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Saturday, July 12, 2014

Bonus Post 07-12-2014

When I began this blog nearly a month ago my goal was to keep up a pace of one post per day.  With a move to a new apartment looming, work and summer vacation on the horizon this was a mighty feat and I did miss two days of blog.

So I plan to make up both of those posts before the 30 days lapses and come out the other end of this first month at Dungeon Mastering by Candlelight with 30 posts in 30 days.

As I mentioned before my current group of players is getting ready to investigate what is stirring up the dead entombed in the North Downs...a hill covered with ancient burials from the Orsip Dynasty, the powerful clan which ruled this region for hundreds of years before the rise of the current Kingdom of Daria.

The North Downs is a somewhat storied location in my world although much of the knowledge has passed into dusty old records or carved messages in stone that only the most obscure scholars pay any attention to in the current age.  The North Downs is the burial place of King Atalese, sometimes called Atalese the Terrible the last and perhaps the most feared of the Tyrant Kings of Orsia.  The tall black obelisk at the tallest point of Tyrant's Hill is said to have been erected by King Atalese as a monument to his brutal victory over the Pictish tribes which once occupied these hills, pushing them permanently into the darker woodlands farther to the North.

Many assume that the temple entrance constructed of elegant blocks of carved white marble set into the side of Tyrant's hill has always served as the mausoleum of the Orsian Kings but this is not true.  The Temple was originally a shrine dedicated to Oknabog, the Northern God of Fire and Steel.  It was here, in this very shrine that the great steel and mithril sarcophagus was constructed by the one hundred heroes of the race of man along with aid and the council of the dwarves.  This gigantic black and silver gothic monstrosity of a coffin was hauled on a sledge over one hundred miles to the site where the evil Goddess Aglaeca was confronted and ultimately vanquished at the Western edge of The Boglands of Ghagnasdiak.

Aglaeca could not be destroyed completely however and so her gigantic, swamp hag remains were secured inside of the sarcophagus, wrapped with chains of mithril and bound closed with spells and three gigantic locks constructed of meteoric iron.  From the site of the battle the hundred heroes of men hauled the coffin on its great sledge over a thousand miles all the way into the permanent ice fields of the Wintersmark, beyond the Goblinspite Mountains, beyond even the Highlands of Vuxor to the bottomless seeming crater of a long dead volcano.  There they pushed the sarcophagus in and considered the matter closed for almost five hundred years before it became clear that Aglaeca had managed to return some of her power and influence back into the world despite being slain, bound and dropped into a bottomless pit far from anywhere.

One of the most important of the original hundred lords of man, a chieftain named Baelimar (Bay-el-i-mar) is buried somewhere in the chaos of the North Downs and within his grasp is held one of the keys to the mighty iron locks which secures Aglaeca's sarcophagus.  (Insert dramatic music at this point..Dum..Dum...Dummm!)

Above is an overhead view I drew up for the North Downs.  Not pictured here is the abandoned farm house on the South side of the road at the bottom of the picture.  A group of grave robbers in the employ of a cult the characters are investigating which had been operating out of the basement of the Temple of Birds in their starting city had dug a sectioned / mine style passage under the road, under the woods and up into an already looted barrow right about where the N is located in the arrow and compass on the map.

This allows for easy access up into the North Downs without having to deal with the guards who keep the road under 24 hour patrol.  The local militia frowns on anyone messing about up in the Barrows.  Grave robbers have a bad reputation for stirring up the dead who wander down onto the road and make things difficult for the locals, passing caravans and really anyone coming through this area on their way in or out of the city.

Keep in mind that this is a kit bash adventure.  I took two brilliant and published adventures, bashed them together and added three completely original side areas of my own and one huge main area which is also original.  This took what I could typically create on my own in about a month of game preparation time and effectively tripled it as far as scale and sheer awesome.

As you might imagine I am -very- excited to run this part of the campaign for my group.

Well that is it for this bonus update.  Enjoy the rest of your Saturday!  Happy Gaming!


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