The Wilderlands of Absalom
- 1 Statistics
- 2 Treasure
- 3 XP Awards
- 4 Group Finances and Resources
- 5 Maps
- 6 Setting
- 6.1 Lore and History
- 6.2 Junction, Class IV
- 6.3 Rhea's Ford, Class II
- 6.4 County of Chelles
- 6.5 Hob, Class VI
- 6.6 Pevin, Class VI
- 6.7 The Candle
- 6.8 Rivers Bel and Sarn
- 6.9 Kesig and Tamen
- 6.10 Eros
- 6.11 Jacaar and Phiesen
- 6.12 Zarich
- 6.13 The Silver Sea
- 6.14 Zizdul
- 6.15 Languages
- 6.16 The Domain
- 7 Houserules
- 8 Important NPCs
- 9 Rumor Mill
- 10 Game Threads
Player Characters and Henchmen
- Karag Two-Blades (Mapper, Forager/Hunter, Sea Captain), L6 Assassin, HP 8/24, AC 7 (magical chainmail) or 8 (custom armor), Init +1, up to 6 cleave attacks, riposte on AC 6
- Hira of the Seven (Healer), L5 Antiquarian Witch, HP 16/16, AC 0, Init +0
- (Finore the Crow), familiar, HP 8/8, AC 1, grants Hira +1 to saves when within 30' of her
- P'zev the Hairless (Geographer), L4 Mage, HP 17/17, AC 1, Init +1
- Hosfai (Forager, Hunter), L5 Cerves Brave, HP 13/13, AC 7 (leather + shield +2) or 10 (magical chainmail + magical shield), Init +2
- Ishka Bronze-skin, L5 Kobold Sneak, HP 22/22, AC 3, Init +1 (+1 bonus to surprise underground) (+1 bonus to avoid surprise - Alertness), notice secret doors casually 18+
- Hira of the Seven (Healer), L5 Antiquarian Witch, HP 16/16, AC 0, Init +0
- Qutai, L6 Horse Shaman, HP 30/30 AC 5. Spear 9+ for 1d6-1. Init +2.
- Rabanus the Raffish (Diplomat), L6 Mage. HP 14/14, AC 1. Rapier 8+ 1d6+1. Init 0.
- Xallijk, (Purser) L5 Nobiran Wonderworker, HP 21/21, AC 0
- Sir Harn, the Red Knight of Tisbury, L6 Fighter, HP 32/32, AC 10 | Flame Tongue 3+, 1d6+7 dmg (add add'l +1 vs regen or avian, +2 vs undead or plant)
- Brother Hanston, L5 Cleric, HP 21/21, AC 8 | Mace 6+, 1d6+2 dmg
- Anbet the Younger, L4 Ranger, HP 12/12, AC 4 | Short bow 7+, 1d6+2 dmg
- Jeffed Ka, L5 Fighter, HP 29/29, AC 10 | Init +1 | Sword 5+, 1d6+5 dmg (add an extra +1 against magic-using creatures)
- Salazar Hamish, L6 Thief, HP 14/14, AC 3, Two Shortswords 2+ for 1d6+3, Init +1
Lost in the Dark
- Zaharak The Unburned, L4 Ruinguard, HP 14/14, AC 8, Init +1, Surprise +1, x2 damage on natural 20, Immune to fear. Warhorse and wardogs.
Marches, Watches, Proficiencies, and Encumbrance Ape
- Sir Harn / Qutai / Anbet
- Jochi / P'zev / Pantera
- Karag / Rabanus / Hanston
- Xallijk / Nathet / Hira / Mayaz
- Ishka / Jeffed / Shibu / Hosfai
- (Horse Archers ) / (Pack Train and Wranglers) / (Horse Archers)
- - / (Horse Archers) / -
- 1st watch: Rabanus, Hanston, Hira, Jeffed, 1 wrangler, 5 horse archers
- 2nd watch: Sir Harn, Qutai, Anbet, 2 wranglers, 5 horse archers
- 3rd watch: Karag, Jochi, Pantera, 1 wrangler, 5 horse archers
- 4th watch: Xallijk, Nathet, Shibu, P'zev, 2 wranglers, 5 horse archers
- 675 gp worth of giant scorpion parts
- Hippogriff parts (2 claws, 20 feathers, 2 eyes, flight feathers)
Rhea's Ford To be IDed
- Black dagger (magical)
- Spider-skin armor (magical)
- The presumed leader has a gold ring upon his finger, set with the smallest emeralds Karag has ever seen all around the interior of the band. He thinks it likely to be magical.
- One of the other chain clad men carries a crossbow of exquisite make, with a stock of ebony, a crosspiece of polished bone and strung with the dried sinew from some great beast. This is likely magical as well.
- A short sword with strange runes etched into the blade, likely magical.
- There are three sapphires, each the size of a man's fist, resting on the foot of three of the four slabs. Each stone is likely worth 4000 gold. Oh! They're magical!
- A suit of bronzed banded armor, in an archaic style not familiar to the adventurers, stands at the end of the "eastern" leg of the tile inlay.
- Twin bronze swords are girded around the waist of the man
- A long lance, tipped with bronze, is strapped to its gauntlet.
- A misshapen lump of obsidian is resting at the base of one of the slabs.
- 18 arrows in quiver
- Spider leg rod.
- 1 set of engraved teeth (1 stone per 100 sets), worth 60gp
- 2 sets of engraved teeth (1 stone per 100 sets), each worth 40gp
- 3 silver holy symbols, each worth 60gp
- 7 bottles of fine wine, worth 5gp each (1 stone per 5 bottles)
- 8 glass eyes, lenses, or prisms, each worth 40gp
- 3000 gp
- 4 garnets worth 250 gp each
- quiver with 18 arrows, fletched with red feathers and suspiciously magical
- 4 brass trinkets (90 gp each)
- 5 bronze trinkets (100 gp each)
- 1 moonstone (50 gp)
- 1 pearl (250 gp)
- 1 turquoise (25 gp)
- A scroll wrapped tightly in oilcloth -- Treasure map
- 15 gp
- Worn brass key
- Symbol of Mekris (75 gp).
- Three ounces of Crocodile Tears
- A bundle of four scrolls, written in code.
- A single pearl, worth 250 gold.
- five stones worth 10 gold each, four worth twenty-five and a single polished carnelian worth 75 gold.
- a half-dozen trinkets that would likely total some 250 gold all together.
- a small figurine of basalt, carved in the shape of an enormously corpulent toad. It is slimy and damp to the touch, and remains curiously wet even after it has been out of the water for some time; attempts to dry it with scraps of cloth simply result in the fabric getting wet without significantly drying the figurine. "That is a representation of our great god, Tsaggotha! Our shaman could use it to summon a water spirit that would do great things at his bidding!"
- Fifteen rolled up scrolls of the finest vellum, bundled together and covered with spidery writing similar to that engraved upon the entrance to the mummy's tomb.
- a large painting done in oils and set into a gilded frame. It is of a woman, clad in green velvet robes, one hand resting upon the head of an enormous grey dog sitting at her feet. It is extremely well done, even though the subject is not known, and the adventurers believe it could fetch some 700 gold if sold in a larger market.
- A book titled Observations on Defensive Magics.
- A keyring, formerly possessed by Andza An, with four keys on it.
- 24 gp
- Two unholy symbols of Nachthudhrasa
- 4 barrels of fine spirits or liquor, worth 200 gp each (16 stone each)
- Eight bolts of colorful silk, each weighing 4 stone and worth 400 gold apiece
- A chest containing a score of what can only be dragonscales. They are the size and rough shape of a man's hand and shimmer with a reddish, iridescent hue that shines in the lamp light. It is estimated that each scale is worth around three hundred fifty gold coins. It is unlikely these scales are large enough to be used for magical or practical purposes
- Three small kegs that contain 90 pounds of raw (unprocessed) praum: greyish powdered stone that has a slight waxy feel to it. The kegs weigh three stones apiece.
Scrolls and Spellbooks
- Brass scrollcase from secret room in Keep, containing a scroll with the following spell: Hold Monster
- A brass scrollcase containing a single rolled scroll of soft vellum. It is a scroll of arcane magics, written in an archaic dialect of Common. It contains the following spells: Sleep, Read Languages, Dispel Magic and Giant Strength
- A curious cylinder of wood, perhaps six inches in diameter and a foot and-a half long. One quarter of the height has writing carved into it; those capable of understanding Faerie note that it is in that tongue, and those of a magical nature further note that the writings are magical. The cylinder weighs one stone. It is a spellbook containing Sleep, Cause Fear, and Detect Faerie Lands
- Owlbear spellbook with Jump, Shield and Wall of Smoke. The pages are swollen with moisture and some of the ink is smeared. There exists a possibility that using the book to study might result in magical mishap, if care is not taken to transcribe the spell properly.
- An apprentice‘s spellbook that contains Detect Magic, Floating Disc, Ventriloquism, Locate Object, and Mirror Image.
- The scroll contains the spell Levitate. IC 1220
- The writing upon the slate is a magical formulae for a spell that seems to be able to turn -- at least temporarily -- a certain number of steel or iron weapons into silver. Steel to Silver spell
- A thick tome bound in two sheets of thin, hard greenish crystal that seems to radiate cold. The chill emanating from the book is cold enough to burn flesh
- The shaman carries several thin sheets of metal, bound together by leather and containing writings in what looks to be the Bestial tongue. They contain the spells Sleep and Ventriloquism
- A scroll of some thin, pale leather that contains more writing in Bestial. The scroll has the spells Wizard Lock and Phantasmal Force
- The spellbook of Apaflas Da. It contains the first level spells Magic Rope, Wall of Smoke, Summon Dervishes; the second level spells Gust of Wind, Locate Object, Stinking Cloud, Summon Steed; third level spells Earth's Teeth, Summon Winged Steed; fourth level spell Wall of Sand; fifth level spell Conjure Elemental. It also contains two ritual spells: one binds a familiar, the second binds Lusbecira to the caster's will for seven days
- A gem, known among magicians as yedrium. It can be used to hold a charge of magical energy for an extended period of time before discharging it in a controlled manner; the gem glows slightly when containing the energy, dimming and crumbling to dust when discharged
- Flail +1
- Battleaxe +1, forged from curious metal
- Flying Carpet
- Club +1, a club of bone -- likely the thigh bone from some monstrous animal -- yellowed with age
- Warhammer +1, +3 vs Dragons, with a head of chromatic steel carved in a dragon's head
- Potions of Diminution x2, Polymorph, Animal Control x2, Fire Resistance, Giant Control, Dragon Control, Heroism, Invulnerability, Healing x4, Sweetwater, Giant Control
- Three written works: Dreams of Frost and Rime by Drujaal ip Mayt, Tempered in the Forge of Krang by Mastersmith Tungas, and The Mist Creeps by Pontificate Ett. It is estimated that the three non-magical tomes could fetch perhaps one hundred gold alcedes each to someone interested in researching obscure topics, or could be added to a mage's library. IC 1220
- A book on praum, or as the book sometimes calls it, godshit.
- Four doses of Firesand (a handful of fine black powder, possessing a pungent odor)
- Masterwork sword
- A pair of wicked looking handaxes with hafts of polished ebony and steel heads that shine dully in the sunlight. The handaxes are masterwork and balanced for throwing, with a +1 bonus to hit and an increased range of 10' (base). At a guess the twinned hand axes would be worth in the neighborhood of 600 gold if sold as a set.
- Five ounces of Crocodile Tears
- Three war-horns: a battered old war-horn, fashioned of bronze, an ogre's battle horn -- this one made from a yellowed and cracked tusk of some huge beast, bound in copper bands, and a third horn, taken from the third ogre band
- 4,000 sp
- Three topazes, worth 500 gp each
- A ring of metal that looks like the key Karag saw the shaman use on the entrance to the mummies tomb.
- Six casks of ale, each weighing 8 stone and likely worth 10 gp apiece. The ale is marked with stamps designating it as a product of Sevus, a small town just within the borders of the Principality.
- 120 bags of dried grains and vegetables, weighing a collective 480 stone and worth about 60 gp.
- 300 bricks of salt, weighing 160 stone and worth about 200 gp.
- 30 barrels more of ale, weighing 240 stone and worth another 300 gp.
- 30 jars of lamp oil, weighing 180 stone and worth 600 gold.
- 10 barrels of wine, weighing 160 stone and worth 2000 gp.
- Storage Capacity: 10,000/10,000
- The statue worth 4,000 gp.
- The five jars of spices worth 4,000 gp.
- Two boxes of uncut gemstones, each worth 3,000 gp.
- Box of peppery spices worth 800 gp.
- 2 bags of loose tea, worth 75 gp each (5 stone each)
- 1 crate of glassware, worth 200 gp each (5 stone each)
- 40 bundles of hides, weighing 120 stone and worth 600 gold.
- 2 crates of pottery, weighing 10 stone and worth 200 gp.
- 2800 ingots of iron (1400 stone total, 2800 gp total)
- A box of random and colorful gemstones, weighing one stone and likely worth 1,000 gold
- Two jars containing small, blackish seeds with an intensely peppery aroma. These are likely worth 800 gold each if sold on the open market
- Ring of Command Animals x2 (to be sold)
- Bag of Holding (to be sold)
- First Venture XP awards 3/1-3/27
- A bunch more XP awards, to 6.25
- Mummies (OOC III 361)
- Giant Scorpions (OOC III 466)
- Capturing Oliphant (OOC III 529)
- Coin from Venture V (OOC III 561)
- Last of the Ogres from the Candle (Logistics 215)
- Coin from Venture VI (OOC III 746)
- Bandit fight in Pevin & Ruined Keep I (OOC III 1366)
- Ruined Keep II (OOC III 1404)
- Ruined Keep III (OOC III 1471)
- Hippogriff + Pevin blacksmith stash (OOC III 1621)
- Sale of trade goods (OOC III 1665)
- Sale of more trade goods (OOC III 1692)
- Batrachians (OOC III 1868)
- Necromantic scrolls (OOC III 1881)
Group Finances and Resources
- Google Sheets doc can be found here.
Party Funds and Expenses
- Starting balance: 73,039 gp
- Mercenaries: -6987
- Hirelings: -4,444
- Supplies: -1896
- Settler Seed Money: -250
- Lifestyle Costs: -7,475
- Remaining material for Wolf Keep: -2500 gp
- Sage researching Candle: -500
- Sage researching the Ring of Second Chances: -500
- Two Restore Life and Limb: -1000
- Sale of trade goods: +9,752
- More Cash: +10,868
- Sage researches the Chelles family: -250
- Mercenary hire: -1575 (IC 985)
- Reaping in Hob: -5000
- Six units of stone (8.20): -750 gp
- Twelve units of lumber (8.20): -1500
- Eight trees of workers (8.20): -960
- Three units of stone (8.21): -375 gp
- Engineer: -250 gp
- Hippogriff trainer: -200 gp
NPCs and Animals
- Absalom Hirelings
- Monthly Cost: 4444 as of 8.1
- Animals and Beasts of Burden
- Monthly Cost: 6,987/month as of 8.1
- Situational Maps
- Player's Map -- For Real
- Hex 26.25 -- Grudtown
- Hex 23.16
- Hex 12.39
- Hex 13.39 -- Wolf Keep
- Hex 13.38 -- Modnar's Folly
- Hex 13.40 -- Goblintown
- Hex 14.40
- Hex 18.35 -- The Candle
- Hex 18.34
- Hex 18.36
- Hex 19.34
- Hex 19.35
- Keep de Chelles
- Treasure Maps
- 26.25 Grudtown (bugbear village) and odd statue temple
- 25.25 Dryad Grove; Owlbears (lair?); marsh
- 25.24 Wolfsbane patch
- 24.27 Bloodroot patch
- 23.27 Harpy den (still active)
- 21.28 herd of deer-like creatures
- 20.30 NE corner of Chelles County, ancient crumbling stone fort
- 19.38 cerves rumor of a cyclops lair
- 19.30 abandoned Keep near village of Pevin
- 19.29 village of Hob
- 18.35 ogre village
- 18.31 overgrown canal
- 18.30 Land value of 7
- 17.35 Land value of 8
- 17.34 Barrow
- 17.32 four score wild horses
- 17.31 stand of black oaks and pines
- 16.40 cerves rumor of a barrow, walking dead, and place of bad magic in hills south of the barrow
- 15.34 red poppy Field of Dreams
- 14.40 Giant Eagle lair
- 14.39 Manticores and Giant bees
- 14.38 stirges
- 13.40 plateau fires and Goblin City fires, defeated chimera
- 13.39 River Island Keep - Wolf Keep
- 13.38, subhex 0305 sustainably harvestable wood
- 12.39 Hippogriff lair, stone huts, mountain lions, Well
- 65.51 (18-mile hex map) Caballi horse-people village
After a century the forces of Chaos have begun to subside and weaken and the Realm of Man has begun to expand again, to retake territory lost in the past hundred years and even expand past its original borders. The Five Princes of the Inner Kingdoms have called for all able-bodied adventurers to venture into the outlands, to drive the barbarians and humanoids and abominations out and establish new domains for Law and Order. The adventurers have a charter from the Scarlet Prince, granting them ten year monopolies on any trade routes opened with friendly territories and the ability to draw upon the population of the Inner Principalities for labor, for skilled craftfolk, for soldiers and for settlers. Of course, the adventurers could also do it on their own and attempt to establish their own domains without owing fealty to anyone. They also have a map, a century out of date and likely inaccurate; the incursion of Chaos has warped the landscape in strange ways in addition to the more mundane monsters wreaking havoc on the towns and villages beyond the River Sarn.
The seasons are like Philly, approximately three months long each, but the winters are much colder. There may very well be a supernatural reason for this -- perhaps even connected with the presence of Chaos.
Lore and History
Junction, Class IV
On border of Scarlet Principality.
Exports & Imports
According to Mr. Hand:
- The main exports of Junction are meat, fur, cloth, timber and cloth and textiles refined from the bark of the whiteflower tree.
- The primary trade goods that go downriver is timber from the rare Empress Blood tree. It is a dense, oily, fine grained hardwood that is heavy enough to be used as ballast for the outgoing trip.
- In past years most of the traffic upriver has brought luxury goods and exotic wares for the nobility in Rhea's Ford and few staples.
- Junction is, as mentioned earlier, somewhat lacking in metals both common and rare. A fair amount of their supply comes from further east within the Scarlet Principality. Also, tradesmen have found that Empress Blood is hard enough to be used as bearings, gears and other parts traditionally made from metal -- and has the added benefit of being somewhat self-lubricating from the natural oils -- so the metal shortage is not as much of a hardship as may be expected.
- Junction has a high demand for metals (common and precious), glassware and armor and weapons (from the existing categories) as well as building supplies (wood and stone) due to the construction currently underway. It's essentially a frontier boomtown.
- It has a low demand for meats, furs, animals, cloth, wine and spirits, ale and pottery.
Rhea's Ford, Class II
Some distance east from Junction
- Mr. Hand hasn't spent enough time in Rhea's Ford to suss out the demand modifiers there, but you can hazard a guess that it will be fairly in line for what a relatively wealthy large city would want: silks, spices, coffee and tea, textiles, animals, etc.
County of Chelles
Comprised of four 6-mile hexes and two urban centers (Hob, population 125 families and Pevin, population 50 families), Chelles has an overall population of 1,175 families. It is technically a wilderness domain, but for some as yet unknown reason is actually classified as being civilized. Therefore it has an overall garrison cost of 2,350 per month. You will need to garrison some number of troops here that equal or exceed this value in order to occupy it and keep the peace. Then we'll just give it time and see what transpires as p. 64 of D@W (opposing morale checks, essentially).
The domain seems to consist of four hexes on the adventurers' map: 19.29, 19.30, 18.30 and 20.30.
Growing Hob and Pevin: The Core book (p. 133) details the methods of increasing the size of an urban population. You will not see any growth, at least for the time being, from immigration, due to the restricted trade routes and the fact that not many folks *know* about the region yet. So, I will allow you guys to attempt to attract families as per settlers, but instead of spending 1000 gp on 1d10 families you'll only need to spend 500 gp on 1d10 families*. In addition to some financial inducement, part of this money will go towards establishing the urban settlers -- purchasing them a small house to live in as incentive for moving down, for instance. I'm going to say the following:
Hob currently has an urban population of 125 families and an urban infrastructure value of 10,000 gp, so it can accommodate a total population of 249 families. Once it reaches 250 families (this will require infrastructure investment) it will become a Class V market.
- Note that you can spend multiples of this (i.e. 1000 gp to try and attract 2d10 families to Hob)
Hob, Class VI
Hob is currently a Class VI (actually, right on the cusp of becoming a Class V market) market of 125 families. It was once a medium sized Class V market (treated as Class IV because of its location on a trade route) with over twice the number of residents. So, quite literally, half the buildings in town are standing vacant.
The Mayor is Cynlas and his counselors are two women and a man, all over sixty, at least: Adelacar, Sephephie and Loccyn.
Hob was once the foremost urban center of a County, several Cycles ago. There was a great trade road that ran east to west, across a bridge that once spanned the Sarn in Hob.
- The residents of Hob seem, by and large, to live a relatively bucolic existence. The fields are fertile and the fish run deep; there is little want for food and, apparently, little danger from outside threats.
- Some say that an immense standing stone, some mile or two east of town, dating back to time immemorial is the reason that they have been little troubled by roaming beasts and monsters, even during the rather chaotic times of the last Cycle. Legend has it that there is a god buried there, dreaming, and that its dreams keep the monsters at bay. Others claim that it is an entrance to Faerie, that a door opens at its base on certain nights that leads to a dwarfen lodge in an alien mountain range.
- Even though they are part of the same domain the residents of Hob don't have much to do -- or much nice to say -- about their neighbors in Pevin.
- The townsfolk are split over what seems to be imminent increased prosperity. Many welcome it and the outside world while others claim they don't need outsiders, their newfangled ideas, foreign money or strange customs.
Assets in Hob
- Rinath the Red-bearded, factor.
- Two story adobe building (hex 24.10). Cost 500 gp, needs another 250 gp labor and 250 in materials.
- 1000 sq. ft, two story dwelling.
- Wooden single story with sidelot (hex 19.15 and 19.16). Costs 275 gp, needs 25 gp in labor and 25 gp in materials.
- 1200 sq. ft. warehouse-style space.
- Brick building (hex 19.09). Costs 250 gp, needs 50 gp in labor and 50 gp in materials.
- 1200 sq. ft. warehouse/factory style space.
- Being turned into a temple for Basa.
- Starting funds of 5000 gp
- -1,205 in real estate.
- -32 gp in 8thmonth for workers (being paid double wages)
Pevin, Class VI
Pevin is smaller than Hob, consisting of a score of sod or stone houses with thatched roofs clustered around a small square. The decaying and collapsed remains of two dozen more dwellings form an outer ring around the village proper. To the west, a quarter mile off, several bells shaped chimneys rise up, only one of which is currently smoking. Those familiar with metallurgy recognize them as crude smelters used to refine iron ore.
The road continues through Pevin, leading south to a large stone structure a half-mile further down the road. Another track bends east, away from the river, leading off into the distance. The Keep itself is squat and square, with low stone walls, a tower at each corner and a taller structure rising from within the walls. Even at this distance it is possible to see that the walls are not in good repair; the tower on the northeastern corner has partially collapsed, along with much of the eastern wall.
No one seems to own the iron mines outside of Pevin. There was a lordling who ruled there, but I think no one has claimed that land for years. The mines are communal, probably, owned and worked by the local peasants. And it is not unusual that it was abandoned. At the start of this Cycle the north was much safer than the south; there are several colonies of the Princedom there, as well. You have to understand how much the times of Chaos hurt trade and travel; we are just on the process if expansion again, ten years on. The Principality is short on metals -- iron especially, although the mines up north are helping -- and Pevin has both the mines and the smelters.
Learned later: Pevin and Hob were once the foremost urban centers of a County, several Cycles ago. There was a great trade road that ran east to west, across a bridge that once spanned the Sarn in Hob. The mines of Pevin were renowned throughout the area for both the output and quality of the ore, and its iron was shipped to the great cities of the east and west. But Tamen collapsed, some say to plague, others to civil war, and the road to Kesig was cut off by bandits, ogres and worse. The Count and his family died in a fire in their Keep, according to legend, and their ghosts still roam the decaying halls.
For years the mines sat idle, the smelters cold. There was some digging, mostly to produce ore for the smithies in Hob and Pevin, but for all intents and purposes the folk in the area turned farmers and herders. Most of the mining that was done was not for iron but for a mineral, called praum by the locals, that could sometimes be found alongside the iron veins. About two years prior the mining camp began to swell -- some folks from Pevin moving back out, some coming from Hob to seek their fortunes and others from the surrounding countryside. The smelters were fired up again, so ore is obviously being produced. It was around this tie that roving bands of rough men and women, bandits by the look, began to frequent Pevin more and more, traveling along the ancient trade roads. Some of the townsfolk suspect that they are moving the ore to new markets.
Learned still later: During her time ministering the wounded Hira gleans some information about the basic power structure of Pevin. It, like Hob, is overseen by a Council of Elders, composed of five souls: Wilgrim Waverly is the chief councilor, a man in his mid-forties, tall and broad in stature. Wilgrim is a shepherd and farmer with a freehold just outside of Pevin and seems to be well-like and respected by all. He has a large brood; ten children in all. Andza and Carbeo An are sister and brother, both in their sixties. Carbeo is rumored to be addicted to Black Lotus, a drug not known to grow locally. This dependence is the reason his house has fallen into neglect and disrepair over the past few years. Andza is three or four years his elder and is said to be as sharp as a tack. She is also the sole -- as far as anyone can tell -- owner of the mines and has grown relatively rich running a dry goods store within the mining camp. There is a blacksmith named Betda Romes on the Council; her forge is located on the outskirts of Pevin. There are whispers that she is a witch, consorting with black powers that visit her at night. The final member of the Council is a priest named Cansa Wen, a half-senile doddering fool who maintains the village's lone shrine, devoted to some local god named Mekris.
Karag spends a second week skulking about and peering into shadowy corners. He hears and sees several interesting tidbits. Once, while lurking by an open window in Pevin's lone tavern, hears a whispered conversation about a man named Willen d'Azure, promised wealth, the sale of iron ore and hints of weapons and war. Another time he espies a quartet of men ride into town from the southwest. They are clad in blacks and browns, of dapper and distinguished cut, and all wear boots soled in red leather. The riders spend about three hours or so in the miners' camp before riding back to the southwest. Their horses ride somewhat slower, it seems, on the way out. Finally, while mosyeing around the camps he comes upon a circle in the grass, beaten down as if by many feet, some thirty feet in diameter. In the center of the circle he finds the remains of a fire; the charred sticks that are left are arranged in an arcane fashion that leaves his eyes watering and crossed if he examines it too closely. He also notes the smell of cinnamon in the air, ever so faintly.
Rumor: Some evil being -- a changeling or skinwalker -- roams the hills around Pevin, devouring the souls of those unfortunate enough to get in its way.
Imprisoned in the Pevin mine is a minor god called Nachthudhrasa, a small, local arachnid deity which was recognized to manifest in the grasslands and hills miles south of Rhea's Ford. The legends say that Nachthudhrasa is confined underground, bound by chains of silver and the influence of some sort of font of Law, and has been imprisoned so for the past six or seven Cycles.
A great mound of earth, covered by grass. Legend says it's a burial mound, left over from the Old Folk. A stone pillar sticking out of the ground, some one hundred feet high. It's visible for some distance. Thing's some kind of natural formation, about three, four hundred feet in diameter. Looks like a big fat candle stuck in the ground. Anyways, there's some caves and tunnels in there, mostly natural, I think, but worked over the years. The ogres lair in there. You're going to want to be careful of the approach, though, since the ogre chief is smart enough to put watchers up on top of the Candle. There is a water source within the Candle.
It has a long and storied history and is believed to have been first carved out of the earth by the mecistop, the crocodile folk, although it is far to the north of their traditional range. Historians believe it to have been a location of some ritual significance; later, human sources mention that a portal to Faerie can be found within its corridors. Whether or not this is the reason the mecistop established the outpost is unknown. In more recent history the Candle was used as a fortress by the various human empires and kingdoms that have sprung up on the plains, the last known one being the Ferann Kingdom some four Cycles ago. The Candle was also the home of one Waruvell the Wise, a wizard of some repute during the Third Cycle. There are tales of the top floor containing some sort of mechanism that controls various functions through the rest of the butte.
Rivers Bel and Sarn
The rivers Bel and Sarn are both relatively wide, shallow and flat, and the majority of the boats plying their waters are one or two masted and fairly flat bottomed, the equivalent of a small sailing ship. They rely on the current to go downstream and on the return trip use a combination of sails and oars. The body of water shown at the south of the map is a large inland lake -- almost a freshwater sea, really -- similar to one of the Great Lakes. Before Chaos descended upon the land there were numerous civilizations ringing the lake, of which the Six Principalities were but one, but know little is known of how many survived.
Kesig and Tamen
In the day there were two towns that primarily traded with Hob. Kesig to the east and Tamen to the west. All I know is there is an ancient road leading west across the river from Hob, and Tamen is supposed to be several day's ride to the west. Kesig I am a little more sure of. I don't think there's actually a road -- there may have been, once -- but I think it is about . . . here." He points to the area labelled 77.56 on their original map. Harn suddenly remembers why Kesig sounds so familiar; it is where his retainer Jeffed Ka is from. He recalls that Jeffed had been attempting to lead a caravan from Kesig to Hob but were waylaid by the ogres that dwell in the Candle.
Jeffed proceeds to wax lyrical about the rolling verdant fields of his homeland and the quality of the maidens that dwell there. Kesig is a domain of some 8,000 families, nestled between a range of mountains to the south and hills to the north, east and west. "These same hills as surround Wolf Keep, I'd wager," he says "although it is far to the east of here. There are mines in the mountains to the south where we dig for iron and gold and gemstones. There are some deposits of harbenite in the surrounding hills that the Ancients had dug; we still mine there from time to time, although such mines are almost always guarded by the walking dead, for some reason. Perhaps the ore calls to them, across the spirit world. We make several fine wines and a fabric woven from a local plant that is as soft as silk but capable of being layered more thickly."
Eros is a small village known chiefly as a training center for bladedancers. The hills south of Eros are extremely dangerous for travel due to the large presence of monsters and their ilk in the area.
Jacaar and Phiesen
Both were border towns of the Timshan Empire that flourished to the south during the Twelfth and Thirteenth Cycles (approximately 400-500 years ago). It is possible that Wolf Keep itself is a relic of this period of time -- although more likely it dates back to only the Fourteenth Cycle -- but Zizdul certainly was an important city during this time. During this time a series of roads and highways were built, many of which till survive to this day, and trade goods were brought from the far reaches of the Empire to Zizdul in the south. Jacaar is to the east of Wolf Keep, supposedly, and in its day was known for producing an alchemical substance known as zelenek, a curious greenish sand used in casting metal items of great value or magical in nature. Phieisen was to the west of Wolf Keep, about twice the distance as Jacaar, and known for its silver mines.
Zarich was the nearest city to Hob and was fabled to sit up against the mountains somewhere to the southeast. Zarich fell before the Seven Princedoms had been founded. (Players' Map - Initial 73.54)
The Silver Sea
Until recently there was regular, if not frequent, travel down the Sarn to a city called Orahorah, the closest friendly port on the Silver Sea. In the past such trips were undertaken by groups of a half dozen ships or so, to maximize profit and safety. Orahorah is the closest port on the Silver Sea, important because of the fragility of our craft but far from ideal because of the restrictions of trade. The city is ruled by a monopolistic merchant's guild; rather than allow us to trade directly, or even transfer our goods to another ship, we are forced to sell our goods to middlemen, who then sell them elsewhere.
That's Orahorah (Seneschal's Map 56.55). You've got to understand that the Silver Sea is vast. It's supposedly an inland sea -- or, at least it was, three Cycles ago -- and the river boats we use are too small and fragile to navigate any distance from shore. Before Zizdul fell our merchants would transfer goods into larger boats and sail wherever they wanted; to Twelve Towers -- the magocracy -- Orm and Ord --the Twins -- the Gloaming, Talltree and other lands even more exotic. Now, though, we've got a further journey. Upon entering the Sea we bear east, hugging the shore, until we reach the Broken Straits and the Silent City of Orahorah. None of our merchants operate out of there -- they can't, it's a strict Guild system, no outsiders allowed -- so we sell our goods their and bring back what we can."
Rabanus observes what was once a great city, as large as Rhea's Ford, if not larger. It is centered on three hills that slope down the to shores of the bay, terraced in buildings of sandstone and adobe. Each hill is topped with enormous edifices -- one is clearly a temple, the other, the closest to the water, a keep, and the third looks to be a palatial mansion of some sort. For the most part the buildings are several stories tall, with some reaching sixty or eighty feet into the air. Rabanus also counts a half-dozen towers reaching to the sky, some three hundred feet in height.
The main of the city is surrounded by a wall some forty feet tall, punctuated by sixty foot towers every hundred yards or so. Overall the buildings appear to suffer from disrepair and neglect; in some areas entire city blocks have been razed to the ground. Zizdul possesses a mile or more of waterfront, most of which is lined by decaying docks and half-submerged boats slipping under the surface of the water. There do not appear to be any ships capable of sailing. Numerous columns of smoke rise from the various buildings and vacant lots, but what he makes especial note of are the sheer numbers of humanoids that can be seen. Crowds of them fill the street, of a bewildering array of races, sizes and appearance. He sees goblins, orcs and ogres, bugbears and gnolls and even, sprawled around an enormous campfire in the center of a cleared city block, a family of five brutish looking giants, easily twice the height of an ogre. There are crews of kobolds working on the city walls, overseen by stern looking hobgoblins with whips, markets teeming with these races plus others less identifiable. If the mage were to guess he would say there were at least a thousand inhabitants of the city, and most likely more. IC 1615
- Faery (elves, pixies, dryads, etc.) Rabanus (+2 CHA), Jabri (+2 Cha), Hira
- Undertongue (dwarves, gnomes, kobolds) Xallijk, Ishka, Tlilith, Ysval
- Bestial (ogre, orc, gnoll) Harn, Lady Paige
- Goblin (goblin, hobgoblin, bugbear) Harn, Pantera (+1 Cha), Tlilith
- Grog (common language of most primitive races) Hanston
- Swampspeak (frogling, lizardman, troglodyte, etc.) Karag
- Giant Qutai, Salazar (+1 CHA)
- Draconic Xallijk, P'zev, Jabri (+2 Cha)
- Law (must be selected through Proficiency)
- Chaos (must be selected through Proficiency)
The land is probably not that great for farming, at least not much past a narrow band on either side of the river. It is, however, ideal land to raise goats, sheep or even cows (again, think west Texas terrain). Fish and fowl are plentiful in the river -- or will be again, now that the trolls are gone. There is the copper mine with potential for more mines -- a comprehensive survey will determine how many -- and the possibility of quarrying sandstone. The land revenue for this hex is 7.
What makes it really valuable, however, is the location of the Keep for controlling (and taxing, potentially) river traffic.
- Map of Wolf Keep Island
- Wolf Keep proper
- Wolf Keep Construction Schedule
- Wolf Keep Features
- The Library at Wolf Keep
- Nathet's Lab
- Wolf Keep Hex Settlers
- Residents of Wolf Keep and Logistics
- Wolf Keep Logistics infodump post
- Wolf Keep first floor map
- Wolf Keep Surroundings
The Candle is a pillar of stone rising some two hundred feet above the grasslands. It apparently dates back Cycles, to the reign of the Crocodile Kings, but has been used by a variety of races and cultures over the years.
The relevant posts detailing its layout are here, with the lower levels and here for the upper levels. As per the second link it will cost 20,000 gp (half in labor, half in materials) to totally repair it, after which point it will have a base cost of 120,000 gp. As of now it has a value of 60,000 gp.
- Candle Repair Schedule and Workers
- Candle Maps
- Candle Residents
- Candle hexes controlled
- Candle Mercenary Forces
- Candle Supplies
- Trade Goods
- Custom Items
- XP awards
- Ranger - custom class
- Goblin Warrior - custom class
- Cerves Brave - custom class
- Kobold Sneak - custom class
- Caballi Warrior - custom class
- Kobold Warrenguard - custom class
Mr. Hand, our Factor
Mr. Hand will be able to do the following for you:
- Recruit basic mercenary troops.
- Sell magic items, provided he has them in, ahem, hand.
- Find buyers and sellers for trade goods.
- Retain specialists.
- Arrange for supply trains to venture out, *assuming the infrastructure is set up*. If there's not a PC or henchmen with the train, they won't want to travel through uncleared hexes.
He comes with an office and warehouse with a capacity of 10,000 stones worth of goods/treasure. Assume that 1,000 stones worth can be stored in a vault-like space and the rest of the storage is simply locked. The warehouse/office will also be guarded by two veteran crossbowmen 24 hours a day. I need y'all to tell me if you want him based in Junction or Rhea's Ford. If he is based in Junction the above will cost you 500 gp a month (assume the 1st month is already paid); he will be closer to the frontier but in a smaller market. If based in Rhea's Ford the above will cost you 750 a month (again, assuming the 1st month is already paid); he will be farther from the frontier but in a larger market town.
Note that the above cost includes payments on the warehouse and the salaries of Mr. Hand and the guards, but does not include the cost of recruiting troops, IDing magic items and so forth. There will be the ability to ID magic items in Junction, but the sale of them will be limited to Rhea's Ford.
Other Adventuring Parties
- They are led by Awyn the Acrimonious, a she-warrior of some renown. The party counts amongst its members a mage, a cleric of a deity I have never heard of and cannot pronounce the name of, two rangers, a bard for singing Awyn's praises and a cloaked, silent man who's duties and abilities I have been unable to determine, and a score of so mercenaries, cooks and so forth. I do not know there goal, only that I observed them purchasing furs and blankets and other cold-weather gear. Therefore, I can only conclude they are either heading north, to where winter still holds the world in an icy embrace, or west, towards and perhaps beyond Rocky Peak.
- Her brother is stricken by a mysterious curse that prevents him from speaking the truth. They had heard tales of a spring somewhere to the southeast, that has the power to cleanse one who drinks of it of all such afflictions. They were unable to find it, however. They stopped in Pevin, of all places, for a week of R&R but no idea where they went afterward.
- The trio claim no injuries, and have none visible, apart from the scratches and welts one might accumulate from running recklessly through the undergrowth, fleeing for one's life. Two of the three, Tika and and Isum, are both clad in chain mail; Tika wears a sword in a scabbard and has a short bow slung over her shoulder, while Isum has a one-handed axe and shield. The third member, Bribras the Bold, wears banded plate under a crimson surcoat and carries a war hammer and shield. Prominently displayed on a chain around his neck is stylized horses's head in profile with a twinkly ruby for an eye. To Hira's eye the three appear to be relatively inexperienced, at least less so than her employer. They may or may not be as seasoned as she is.
- "Look," says Bribras, "we're new in town, drawn like half the people here by the promise of the wealth to be found out here on the frontier. I am, if I may modestly say, a rather important person back east, and my comrades are as dear to me as my own brothers and sisters. I will be willing to pay five hundred gold alcedes to whomever is able to recover the petrified remains of my three companions, so that we may restore them to life."
- Aside from Sanke One-eye's crew, there are another two bands: the Free Folk, who hang out mostly to the southeast, and the Redfoot Gang, who mostly work the other side of the Sarn (from the Candle). As far as can be told, the bandits mostly survive by robbing isolated communities, merchant caravans and scavenging amongst the ruins of the ancient ones. There are also a few beastman tribes roaming the llano, as the ogres call it. Some gnolls, a group of sun-hardened orcs that call themselves the Rock Spiders, and some of the other species such as cerves.
- While the road to Rocky Peak has been little used and ill-maintained over the past century, the occasional bold merchant or brave adventurers made the treacherous journey between the two cities. A dozen or so years ago, however, a pride of manticores staked their territory western edge of the forest, effectively shutting down transit between Rocky Peak and Junction. Mr. Hand, the factor in the adventurer's employ, notes that Rocky Peak was for years a source of iron and gemstones, two commodities that Junction is sorely lacking.
- Far to the west, at the base of an active volcano, sits the legendary city of Pesh. Even before the darkness fell the route to Pesh was long and circuitous, for there is only one road onto the plateau where it is built, and the causeway is -- or was, rather, controlled by a fierce band of lion-men who demand tribute to those who would pass. Pesh is noted, however, for its great libraries containing books and scrolls of esoteric nature and for the veritable army of brass-skinned smiths who forge puissant weapons in the heat of the looming volcano. Were one to open a road to Pesh it would certainly bring great wealth to the indomitable individual.
- Gold ingots are also in high demand in Junction, and a wild-eyed man has been spreading tales of a gold mine he stumbled across in the hills south of the Principality, abandoned for nigh one hundred years but barely touched. He is willing to sell a map to the mine for 500 gold coins.
- A band of river trolls has established themselves in the River Sarn, demanding heavy tribute for those wanting to reach the Silver Sea and the markets beyond. The Scarlet Prince has offered a reward of 5000 gold alcedes to those able to defeat the trolls and open the waterways south. They are rumored to lair where the verdant grasslands turn to hills, some fifty miles southwest of Junction.
- All agree that the most fertile, prosperous land in Absalom is to be found almost due west of Junction. They say the ground is so fecund that one need only scatter seeds on the soil and wait for the most bountiful of harvests.