and clerics from Bellenos who slew the mages that operated the port and stole the gems but the raiders themselves ran afoul of storms and angry water elementals, and the ship with the gems sank just outside the harbour. The king and admirals of Teiglin would look kindly upon anyone who retrieved the gems and enabled ships to be magically  repaired in the docks again. 

Myrall Keep is a ruined castle that for many years was in the possession of the Myrallis family, dangerous and subtle mages who the Toutus authorities suspected of trafficking with forces of Chaos but never proved. They created extensive laboratories, catacombs and barracks underneath their castle, and often brought charmed, enslaved or subdued monsters into their castle. About 100 years ago in BY 1505 there was some sort of disaster underground that was covered up. Henchmen, guards, servants and a few Myrallis family members fled the Keep. The then-duke of Teiglin ordered the underground levels to be sealed off, and a small garrison of Teiglin troops maintained the surface castle until the wars between the Empires in 1560. The Keep was attacked and overwhelmed by raiders from Bursia, but they unleashed something from the dungeon levels, and the survivors, both Teiglin defenders and Bursian raiders, fled the Keep in terror.

Erkhart is the former capital of Teiglin, and now the source of its greatest menace, the Chaos Portal, created by Bhael during his rampage across Kaelaross. A steady stream of chaotic monsters (humanoid, undead and other types) emerge from the portal to plague the lands in the area. The question of how to close the Chaos Portal has puzzled and frustrated the scholars who escaped the city but many agree that powerful clerical magic is the best solution. There had been a major attempt to retake Erkhart before, but that failed because the soldiers and adventurers of Teiglin could not actually close the portal. The city is now ruined, with bugbears, ogres and minotaurs being the dominant humanoids.

See also
Adventure Seeds around Teiglin 1

Wednesday, 2 March 2011

A History of the Kingdom of Teiglin

Teiglin is a small but strong realm off the coast of Toutus. It has undergone great change since the Summoning. From being a duchy it is now an independent kingdom. From being a peninsula it has become an island. And from being a quietly prosperous realm it has turned into one of the last bastions of civilization on Toutus, fending off hordes of chaotic monsters emerging from its former capital, Erkhart.

Teiglin had become part of the Toutus Empire early on, being colonized around 860 BY. As the Toutus Empire grew, the Duchy of Teiglin became more and more integrated politically and economically.
During the wars between the Empires, Teiglin suffered brief raids from both Bursia and Bellenos, but did not suffer the extensive invasion and plundering that some realms endured.
When Bhael emerged and rampaged across the face of Kaelaross, Teiglin was severely shaken when Bhael teleported into Erkhart, the Ducal capital, killed several hundred people on a whim, created one of his dreaded Chaos Portals and then magically departed to cause havoc elsewhere. Although some officials and a number of the ducal guards were killed, the Duke, his family and most of his advisors evacuated from Erkhart to Thaldion, which is now the capital of Teiglin.
Defences were hastily erected in Glensor and Bauglir baronies and all males of fighting age were given weapons and mustered

However, more was to come – a week later Bhael appeared to the east of Teiglin over the town of Ermish, this time in furious battle with the Lawful gods Adonor and Rhondus. During this cataclysmic battle the isthmus that Ermish was on was pushed beneath the sea, creating the Godsblood Straits and turning Teiglin from a peninsula into an island. Soon after the news of the collapse of the Toutus Empire, the Duke declared himself King of Teiglin.

Things have been relatively stable, though in BY 1595 there was an attempt to retake Erkhart. Teiglin launched a large military offensive into the lands of Chaos, straight towards Erkhart. However, the forces of Chaos were stronger than they had anticipated. Crucially, when the vanguard fought their way into the heart of Erkhart, they found they could not close the Chaos Portal. The offensive was thrown back into disarray and the only thing to show for the effort and spent lives was the capture of an old fort in the borderlands which was renamed Castellan Keep, and is still the easternmost outpost of Teiglin today.