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Gary Dallison
Great Reader

United Kingdom
4427 Posts

Posted - 03 Feb 2015 :  15:50:02  Show Profile Send Gary Dallison a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Some detail of Norland, Moray, and Oman. Its a bit more difficult to come up with detail for these areas because its so sparse to begin with, so i've mostly just made stuff up.

I'm trying to work in the idea that all the settlements of Dwarvenhome were linked by portals (as alluded to in the 4e dragon articles) and that goes some way to explain the mainland creatures that have appeared on the islands.

Moray is very much going to be the centre of the war between the Ffolk and the Northmen. It is the smallest and weakest of the remaining Ffolk islands so it makes sense to me that they would want to conquer it next. Kazgoroth switching the target to Corwell should provide a clue that something is amiss with the recent Northmen attacks.

Anyone have any other ideas/suggestions for fleshing out the remaining islands with some history and detail?


Moray: The most easterly isle of the Ffolk on the Moonshaes it is also the most exposed to Northmen raids and consequently the most warlike of the isles of the Ffolk. In fact the “Ffolk” of Moray contain more than a little Northmen blood after centuries of conflict and prisoners, and survivors of shipwrecks washing up on the shore. Even House Caracal; the royal family of Moray, has a significant portion of Northmen ancestry which explains the tendency for Kings of Moray to be huge by Ffolk standards and to have a love of warfare and contests of strength.
The settled lands of Moray are in the Shannyth River Valley which occupies the eastern half of the island on the border of the Breasal Marsh. Here the waters of the Shannyth River trickle idly through the vale (pooling in places into the marshlands) while sprites and small faerie folk dance about its waters.
On the eastern side of the marsh the Ffolk are relatively safe from the dangers of the Breasal Marsh and the biting winds from the Trackless Sea that are lessened by the mountains on the north and south of the island, although the trolls, orcs, and Northmen give the people of Moray enough trouble to keep them busy.
The Ffolk of Moray are ever ready for war. Every house is its own wooden fort, with a stake palisade, secured doors, arrow holes, and even rooftop platforms. Every household on the island owns at least a sword or an axe and a shield with which to defend themselves, those without weapons quickly fall prey to the many dangers on Moray.
Breasal Marsh: This icy, slush filled bog is home to the Greater Moonwell of Moray (two Lesser Moonwells exist in the woodlands east and west of the marsh). The Ring of Moray generally leaves this Moonwell alone and cares instead for the Lesser Moonwells on the island. The reason for this is the guardian creature of the Greater Moonwell; a beholder.
This ancient pitted orb has lost the use of most of its eye rays, but has learned how to perform magic using the Moonwell as a spell pool. It does not like to be disturbed and has a tribe of lizardmen living in the marsh that worship it as a god and provide for it’s needs.
The Ring of Moray agreed not to bother the guardian and its Moonwell in return for occasional access when needed.
The beholder in return has kept the lizardmen away from the surrounding lands and away from potential conflict with the Ffolk of Moray.
However there is another group of creatures in the marsh, a group of nymphs and elemental weirds that live along the Shannyth River, and they have long been at war with the beholder and his servants whom they view as evil and despoilers of nature. These fey creatures bewitch the orcs and trolls that wander into the lowlands from the mountains, and send them against the beholder, and any humans that happen to displease them as well.
The Ffolk of Moray have legends of the man eating eye tyrant of the marsh (legends spread by the nymphs) but they consider all the more monstrous humanoids as creatures to be attacked on sight, they are unaware there is a longstanding territorial war on their doorstep.
Cantrev Moray: The Capital of Moray is like; the other capitals of the Moonshae Islands, also the primary port of the island, it is the largest settlement on Moray with a little over 1,000 people living here the year round.
Like the other settlements of Moray on the eastern side of the island, it is sheltered from the majority of biting winds from the Trackless Sea by the Trollclaw and Orcskull Mountains, this however does not keep the temperature on the island from dipping to below freezing for over 7 months of the year. As a result nothing but grass grows on Moray (even the trees struggle) and the Ffolk here are forced to live from fishing and shepherding.
The primary industry of the island however is neither fishing or shepherding, it is in fact warfare. The Ffolk of Moray contain more than a little Northmen blood and so are larger and stronger than Ffolk on other islands, moreover their near constant defence from raiders, orcs, trolls, lizardmen, and worse has meant that nearly every able bodied man and woman is more than capable with a sword, and over half of that population are enlisted in the local militia.
Moray has more blacksmiths, leatherworkers, and bowyers within its borders than any other island, and it makes a living by selling weapons to the Ffolk and Northmen and by selling its strong warriors to the other Ffolk islands when needed. Cantrev Moray is the major trading partner with Cantrev Corwell, but it also has extensive contacts among the more enterprising Northmen of the northern Moonshae Isles.
Cantrev Moray once had a castle; known as Caer Moray and situated on the coast, but that was burned down in 333, 357, 401, and finally in 659 DR after which it was never rebuilt. Instead 3 Gorwyrs stand about a mile inland from the port and whenever raiders appear the Ffolk run to the keeps and take refuge inside.
The King of Moray himself is supposedly the primary resident and caretaker of the Gorwyrs, but tradition holds that he stay in his favourite inn in the town (of which there are many that exist purely to vie for the King’s favour).
Orcskull Mountains: This northern mountain range of Moray, like the southern range once belonged to the dwarves of Dwarvenhome in the distant past of the Moonshae Isles. As typical for all the dwarven dwellings of Dwarvenhome, these surface outposts were connected with each other via portals created by the rune masters of old.
As time passed, Dwarvenhome was destroyed and the dwarves retreated to a few scattered holds among the mountains of the Moonshae Isles.
After relinquishing their control and responsibility for the mountains other creatures moved in and took up residence. Many of these creatures arrived through the portal in Highpeak that has long been malfunctioning and abducting random creatures from across Faerûn to bring to Moray. Lizardmen, a beholder, and most recently a tribe of orcs have arrived on Moray through this malfunctioning portal.
The orcs of Moray call themselves the Stabbed Gut Clan and number 500+ members. They raid the Cantrevs of Moray on a monthly basis and have even managed to destroy Cantrev Crosstyn on the most northerly tip of the Orcskull Mountains.
This range is also host to a number of Firbolg tribes that arrived in millennia past with Thane Grond Peaksmasher. These noble Firbolgs still hold to the ideals of their lost lord and are not the wanton murderous Firbolgs that can be found on Gwynneth, they do however kill any dwarves on sight because of past enmity between their people and the war between the dwarves and Firbolgs on the Moonshae Isles long ago.
Highpeak: This long abandoned dwarfhold’s name is lost to antiquity but is probably a dwarven translation of Highpeak. Early in Moray’s history it was the focal point of a search in 218 DR when the aunt of the King of Moray was kidnapped by a Firbolg that lived in the ruin. The aunt’s sons and 5 men at arms tracked the giant to its lair and slew it. In the dungeons they found the malfunctioning portal and were deposited on the mainland. It was many years before the surviving son returned and the king’s aunt spent her remaining years sobbing amid the ruined halls of Highpeak. This gave birth to the legend of the Lady of Highpeak that is a common tale among the Ffolk of Moray.
The portal in Highpeak more recently in 1235 DR abducted a band of orcs marauding across the Savage Frontier and deposited them in Highpeak. These orcs have taken up residence in the crumbling dwarfhold and raid the settlements of Moray on a regular basis. In the meantime the worship the portal as a relic from Gruumsh, believing it to be a portal to his domain, they perform ritual dances around it and pile treasure nearby in the hopes it will open and they can welcome whatever comes through it.
Trollclaw Mountains: Like the Orcskull Mountains to the south, the Trollclaw Mountains used to be part of dwarven territory in the distant history of the Moonshae Isles. These mountains actually still contain a remnant of the old dwarven kingdom of Dwarvenhome in the form of Dennin’s Delve, a small holding containing a single clan; the Rockhammer Clan.
A portal in the abandoned holdings around Dennin’s Delve leads to the Fairheight Mountains and around 200 years ago it disgorged a number of trolls into the range that have since proliferated enough to plague the dwarves. A number of Firbolgs also inhabit the Trollclaw Mountain range, but these giantkin are of evil bent and have deformed features that tell of inbreeding with other creatures long ago or the touch of Kazgoroth, they are killed on sight by the dwarves and Firbolgs of the Orcskull Mountains.
Norland: This island began its human history as the island of Westarlun, officially settled on the 20th birthday of Prince Cymrych Hugh. It has always been a rugged and cold island, although thankfully much of it is sheltered from the winds by the Jotunhammer Mountains, and was famous for the hardy Ffolk that lived there, now it is famous for the hardy Northmen raiders that live there.
The first of the Moonshae Isles to be permanently settled by Northmen, this island was first raided by Northmen and Fire Giants in 256 DR under orders from Thane Rurik of Tuern. The initial foray caused much damage to the wooden homes of the Ffolk, but the raiders were driven inland after finding their boats destroyed by the Ffolk.
Later expeditions from various Northmen groups in 275 DR managed to secure a string of settlements leading from the west coast of Norland, through the Jotunhammer Gap to the west coast at North Cape.
The Ffolk of Norland struggled bravely against the Northmen invaders and with High King Carrig I’s help succeeded in pushing the Northmen back to the west side of Jotunhammer Gap between 276 DR and 280 DR (before Carrig turned his attention to Norheim). Then under High King Gwylloch the Ffolk removed all traces of the Northmen from Norland by 293 DR; or so they thought, for the Northmen had built a number of settlements along the southern and northern coasts of Norland beyond the Jotunhammer Mountains.
With the death of High King Gwylloch in 299 DR, the Northmen returned from their coastal settlements and with their fire giant allies they finally conquered the token settlements left behind by Gwylloch and declared the island of Norland for the Northmen.
Since that day, except for the occasional invasion attempt by the Ffolk during the 6th century Dalereckoning (without much success), this island has been firmly under the control of the Northmen, and from here they spread to Norheim, and Oman’s Isle.
Norland is the coldest and most extreme of the islands of the Northmen. Bitter freezing winds howl through Jotunhammer Gap and make agriculture almost impossible, even herding is difficult in this climate but the goats of Norland are exceptionally shaggy and resistant to the cold. Despite the bitter winds it appears that the Northmen quite enjoy the bracing temperatures and difficult conditions, because most of them live on the west side of the island and in Jotunhammer Gap where the winds are strongest.
A single sizable settlement; Rogarsheim exists on the east side of the island, surrounded by grassy pastures for animal grazing, and it is here that the strongest Jarl or Konungr of Norland usually dwells in the one place of relative comfort sheltered from the cold and the winds by the Jotunhammer Mountains (although his subjects often whisper this makes him soft).
The people of Norland are considered extreme even by other Northmen standards, they take to the seas and wander the islands in little more than a leather jerkin and carrying a small shield and an axe. They are famous for their berserker rage and ignoring wounds and extreme cold that would otherwise kill even a Northmen raider.
They have a surprisingly good relationship with the Frost Giants of the Jotunhammer Mountains who arrived with them from Tuern long ago and helped them secure the island before retreating to their mountain homes. The humans revere the giants almost as gods and provide them with gifts and sacrifices whenever they meet (which is rare these days).
Dvarstoldt Tar Pits: Named after the Fire Giant runesmith that caused their formation in 582 DR (Year of the Deep Wounds). After over 200 years of living on Norland, the Fire Giants from Tuern noticed that a number of their children were born looking strange to them, they had blue skin and thrived in the cold mountains (which the fire giants hated but dared not return home to Tuern because of their initial failure to conquer Norland). It soon became apparent that the giant children resembled Frost Giants and the fabric of giant society in the Jotunhammer Mountains was beginning to unwind as these frost giant children challenged the beliefs of the rune casters.
The eldest rune caster, a 400 year old giant named Dvarstoldt, took it upon himself to reverse the decline in Fire Giant population. He attempted to fashion a volcano among the Northern Jotunhammer Mountains and thus create a home for the Fire Giants where they could survive. Using ancient rune magic that none on Norland now possess, he cracked the very earth, releasing the magma beneath.
Unfortunately instead of a volcano he received only a bubbling tar pit that bears his name. Dvarstoldt was cast out of Hjalmaren for his failure and is rumoured to have taken up residence in the tar pits that bear his name and his failings.
Lair of the Werewyvern: This sunken fen is notable for a large pit that burrows into the earth. The land around it is home to the hardy Norland goats that graze throughout the island, these goats however belong to the creature known as the “Werewyvern”.
As with all families there is a black sheep, a runt of the litter. The Song Dragons of the Moonshae Isles are no exception. This hideous creature; in either form, is called Foradnir by the Northmen, and he lives in isolation away from everyone, including his own kind.
In dragon form he is a stunted, leathery skinned creature with huge eyes, and misshapen jaws filled with oversized teeth. His tail ends in what resembles a giant bee sting, and his wings are long, thin, and ragged. In humanoid form he looks a lot like an ogre, although he could easily pass for some of the more deformed Firbolg Giants with a bit of work.
Foradnir (he long stopped using his own name) enjoys his isolation because his temper rages out of control far too easily and he does not want to risk hurting anyone, especially his own kind (which is why he fled here).
Oman: This idyllic island, also known as Oman’s Isle, was once a land of the Ffolk that acted as the trade hub between the islands of the Moonshae. The large woods and mountain range on the island as well as surrounding islands kept it sheltered from the extreme weather that afflicts the outer islands, and the calm seas around it made it an ideal place for ship transport. Nomans Isle as it was called then housed the major ship building enterprises of the Ffolk (although this amounted to little more than coracles of between 2 and 6 occupants).
The High King of the Moonshaes took great pains to ensure that Nomans Isle was well defended against the Northmen raids. Nomans Isle had 2 castles; Caer Windlaur, and Caer Aaraun that were heavily defensible fortresses built by Tethyrian immigrants shortly after their arrival.
Nomans Isle was off limits to Northmen raiding because it was so well defended, but following the disappearance of Prince Scothgar it became the primary target of all the Northmen lords; whoever could take the island would become the most powerful man in the Moonshaes.
It wasn’t until 761 DR when a Northmen would finally take the island. Hjal (war leader) Olgric Hunstag led the 18 Dragonships from Norland to attack Oman’s Isle in the west (with 7 ships from Norheim attacking from the east). As the fleet approached Caer Windlaur it mysteriously vanished from view leaving the settlement of Cantrev Windlaur entirely defenceless.
The Northmen raiders surged onto the beach and slaughtered the Ffolk before travelling inland to take Caer Aaraun as it defended itself from the raiders of Norheim.
Since that eventful day Oman has remained firmly in Northmen hands and is currently ruled by the most powerful Northmen ruler in all the Moonshaes; Konungr Thelgaar Ironhand who dwells in Ironkeep. Thelgaar’s kingdom includes the entirety of Oman’s Isle as well as the settlements of Manger, Storaad, Codscove, and Grimstaad on the northern coast of Gwynneth.
Today Oman exists as the primary ship building power house of the Moonshae Isles, much as it was under Ffolk rule. The Northmen captured many of the Ffolk and learned ship building secrets from them that make an Oman Dragonship faster, stronger, and more manoeuvrable than any other. All the Jarls of the Moonshae come to Oman to buy their ships (if they can afford it) and this makes Thelgaar Ironhand a very rich man indeed.
Grampalt Highlands: This mountain range on Oman’s Isle became the eventual home of Grond Peaksmasher after his arrival in Norland/Westarlun millennia ago. The Thane of the Firbolg peoples led his subjects across the islands establishing colonies on all the island before finally settling his capital in Nomans Isle.
Here Grond built a huge mountaintop fortress in the tallest mountain of the range; Icepeak, which just so happened to be atop the home of the imprisoned Kazgoroth. Kazgoroth whispered words of poison and treachery into the titan’s ear and his paranoia sparked a war between dwarf and giant that shattered his own kingdom and eventually led to the demise of Dwarvenhome as well.
During the war one of the children; Ragnar the Bear appeared in the isles and fought a titanic battle with Grond atop Icepeak. The stomp of the Great Bear rent the mountain asunder and opened a rift in the earth, into which toppled Grond. As the centuries passed ice formed over the top and Grond was forgotten.
Grond still exists in the rift beneath Icepeak, and his rumblings cause earthquakes that can be felt in the Northmen towns below.
The Grampalt Highlands themselves are filled with numerous clans of Firbolg that serve Grond Peaksmasher (although they revere him as a deity and have long forgotten his fate beneath Icepeak). They do not engage in raiding activity as a whole, but there are always exceptions and at least one clan regularly raids the Northmen of Oman (with mixed results).
Iron Keep: This veritable fortress was the pinnacle of Tethyrian castle building on the Moonshae Isles. No expense was spared by the High Kings in ensuring Nomans Isle would be safe from the raids of the Northmen. Its weapon towers and high battlements overlook Iron Bay, while earthen embankments and wooden stakes make the climb up to the keep both laborious and perilous.
In the centre of the keep, protruding from the old Tethyrian construction is a much newer and larger pointed spire that towers above the keep giving it an excellent view for miles around, created in recent times by the blood, sweat, and tears of captured Ffolk. No one is sure of the reason for the new tower but rumours are that he has a captive creature there working to enchant his arms and give him back the edge that age is robbing from his body.
The easiest access to the keep is through Iron Bay (much of the eastern coastline is rocky and steep except for Lillemaren) which has two rocky outcroppings on either side of the bay to funnel the waters inside it, each outcropping has a wooden watchtower atop it with a beacon that can be lit to warn of attacks.
Iron Keep is in short the largest and most dangerous fortification in the Moonshaes with the possible exception of Caer Callidyrr (and Caer Blackstone if it ever gets finished). It is the jewel of Thelgaar’s eye, and from it he organises the conquests to fill out his ever growing empire.
Lillemaren: This small, granite stone settlement, built along the eastern edge of Oman’s Isle in a small natural bay is the site of a historic moment for the Northmen (and the Ffolk) of the Moonshae Isles.
In 944 DR, High King Tanner of the kingdom of Callidyrr was killed during an excursion against the Firbolgs in the Myrloch Vale, at the request of the King of Corwell. High King Tanner perished and before his body was even cold a messenger turned up at the court of every Ffolk king in the islands (except Callidyrr of course) requesting the attendance of the king at a small unmarked inlet on Oman’s Isle.
Never before had the Ffolk kings received such an invitation from the Northmen, that this Northmen in particular was claiming the title of Konungr (King) and could write, was ominous indeed. All attended despite the chance it could be a trap and they were all party to the sight of hundreds of longships and thousands of Northmen warriors at the beachhead they called Lillemaron (little nightmare).
Konungr Torgred the Gnarled promised his army would be unleashed against Callidyrr first and then the rest of the Ffolk kingdoms unless they all signed a treaty relinquishing any claim they still had upon Northmen held territory in the Moonshaes. All the kings did as they were instructed and returned home with a deep foreboding. Thankfully the alliance of Northmen soon broke down and the “little nightmare” was never unleashed, but the Northmen were now the legal owners of their own lands.
Lillemaren, as it is now called, is a strange example of Northmen settlements. Fewer than 100 people call this place home, but every one of them is a warrior of renown and distinction from across the Northmen islands. All live in small stone houses that are reminiscent of the large and sturdy structures of early Gnarhelm.
To dwell in Lillemaren one must challenge a current resident for the right to dwell in such a place of prestige and honour for all the Northmen. To live here is to be permanently available for battle to whichever Northmen ruler can afford your price, to refuse the call to battle is to be cast out by the remaining residence. Lillemaren is a town of titans amongst men.
Old Stone Wood: This ancient wood is home to the Greater Moonwell of Oman that is looked after by the Ring of Oman and its only living member who also acts as its guardian. The great stone tree; whose roots dip into the Moonwell, stands alone in an empty glade in the wood. When angered the tree is said to come alive and walk about, able to stomp a 20 strong party into paste without injury; his stony boughs fear neither axe, nor fire.
The Northmen tend to avoid the wood, cutting from its edges only when they need to for shipbuilding, and even then only in large groups. The main reason for this is the large numbers of dryads that live in the wood (and Old Stone Wood himself) who are known to bewitch weak willed Northmen and take them into the forest where they live an honourless life of peace and servitude.

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Gary Dallison
Great Reader

United Kingdom
4427 Posts

Posted - 04 Feb 2015 :  15:31:47  Show Profile Send Gary Dallison a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Came up with how the Fomorians got onto the Moonshaes without having to use the Feywild.

My Kazgoroth was originally a raging juggernaut of destruction and his touch induced a similar rage in others.

So the fomorians on the Moonshae are descended from Firbolgs that were some of those originally touched by Kazgoroth (thankfully he has since lost that ability).

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Gary Dallison
Great Reader

United Kingdom
4427 Posts

Posted - 04 Feb 2015 :  16:44:32  Show Profile Send Gary Dallison a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Some blurb on the flora and fauna of the islands and including the various races.

I have turned the Fomorians into the bogeymen of the Moonshae Isles, which i think is what they might be in celtic or norse mythology anyway (although i havent really looked at it so i dont know for sure).

There is now a former kingdom of frost giants in the Jotunhammer Mountains (called Jothun in homage to another giant kingdom elsewhere in Faerun but of no relation). It was destroyed following the rebellion of the younger frost giants against their fire giant elders and then the arrival of a white dragon and her brood.


Firbolgs: These giants are spread across every island in the Moonshaes, typically forming small settlements of made out of whatever materials they can gather (or acquire through raiding).
The Firbolg originally arrived on the islands around -6000 DR, led their by their Paramount; Grond Peaksmasher, who had travelled the length and breadth of Faerûn since the fall of Ostoria (and his curse) searching for a home for his people.
They originally arrived on Norland and established themselves before spreading to the other islands of the Moonshaes. They established an alliance with the dwarves and lived in peace on the islands; even crafting a capital with the dwarves on the site where Caer Callidyrr now stands.
It wasn’t until Grond Peaksmasher arrived on Oman (its name at that time was unknown) that the alliance between giant and dwarf began to break down. In his latest construction atop Icepeak, Grond began to hear the subtle whisperings of a dark and malevolent power.
This power poisoned Grond’s mind and caused him to turn away from his allies, ultimately it led to the breakup of an alliance that had lasted nearly a thousand years. Grond and the Firbolgs went to war with the dwarves, and the cataclysmic final battle drew the attention of one of the Earthmother’s Children.
Grond was imprisoned beneath Icepeak, Kazgoroth was freed from his eternal imprisonment, and the Firbolg were lost once more. They degenerated into tribal units and fought with each other and with the dwarves for resources and territory.
In -2000 DR Kazgoroth finally clawed his way to the surface of the Moonshae Isles and immediately set about inflicting his rage upon the lesser races. The Firbolgs were the easiest to catch and many of them fell under his spell. His touch caused hideous mutations among their kind (and others) and the touched Firbolg’s were named Fomorian after another giantkin race with equally hideous deformities.
Following Kazgoroth’s defeat these “Fomorians” fled into hiding in the mountains, some of them eventually breeding back into the more evil Firbolg tribes and passing on their hideous deformities.
The Firbolg race nowadays is split into two factions. Those that cleave to the ideals of Grond Peaksmasher and believe in nobility, loyalty, temperance, and honesty as ideals to uphold in themselves and other beings. Then there are those that are tainted with the touch of Kazgoroth, these Firbolgs espouse no such virtues and will raid, pillage, murder, and destroy anything weaker than themselves just for the fun of it. Thankfully these evil Firbolgs think of little else, are barbaric in nature and therefore greatly restricted in their territory and capabilities.
The more noble Firbolg build log settlements, fashion weapons and tools from steel, and some have even been known to practice the druidic arts.
Fomorians: There are no true Fomorian Giants on the Moonshae Isles. The twisted and deformed monstrosities spoken of as bogeymen in the tales and legends of the Ffolk actually refer to Firbolgs that were twisted by the touch of Kazgoroth millennia ago (around -2000 DR) and escaped into the wilds following Kazgoroth’s defeat.
These hideous creatures are thankfully rare; the elves, firbolgs, and dwarves having hunted them near to extinction over the years, and live in the most isolated points on each island. They seem to be solitary creatures and must be immortal or incredibly long lived, because there have been no sightings of Fomorian family units in the 3000 years since their creation.
The Fomorians are despicably evil and are known to creep into Ffolk (and Northmen) settlements when the opportunity arises, and pluck children from their beds (children being their favourite food).

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Gary Dallison
Great Reader

United Kingdom
4427 Posts

Posted - 15 Feb 2015 :  21:43:19  Show Profile Send Gary Dallison a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Worked a bit on Gnarhelm, added in a few more locations to tie in with some ancient and not so ancient history. I've decided to elabourate more on certain locations and items and things in the articles, but the sourcebook rewrite will contain brief bits of info about everything.

I've decided that the Northmen of the Moonshae Isles can still enter a berserkers rage without necessarily being barbarians (like they could in the 1st edition North sourcebook. However I am denying that ability to the people of Gnarhelm because they are Illuskans from Faerun that spent many hundreds of years farming and building instead of raiding and pillaging (like the Uthgardt barbarians), and so the Illuskans have lost this ability to rage (unless they actually take the barbarian class).



Death's Door: This black obsidian door is carved with a combination of giantish and illuskan runes designed to keep the door sealed shut and speak of death to all who enter. The door is over 30 ft long and wide and lie flat in the earth in the middle of a rocky hillock. All about the area are ancient weathered bones of people and animals (including tall stags and even mountain bears and lions), their skeletons rent apart by large claws. In the earth and rock around the hillock are also huge claw-marks that gouge the very stone from boulders
Whatever is sealed beneath Death's Door, someone wants to keep it in or keep everyone else out, but in truth no one in Gnarhelm can recall what is sealed behind the door, only that the rune-smiths of Gnarhelm and fire giants from Llorgh helped cast and enchant the door to keep it shut.
Hardangheight Mountains: Named by the dwarves after the surface clan hold of Hardang's Hold. This rival to Highrock was conquered by Grond Peaksmasher who hacked apart the walls (which formed part of a mountainside) using the Silver Hafted Axe, his firbolg warriors then slaughtered the merchants and smiths inside. Today the cavern that once housed Hardang's Hold is home to a number of degenerate trolls that stay out of the light but venture down to plague the Northmen during the night or in winter time.
Hardang Hollow: This cave is the supposed site of Hardang's Hold (in truth Hardang's Hold is located on the other side of the mountain range) located on the western side of this range.
The almost empty cave is filled with wailing, moaning, and screams of rage that echo around the mountains like a tortured beast. All those who enter into the cave are never heard from again, rumour says that they are strangled by the spirit of Hardang himself.

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Gary Dallison
Great Reader

United Kingdom
4427 Posts

Posted - 15 Feb 2015 :  21:45:44  Show Profile Send Gary Dallison a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I don't suppose anyone has a list of Bhaal's Children that he used in the novels.

I know there was a displacer beast which I intend to use, and there is some mention of "the Ghost Hunt" in Halls of the High King but I dont know anymore about it.

If someone could tell me what they were called, what they were, and what abilities they possessed then that would be most helpful (then I can reproduce some kind of analogue within the campaign).

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Gary Dallison
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4427 Posts

Posted - 16 Feb 2015 :  16:31:10  Show Profile Send Gary Dallison a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Expanded a bit more on various bits of the islands.

I'm not quite sure how it happened but i might have made Viledal a kind of hagspawn. Also tried my hand a bit at developing Dwarvenhome but its early days yet.

I've now fleshed out the Cults of Fury; Cult of the Storm Maiden, Cult of the Dracolich, Cult of the Black Blood, and Cult of the Winterborn. They will be wreaking havoc across the Moonshae Isles between 1360 and 1368.




Norheim: This kingdom is actually a collection of islands much like the Korinn Archipelago. The people of Norheim are closely related to the Northmen of Norland due to historical events in the settlement and conquest of both regions, where the Northmen banded together to help conquer Norland before returning to claim Norheim which was then ruled by a greedy and territorial dragon.
Today Norheim is ruled by Konungr Raag Hammerstaad, and this island chain has been ruled by a Northmen king more often than the other Northmen kingdoms principally because the largest island in the chain has only one major settlement which means whoever rules the island of Jotunspine can quickly subdue the other islands of Norheim (Greygruun, Llorgh, and Canthrell) behind his banner.
Greygruun: This island was among the first to be settled by the Northmen of Gundarlun around 256 DR. Unfortunately the island was claimed by the dragon “Aura” and her brood and they used it as a hunting ground and food store (filled with goat and sheep herds that the Northmen appropriated for themselves).
Ultimately the island of Greygruun was frozen solid by Aura’s breath and the Northmen were forced to flee. They returned with a powerful magical axe named “Molten Core” that Jarl Sigurd “The Axe” used to sever Aura’s head from her neck and claim the island for himself.
His rule did not last long as the Ffolk sought reprisals against the Northmen for their attacks on Westarlun. Jarl Sigurd was slain and the Northmen evicted from Greygruun. It was only many years later that any Northmen returned to dwell on the island.
Greystaad: This first settlement of the Northmen on Norheim is ruled by one of the many Jarls in service to the Konungr of Norheim. It is a curious settlement as the core buildings are the same icy, petrified shells that were chilled by Aura’s breath weapon over a millennia ago. The icy conditions and magic of the white dragon’s breath set the wooden huts as hard as granite and they have remained in place ever since as an icy blue façade on the shores of Greygruun.
As the settlement has expanded over the years (although not by much) newer wooden buildings have been built and rebuilt alongside them, but the frozen fortifications (with frozen ballistae sculptures on top) remain unchanged by the passage of time.
Jotunspine: This island still bears the name given to it by the firbolgs when it was ruled by Grond Peaksmasher thousands of years ago. Following Grond’s imprisonment beneath Icepeak on Oman’s Isle, the firbolgs continued to rule the island from the Giantspine Mountains until the Northmen arrived to contest their ownership.
Starting in 256 DR the Northmen began arriving on the island seeking bases from which to raid the Ffolk of the Moonshaes and the mainland of Faerûn. Every year a few dragonships would beach on the coast of Jotunspine, and every year the raiders’ settlements would be met by a force of 40 or more firbolgs that requested they leave the island immediately. The first few times the Northmen refused and found themselves hauled battered and bruised into their boats which were pushed off shore.
The firbolgs were honourable beings that upheld the code laid down for them by their Paramount Grond Peaksmasher, they tried not to kill the humans because they were weaker than themselves, and never used subterfuge or sneak attacks to win the day.
The Northmen had no such code or compunctions about the morality of their actions, the only thing preventing them from conquering the island was the fact that the firbolgs were well established on the island, and that the firbolgs had little worth stealing. So the Northmen settled for inhabiting the other islands of Norheim.
Unfortunately the other islands also had their own dangers and they were claimed by a large and powerful dragon named “Aura”. After falling foul of her brood, the Northmen settlements on Norheim were destroyed by “Aura” and they had to flee. After aiding in the conquest of Westarlun (later to be known as Norland) the Northmen returned to Greygruun armed with magical weapons and they killed the dragon. Then the Northmen were set upon by the Ffolk who drove them from the islands close to Alaron.
The Northmen were forced to flee, this time to Jotunspine. The few hundred Northmen survivors laid a trap on the beaches digging huge holes in the sand. When the firbolgs approached and fell into the holes the Northmen set upon them with axes and javelins.
As more firbolgs arrived to take vengeance the Northmen split into two groups and while one group kept the warriors occupied the other ventured inland and burned the firbolg settlements with the women and children inside.
What the Northmen did not realise is that the firbolgs had recently taken up worship of the red dragon Ualintharghar that had occupied the mountains following the death of “Aura” (it laired in a volcanic vent that is common in this region of the Moonshae Isles) and were virtual slaves to the needs of “The Devouring Flame”. When the Northmen slew the firbolgs the red dragon scorched their settlements and ordered a tribute of treasure, food, and virginal women.
The Northmen were forced to raid the Ffolk for what they needed and when they could not provide it the Devouring Flame burned their homes and then set off for Callidyrr or Corwell to take whatever he desired (especially the virginal young women), he thus acquired his name for his tendency to swoop down on unsuspecting Ffolk homes and tear them apart so he could devour the young ladies in front of their families (whom he would then scorch with his breath). Thankfully around 1018 DR Ualintharghar disappeared after an altercation with Nymmurh that ended with the Devouring Flame attacking Nymmurh’s home “The Pit”.
Jotunspine has belonged to the Northmen ever since and they have cleared the coastline of the woods dotted around the island. Today Jotunspine is a bleak and depressing island scoured clean of most vegetation by freezing winds from the west and north. Small goat herds roam the mountain sides to provide some meat and dairy for the Northmen, but the smell of fish is very strong in the settlements here and most Northmen here are as skilled at fishing as the Ffolk.
Giantspine Mountains: This small mountain range is home to the goat herds of the Northmen that wander the hillsides until the Northmen round them up for eating. Little else can survive in the freezing wind swept peaks except for a small tribe of firbolgs that have managed to remain hidden from the Northmen for centuries (the Northmen thought the firbolgs were extinct on the island after centuries of fighting).
The firbolgs survive by living in caverns that house a connection to the Underdark in this region. The pasty skinned and hunched firbolgs spend most of their time in the cavern network except when they venture out to steal goats from the Northmen herds.
The cavern network is linked via a cylindrical shaft to one of the lost cities of Dwarvenhome that is now home to a flesh eating fungus that feeds off the goblin tribes that live amid the crumbling ruins of Unkoldivvern
Llorgh: This island is home to a small community; called Dalheim, of Northmen and fire giants that live on the northern edge of the island. Goats and sheep survive on the scrub grass that grows in abundance in the loamy soil.
The whole island is covered with a layer of steam and mist generated by the large open volcanic vent that exists in the hills of Llorgh to the south of the island, known as Surtr’s Maw
Surtr’s Maw: This open vent in the earth is filled with bubbling and roiling lava that swirls constantly (and sometimes violently) around the huge half mile wide opening in the earth.
The entire sight is held sacred to Surtr by the fire giants of Dalheim and a number of them are stationed here permanently watching for secrets to be revealed in the bubbling magma.
It is here that the fire giants of Tuern survive, having been brought here in 275 DR to forge the weapon “Molten Core” for Jarl Sigurd of Greygruun. The fire giants wanted to stay and Northmen that arrived later have forged a symbiotic relationship with the fire giants who protect their island homes while the Northmen go raiding for supplies. This is among the more powerful vassal islands of Konungr Raag Hammerstaad of Norheim, but the fire giants seldom take to the sea so their power remains as yet untapped.
Korinn Archipelago: This small island chain is home to the outcasts of the Moonshae Isles and the mainland of Faerûn, those that are wanted by authorities or looking to escape or simply outcast from their homelands travel to the Korinn Archipelago.
In 1023 DR the kingdom of Vlun on the north of Alaron (in the land known as Gnarhelm) was destroyed by Northmen. The people of Vlun were a mixture of Ffolk, Northmen, Tethyrians, and Illuskans that had flocked to Aeroth Silverhelm’s banner as he carved the kingdom out of Gnarhelm. When Vlun was destroyed many of these people fled on ships to other islands and a significant proportion of them fled to the Korinn Archipelago which at that time was a mixture of Northmen settlements and lawless pirate havens.
A few years earlier one of the Scions of Silverhelm (as the descendants of that great champion are known) had fled into hiding in the Korinn Archipelago, his children and their children would come to rule the former inhabitants of Vlun until one was strong enough to carve a kingdom for himself.
In 1228 DR an Illuskan warrior known as Viledal the Sea King began conquering the islands of the archipelago. This leader of men seemed to be the perfect Illuskan, able to command men on sea and land, sail the great dragonships of the Northmen and wield sword, axe, and shield as though he was born with them in his hands.
For over 40 years he ruled from the island of Caftenor until he was undone by rumours that he possessed his ancestors famous sword; Taragarth the Blood Brand. The Northmen of the Moonshaes banded together to take this treasure from him and wreak revenge on the Scions of Silverhelm for the conquest of Gnarhelm.
Constant raids upon his ships and settlements saw the people of the archipelago begin to starve and when the Northmen arrived with a fleet of 20 dragonships to deal the hammer-blow they found only weakened peasants to defend their “Sea King”, his soldiers had all fled.
It is unknown what happened to Viledal for he was never seen again, although some say he was spotted several times over the next 7 decades in Ruathym and other islands of the Trackless Sea.
Viledal: The Isle of Viledal is rumoured by many to be the home of the Sea King of the Korinn Archipelago. No one ventures onto the isle as it is said it is home to a witch that eats men while they sleep.
The truth of the matter is a cruel and ancient hag from the Moonshae’s distant past lives on the island; she does indeed lure men to her lair for her own pleasure and then consumes them when they have served their purpose. What her connection is to Viledal the Sea King is (if any) but his charisma and seeming invincibility it battle could be down to the magic of this creature, it is not impossible that he was somehow related to this monster who may have captured one of his ancestors.

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Gary Dallison
Great Reader

United Kingdom
4427 Posts

Posted - 17 Feb 2015 :  09:55:55  Show Profile Send Gary Dallison a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Working on Lady Ordalf now.


I'm going to try and tie in the Epic Handbook version of the LeShay with the Moonshae version a bit more.

So the LeShay empire was ended before it began by the elf Sundering (the one that created Evermeet). The only LeShay that survived were those wandering about the planes and they suddenly found themselves stricken with amnesia (there entire history was erased) but felt a profound call to return to Toril.

There they find Lady Ordalf, the only LeShay to survive the catastrophe on Toril. She becomes their "leader" but not in the real sense since the LeShay are independent fey creatures that focus on their own interests and ideas, but she is the only one that can unite them in a single goal.

I'm turning the city of Karador into an island filled with beautifully sculpted buildings, but most of them are empty because there are only 30+ LeShay left in existence.

Lady Ordalf like the other LeShay are children of the Earthmother and so are also related to Kazgoroth (who is kind of like an evil half brother to them). Lady Ordalf came up with the philosophy of "The Balance" to help the Earthmother repair the damage done to her by the Sunderings. This was then taught to the elves and then the humans.

Lady Ordalf has ordered the LeShay not to interfere in the life on the Moonshae Isles (except to preserve The Balance), and those who disobey this edict are outcast (that includes her own twin sister).

It was Lady Ordalf that enchanted the Moonwells to keep Kazgoroth imprisoned on the Moonshae Isles, it was also Lady Ordalf who ordered him not to be destroyed after his first appearance.

She foresees her own death in the jaws of Kazgoroth, is paranoid about the number 3 which features prominently in her visions. She withdrew the city of Karador to the Plane of Faerie to preserve her own life but is uncomfortable on Faerie because of its unchanging nature (nothing ever dies there of old age or sickness unless deliberately caused by another). She can sense the polluting of the Moonwells and realises Kazgoroth must be doing it to try and escape. Since the Moonwells are tied to herself she knows she must return to the Myrloch Vale to try and stop him, but in doing so she makes herself vulnerable to Kazgoroth and the prophecy could come true whether she stays on Faerie or returns to Toril.

I think future actions of the High Lady will include her returning to the Myrloch Vale, allying with her outcast sister and forcibly gathering all human children under 16 to Karador by various means, there they will be enchanted into an army to stop Kazgoroth. Anyone that tries to stop her will be slaughtered.

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Barastir
Master of Realmslore

Brazil
1510 Posts

Posted - 18 Feb 2015 :  01:04:02  Show Profile  Click to see Barastir's MSN Messenger address Send Barastir a Private Message  Reply with Quote
In the Forgotten Realms Atlas and in the Heroes and Villain's lorebooks the stories of the Moonshae novels are mentioned. I've found Erian the werewolf which dominated the Earthmother's pack until Tristan's dog Canthus defeated him, but he is not mentioned as one of the evil god's children.

And then I found this, on VLB:

"Bhaal then created three Children of his own. Unnatural, foul corruptions of true animals, these beings came to be known as Thorax the owlbear, Bhaal's Flock of perytons, and the king of Bhaal's Children, Shantu the displacer beast."

In FRA it says that Robyn at first hides and afterwards attacks and kills the peryton flock, that Thorax was killed by the companions, and that Shantu killed Kamerynn and was later killed by Canthus.

EDIT: format

"Goodness is not a natural state, but must be
fought for to be attained and maintained.
Lead by example.
Let your deeds speak your intentions.
Goodness radiated from the heart."

The Paladin's Virtues, excerpt from the "Quentin's Monograph"
(by Ed Greenwood)

Edited by - Barastir on 18 Feb 2015 15:49:40
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Gary Dallison
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Posted - 18 Feb 2015 :  08:42:00  Show Profile Send Gary Dallison a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Excellent find Barastir thankyou, i knew i had seen Shantu somewhere, although Thorax is not a name i would use for the owlbear since it is also a body part - maybe Thoryx instead. The displacer beast i already have as a guardian of one of the Lesser Moonwells. Shouldnt take much for the Cult of the Ravager (Bhaal's cult on the Moonshaes) to pollute the well and corrupt the guardian to their cause.

There is a Roost of the Silver Peryton on the 4e map of the Moonshaes in the mountains around the Myrloch Vale.

I'm thinking that the Silver Peryton can be an old king of Corwell (or noble lord) that was cursed by the fey into a hideous mishapen form that resembles a peryton (although he is not actually a peryton) and has since become the leader of a flock of perytons.

As for the owlbear. The Council Sorcere in Callidyrr will gradually become more and more evil and power hungry so magical experimentation and creation of dangerous monsters is something they might do. One of those released experiments can be captured and used by the Cult of the Ravager for their Dark Children.

I wont be sticking to any of the novel events (thats someone elses story) but it seems fitting that the Cults of the Dark Gods mistakenly believe that the Children serve the druids (just like the druids mistakenly believe it themselves) and so would create their own versions of the Children to combat the real ones.

I'm going to have a member of the Darkmoon subvert control of the Pack which then allows Kazgoroth greater control (since he is also a member thanks to a fortuitous accident).

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Gary Dallison
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United Kingdom
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Posted - 18 Feb 2015 :  09:28:25  Show Profile Send Gary Dallison a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I'm going with Melvair Darkhorn for the Silver Peryton since he started the war between the ffolk of gwynneth and the elves (in my version anyway) so it seems fitting that he be cursed for his actions.


Roost of the Silver Peryton: In 144 DR, Laird Melvair Darkhorn started a war between the Shyffolk tribe and the Llewyrr elves by logging the Winterglen forest despites warnings to cease his activity. This war cost him his title, caused the death of Chieftain Taylor and plunged the Shyffolk of Gwynneth into a costly civil war.
Laird Melvair’s reign was ended when the elves caused the forest to regrow beneath the foundations of Darkhorn castle which ripped the structure apart and killed many inside. Melvair Darkhorn escaped and ran scared and nearly naked into the Winterglen forest where he was at the mercy of its fey inhabitants.
A powerful fey known as Aurilandur who ruled over Winterglen sought revenge for the despoiling of her icy forest and so she cursed Melvair, changing portions of his body into a myriad of forest creatures (an owl, a stag, a bear, and a number of others), then she sealed the curse with a frosty kiss and turned him to ice.
This did not freeze Melvair as expected and instead the now icy blue monster flew off to the west eventually coming to rest in a cave in the Black Mountains.
Ashamed of his curse Melvair hid himself away, driving off intruders that ventured near his home, over time he attracted other creatures like him that were magical combinations or creations (perytons, griffons, hippogriffs, wyverns), amassing them into a flock that looked to him for protection and leadership. When the Northmen arrived on the northern shore of Gwynneth he began attacking them out of a historical sense of duty to the Ffolk who he noticed were at war with the Northmen.
His appearance and choice of companions has earned him the name of the Silver Peryton.

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Baltas
Senior Scribe

Poland
574 Posts

Posted - 18 Feb 2015 :  16:56:50  Show Profile Send Baltas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
So, you will make the Earthmother the ancient creator power of Fey, and mother/creator of the LeShay? Seems very interesting.
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Gary Dallison
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Posted - 18 Feb 2015 :  20:25:03  Show Profile Send Gary Dallison a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Baltas

So, you will make the Earthmother the ancient creator power of Fey, and mother/creator of the LeShay? Seems very interesting.



Well its not quite what I have in mind.

Its all based on a few ideas that have been floating around in my head for a while regarding the origin of races on Toril. Toril's Ice Age only ended 70000 years ago (or thereabouts) which is not enough time for evolution to account for the complexity and variation of races in the realms, a number of which we know to be native to the realms (the creator races for starters)

This means magic has to be involved, but rather than have a magically accelerated evolution I have opted for a different tack based on some canon information.

Reading Giantcraft it mentions Othea as being the mother of the children of Annam. Othea of course is a gigantic mountain possibly somewhere in Hartsvale (although she is now probably deceased). If Annam and Othea created Ruk, Lanaxis and these other children then he or they were almost certainly involved in the creation of normal giants (kind of like a god creating children in his own image).

In Maztica (who is again a giant mountain) she is depicted as the mother of Kukul's children who in turn created a number of lesser children to serve them.

Similar themes that I decided to link.

So the Earthmother is listed in the old grey box as a quasi deity along with Lurue, the Uthgardt beast totems and other animal cults. Basically these cults worship unique examples of animals as though they were gods, and we know in the case of Lurue that she is now an actual god.

Therefore I took the assumption that these unique creatures are primordial like creatures just as depicted in 4e (power levels vary though), they are unique, they live forever unless killed, and most of them lived on Laerakond (but not all it would seem), so Elrem the Great Worm is a primordial, the Blue Bear is a primordial, the Red Tiger is a primordial, the Children of the Earthmother are primordials and Othea, Maztica and the Earthmother are their creators (the earthmother is a gigantic mountain just that most of her is under the water).

This method of creation actually explains how there is such variation on Toril without resorting to the cliché method that portals did it or magic did it. Instead on each planet these huge creator primordial churn out powerful unique creatures that give rise to an entire race of lesser beings in their image that diversify into the subraces that exist today (brown bear, black bear, polar bear, dire bear).


There is of course support for this happening elsewhere other than on Toril. I looked first to the elves as an example. The Seldarine are listed as Lords of the Faerie in the ancient past and the elves did not worship them because they were not gods. However the creation myth of the elves places corellon and the other Seldarine as the creators of the elves, even stating which member was responsible for giving birth to which race with corellon (Sehanine was moon elves, Aerdrie Faenya was flying elves, etc), so corellon and the others created the elves in their own image like happened on Toril.


Sooo I then found the LeShay in the Epic Handbook (after a pointer from GHoTR or maybe an article on the Moonshaes i forget which) and noted their back story. They had an empire that was erased from existence before it began. That sounds curiously like the elven sundering which stretched backwards and forwards in time. In fact in one of the bits about the creator races it mentions a fey empire, but of course the fey are not one race and in fact do not form empires.

So what if the LeShay were the fey empire mentioned but it was obliterated before it began and so no trace of it can be found. What if the only survivors were on other planes (unaffected by the magic of the Sundering). What if Corellon and the other seldarine were in fact LeShay (a bit far out there but something I mused over), LeShay do look like elves after all.


And so I arrived at the current theory. The Earthmother is not the creator of all fey. She is the creator of a number of primordial creatures that give rise to other lesser races in their own image. The category of Fey is a very loose category because it includes races that are native to Faerie but not the elves (who are native to Faerie) and then includes creatures that were born on Toril and whose ancestors have lived their for millennia but again does not include elves. So I ignore the Types given to the creatures by the various rulesets.

I reckon the EArthmother, Othea, Bhalla (in the hordelands), and Maztica are all the planet's means of populating itself with life (after all what else is a planet for other than to hold life). Its just that the EArthmother was knackered by the elves and their constant tinkering with magic.





Anyways, hope you followed my rambling, I'm not sure I do at times but there is a lot to include. Its all based in canon, I just like to reinterpret things a bit because after all its an alternate version.

I haven't really altered any of the events in history (the justification for those events yes, but actual events no), and I've added many extras. Its only the modern era that is different but that's because I'm removing the novel (novels are someone else's vision for an area and that vision is to tell a story. My vision is to allow others to tell a story through roleplaying.)



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Edited by - Gary Dallison on 19 Feb 2015 08:39:13
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Gary Dallison
Great Reader

United Kingdom
4427 Posts

Posted - 19 Feb 2015 :  10:22:44  Show Profile Send Gary Dallison a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I've reworked my Lady Ordalf so it is only subtly implied that the LeShay and Kazgoroth may be related rather than explicitly stating so.

That way its more usable by those who dont like that particular origin theory.

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Gary Dallison
Great Reader

United Kingdom
4427 Posts

Posted - 19 Feb 2015 :  13:23:09  Show Profile Send Gary Dallison a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Okay i'm working on the campaign path now that will allow players to take part in and shape the events surrounding the return of Kazgoroth.


So i'm thinking the prologue begins in 1345 DR.

In the recent past (1338 DR) the cults of the dark gods arrived in the Moonshae Isles to try and secure it as a bastion of their deities' faith.
In 1341 DR a number of northmen kings and jarls were assassinated which allowed strong rulers to unite their realms. Rumours are flying about of war coming to the Moonshae Isles.

So the party can be hired to protect arms shipments to Callidyrr (a nod to Halls of the High King) or they can be following rumours of mercenaries needed to fight in the coming wars, or they can be sent their by the Church of Chauntea.


So they get caught up in events surrounding the church of Chauntea in Callidyrr. A number of clerics have been attacked because they are believed to have caused numerous failed harvests this year. There are also rumours of evil clerics of chauntea spreading disease and murdering people.

Following these leads the party find priests of bhaal, bane, and talona impersonating clerics of chauntea using magic items to masquerade as druidic casters.

This gets traced back to the ruins of Falataer's Academy where the cultists were operating from. There they find plans for the assassination of King Bryon Kendrick of Corwell and King Dynnegall Caracas of Moray.


Cue a trip to Corwell or Moray (doesnt matter which) where they attempt to save the life of the king (again doesnt matter if successful or not) where they become involved in the invasion by the Northmen.

Hopefully the party help stop the invasion (with help from the Heralds of the High King) and rescue the woman captive of Thelgaar Ironhand and they can go on their way as heroes (and become Rydders of the Heralds of the High King).


As an extra bit the kings can be assassinated later if the party managed to save them, and the party can escort Tristan Kendrick to Caer Callidyrr and an audience with Reginald Carrathal (where they find out the cults have taken control of the Council Sorcere).



Then its a ten year gap before the rest of the campaign continues, thats the bit i'm worried about. I can fill it up with plot hooks and adventures supplied by the Heralds of the High King, and of course people can go elsewhere, but other events dont occur until 1359 (which follows canon and although i'm rewriting it i dont want to completely ignore it either).

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Gary Dallison
Great Reader

United Kingdom
4427 Posts

Posted - 20 Feb 2015 :  11:51:35  Show Profile Send Gary Dallison a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Came up with another rumour for the players to follow up on in the campaign.

The Old Crone: Many regard this as a wives tale told among the Ffolk to keep their children obedient and prevent them from running off into the wilderness. They speak of a withered old hag that roams the wilds of Corwell preying on little children that run away from home. Occasionally she turns up at a house and motions to be allowed entry. Those who refuse her offer often fall victim to some horrible misfortune over the next few years, while those who allow her in are either said to be consumed by the awful creature, or in some cases have been seemingly left unharmed by the old hag who departed secretly in the night.
This tale is partially based on truth and refers to the witch of Corwell known as Cymbre who once attempted to conquer the kingdom using hordes of evil undead. Her reward was the loss of her own life and transformation into a hideous undead monster known as a drathak. For centuries she was wandered Corwell in search of small children (she picks them because they are weak and full of life) to consume to extend her undeath that little bit longer.
Occasionally Cymbre visits a ffolk house for shelter and a bit of company. If the family are courteous and respectful (and generous with their possessions) then she may leave them alone, if not then she consumes them all to extend her own undeath. If however her reserves are running low then she may just consume the family anyway. Eventually Cymbre’s body burns out and she is forced to possess the nearest human female (again a reason for her visits to houses in Corwell) which quickly transforms into the withered old hag she always appears to be.

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Baltas
Senior Scribe

Poland
574 Posts

Posted - 20 Feb 2015 :  13:33:24  Show Profile Send Baltas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I also wonder what, if there is any, is the connection of the Earthmother, Othea, Bhalla (in the hordelands), and Maztica witth Chauntea? Chauntea was named as Toril's "spirit", although it's said that once the whole realmspace was her "body". Are the Earthmother and others Chauntea's daughters? Mahasarpa, the setting Markustay and other tied to the Realms, has a deva called Mahabhalla, the great bear. Maybe Bhalla is in general a personification of the lands in Hordelands and Kara-Tur?

Edited by - Baltas on 20 Feb 2015 13:35:56
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Gary Dallison
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United Kingdom
4427 Posts

Posted - 20 Feb 2015 :  13:54:39  Show Profile Send Gary Dallison a Private Message  Reply with Quote
So Prologue goes as follows

Arrive in Cantrev Callidyrr. Hear rumours about lost harvest caused by priests of chauntea. Talk to former Chauntean priest and hear about how the crops suddenly died whereever he went to help with the harvest, note that novice priests arrived to help but thats not terribly unusual.

Optional visit to the Church of the Golden Grain. Audience with the High Priest (if they manage it), note the arrival of 20 novice priests from the mainland, obtain a list of novice priest names (if they manage it).

Trip to Cantrev Ogden.

Stop at Hommlech Lehigh and note the burned buildings. Reports of attackers wearing black robes (some in armour with red cloaks, some with purple cloaks, and some with half skull masks) that burned down the houses and forced peasants into the street. Then animated suits of armour carried off a number of captives to the north east.

Tracks head northeast but after a few miles are covered with a huge overgrowth of brambles and weeds (druidic magic employed by the cultists using Runesticks)

Attacked outside Hommlech Bounty by Belistar (who wears the Skin of Kazgoroth) who transforms a number of horses on the caravan into Darkenbeasts, hurls a few spells at the party and then runs into the Dernall Forest (transforming into a Darkenbeast himself if necessary to fly away and escape).

Arrive at Cantrev Ogden. Riot at the local shrine of Chauntea (a small stone building) where soldiers from the local Laird are trying to hold back a mob of peasants calling for the priests to be hung.

All harvests in the area for the last year have failed and the priests of chauntea have been present at each one. A number of peasants have gotten sick and died from an unknown disease that the priests couldnt cure.
Talk to the 2 novices and possibly discover 1 of them is evasive about his origins and does not known much about Chauntea, hidden behind the hut buried in the dirt is a Golden Sickle (beneficial magic item used by priests of Chauntea). Talk to the priest and he doesnt know what happens, he has performed harvest rights for 10 years here without a problem. Examine the sickle he possesses and when identified it is a Black Sickle (bad magic item that causes crops to wither when used).
Then we can have an attack on the party by cultists of Bane, Bhaal, Myrkul, Talona, and Loviatar. Find a runestick on the novice which explains the cultist's ability to masquerade as a druid/priest of chauntea, also find definitive evidence of the Dark God's followers on the Moonshaes (holy symbols, tattoos, other mundane items.

Interrogations discover Falataer's Academy as the source of the cult. If no interrogations then a speak with dead, or a few escaped cultists, or indeed doing it the hard way and tracing back their steps to Hommlech Lehigh.


Journey to Falataer's Academy, find cultists amid the ruins pretending to be ghosts to keep intruders away. In the basement is the temple filled with cultists, the occasional priest, a few helmed horrors. Most importantly is a list of names. One of the names is Jarl Sigurd Helmudsson of Gnarhelm which is lined through in red. On the list also are King Bryon Kendrick of Corwell and King Dynnegall Caracas of Moray.

Those clever pcs should realise it is an assasination list (rumours about the events in Gnarhelm should be given in Cantrev Callidyrr). If not then showing the list to a priest or important figure could reveal its purpose. Finally if nothing else is done then at the next Wayfire a passing bard (song dragon) talks about the events in the northmen kingdoms and how it could be a secret plot to unite the northmen and make them strong, perhaps the ffolk kings will be next to make them weaker.

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Gary Dallison
Great Reader

United Kingdom
4427 Posts

Posted - 22 Feb 2015 :  19:37:54  Show Profile Send Gary Dallison a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Just had a bit of a brainwave involving Ordalf and a twin sister, called Lorador (I believe twins for the fey are a bad omen).

She brings the other races to the isles (explains how so many previously non-seafaring races manage to find a tiny island off the trackless sea) using visions, rumours, and other means so that they can supposedly "help bear the burden" of looking after the Earthmother.

So for meddling in the Balance Ordalf exiles Lorador from the Moonshae Isles and she flees to a tiny island in the Moonshae Isles.

There she meddles in bloodline magic (a new type of magic I created involving the concentrating and merging of bloodlines to create powerful new bloodlines, which the masters of this magic can exploit, control, and even steal abilities for themselves. Iyrauroth is also a meddler in Bloodline Magic in my realms - well he is now anyway) and extends her life by feeding on the essence (blood) of others. Slowly she is warped into a hag like abomination.

One result of her bloodline manipulations is Viledal (and later Hergatha). Crucially her hag like appearance and meddling in alchemy is the foundation of witchcraft on the Moonshae Isles. Therefore I have a link between her an Cymbre and Amye who are witches.

I'm thinking that since Amye is now merged with Kazgoroth, the party can learn from another of Amye's relatives about the bloodline magic of Lorador. Perhaps the party can help Lorador and in turn be helped by her to weaken Kazgoroth and his control over the drathak hordes (in return for the Cauldron of Dhuum when they capture it from Kazgoroth).

Of course I have a surprise in store involving this evil witch hag.

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Gary Dallison
Great Reader

United Kingdom
4427 Posts

Posted - 26 Feb 2015 :  20:01:07  Show Profile Send Gary Dallison a Private Message  Reply with Quote
So continuing the prologue. After finding about the assassination list and connecting the dots correctly, the party need to get to Corwell or Moray.

I figure its the perfect time to introduce Greystone Trading who are involved in trading between the ffolk and the northmen (dangerous work). I think given the dangerous times the head of this organisation will be in Callidyrr connecting with his agents and trying to approach the king to find out what is going on regarding the recent troubles.

So the party in Callidyrr can try and fail to get an audience with the king, because first and foremost he is the king and doesn't speak to peasants, and also because at this time he is being seduced by cultists of loviatar who are trying to get their Cymbre and the other wizards of the cult into a position on the Council Sorcere.

Tannistan Greystone (leader of the greystone trading) can get them a ship to Corwell or Moray quite quick and the party can make a good contact out of him.

The ship arrives in winter and the trip to Corwell (or Moray) takes a few days, involving a stop at one of the southern cantrevs in Callidyrr, then sailing through the Strait of Oman round the north coast of Corwell to land at CAntrev Corwell from the west (or continue onto Moray) - its quicker than landing at cantrev kingsbay and taking a caravan through corwell in winter.


Unfortunately as the party head through the strait of Oman they encounter the northmen invasion fleet and are chased by northmen dragonships. Then as they go through the strait of Leviathan they witness the leviathan as it smashes the northmen fleet to bits.

The invasion fleet stops at one of the northmen towns on the north of gwynneth while the greystone ship stops near eiressor (the ship gets damaged by the waves) and comes under attack by Firbolgs. The Banshrae from Eiressor make a rescue attempt and the party gain another potential contact.

Then its on to Corwell where Tannistan Greystone and his contact in the Heralds of the High King can get them an audience with King Bryon of Corwell. (or King Dynnegall of Moray).


Hope that sounds plausible and exciting enough. It should give the party enough exposure to the good guys while at the same time giving them a few challenges along the way. I'm even going to insert Kazgoroth in it from the start so the party can inadvertently aid him in his endeavours.

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Gary Dallison
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United Kingdom
4427 Posts

Posted - 27 Feb 2015 :  20:35:25  Show Profile Send Gary Dallison a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Having some thoughts about the dwarves and Dwarvenhome.

The dwarves in Dwarvenhome seem to be from one, possibly two groups of refugees fleeing two of the kingdoms of Shanatar (can't recall which ones at the moment), but if I remember rightly one kingdom was famous for its merchants and may have been home to the azerkyn, another kingdom was famous for its giant slayers and fought plenty of excursions against trolls and giants of all kinds.

So I'm thinking the refugees included plenty of merchants and a few soldiers that survived the fighting in Shanatar's downfall. There wont be any or many elders as the long journey will probably kill them off.

So when they arrived in Deepearth (I have that as the name of the caverns beneath Moonshae, but I don't know where I got it from) the soldiers take charge because there are no elders to lead them (and therefore no king). If I recall rightly one of the kingdoms was ruled by ardukes so rule by council is not unknown to these dwarves.

The council of dwarves appoints a shield lord and an axe lord to lead the dwarves in matters of peace (shield lord) and war (axe lord).

Because the numbers of refugees reaching the Deepearth is so low they split into small groups, each creating their own well defended hold that is connected by secure tunnels to the next hold. Thus creating a network of small well defended holds that grow in number to form the "cities".

There are a total of 7 large caverns (well cavern networks) each interconnected - one for each of the islands of the Moonshae Isles excluding the Korinn Archipelago which is part of Norheim.

When the giants attack the dwarves lose most of their warriors and many of their surface holdings (the position of axe lord is lost and never replaced).

The merchants and elders take charge of the council and leave the Axe Shield Lord to look after the armies.

When the duergar attack the small holds of the dwarves becomes their weakness because there are no fortifications capable of withstanding the duergar armies. One by one the holds fall to the slave armies of the duergar (although they inflict more casualties on the duergar there are more duergar).

Once the duergar reach the central cavern dwarvenhome collapses with the death of the council and the shield lord.

The surface dwarves seal the tunnels and deactivate the portals that connect them to the Deepearth cities. The duergar are recalled as Gracklstugh and or Dunspeirrin contract and other races like goblins and trogs and other nasties move into the cities.

After a thousand years the dwarves on the surface reopen the connections to the Deepearth and begin warring with the races below to reclaim their caverns (thus keeping them small on the surface as they focus efforts below).

When the Rockfire Disaster occurs somewhere west of Moray/Norland, the volcano releases most of its energy underground. Waves of magma and superheated steam pour into the caverns of Deepearth and wipe out most life in the caverns under Moray, Norland, Norheim, and Flamsterd, it also travels as far as Nindrol and kills the royal family there which indirectly results in the creation of Vlun on the surface.
In Norheim there is an explosion of simple lifeforms like slimes and moulds that infect the goblins under the korinn archipelago.

drow move into those western caverns (survivors from the rockfire disaster) and begin worshipping them (and ghaunadaur).

The dwarves on the surface seal the tunnels to the Deepearth one last time and vow never to open them again (its just too dangerous).

So the dwarves on the surface are primarily traders and craftsmen (not many soldiers) they are back to being run by the elders of the clans (councils didn't work out to well and there were plenty of elders on the surface when dwarvenhome fell).

They have a healthy fear of being deep underground.

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Baltas
Senior Scribe

Poland
574 Posts

Posted - 28 Feb 2015 :  20:01:19  Show Profile Send Baltas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Also, I remembered something. Eldath is mentioned as the Lake Spirit, connected to, and worshipped on the Myrloch Vale Lake.

Maybe she's another of Earthmother's children, although a very peacefull and benevolent one?
I don't think any other god has such a connection to nature on the Moonshae isles, aside from the Earthmother, and her children.
Maybe the Faerie gods, that were in fact worshipped by elves before Seldarine, are children of the Earthmother?
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Gary Dallison
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United Kingdom
4427 Posts

Posted - 28 Feb 2015 :  21:06:31  Show Profile Send Gary Dallison a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Id be very interested in the source of the eldath lake spirit thing. I thought id collected all the moonshae stuff but as yet found no mention of eldath

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Baltas
Senior Scribe

Poland
574 Posts

Posted - 28 Feb 2015 :  21:42:13  Show Profile Send Baltas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
From the Sarifal article, by Brian R. James, from Dragon 376, section about Myrloch

Edited by - Baltas on 28 Feb 2015 21:45:42
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deserk
Learned Scribe

Norway
99 Posts

Posted - 01 Mar 2015 :  00:36:36  Show Profile Send deserk a Private Message  Reply with Quote
There's some really nice ideas here. It would be awesome if it could be gathered together in a PDF :)
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Gary Dallison
Great Reader

United Kingdom
4427 Posts

Posted - 01 Mar 2015 :  08:25:47  Show Profile Send Gary Dallison a Private Message  Reply with Quote
There will be pdfs containing everything here but in a more refined format.
Issue 8 of the alternate dimensions fan mag will contain a number of articles based on this material. Issue 9 will be a moonshae sourcebook. Issue 10 will be a campaign focusing on the return of kazgoroth.
If all goes well they should be ready in March, June, and September respectively.

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