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Gary Dallison
Great Reader

United Kingdom
4533 Posts

Posted - 06 Jan 2015 :  10:07:32  Show Profile Send Gary Dallison a Private Message  Reply with Quote


The Finger Flute of Myrrginn Shadowclock: This bone flute once belonged to a being of legend known only as Myrrginn Shadowcloak who was said to be an elf that existed on the Moonshae Isles around the time of the founding of Synnoria. Currently it lies in the hands of the Great Bard Dolerrae Caradall of Callidyrr who attends the King of Callidyrr and brings him much prestige.
Unknown to all but the most ancient of elves and the LeShay of Karador, this flute was fashioned from the shin bone of a great stag that died of disease by the half LeShay half elf Myrrginn (later named Shadowcloak because none could ever see him beneath the shadowy cloak of the forests in which he dwelled.).
Myrrginn was of unseelie nature, obsessed with death and sickness, he would spend many a year in the wilderness watching the flora and fauna perish slowly and painfully, during this time he would play eerily haunting music on this long bone flute that echoed throughout the southern forests of Gwynneth.
When Kazgoroth first appeared in -2000 DR, it was Myrrginn who recognised the threat he posed to all life on the isles, including to the fey. Kazgoroth’s rage infected others like an unnatural sickness, and Myrrginn was disgusted by its brutality.
Myrrginn convinced Lady Ordalf, ruler of Karador and the LeShay, to enter into war with the humanoids against Kazgoroth to preserve their land. He also shared the secret of Kazgoroth’s weakness with Lady Ordalf; music, and as a result of this she created the web of Moonwells.
Because of the LeShay involvement, Kazgoroth cursed Lady Ordalf and predicted she would die by his hand.
To escape the death of herself and her people, the city of Karador was moved to the Plane of Faerie. Myrrginn however chose to remain on the Moonshae Isles and he disappeared. Early tales of his haunting music are known even to the Ffolk, but they fey melodies of Myrrginn have not been heard in over a millennia and he was presumed dead after a hunter found his flute in Llyrath forest.

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Gary Dallison
Great Reader

United Kingdom
4533 Posts

Posted - 06 Jan 2015 :  14:33:10  Show Profile Send Gary Dallison a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Had another burst of inspiration today.


The Horn of Kazgoroth: What appears to be an ancient and large curved animal horn, pitted and cracked with age and seeping dried blood is actually one of the physical remnants of Kazgoroth’s original form, and the holder of much of his power.
The horn of Kazgoroth was all that remained on the battlefield after Cymrych Hugh severed it from Kazgoroth’s body, the rest of Kazgoroth withered away to nothingness before everyone’s eyes and much of the raw power was drawn into the horn.
Following Kazgoroth’s defeat the horn was taken to Caer Callidyrr, and under the advice of Flamsterd it was locked in the vaults of the castle never to be removed.
Unfortunately following High King Tanner’s death in 944 DR, the various Ffolk kings of the Moonshae Isles revolted against the rule of the High King and many in the kingdom of Callidyrr feared invasion. There was a period of chaos lasting several weeks; up until the coronation of King Niall Carathal of Callidyrr, whereupon many servants, generals, and advisors fled Caer Callidyrr seeking refuge in other lands.
One rather foolish servant took the horn and sailed to Snowdown and after being traded several times it ended up abandoned in a dusty backroom store in LLandrain and it has only recently been found by a burglar and member of the Broken Ring after he chanced upon the item searching for valuables.
The horn enhances the strength and aggression of anyone in possession of it, drawing the bearer into more and more conflict. All the while it wills the bearer to place it on his forehead and carve a space into his skin for the horn to go. During battle the urge is particularly strong and near the point of death the urge increases even more to become almost irresistible.
Once placed in such a manner it bonds to the skin and is drawn into the skull leaving only a slightly raised and reddened lump (that oozes blood periodically). The bearer is now able to draw upon the full might of Kazgoroth and can enter titanic rages at will for any period of time. During the rage the bearer gains extraordinarily fast healing and the horn begins to protrude from the lump as the rage persists.
After a rage lasting 11 minutes and 6 seconds the horn is fully extended and the bearer is lost forever, transformed into the beast, his mind soul and body now belong to Kazgoroth.
The Skin of Kazgoroth: When Kazgoroth first escaped Nomans Isle prior to 183 DR, he was in the form of a small reptile little bigger than a medium sized dog. As he travelled further from Nomans Isle and the bonds holding him weakened, he grew in size and his bulging skin struggled to contain him. Upon reaching the shores of Gwynneth sometime later, he was big enough to dwarf a Firbolg giant, and his ragged lizard skin had been replaced by a scaly hide akin to a dragon.
His previous skin was discarded into the water as he travelled from island to island and floated among the eddies of the Moonshae Sea for many years.
On its own, the skin possesses a semi-sentience and is able to propel itself with flaps of skin in water and on land (although it moves faster in water – on land it moves around slowly by rearing up and slapping itself to the ground). The skin moves towards the nearest living creature and attempts to wrap itself around it and bond with it, fortunately it is so slow moving that only injured or sleeping creatures usually succumb to its predations.
Once bonded with a creature it increases its predatory nature, forcing it to stalk and slay all living things. It aids the wearer by enhancing it strength and speed and providing it with skin as hard as platemail. Furthermore if the wearer is intelligent then it gains access to a number of magical abilities including the ability to create and summon darkenbeasts, control reptiles, and change shape. The skin drains life force from the wearer with each use of the ability until its host is a dried up husk which it then abandons and looks for a new victim.
More recently in 1285 DR, the Skin of Kazgoroth washed ashore on Flamsterd Isle. Battles were fought over possession of the artefact which greatly enhanced the magical abilities of the wearer, and ultimately contributed to the destruction of the Isle by Flamsterd himself and fallout from the blast resulted in a large number of his apprentices being permanently shapechanged into other forms.
The skin survived the magical conflagration and bound itself to a nearby snake that happened to be the current form of Belistar; one of Flamsterd’s shapechanged apprentices. Belistar immediately changed into his original form and fled Flamsterd Isle. He now roams the wilds of Alaron preying upon humans and other unfortunate travellers.



LAW AND ORDER
The laws of the Moonshaes are different depending upon the island and kingdom in which you visit and especially depending upon which group of humans rules the island.
The Northmen: Islands ruled by Northmen follow a very simple set of rules.
1 - Wrong another and you may be punished by the wronged party as he sees fit. However what a Northman terms “wrong” may be very different from others of Faerûn.
2 – A Northman must obey the dictates of his lord.
3 – Everyone is entitled to an “equal share”.
4 – All disputes are settled by “right of arms”.
These simple rules govern the lives of the Northmen and manifest in unusual ways. The rule of the lord is absolute, to disobey your Jarl (or Konungr, or both) is to forfeit your life (for he will surely order others to kill you on sight).
Everyone in a Northman settlement shares their wealth with everyone else. That is the most powerful take the best share and then those beneath them take what is left. Anyone is entitled to challenge the more powerful for their right to that share but few do unless they are sure of the strength of their arm.
Because wealth is shared, the Northmen see it as their right to raid the richer more prosperous Ffolk nations of the southern isles to “redistribute” the wealth among everybody. Should a Ffolk ever arrive in the north seeking redress from the Northman (or men) that took his wealth, then he is entitled to settle the dispute with the party in question through “right of arms” as is the Northmen way without interference from anyone else.
The sharing of wealth also means that hospitality is highly valued among the Northmen. Arrive at a Northman’s home and you may claim an “equal share” and the owner is obliged to share his food and shelter with you for the night (or however long you care to stay). However should you “wrong” your host (by staying to long for instance) then the dispute can be settled by combat as normal.
In settling a dispute the wronged party (and indeed the wrong-ing party) need not fight themselves. They are entitled to nominate a second to fight in their stead (providing the second agrees). All fights are to the satisfaction of both parties.
How this loose set of rules translates into real life varies, but in general the strong take what they desire by claiming an “equal share” or through “right of arms”. Inevitably these people are killed by the enemies they amass or they become Jarl or Konungr.
People will only obey a ruler that ensures everyone gets an “equal share” by lots of raiding. It is expected for the lord to take the best share, but the happiness and respect of his subjects is determined by the amount of wealth everyone receives through his rule.
The Ffolk: Islands ruled by the Ffolk have the usual set of laws that prevent damage to person or property as found elsewhere in Faerûn.
A brief list of the usual illegal activities are: murder, rape, theft (of people or property), treason, destruction of property.
These laws are enforced by the laird and his Scantrega (Sheriff) if committed while in a settlement (by the king if the crime is serious enough). Outside of settlements the laws are punished by the druids or settled between the parties themselves unofficially.
An unusual aspect to crime in the Ffolk lands is the classification of the islands themselves (in the personification of the Earthmother) as a ruler above the Kings and the High King. Thus it is possible to be innocent of treason against your King if it was in service to the High King (although the office of High King has not been recognized for some time and most Kings do not recognize his authority) or the Earthmother. However proving you are in service to the Earthmother is difficult unless you are a druid (and they keep themselves in check).
Similarly you can be guilty of theft or destruction of property to the Earthmother by wantonly destroying nature.
Most crimes are punishable by death or maiming.
In general the Ffolk of the Moonshae Isles are law abiding and brave, willing to stand up to wrong doers even in the face of certain death. As a result it is rare to encounter criminals, and when encountered they usually feel they are working towards justice for themselves and others (outlaws fighting against unjust rule).
It is only in recent years that the first criminal organization was established on the Isles (in Snowdown and Callidyrr) and that is as a direct result of the increased migration from mainland Faerûn in the last century.

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Edited by - Gary Dallison on 06 Jan 2015 14:33:45
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Gary Dallison
Great Reader

United Kingdom
4533 Posts

Posted - 06 Jan 2015 :  14:48:04  Show Profile Send Gary Dallison a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I'm slowly (hopefully finished by March) bringing together a campaign arc that will see the players begin by tracking a set of murders of clerics of Chauntea that lead to cults of Bane, Bhaal, Myrkul, Loviatar, and Talona (The Dark Gods).

The murders then move on to the deaths of several weak kings of the Northmen and a number of strong kings of the Ffolk (beginning with the king of Corwell) that are down to Cyndre and the Council Sorcere (who have links to the cults of the Dark Gods.

Then i'm thinking of starting the attacks of the Northmen on the kingdoms of Callidyrr, Corwell, and Moray under the gods of fury (Beshaba and her Storm Maiden can be involved, Malar and his lycanthropes can also be involved, not sure about Talos, maybe he just sends Gotha).

Then perhaps despoiling of the Moonwells on the various outlying Isles.

Then i need to plant subtle clues that Kazgoroth and his various manifestations (Amye, the horn, and the skin) are manipulating events behind the scenes (Amye with the lycanthropes, Belistar with the Council Sorcere and the Cults). Cue the party running round trying to find the instruments of the Great Bards, the Sword of Cymrych Hugh, get the elves, dwarves, and giants to help them.

And throughout the whole thing is the appearance of the various children, as Kazgoroth's actions deliberately call them to help destroy the humanoids of the isles.

The whole thing culminates with the Kazgoroths and his allies converging on the Myrloch Vale and the city of Karador returning to defend the biggest Moonwell in the Myrloch Vale.

It will be a bit like the Moonshae novels with the Halls of the High King adventure thrown in as a beginning. Multiple battles across much of the Moonshae Isles, big nasties leading big armies, and the poor humans stuck in the middle. And hopefully the party will be caught guessing what Kazgoroth is going to do next, because although he uses the humans as pawns, he really seeks the destruction of everyone (good, bad, fey, elf, human, everyone).

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Gary Dallison
Great Reader

United Kingdom
4533 Posts

Posted - 07 Jan 2015 :  09:45:13  Show Profile Send Gary Dallison a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Reworked the modern timeline slightly to remove the novel events.


- 1338 DR Year of the Wanderer: Several Cults of the Dark Gods are established in the Moonshae Isles.
- 1341 DR Year of the Gate: Jarl Sigurd Helmudson of Gnarhelm dies suddenly without any sons. The remaining Jarls of Sunderstaad and Olafstaad duel for control of the north of Alaron. Rolf Olafsson kills his rival and becomes Konungr Rolf Olafsson of Gnarhelm; uniting the jarldoms of Gnarhelm, Sunderstaad, and Olafstaad under his banner.
- 1346 DR Year of the Bloodbird: King Dynnegall of Moray and King Bryon Kendrick of Corwell are assassinated.
- 1347 DR Year of the Bright Blade: The Northmen kingdoms of the Moonshae Isles unite to attack the weakened Ffolk kingdoms. Leviathan appears to devastate half of Konungr Thelgar Ironhand’s fleet.
- 1358 DR Year of Shadows: The Northmen kingdoms of the Moonshae Isles join the Captain’s Confederation of Luskan.
- 1359 DR Year of the Serpent: Gauntather “the Dark Druid” assumes control of the Risen Cult of Bane and begins targeting the Druids of Moonshae.
- 1360 DR Year of the Helm: The Gods of Fury send their agents to the Moonshae Isles.
- 1361 DR Year of the Maiden: The Captain’s Confederation falls apart as Luskan invades Ruathym once again.
- 1365 DR Year of the Sword: Gotha and the Cult of Talos begin melting the glacier atop Ice Peak in an attempt to release Grond Peaksmasher from his imprisonment.
- 1366 DR Year of the Staff: Konungr Rolf Olafsson of Gnarhelm dies suddenly, his son Brandon Rolfsson is embroiled in a civil war as the Jarls of Sunderstaad and Olafstaad challenge his authority.
- 1368 DR Year of the Gauntlet: The remaining Druids of Moonshae call upon the Earthmother to unleash the children to combat the threat of Kazgoroth.
- 1370 DR Year of the Tankard: The LeShay secretly return the city of Karador to its Material Plane home in Myrloch.




So i'm thinking the cults of Bane, Bhaal, Myrkul etc get established in 1338 DR. They start killing off the clerics of Chauntea on Callidyrr. At the same time they also begin arranging the assassination of Northmen and Ffolk rulers. The idea is to unite the Northmen realms into strong kingdoms and weaken the Ffolk realms.

The Northmen then attack the Ffolk. Kazgoroth causes Leviathan to appear and leads to half the Northman fleet being destroyed. After that the Northmen lose the war and both sets of people are weakened.

Since there is no peace treaty between Northmen and Ffolk in this version it seems sensible for the Northmen of Gnarhelm, Oman's Isle, Norheim and Norland to join the Captain's Confederation. This gives them allies for further attacks and also gives Kazgoroth access to agents of the Gods of Fury.

Kazgoroth then sets about destroying the Northmen realms by attempting to unleash Grond Peaksmasher on Oman's Isle, assassinating the King of Gnarhelm, and maybe Norland and Norheim could be involved in the invasion of Ruathym. Plus i'm thinking the Storm Maiden from Brian James' Moonshae article could get involved in a war with the Northmen kingdoms.

While this is going on the Cults of the Dark Gods turn their attentions to the druid's themselves and begin killing them off.

Following this i figure Kazgoroth feels strong enough to start creating drathak once more and starts prowling the Moonshae Isles openly. He systematically pollutes the Moonwells forcing the remaining druids to do something unprecedented; they attempt to awaken the Earthmother to unleash her Children. Of course they dont realise that this is exactly what Kazgoroth wants.

Finally the events on the Material Plane get the attention of Lady Ordalf and the city of Karador returns to the Moonshae Isles. Thats when Kazgoroth and his hordes march on the Myrloch Vale to kill the queen of the LeShay.

Most of the events in the timeline are similar or the same as what already happens, i just reinterpreted them slightly (admittedly Karador didnt return until 1375, but fey did begin reappearing in 1370 so i'm just having the city return in secret - cloaked perhaps).


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Gary Dallison
Great Reader

United Kingdom
4533 Posts

Posted - 07 Jan 2015 :  09:53:36  Show Profile Send Gary Dallison a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I guess the question is, is a campaign stretching over 2 decades something feasible.

The only blank space is between 1347 and 1358, but that allows players to go elsewhere and do other things and come back to the Moonshae Isles when they are needed.


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Gary Dallison
Great Reader

United Kingdom
4533 Posts

Posted - 07 Jan 2015 :  12:15:21  Show Profile Send Gary Dallison a Private Message  Reply with Quote
First article (for issue 8) on the Moonshae Isles finished in rough.

The Druids of Moonshae.

Its not a large organisation (60+ members). I've separated it out into 6 circles (although i call them rings) encompassed within 1 greater circle. There were more rings but as the Northmen arrived the northern rings died off.

I've included Genna Moonsinger as the Grand Druid of one of the rings (to keep in line with history) but she is not the Grand Druid of the whole organisation.

I'm weaving together the fact that the church of chauntea is quite well established and seemingly ignored at the same time in canon by the Ffolk so im separating out its influence to only Callidyrr and Snowdown (which are better suited to cultivation anyway). The church is well established in Callidyrr but ignored in Corwell

The Golden Sickle is a magic item of the Ring of Callidyrr and the Church of Chauntea that allows the clerics to mimic some of the abilities of the druids.

The Black Sickle is an item invented by the Risen Cult of Bane as part of its attempt to thwart the Church of Chauntea by infiltrating its ranks and planting these sickles to discredit the Chaunteans.

Im thinking the Runesticks can be an item used by the Risen Cult of Bane to help it infiltrate the Church of Chauntea and Druids of Moonshae (capture a druid have him cast spells on the stick then use it to pretend to be a druid.

Thinking of making the Druid Staff a unique item belonging to Genna (formerly her sister).

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Gary Dallison
Great Reader

United Kingdom
4533 Posts

Posted - 07 Jan 2015 :  12:39:41  Show Profile Send Gary Dallison a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Ooh, and i've come up with a reason why the Gods of Fury would want to get involved in the Moonshaes (other than Kazgoroth just asking them).

With all the troubles afflicting the Moonshae Isles and the weakening of the druids. Kazgoroth can convince a number of Kraken agents that the Earthmother is dying and the Moonshaes are ripe for exploitation, this gets back to Umberlites and then to the other members of that coalition of deities.

By causing as much chaos and destruction as possible the Gods of Fury can essentially set up a protection racket. If the Moonshae people worship them then the troubles go away.

So Umberlee sends the Storm Maiden. Talos sends Gotha. Malar sends his Dark Children and a number of lycanthropes.

Of course none of it is actually direct intervention by the deity (i hate that). The priests communicate the rumours to their superiors who then organise cults to be established in the Moonshaes. Umberlites send the Storm Maiden who they have been training and equipping for years. The Talosians release Gotha and instruct him to melt Ice Peak (thanks to a tip off from Kazgoroth). The malarites are members of the Cult of the Black Blood and they summon aid from Malar's servants which include the unique servants known as the Dark Children. The ravager i already have in a different way, it just means the Malarites claim he serves them (a lie).



The Cults of the Dark Gods are of course working to insinuate themselves into power as they always do so that needs no explanation.

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Gary Dallison
Great Reader

United Kingdom
4533 Posts

Posted - 12 Jan 2015 :  12:44:05  Show Profile Send Gary Dallison a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Article 2 now complete in first draft.

After initially removing all references to the LeShay and Lady Ordalf, i have now moved them back to the front as being the primary motivation for Kazgoroth.

Kazgoroth wants to kill Lady Ordalf (i can even work in the prophecy of her death, but its more of a curse). Then regain his former power. Then destroy all life on the Moonshae.

I think i might do an article on Lady Ordalf next, but i dont want her to be a goody two shoes, i quite like the idea of her being evil as well, but she is a fey creature so i need an alien like goal that is perfectly normal for a fey but would be classed as horribly evil by humans.

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Baltas
Senior Scribe

Poland
598 Posts

Posted - 13 Jan 2015 :  07:20:44  Show Profile Send Baltas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Dunno, I Ordalf would work the best with a neutral alignment, following the logic of "an alien-like goal that is perfectly normal for a fey but would be classed as horribly evil by humans" would work better with a neutral character, that's more moraly alien, rather than evil. And it would show better the alien nature of fey angle.
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Gary Dallison
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United Kingdom
4533 Posts

Posted - 13 Jan 2015 :  08:49:57  Show Profile Send Gary Dallison a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I'm thinking that the LeShay start kidnapping people around the Myrloch Vale (beginning with the remaining druids) and use them as part of a ritual to bring back Karador (basically sacrifice their life to make the magic easier to perform). Or alternatively begin transforming a number of humans into fey creatures to help them combat Kazgoroth.

Either of those would be seen as evil by the humans but it doesnt matter at all to the fey, they are simply helping to save the Moonshae Isles and Lady Ordalf so its a good thing to them. I think to make it extra evil they will kidnap children and train them to be awesome warriors, after all fey are about extremes so if they can focus enough on a task they would make deadly warriors (and when they cannot focus enough they can find a race that can).



Onto the Gods of Fury.

I've got Hegarath the Storm Maiden leading the cult of the Storm Maiden - a cult of Umberlee. She begins by taking over a small hold in Norheim with her storm maidens (zealot clerics of Umberlee that are her personal bodyguard). She is actually a secret descendent of Viledal (but then again so are a lot of people around the Moonshae Isles - Viledal was very virile) and as proof she carries his axe (although none know she actually is Viledal's descendent).

The Cult of the Grimmulf (they jumped on the back of the myth) is a pack of lycanthropes that worship Malar and plague Moray and Norland.

Finally is the Cult of the Dracolich which is a cult of Talos and has Gotha as its head. The cult are based on Oman and from there Gotha plagues the other Moonshae Isles. The Cult of the Dragon in the Moonshaes Isles takes umbridge at the new cult's name and figurehead and it sparks a dragon war between Gotha and the other dracoliches every time he takes to the air. Eventually the cult of the dracolich changes tactic to try and release Grond Peaksmasher from beneath Ice Peak (after a tip off from Kazgoroth).

The Cults of the Gods of Fury are trying to establish a massive protection racket. They want to spread as much death and destruction as possible. Then when the kingdoms are crying out for succor the priests of Talos, Umberlee and Malar will turn up and offer there services - they will stop the destruction in return for the kingdoms allowing large temples to be established in the cities.

Kazgoroth is just using the cults to further weaken the humanoids of the Moonshaes and the druids before he makes his final move.

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Baltas
Senior Scribe

Poland
598 Posts

Posted - 13 Jan 2015 :  09:01:41  Show Profile Send Baltas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Interesting stuff with the gods of fury, but I still think that the stuff with fey/LeShay fit better into neutral, rather than outright evil. An alien morality, doesn't necessarily mean evil. Check out Blue and Orange Morality. Halflings in the Dark Sun setting, regulary kill, and eat other sentinent species, yet still are argubly the most moral society on Athas.
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Gary Dallison
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United Kingdom
4533 Posts

Posted - 13 Jan 2015 :  09:16:59  Show Profile Send Gary Dallison a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Well i will try and depict them as alien, beautiful, nature lovers. They could be construed as good because they promote peace and the growth of all things etc. They play music, while away the hours by the lake side singing to animals. They tend to the sick and the dying. A lot like elves, but without any order (they just do whatever they feel, the only being that can control them is Lady Ordalf)

But i just had a thought. Kazgoroth uses the humans against themselves, he turns living humans into undead drathak. So the LeShay could just begin wiping out every settlement in his path in order to starve his army of recruits.

Again a horrific act if you are human but just another day of preserving nature for the LeShay

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Baltas
Senior Scribe

Poland
598 Posts

Posted - 13 Jan 2015 :  09:21:55  Show Profile Send Baltas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Okay, but the LeShay acts sound pretty neutral to me. Our society kills millions, or even billions of animals in a short amount of time, if they become pests.

Edited by - Baltas on 13 Jan 2015 09:43:44
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Gary Dallison
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United Kingdom
4533 Posts

Posted - 13 Jan 2015 :  09:24:57  Show Profile Send Gary Dallison a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Well i'm not going to stat any of the characters up so i dont need to assign an alignment (although it would be true neutral if i did). But depending upon your point of view, Lady Ordalf and the LeShay are either the saviours of the world or horrific mass murderers and kidnappers.

Never really delved into the fey much but i think i might have to in order to create Karador (which is where the final showdown of the campaign will take place)

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Baltas
Senior Scribe

Poland
598 Posts

Posted - 13 Jan 2015 :  09:36:00  Show Profile Send Baltas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Okay, I agree with such a view. If want ideas and info about fey, Markustay has tons of them, scattered over the Candlekeep forums.

Edited by - Baltas on 13 Jan 2015 09:46:45
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Gary Dallison
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4533 Posts

Posted - 13 Jan 2015 :  09:39:45  Show Profile Send Gary Dallison a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Off i go to search for the word Fey then. This could take some time.

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Gary Dallison
Great Reader

United Kingdom
4533 Posts

Posted - 14 Jan 2015 :  16:58:41  Show Profile Send Gary Dallison a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Having a go at writing up locations trying to breathe a bit more life into the Moonshaes. I've done a few on Callidyrr for the time being. Hopefully it still feels realmslike, although not sure if it feels Celtic (although hopefully the history and campaign do). I'm deliberately reducing the population numbers because i dont think the Moonshaes should be that highly populated.

I'm working off the 4e maps as there are more landmarks to detail.



Callidyrr: The true kingdom of Callidyrr was created in 175 DR when Alaron Hugh was murdered and the lairds appointed Callidyrr Hugh as “King” of the Tallffolk tribe. The lairds could not decide which of Alaron’s weakling sons to pick and so to prevent civil war they elected an outsider that all would obey. Callidyrr used his newfound strength to unite the kingdom of Corwell once more in 177 DR.
Callidyrr then moved his house to the kingdom of Callidyrr and began the construction of Caer Callidyrr amid the ruins of a crumbling castle on the edge of Whitefish Bay.
The kingdom of Callidyrr became a true monarchy in 361 DR and since that time Callidyrr has been ruled by the descendants of Callidyrr Hugh.
In modern times the kingdom of Callidyrr is ruled by House Carrathal who are more often than not weak willed and paranoid kings that are heavily reliant and often beholden to their advisors which have taken the form of rich merchants, powerful mages, and in recent years a council of magic users.
The kingdom is separated into small Cantrevs each containing a single settlement (usually), ruled by a Laird. The Laird is responsible for law, order, taxes, and defence of his Cantrev and usually has many people in his employ to perform such tasks while the Laird attends to intrigues.
Callidyrr has no standing army, instead each Cantrev Laird is required to maintain an armed retinue of at least 10 men that are to be made available to the king at his request. Many Cantrev Laird’s maintain many more than that number but do so in secret for their own ends.
Callidyrr’s northern end is dominated by the only geographic landmark of note on the island; Dernall Forest, that has more than once saved the Ffolk kingdom from invasion by the Northmen of Gnarhelm.
Cantrev Blackstone: This newest of Cantrevs was created in 856 DR only following the loss of northern Callidyrr to the Northmen that founded Gnarhelm in 852 DR. Created originally as a border outpost to give advanced warning of any land bound raiding parties, the fort soon became a mining town when high quality iron, gold, and silver ore was found in the surrounding Fairheight Mountains.
The Laird of Cantrev Blackstone, then Owaiin Llarsion, soon became one of the richest men in Callidyrr and in return for his loyal defence of the realm soon demanded the title of Morowaer (Earl) in 944 DR following the death of High King Tanner and the end of the Hugh dynasty.
Since that time Morowaer Blackstone has often been a title synonymous with intrigue and rebellion. It was the Morowaer of Blackstone that arranged for the death of King Alec IV in 1332 DR as he was engaged in the King’s Hunt in the depths of Dernall Forest (the Morowaer managed to escape implication himself thanks to his quick capture and execution of the perpetrators; the noble sons of the Laird of Ogden, and a single letter from one Maberron Aethgar that recommended the hunt location be changed from Cantrev Hickorydale to Cantrev Ogden because of rumours about dissidents brewing in the south-western boughs of the forest.
Currently Cantrev Blackstone is ruled by Mallome McDonnel, a drunken fop that enjoys marching about town with his bodyguards looking for trouble. He is in service to the wily Angus Blackstone that has long had designs on the crown.
Cantrev Callidyrr: No longer a small Cantrev, this city is the largest in the entire Moonshae Isles, reaching a population of 10,000 in the summer months when the traders arrive (including the inhabitants of Caer Callidyrr) that’s sits at the mouth of Whitefish Bay around a large and bustling port.
Cantrev Callidyrr is ruled by the King of Callidyrr from his seat at Caer Callidyrr which sits just south east of the city atop a ring of three hills.
The town itself is a mixture of older granite buildings near the port that are almost gleaming white thanks to the sea breeze. The newer wooden buildings are scattered around the edges of the city and look as though they have been cobbled together and then left to rot (which many have appearing more green than brown).
The port city is a busy and bustling place for 8 months of the year when traders are able to reach the Moonshaes Isles and there is a tavern or inn on every street corner, thankfully the peaceful nature of the Ffolk means the settlement is surprisingly quiet for one of its size.
In the winter months the temperature often dips below freezing and the traders desert the city, many of the tavern and innkeepers desert the settlement as well, returning to their homes in the other Cantrevs causing the population to dip below 6,000.
Caer Callidyrr: This huge fortress of gleaming white stone stretches across the top of a ring of 3 hills. It was started in 177 DR when Callidyrr Hugh moved his household to Alaron and noticed an ancient ruined castle on Whitefish Bay.
Caer Callidyrr is built out of and amid the ruins of a castle constructed by powerful magic users that cloaked themselves from the elves of Elandor. Scholars say the previous occupants were Netherese arcanists, others claim they are remnants of the Shoon Empire, but none know the truth for the castle was a burned out hollow when the Tallffolk arrived as though some great conflagration had raged within the confines of its walls (in truth the castle walls are reinforced with living metal, and a minor spell battle that raged out of control rebounded around the castle thousands of times, slaying its inhabitants).
Beneath the foundations of Caer Callidyrr; in what is known as the catacombs, lies an even more ancient fortress built by joint enterprise between the dwarves and giants in the distant past before paranoia sparked a war between the two peoples. The living metal used in the second castle was scavenged from the ruins of this ancient fortress (the wizards thought it would provide excellent protection from magical attacks not realising the dangers of living in a magic reflective house).
Finally beneath the ancient giant fortress lie the caverns of Dwarvenhome. These wide and precisely carved tunnels connect the various islands of the Moonshae Isles via underground caverns that once housed dwarven settlements beneath each of the islands. Dwarvenhome was destroyed around -1800 DR and the cavern settlements now lie in ruins and occupied by all manner of creatures.
The cavern beneath Callidyrr connects directly (via a shaft into the catacombs) with Caer Callidyrr and was once called Dunn Koragh and is now home to a few hundred duergar that eke out a miserable existence mining nearly pure metals beneath the surface while battling huge plant roots that dangle from the roof and choke the life out of those they can reach (even pulling down buildings if left unchecked).
Dernall Forest: This ancient forest once covered most of the southern half of Alaron. In those days it was known as Elandor Forest and was home to a dwindling realm of Llewyrr elves that had long struggled to control the numerous goblins that haunted the Fairheight Mountains and the forest floor.
The arrival of the dwarves signalled an end to the goblin problem by flushing them out of their mountain homes, but it also caused the decline of the Llewyrr of Elandor by pushing them into the forest.
When the humans arrive the elves on Alaron were little more than a shadow and were all to happy to leave the island and its troubles to the humans in 154 DR after the realm of Synnoria called all the Llewyrr to dwell in the Myrloch Vale.
The fast breeding and aggressive humans of the Tallffolk tribe of Ebenfar were far more successful at countering the goblins than the elves were. They chopped and burned the goblins out of their warrens, burrows, and hovels wherever they found them and put them all to the sword like vermin.
Then they gradually chopped back the forest to build their civilisation. By 852 DR when the Northmen arrived to take the north of Callidyrr, the forest of Dernall was near its current borders. In 855 DR the Ffolk of Callidyrr realised the true value of this ancient forest as large bands of Northmen raiders ventured into Callidyrr intent on gathering spoils.
The Northmen found the dense forest too confusing to find their way through, worse still the wildlife plagued the Northmen wherever they went; bears and wolves attacked them, sprites disturbed their sleep and stole their supplies, and the goblins stalked them while they rested. Only one party managed to raid anything of worth, burning down Falataer’s Academy on the borders of the old forest.
Since 855 DR Dernall Forest has been under the king’s protection and wood cutters are required to only cut dead or dying trees or collect wood from the forest floor. Hunters are likewise instructed not to kill healthy or pregnant animals. Those disobeying the order are maimed (their preferred hand is removed) and put to service in the King’s Gardens.
Fairheight Mountains: Called the Questarin of old by the Llewyrr (translated and corrupted to Fairheight by the humans), this mountain range was ever the home of goblins that infest every nook and cranny they can crawl into. When the dwarves arrived in the Moonshaes around -8000 DR and founded the kingdom of Dwarvenhome beneath the island chain, they forced the goblins out of their mountain caverns in Callidyrr and into the lands of the Llewyrr (causing the decline of Elandor).
The dwarves then established Highhome to trade with the elves in what became a very profitable and symbiotic relationship.
Around -1850 DR a force of Duergar discovered the tunnels used by the dwarves of Dwarvenhome millennia before and sparked a war that would lead to the destruction of the dwarven kingdom within 50 years, only a few scattered surface holds survived in the mountains of the Moonshaes. The Duergar then left to return home, recalled to fight in other wars, leaving behind a few stragglers that hid among the ruins of the dwarven kingdom.
Nowadays the Fairheight Mountains are famous once again for the goblins (and trolls that arrived after the Moonshae Trade Wars ended in 1151 DR), the dwarven settlement of Highhome, and the extremely pure metal ores dug from the earth.

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LostSoul
Acolyte

United Kingdom
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Posted - 15 Jan 2015 :  00:30:51  Show Profile Send LostSoul a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Really good work here, dazzler, speaking as one doing something similar with a Moonshaes campaign starting from 1345DR. I would endorse what others say about reading the novels. Worth a look, not least because didn't the Moonshaes campaign setting follow the books rather than the other way around? Very easy to scribble down a few names etc.

Some things you might want to follow up - the Imaskari link in c-4000, and the unique relationship which Song Dragons have with the Isles (see relevant Monster Manual?).

Song Dragons will fit your musical theme well (I am using them as a form of parallel/proto-bardic structure (predating and inspiring the human bardic concept) which have been recording in song the lore of the isles since their formation, with individual dragons taking responsibility for different isles/peoples and recording ('uploading') their songs by magical means to a single grand extra-dimensional song store, much like the Cloud. Any song dragon in the know can access this space. The Dragons also retrieve songs and sow them (unattributively) back into the mundane sphere when they think it may important for people to remember lessons from the past. For me, then, they are draconic (fairly passive) 'Guardians of the Isles'. And great ways of building new plot arcs etc. A reserve of all knowledge going back to perhaps -17,000DR...

Imaskari relations with the LeShay etc are easy to justify coming during the Shartra dark age following the catastrophic Plague which weakened the former. Also the fey and elves would be a rich source of info about planar/dimensional/portal travel - some nice common ground on shadow magic too (see latest stuff on Fomorians in Fey Dark). Possible collaboration between Moonshae dwarves/fey gnomes and Imaskari too. Moonshaes are fairly recently out of big volcanic activity (-17000-10000DR see references in GHotr: Moonshaes and the fey possibly settling things down) and so a good excuse for important minerals near the surface. Lots of willing/skilled craftsfolk; a perfect substitute for all those dead slaves in the Empire. Who knows where some of the Imaskarcana were made??? So I am thinking, a partnership relationship, with the LeShay in more control of the terms than generally happened when the Imaskari encountered/conquered a new land. Limited numbers of Imaskari (a few noble families keeping the isles to themselves as a safe place from Plague and resulting anarchy - nice place to visit etc). Possibly the LeShay/elves keeping some control over the Bukhara spires built on Gwynneth (see recent maps). Not much left behind but who knows...?

Incidentally, did you notice in Treasure Hunt that it says the Korinn Archipelago was not settled until 2 centuries ago (1145) when pirates (I guess we would say Northman reavers) started to use them? Mention is made there or in GHotR that prior to that 'Thinking them cursed, the Northmen stay clear of the Moonshae Isles and its mischievous fey inhabitants'. Now, I think you say above that there is reference to Northmen settling the northern Moonshaes prior to the Talfiri's arrival in 140 (I haven't found that reference myself). Treasure Hunt was of course retro-fitted to the FR world (which is why the orientation of the map is 90 degrees out and only shows the eastern arc of the Archipelago). On the other hand, the FR maps include the Norheim western arc of islands in the Archipelago. I am therefore taking it that any early human settlement in the north is on the western isles only, whilst the eastern isles were avoided. There could be good reasons or this; the eastern KA are (or were until -500DR when most fey departed the isles) arguably the most (wild) fey part of whole Moonshaes. Why? Because the LeShay/fay once covered all the isles. Those in the main southern isles then gradually become the most organised (Sarifal) and link up with incoming peoples, who tend to settle the main southern isles (elves and dwarves). The Fir Bolg then come in on the north west and (after wars) giantkin tend to predominate in the main western isles whilst the top end fey/elves pull back mostly to Gwynneth. The western KA isles are said to have more tunnels into the Underdark (Moonshaes sourcebook) and can also be assumed to have more of the races who migrate underground eg goblins. That leaves the extreme NE as the area most distant from main centres of 'civilised' population, with few mountains to attract dwarves/forests for elves or glens for Hin/gnomes, and least subject to the various wars which happened prior to humans arriving. Make of that what you will. I am using is it as an excuse for fewer Moonwells, especially close faerie crossroads above and below ground (lots of slipping across the boundary but also a deterrent to Underdark travel by non-fey), and as a result lots of the 'more nutjob' end of faerie folk until -500, and probably quite a few after who don't chose to go. Plenty of reasons to avoid these isles, and warding magics which mean sailors pass by, which only begin to fade gradually after -500DR. In particular, I shall be using the Archipelago as a base for a trio of Hags (see MMIII?) who pop up throughout the millennia as occasional threats to the all the northern Isles either singly or especially when they can get together as a Coven (check out Coven powers!!!), possibly in a special site on one of the eastern KA isles. Plenty of tales in the Song Dragon cycles about terrible storms, undead armies, and different heroes breaking the Coven and dividing the Maiden, Mother and Hag. In my world, Cymbre and Amye are pale imitations of this Proto-Coven (whose power is rooted in the isles themselves), re-enacting or inspired by older tales. Not sure if I want the Hags to have had their greatest moment as a result of getting hold of the Kazgoroth cauldron yet - was it made for use by them, I wonder? Also not sure whether to link them to some of the divine machinations in the novels' timeline. I have a plotline developing featuring (largely forgotten) parallel song cycles among the Ffolk bards and the Northmen skalds each celebrating a folk hero who beat the Hags assisted by a less important sidekick (think of the stories to be found in the Ulster or Fenian Cycles of Irish mythology). Of course the reality is that these recount the same tale and it was a joint effort by a hero from each people working in equal and essential collaboration - the Song Dragons will be bringing this one out again (a) because the Hags are back and seeking each other out (owing to the weakening of the Earthmother/Moonwells) (b) the need to promote union among the people of the Isles after the Darkwalker War.

Another possible story arc (though I notice you are thinking of killing off Dwarvenhome in -1800DR) lies in the nature of the earliest dwarf settlers. Is there a reference to Dwarvenhome being destroyed in the Canon (if not I like the idea of a decent-sized hold in the Underdark)? There is reference to the earliest dwarves being exiles from Shanatar cut off in the Mindstalker Wars. The two sub-kingdoms closest to the Isles were Sondarr and Xothaerin. Each kingdom was dedicated to a different god (and therefore the Clans' trades could be expected to be related). Sondarr's patron deity was Vergadain (N diety of luck, trickery, negotiation and wealth) and Xothaerin's was Sharindlar (CG goddess of healing and mercy). Easy to see why ther might be groups of these clan types cut off whilst moving through the Underdark, or in little isolated delvings. These are also not your bog-standard LG dour miners that we know and love, and would produce a very different dwarf culture than normal - and one which could explain why they got on with the elves better than most. Easy to see why they might breed quite well too (and so grow to quite a decent size population), decide to trade with the surface and adopt aspects of the Earthmother.

A last aside re Talfiri exiles and getting past Mintarn. I would not worry about that. (1) Northman settlements are not large whilst the exile fleet would have been. However (2) who says the Talfiri sailed straight out from the Sword Coast? Given they settled the southern coast of Gwynneth, that suggests they went south first then west and up. Two good reasons for this. The Shoon Imperium might have seemed a safe haven from the Shadowking and had also founded the new port city of Athkatla in 100DR. Where better to hire Calishite ships to carry them? Or the exiles might have acquired ships further north but not being oceanic sailors themselves kept close to the shore (ancient peoples tended to sail this way) and hugged the coast before making a bee line west. Until the development of the sextant, this straight line sailing was standard, hence all those radiating lines on old sea charts.

Finally, don't forget the sea kingdoms and Underdark. The novels feature significant sahuagin (and locathah?) and duergar powers. Another reason to check them out.

Sorry to have gone on. Keep up the good work!

S
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Gary Dallison
Great Reader

United Kingdom
4533 Posts

Posted - 15 Jan 2015 :  09:21:10  Show Profile Send Gary Dallison a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Ooh, some excellent stuff here, thanks LostSoul.

Never gonna read novels, thats someone elses vision of the area, not mine.

I'm loving the Song Dragons and cant believe i completely overlooked them despite at least 2 mentions in the various sourcebooks. I'm not entirely sure what a Song Dragon is, i have read conflicting sources that cite them as a separate dragon race that shapeshifts freely between human and dragon form, another that cites them as weredragons (of various other hues) and another that made them out to be half dragons. I'll have to have a read and will probably lean towards them being a mix of the first two scenarios.

Not sure if i will go down the route of a songs in the cloud but they should certainly have a link to the bardic tradition (maybe even Falataer's Academy) and perhaps influence the Wayfire tradition of the Moonshaes (those that ambush travelling bards quickly find themselves eaten by a dragon). They definitely have a link to the Harpers and are probably the Harper's primary contacts on the Moonshaes (the Ffolk and Northment being rather insular i cant see them welcoming Harpers or anyone else that isnt local).

I decided rather deliberately to not develop the Imaskari relationship. I cannot find any link in modern Moonshae society that hints at Imaskari influence, because of that i saw no need to develop Imaskari links to the Moonshaes only to wipe them out later so they leave no trace. I dont doubt they sent ambassadors to Sarifal and there were exchanges of ideas but beyond that i dont see much else happening.

As for the origins of human habitation on the isles. I found in Races of Faerun a passage stating the Illuskans settled the Moonshae Isles in the century leading up to Dalereckoning (and they came from Ruathym) so i created an entry in -64 DR that states they settled only in the Korinn Archipelago (shunning the rest of the Moonshaes because they were cursed - full of mischevious fey).

I later eliminated all settlements in the Korinn Archipelago following the disturbance of an old white dragon on the island of Dragonhome. I'm not adverse to half of them being eaten by the dragon and the rest being finished off by opportunistic goblins.

I think i will alter the settlement of the Korinn Archipelago to only 2 centuries ago and state that the Korinn Archipelago was settled around 2 centuries ago by a group of refugess from Vlun (which was destroyed around 2 centuries ago), it doesnt mean the islands were empty, they contained small Northmen holds, but they were in no way connected until the settlers from Vlun arrived and following that the kingdom of Viledal came into being.

My picture of Sarifal is not of a typical kingdom as we would understand it. Lady Ordalf is probably an anomaly among fey creatures in that she has the clarity of mind necessary to focus upon what is important. Perhaps she is half elf (from when the elves lived on Faerie), half fey, and maybe that is why they appear as they do. Perhaps Lady Ordalf was the first.

But i picture Sarifal as being little more than a single tower, made out of a living tree that alters its form depending upon the music Lady Ordalf is playing. The few LeShay that exist have homes near Ordalf's but do not necessarily live there, preferring like most fey to go wherever their whims take them. Fey are also wont to flit in and out of the area, and all are welcome.

There are no rules or laws (death is as much a part of the natural cycle as anything else). The only thing that compels any of the fey to stick together is Lady Ordalf herself who possesses a skill with charms that rivals the divine. When she speaks all come to listen and whatever she asks everyone obeys.

So Sarifal as a united kingdom is a myth. The fey and LeShay wander the isles as they see fit (the LeShay acting as wardens) and they come down hard upon those that destroy things wantonly (another reasons why i dont see much of a development with the Imaskari and LeShay - they are too different for any long term cooperation).

When the elves come the LeShay welcome the nature lovers and teach them about the natural order, then they hand over the baton of caretaker and many go to Sarifal (their numbers are already small thanks to Kamerynn's influence).

I do like the idea of the Korinn Archipelago being a place of dark fey. Even a fey country is going to have a few outsiders (those that like spreading disease and torturing animals just for fun). So having hags there seems perfectly reasonable to me (havent yet found a reference in any MM apart from MM1 - are you talking about 3rd edition or 4th edition MM).


Finally on to Dwarvenhome. I destroyed the kingdom for several reasons, mainly due to its lack of mention in any subsequent sources. The only mention in the histories and in the Moonshae sourcebooks references Highhome and Dennin's Delve. The dwarves that encounter the Rockfire disaster only make mention of Dennin's Delve not a vast underground kingdom.

I have read the Forgotten Realms Atlas which summarises the novels in brief and it makes mention of Duergar beneath Caer Callidyrr and deep gnomes but no mention of dwarves. Duergar and dwarves do not coexist at all peacefully. Finally the involvement of the dwarves appears to be gradually diminishing in the Moonshaes (a mention in the first war with Kazgoroth, then the help make the sword for the second war and finally no mention of dwarves in the sourcebooks) so it is unlikely a vibrant kingdom exists beneath the islands. I then decided upon the kingdom of Dwarvenhome being destroyed and only its surface outposts surviving (as happened in the Savage Frontier).

I looked at the history and around -1900 -1800 DR there was a surge of Duergar activity with both Dunspeirrin and Gracklstugh exploding in size and power. Dunspeirrin in particular went to war with the remnants of Deep Shanatar of which the Moonshae dwarves were one isolated group. So the Duergar could conceivably located the same tunnels the dwarves did and followed it to Dwarvenhome then destroyed the kingdom only to be recalled later (following -1800 DR both Dunspeirrin and Gracklstugh went into decline).


I like the idea of the Talfir coming from the south, it matches the contradictory mentions that both Callidyrr and Corwell were the orignal home of the Ffolk and the Hugh family (both can't be the original home so i had 2 separate colonisations). If the first group arrived from Amn then they likely landed in Kingsbay and didnt pass by Callidyrr. The second group i picture leaving from the Western Heartlands and headed straight west so they encountered Callidyrr first (although a small branch of the second migration carried on to Gwynneth).

I have made mention of the kingdom of Kressilacc a few times in my history of the Moonshaes (using an entry of Eric Boyd and Tom Costa's bestiary) and Tir Fal Thoinn and Nindrol so the sea kingdoms are not ignored, but i dont see them playing a huge role other than as raiders (not unusual in the Moonshaes). Having never read the novel the link between Kazgoroth and the sahuagin seems spurious at best and probably boils down to a god told them too. I prefer much stronger links and while the sahuagin might attack a weakened surface kingdom out of opportunity there will be little organisation between Kazgoroth's forces and the sahuagin.


If you have any more suggestions keep them coming, its hard work recreating stuff on your own. I can send you my current draft of the Moonshae rewrite if you would like for perusal (although it will be appearing in sections in the Alternate Dimensions Issue 8 around about March).



If anyone could point me to any sources on Song Dragons i would be most appreciative, i need a few more good organisation to help balance out the vast number of evil ones making inroads into the islands.

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Gary Dallison
Great Reader

United Kingdom
4533 Posts

Posted - 15 Jan 2015 :  09:49:36  Show Profile Send Gary Dallison a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Well i've done my research on Song Dragons. They are the same as weredragons. They are always female it would seem (or they can assume the form of a female human).

They obviously have a magical origin given the single gender and alternate form. Their presence on the Moonshae Isles in great numbers (and as a possible place of origin) plus their love of nature makes me think i should link them to the druids.

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Gary Dallison
Great Reader

United Kingdom
4533 Posts

Posted - 15 Jan 2015 :  10:20:32  Show Profile Send Gary Dallison a Private Message  Reply with Quote
A quick draft of my idea for the Song Dragons.

I havent gone down the road of making all song dragons originate in the Moonshae Isles, just this particular type/family of song dragon (since i noted the Monsters of Faerun entry described them as copper dragons but Essembra was i think silver). Plus there are plenty of bronze and copper dragons around the area.

Song Dragons: Song dragons exist in large numbers (for song dragons) in the Moonshaes giving rise to many postulating that Song dragons originated in the Moonshae Isles. In truth a single population of song dragons exists in the Moonshae Isles that has its origins in the creation of the Druids of Moonshae.
Following the founding of Falataer’s Academy and the proliferation of bardic tradition among the isles, one of the great druids of the Callidyrr Ring fell in love with a young woman who was a student at their academy. Her music was so beautiful that even the animals stopped to listen to the tunes, and she was surely destined to become one of the Great Bards.
Unfortunately her life was cut short by a goblin raid out of Dernall Forest and her remains were found in a discarded campsite several weeks later.
The druid was heartbroken at the loss of his love and attempted to restore her to life through reincarnation. However he was so consumed with grief that he took the unwise decision to try and influence the outcome of the creature she would become.
Upon hearing of the birth of a red haired girl in a nearby village on the same day as he cast the spell in 251 DR (Year of the Strange Seedlings) he was delighted at the prospect that his magic had worked. She grew up and seemed to exhibit more of the mannerisms of the woman the druid had once known. On her 14th birthday as the druid revealed her true past she transformed before his eyes into the form of a dragon and the druid knew he had been wrong to manipulate the natural order.
Despite her unusual “affliction” the druid pursued the young woman and they became close. However it soon became clear that their two biologies were incompatible. Following a chance encounter on the road with a copper dragon (who was drawn to her music), the woman felt an overwhelming attraction to the dragon that she could not resist. The child she later bore proved that she could only have children with another dragon.
The druid could not stand the pain of being separated from his true love and committed suicide by wandering into the lair of a sleeping bear.
Since that time the Song Dragons of the Moonshae Isles have grown in number (there are 12 in total now living on the island), many of them of copper dragon descent and exhibiting the red hair of their ancestor.
All exhibit a love of music and a respect for the natural world (perhaps a leftover influence from the druid and his unwise manipulation of magic) which makes them natural allies of the Harpers. The Song Dragons travel the length and breadth of the Moonshae Isles (even occasionally visiting the Northmen inhabited islands) playing their music and spreading the tales of events on the islands. This tradition has long been taken up by other travelling bards and indeed the sanctity of the Wayfires is in no small part to the efforts of this family of song dragons (those disregarding the code in early times found themselves inside the gullet of a song dragon often enough to spread fear about breaking the code to others).
The song dragons act as the eyes and ears of the Harpers on the islands. Ffolk and Northmen are usually nervous of foreigners sneaking around their islands, but accompanied by a Moonshae bard, these foreigners soon become welcome friends.

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Gary Dallison
Great Reader

United Kingdom
4533 Posts

Posted - 15 Jan 2015 :  15:43:34  Show Profile Send Gary Dallison a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Added some more locations such as the Drowned Forest and Swanmay River

The Drowned Forest: A portion of the forest that over time turned into a swampy quagmire filled with rotting trees beginning in the 6th century Dalereckoning. Over the course of 100 years it gradually extended its borders until it reached the borders of Cantrev Conaych on the western shore (between Cantrevs Codfin and Aithelar). The next few years saw a number of disasters befall Conaych as disease swept through the settlement, the crops failed, animal herds were decimated and rumours of people carried away by bog monsters. Eventually the people of Conaych left for other places and Conaych is now only visible from Macrell Trail as a single mound of stones that once represented the fort where the Laird of Conaych lived.
In the centre of the Drowned Forest there dwells a twisted hag like creature that created the Drowned Forest centuries ago when the Laird of Cantrev Conaych shot and killed (albeit slowly) her swan companion. The pain from her swan’s slow death drove the former swan fairy mad and twisted her body into its current form.
She masqueraded as “bog monsters” (creatures that resemble shambling mounds) and plagued the village, eventually carrying off the Laird to her home (where she ate him, very slowly).
Disappearances of travellers on the Swanmay River and subsequent sightings of a rare black swan are both due to this creature although foolish Ffolk legends still attribute it to the romantic notion of the beautiful swan maidens.
Macrell Trail: This single horse (in width) path winds along the western edge of Dernall Forest from Cantrev Holyhead to Cantrev Codfin. It is named for the fish that are often pulled from the Sea of Moonshae. A now disused path used to extend to Regent’s Field but this is no longer used and has long since become overgrown.
Swanmay River: This cold river begins in the Fairheight Mountains and winds its way south through Dernall Forest before reaching the boggy lowlands by Cantrev Blythe where it empties into the Sea of Sword.
Of old it was supposedly home to magical maidens that could assume the form of beautiful white swans. In truth fey sprites that lived a symbiotic life on the backs of swans had taken to imitating LeShay and later elves to play mischievous pranks.
The Ffolk cut back the forests and earned the enmity of the swan fairies who would cause their coracles to capsize and dump its inhabitants into the cold waters.
Supposedly in the depths of Dernall Forest there exists a single black swan maiden that bewitches all who see her and takes them into the forest as her lover, they are never seen again.

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Gary Dallison
Great Reader

United Kingdom
4533 Posts

Posted - 16 Jan 2015 :  15:57:54  Show Profile Send Gary Dallison a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I'm starting to run out of steam now i think.

I'm loathe to do this but i might have to start turning to real world myths and legends for some inspiration with the locations.


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Gary Dallison
Great Reader

United Kingdom
4533 Posts

Posted - 21 Jan 2015 :  11:55:27  Show Profile Send Gary Dallison a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Come up for an explanation for why Alec and Markus exist as names so early in the Ffolk Cymrych dynasty.



Alec I: Originally named Arrelechys and later given the nickname “the uncautious”. He perished in the northern wilds of Callidyrr beyond the Fairheight Mountains (now known as Gnarhelm). His entire 40 strong retinue was slain by what druids believe was a bear of enormous size and strength (capable of rending metal armour with ease). Following his death the name Arrelechys was deemed unsuitable (and overly complex) and so it was shortened to Alec, the confusion came when Alec II was crowned and nobody could recall an Alec I, history has since been changed to show Arrelechys I with his shortened name)

Markus: The daughters of Cymrych Hugh were married into the other noble families of the Moonshaes that eventually became the Kings of the other islands (all of whom considered themselves part of house Cymrych, although all later changed their names to corruptions of Cymrych to distance themselves from that cursed name).
The sons of Cymrych Hugh were married to other nearby realms to cement alliances with the fledgling Kingdom of the Moonshaes, Carrig I for instance was married to the second daughter of King Matamid of Tethyr (then a Shoon protectorate).

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Gary Dallison
Great Reader

United Kingdom
4533 Posts

Posted - 21 Jan 2015 :  14:30:23  Show Profile Send Gary Dallison a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Just come up with a new organisation known as the Sons of Alaron that is responsible for much of the assassinations and mysterious events following 467 DR.

They were a group of Ffolk nobles that were anti-Tethyrian and so arranged a bunch of incidents and assassinations and blamed them on the Tethyrians as well as spreading rumours that blamed other events on the Tethyrian's as well.

In my version Alaron is the tribal head of the Tallffolk. The island was named after him and when he died without a suitable heir the council of lairds voted in his grandnephew Callidyrr (who lived on Corwell) to become King. So the island is named after Alaron, the kingdom is named after Callidyrr.

When the Tethyrians were welcomed by Kemble, many nobles didnt like the upstart Tethyrians that soon became rich and influential. They felt the House of Cymrych betrayed them and so started an anti-Tethyrian movement and killed off any king that married someone of Tethyrian descent or awarded titles to Tethyrian. (i'm blaming the disappearance of Abigail and Scothgar on them as well).

The movement fizzled out with the death of King Ciaran after he was killed by a Ffolk mob, along with many of the remaining members of the Sons of Alaron.

Now the organisation exists only among the Lairds and their sons of Cantrev Ogden that run a secret society that hunts any foreigners that wont be missed in Dernall Forest.

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