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T O P I C    R E V I E W
Gary Dallison Posted - 25 Nov 2014 : 20:07:20
I'm looking for all things Moonshae. I've read the Moonshae book, the Halls of the High King adventure, Treasure Hunt adventure, Dragon 405, Dungeon 196, Dragon 362.

Are there any other Moonshae mentions anywhere in any other sourcebooks or magazines? Even if its only half relevant to the Moonshae such as Grond Peaksmasher, is he featured in any articles.

There doesn't seem to be a lot of concrete information about the area. I have an idea for an alternate take but would prefer it if there were a bit more info to go on.
25   L A T E S T    R E P L I E S    (Newest First)
Gary Dallison Posted - 19 Sep 2019 : 15:01:11
Well I share a similar dislike unless there is a cultural reason for it (like I use in unther). So I decided to make coss-axell-sinioth a merged being a bit like a sharn, each of those names are fragments of the names of the original beings. There was no indication to do as such in canon but there is so little written about him and he is killed off so I figure I have free reign.

I thought the squid form was significant and his other form as an amorphous blob with pseudo pod limbs gave me the idea of something sharn like. I was originally going to make one of his parts be batrachi but couldn't find a satisfactory link to why he would want to destroy the ffolk. Then I moved onto elves and linked him to an idea i have regarding the llewyrr flight from illefarn, so coss-axell-sinioth are elven names and he wants to destroy the moonshae isles and everything on them because he is bound to that location.

It's still work in progress, but hopefully it's more interesting and grounded than the current unknown squid guy
Wooly Rupert Posted - 19 Sep 2019 : 14:50:21
I've never liked the name Coss-Axell-Sinioth. Sounds too much like one of those real-world noble houses that was formed by the marriage of other noble houses.

I don't like having even a single hyphen in a name, much less multiple ones.
Gary Dallison Posted - 19 Sep 2019 : 12:00:33
Picking up on the talisman that Coss-Axell-Sinioth affixed to the ship that reflect magic back at the caster.

I noted that the talisman had the triple forked lightning bolt on it, and that same symbol is found in the sahuagin of kressilacc.

Giving it a bit of history i figured it arrived with the illuskan invasion of gnarhelm and thus might have had history in stornanter. Given its primary power is to reflect magic i figure it might have been crafted with the purpose of being used against Laeral, perhaps during the coup to kill her (the one which killed Marek). Perhaps the coup was discovered early before the talisman was ready and so they had to implement it early (resulting in its failure).

Then, in keeping with burials in Gnarhelm, it was buried at sea with an important noble at some point later where it came to be picked up by the sahuagin of Kressilacc who worshipped it as a symbol of a powerful god of storms.

I also decided to give it the power to call down a lightning strike and make the user immune to lightnings, i'm going to call this item the Eye of the Storm
Gary Dallison Posted - 18 Sep 2019 : 22:19:13
Noted that lavish was from snowdown but the one island she is not mentioned as visiting is snowdown. I could perhaps manufacture a plot hook out of that later.

Also noted the Blackstone castle has a green dragon head mounted on its wall and the cult of the dragon has three fairly young green dragons that are siblings (not yet turned I believe). Perhaps one of the Earl's of Blackstone killed their parent
Gary Dallison Posted - 17 Sep 2019 : 14:41:59
I will have a think about it, you do pose an interesting point in that the worship of talos already exists among northmen so why would coss-axell-sinioth import a similar cult from the mainland.

I think for me the answer is that the northmen are not very religious, they are pragmatic about it and offer veneration only when requires (its stormy, sacrifice a goat to talas). Otherwise I think the northmen ignore their gods (the worship of tempos declined considerably among the northmen in the past few centuries according to ed).
I reckon the skalds are the only ones preserving the worship of the gods and they are doing so to keep a place in society for themselves, they don't care which God people venerate, they offer that divine link for people to any God (and accept sacrifices on their behalf).

I think the goal of interloper cults is to establish themselves among the more organised and therefore susceptible societies of the ffolk and the illuskans of gnarhelm.

There is enough mentions in canon to suppose that cults have been making inroads into the islands for a few centuries (malar in prayers from the faithful, bane twice in halls of the high king, bhaal in halls of the high king, talos in prophet of moonshae) but there is no widespread presence so I think it is still relatively virgin territory, the cults just need to remove the monopoly that the druids and the earthmother have in ffolk culture (hence the campaign to eliminate them).

No direct divine intervention for me though, that's strictly disallowed.
Barastir Posted - 17 Sep 2019 : 14:06:55
quote:
Originally posted by Gary Dallison
(...) I'm decided on talos being a northmen God (...)


Since in the original novels he is one of the interloper deities which is trying to establish himself in the islands, and Tempus has a "stormy aspect" among the northmen, I decided to explore a rivalry between them - or their clergy - in my campaign. Not exactly what you intend to do, but maybe you can get something out of it. Maybe they wrestle for worshipers, just like Malar gets some followers away from Tempus among the northmen, mostly the more savage berserkers.
Gary Dallison Posted - 17 Sep 2019 : 07:58:55
Darkwell details added, now onto a past approximation of the details on prophet of moonshae.

First up are the blackstones. I get the feeling that they have been talos worshippers for a long time. I'm decided on talos being a northmen God (netheril was jonah and calkmshan was bhaelros and talos fits with the bleak northmen ideology as well as his look being northmen ish)

Cults aren't really a northmen thing, they just follow the advice of their skalds who represent all the gods of the northmen and provide predictions and other services to those nearby.

The illuskans of gnarhelm however are from stornanter and so are perfect for evil cults. Angus Blackstone is a big man and his hearth has a huge double bladed axe above it (a northmen weapon) so perhaps he is of illuskan heritage.

Aeroth Silverhelm was from silverymoon and established vlan after the illuskans took gnarhelm, perhaps the blackstones could be illuskans from vlan that helped secure the Blackstone pass and were rewarded with an earldom.

I could even have coss-axell-sinioth provide the means (money) for the blackstones to secure the pass from gnarhelm and thus cement the worship of talos among the earls of Blackstone. For instance providing a bag of 100 black Pearls with which moray mercenaries were bought and used to fight. In return the earl makes a shrine beneath Blackstone manor and inducts his son and does a bit of sacrificing and we have a cult cell that's lasts a century or more.

I need to pepper in similar events throughout the other ffolk kingdoms where a wealthy benefactor provides patronage in return for some low level evil doing. The coss-axell-sinioth has cultists all over the islands taking part in his ritual that focuses a part of the eternal maelstrom on the moonshae isles.
Gary Dallison Posted - 15 Sep 2019 : 21:24:00
Added in my take on ley lines and crossroads, trying to incorporate menhir, trilithons, and dolmen into different ways to affect ley lines and crossroads and why they arent well known outside of the Moonshae Isles and Rashemen (basically what is it about urbanisation and civilisation that removes ley lines).


Gary Dallison Posted - 12 Sep 2019 : 20:40:59
I cant say i'm terribly enamoured with the DMs Guild, too much water in the swamp to get noticed. I also dislike having to update and release new versions of pdfs and make them available everywhere.

So instead i opted to go for a wiki style webpage (the link is in my sig) that i can build step by step and amend as i see fit without having to update and release the material.

Ultimately i'm hoping to detail the Moonshae Isles as much as i can using all the canon lore available but repurposing and twisting bits of it to remove the really horrible bits (everything 4e and later) and also to allow DMs and players to take part in the Kazgoroth events rather than just read about them in a novel (i really hate that novels removed playing opportunities, by the end of the two trilogies there was no reason to ever visit the Moonshae Isles).

I plan to have a detailed wiki of every place and person and item and organisation in the Moonshae Isles and then have an adventure path of sorts (not even started that bit) that allows the players to stop Kazgoroth's return.

I'm only intending to do this on the wordpress website i'm afraid and there is no intended finishing date, its a labour of love at this point, if i get fed up i will move onto another area (i intend to cover everywhere in the realms if i live long enough) and come back as the whims take me.

I've got the Hugh Dynasty from GHoTR which i'm adding a bit of detail to as i go through events. I did at one point detail all the dynasties of Corwell, Moray, Oman, and Snowdown as part of an earlier version but i've decided i'm not entirely happy with those and will only be using pieces. Ultimately the dynasties of Corwell and the other islands is not terribly important and i have only provided detail on a few that allowed me to detail the area further.

If you want to see what i've got then here is the link https://alternaterealmsblog.wordpress.com/

I will add pictures and pretty it up when i've finished, but thats more of an if than a when.

If you have any comments (even something as minor as spelling mistakes or poor sentence structure) then you can post them here or on the site (i think i have comments enabled)
ElfBane Posted - 12 Sep 2019 : 20:04:38
A couple of questions, Gary, about your ultimate goal.

1. Will this Moonshaes lore project eventually be a GHotR-like publication similar to the Maztica project stuff that has been published at the DMs Guild?

2. I believe you published a dynastic record regarding the Moonshaes High-Kings. Will you publish a dynastic record of the Gwynneth/Corwell sub-Kings? Will it be included in the Moonshaes lore project I asked about above? And, do you have enough canon lore to attempt to compile a Gwynneth/Corwell dynastic record?

3. And, to sneak in a third question, when might this be published?

Thank you.
Gary Dallison Posted - 12 Sep 2019 : 13:34:21
Adding in tristans chain shirt, seems sensible to be mithril, its light and strong and gleaming like silver, and it keeps him alive against blows from dinosaurs, giants, and even a God. Not sure whether to make it enchanted though, not everything has to be enchanted.

Daryths scimitar is magic, might make it a shoon weapon, minor enchantment to make it sharper and glow in the dark.
Gary Dallison Posted - 12 Sep 2019 : 08:51:00
So heimdal could be guardian of home and the dalheim becomes home of guardians.

I think I will use petrified warriors on llorgh, and then use the memory morphed rocks for other islands in norheim and for gnarhelm and Oman where there are Galeb duhr like creatures.
ElfBane Posted - 11 Sep 2019 : 23:36:07
Wasn't Heimdal the guardian of the bridge/gate to Asgard? Maybe "dal" means some sort of defensive word, such as the "home guard".
Gary Dallison Posted - 11 Sep 2019 : 13:20:57
I shall have to look into the names of the places and see if I can corrupt any into real Norse words.

Heim means home, so perhaps if dal approximates to dead or stone then Dalheim can be the site of a battle with lots of death and scary stones

Gary Dallison Posted - 11 Sep 2019 : 13:16:03
You do have some very nice ideas. I shall do that for the first landing of the northmen in norheim where they slaughtered most of an island (who refused to pay up or defend themselves), that should be suitably twisted to scar impressions into the stone.

Perhaps if enough horrors were committed over a long period of time this could imbue sentience into the rocks and I have an explanation for the Galen duhr like creatures around the moonshae isles
ericlboyd Posted - 11 Sep 2019 : 13:07:37
Another idea.

The rune-scarred, twisted stones are "stone echoes." Simply, in the wake of a major battle, the surrounding stones absorb the energies of that battle (maybe through the will of Tempus).

In the decades and centuries that follow, the stones gradually take on the twisted aspect of those who fought and died, leaving a cryptic manifestation of history long gone.

quote:
Originally posted by Gary Dallison

Rune scarred stones that were once humans and monsters, implying that some terrifying creature stalked the island in the past, or alternatively the northmen once possessed a skill with runes that they inherited from their former giant masters (that they have since lost), and that skill was used to petrify northmen and monster alike mid-battle (the runes are there to keep the petrification from wearing off).

Not a bad idea, using the unique magic of the moonshaes to preserve northmen history and ruins

Gary Dallison Posted - 11 Sep 2019 : 12:13:11
Rune scarred stones that were once humans and monsters, implying that some terrifying creature stalked the island in the past, or alternatively the northmen once possessed a skill with runes that they inherited from their former giant masters (that they have since lost), and that skill was used to petrify northmen and monster alike mid-battle (the runes are there to keep the petrification from wearing off).

Not a bad idea, using the unique magic of the moonshaes to preserve northmen history and ruins
ericlboyd Posted - 11 Sep 2019 : 11:47:33
quote:
Originally posted by Gary Dallison

Anyone done anything with the island of llorgh in norheim, or surtrs maw or dalheim, or daryns rest.

I'm assuming surtrs maw is a volcano, I'm thinking of linking it to koraxis' maw (the name for bhaal among the sahuagin, and therefore making it a volcanic vent that has sea access to it so the sahuagin can visit as well. I figure it has been used to make a variety of items in the past (ysallas gold dagger, and a few magic items belonging to the true giants).

Otherwise it's completely undetailed. Given that the northmen arrived here first I could litter it with old northmen settlements, but northmen don't really make anything that lasts very long (mostly wooden structures).



I think the Northmen might leave other enduring legacies. For example, twisted, rune-scarred stones that vaguely resemble the humans and monsters they once were.
Gary Dallison Posted - 11 Sep 2019 : 10:08:54
Anyone done anything with the island of llorgh in norheim, or surtrs maw or dalheim, or daryns rest.

I'm assuming surtrs maw is a volcano, I'm thinking of linking it to koraxis' maw (the name for bhaal among the sahuagin, and therefore making it a volcanic vent that has sea access to it so the sahuagin can visit as well. I figure it has been used to make a variety of items in the past (ysallas gold dagger, and a few magic items belonging to the true giants).

Otherwise it's completely undetailed. Given that the northmen arrived here first I could litter it with old northmen settlements, but northmen don't really make anything that lasts very long (mostly wooden structures).
Gary Dallison Posted - 10 Sep 2019 : 06:38:47
Silly me, I missed the important bit out
George Krashos Posted - 10 Sep 2019 : 02:40:39
Your quote doesn't mention Waterdeep ...

-- George Krashos
Gary Dallison Posted - 09 Sep 2019 : 20:58:55
Arrrgh, just found one of those maddening quotes in the Moonshae sourcebook

quote:
The longships landed first along the Norheim Isles, taking tribute from the tiny kingdoms of the Ffolk they found there.
Next Norland and then Oman and Moray


So it looks like the northmen left from Waterdeep as well (and i checked there were a few settlements in the twilit lands of northmen origin around 200 DR when i reckon the northmen began invading the Moonshaes.

So now i have sources saying northmen came from tuern, gundarlun, ruathym, and now waterdeep.
I could get ignore it because those northmen from waterdeep are from the same stock and probably ruled by those from the islands (until later when the twilit lands become populous enough to gain independence)
Gary Dallison Posted - 05 Sep 2019 : 21:06:16
Noted on the 4e maps for the Moonshae Isles that the location of Caer Allisynn and Tir faoi Thoinn, as well as east of Flamsterd, north east of Moray, and several places in Norheim show what looks like sunken islands.

I've already got rumours and myths of islands sinking (inspired by caer allisynn and the sinking of half of flamsterd) and linked that to the dwindling power of the Earthmother, as she is drained of power and starts to die, then parts of her collapse into the waters. The sunken land masses look like parts of the islands that have sunk in the past.
Gary Dallison Posted - 05 Sep 2019 : 20:23:04
quote:
Originally posted by ericlboyd

quote:
Originally posted by Gary Dallison

So Fake Cult of the Dragon cell in the Moonshae Isles running drugs from Calimshan to the islands that acts as spies for the Twisted Rune in the Sword Coast North.



It could be even more pedestrian. He could simply be running drugs to increase the size of his hoard.

--Eric





Well drugs in and of themselves could be just drugs, but it ignores the opportunity to explain the presence of an already established evil organisation (the cult of the dragon already has 5 dragons / dracoliches in the region by 1365 DR). The drugs come from Calimshan, the only cult of the dragon presence i could find from Calimshan was ultimately linked to the Twisted Rune via intermediaries. I figure that the scarlet dragon in Amn has organised the drug running to add to his hoard and is using the cult of the dragon as a front for his activities, he in turn is being manipulated by a wizard which is actually an illusory alias of sappriktar the blue who is using the information from the drug runners to add to his spy network.

I'm a big fan of double and triple bluffs and secrets and counter secrets.

So while the cult of the dragon cells in Alaron and Snowdown will be of Calishite / Amnian origin, it will be a false cult and will actually serve the Twisted Rune ultimately.

I'm intending for another cult cell to exist in Gnarhelm and possibly Gwynneth which will be a true cult of the dragon cell founded by cultists from the northern sword coast.
ericlboyd Posted - 05 Sep 2019 : 19:35:55
quote:
Originally posted by Doc Filth

Very comprehensive, and prompt. Thanks!

I think, for the purposes of this module, I'll stick with "...carries whatever spells and items the DM wishes to give him", with a note that his spell repertoire includes Forget and Time Stop.

Kind of odd, though, that an NPC of his power level went completely under the 3.5 radar.



... and Flamsterd's Flamestrike. (See FA1 - Halls of the High King, page 51.)

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