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Arivia
Great Reader

Canada
2946 Posts

Posted - 06 Feb 2020 :  05:35:06  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Delete Topic
(Hey, if you're from the Monday night crew at the Ark & Anchor and you found this thread somehow, no peeking!)

I'm running a campaign set in Westgate in 1372 DR (currently it's Hammer 21 after about four sessions), and I am of course running behind on my planning and campaign setup so far and improvising by the seat of my pants! I'm using Pathfinder 2e as the system, and 2e/3e Realmslore as my base, but I'm not against using good 4e stuff or really good 5e stuff from trustworthy people.

In terms of direct resources on Westgate, I'm using Cloak and Dagger as a base, with updates from the 3e FRCS and 3e Lords of Darkness (like the addition of a gladiatorial arena and Thayan enclave).

My PCs that I'm running for, all currently level 1:
-Saebrial Cormaeril, CG female Chondathan human demonic sorcerer of Lliira. A general louch and idle noble with trust fund, she was one of Alusair's lovers back before the Abraxas Affair and is now trying to figure out how to get back into Cormyr.
-Dalabrac Hardingdale, NG male halfling monk of Brandobaris. An ex-Hin Fist, he lost his moral compass and is doing folk heroism in Westgate to find himself again.
-Darvin Amblecrown, NG male Chondathan human evoker of Deneir. He attended a wizards' academy around Iriaebor, and fled when he learned they were teaching him to become an assassin. Traded his memories of his family to a green hag in exchange for a child's life.
-Trax, NG male goblin ranger of Selune. Caravan guard, trying to prove himself to be a "good" goblin.
-Kurth Kunzar, N male lizardfolk barbarian of Semuanya. Born in Surkh, consigned to the gladiatorial pits. Slew his brother to get free, then was kidnapped by slavers and brought to Westgate. Freed by the PCs.
-Viveka, N female volodni (stats as a leshy) druid of presumably Silvanus. A member of the Circle of Leth, wants to push back on untrammeled humanoid growth and create new forests and other natural spaces. Not sure how she ended up in Westgate yet, also a new player.
-Talindra Eveningfall, CG female moon elf rogue of Tymora. New player, still working through her backstory.

My framing story is that the players are a secret team put together by Jamal the thespian to do odd jobs for her (I explained the concept of the Harpers to the players in general, who are all pretty new to the Realms). They've done single and paired tasks for her before as backstory, and now she's brought them together for tougher jobs. So far, they have:
1) Retrieved a confiscated vampire hunting kit from the guard tower at the East Gate and handed it over to a local gang. (success)
2) Unsuccessfully tried TWICE to recover important documents from Raunshivear "the Redhanded"'s corpse in the sewers. This is when they met the green hag, who Jamal traded her voice to in exchange for safe passage; Darvin traded his memories of family for getting a child out of the hag's clutches (misery is more delicious than human flesh for dinner!) I described a tiefling collecting the information instead of them, thinking she might be a Zhentarim operative (but see below)
3) Bamboozled and ambushed a slave caravan heading to Westgate, freeing the captives and stealing the caravan's horses, leaving behind enemies
4) Tracking down an ambushed caravan that was containing special "screaming acacia pods". The aggresors were a bullywug druid, his alligator companion, and his stirge swarm (and this is a currently ongoing cliffhanger)

For long-term goals, I've dropped the idea from Cloak and Dagger that there will be an election to determine the new leader in the upcoming months and I want to make that the end of my first part. After that, I'm going to get them officially inducted into the Harpers (or the Moonstars), and keep spinning plots. Obviously, my end of campaign climactic showdown is with Vampire Manshoon The Faceless, but there's a ways to go before that!

And because Westgate is at the heart of SO MUCH (it really was the perfect focus city for Cloak and Dagger) both before and the 3e FRCS, I have an absurd embarrassment of riches when it comes to factions and antagonists. I'm really having trouble narrowing it down. My absolute must have list of inclusions so far is the Night Masks, the Zhentarim, the Fire Knives, and the church of Garagos. But even beyond that, I've also got presences from the Men of the Basilisk (what do I even DO with these guys, I thought they were slavers but checking in on things makes them out to just be a joyride serial killer-ish group?), the Iron Throne, the Night Parade, malaugryms, a Herald, a little bit of the Knights of the Shield, and temples or shrines to a ton of deities (notably Leira [as mask for Cyric], Mask, Gond, Talona, and Shar). There's too much good stuff, I can't find a good way to start fitting pieces together!

I've got a couple things sort of coming together. I want the PCs to support Thistle Thalavar for croamark, which is relatively easy to sell them on since she's the best of the noble house leaders; then later on she ends up being the Faceless's puppet of course. I'm going to set up Jamal and Audara Starshoulders as Harper/Moonstar respectively, and let the PCs decide between heading west to get inducted as a Harper at Berdusk or becoming Moonstars.

And it took someone else I was just talking Realms with to even remind me about this, but I have some extremely juicy larger metaplot stuff coming down the pipeline. I made the mistake of describing my Zhentarim agent as carrying a holy symbol of Bane, but he's not even back yet; I have a tenday until he breaks out of Iyachtu Xvim (and I should get some Tyrantfog action going on, with some of Fzoul's purges and renewed action after Bane's return). Hammer 1372 puts me right in the middle of the weird wet and warm winter from the shades melting the High Ice; I'm not going to make the Shades a focus, but I am going to pass down a flying city appearing over Anauroch as tavern rumours ASAP.

Some other odds and ends that are tickling my brain and I want to follow up on:
-Verovan's petrified body is a landmark under the water just outside of Westgate proper? That's too cool not to do something with.
-I think there's a reference somewhere to Kisonraathiisar's hoard being lost and never found, and that he's got portals and mysteries aplenty still lying around. And I think there's also something about the artifacts Saldrinar of the Seven Spells used to drive him off in the first place?
-I'm trying to get a handle on the trade routes going to Westgate in particular. Sea travel makes sense, it's the westernmost port directly on the southern shores of the Inner Sea. But land trade is confusing. Cloak and Dagger's map has wide roads leading out to the west and east and south, but the only major route out of the city is the SW Grand Ride leading to the Trader's Road at Reddansyr. So maybe the Grand Ride spreads out around Westgate and feeds it on all of the sides that aren't shoreline? That would mean that trade coming through is really more about getting access to or from the Inner Sea from largely the W and SW; SE areas frequently would go to the Inner Sea through places like Hlondeth, while actual land caravans are generally going through Teziir heading W or S. It's frustrating that I can't find any great detail maps of the Dragon Coast to nail down these roads; everything is either continent or Heartlands level, maybe including Westgate at the bottom.

Stuff I've looked at in depth:
-The Westgate chapter in Cloak and Dagger
-3e FRCS
-Forgotten Realms Adventures
-Grand History of the Realms

Stuff I need to look at more:
-The rest of Cloak and Dagger
-3e Lords of Darkness
-Masquerades
-Power of Faerun
-That 4e article on Westgate
-Villains' Lorebook
-Elminster's Forgotten Realms
-Sea of Fallen Stars

What am I missing? What other sources should I be looking at? Advice, ideas, or recommendations for how to play this really exciting situation in the Realms? Let me know!

George Krashos
Master of Realmslore

Australia
5760 Posts

Posted - 06 Feb 2020 :  06:46:18  Show Profile Send George Krashos a Private Message  Reply with Quote
The Cloak and Dagger web enhancements.

-- George Krashos

"Because only we, contrary to the barbarians, never count the enemy in battle." -- Aeschylus
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Seravin
Master of Realmslore

Canada
1033 Posts

Posted - 06 Feb 2020 :  08:29:30  Show Profile Send Seravin a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Looks very complete to me. There's a few chapters of Azure Bonds set in Westgate but that's 1358, Masquerades is a more timely view of the city.
There was an official release of NWN2 set in Westgate as well, I've played it just to have a virtual tour of the city in the game... There are youtube playthroughs that give you a sense as well?

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ericlboyd
Forgotten Realms Designer

USA
1708 Posts

Posted - 06 Feb 2020 :  10:45:11  Show Profile  Visit ericlboyd's Homepage Send ericlboyd a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Has anyone notice that Wizards broke a lot more links?

--
http://www.ericlboyd.com/dnd/
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
Moderator

USA
33191 Posts

Posted - 06 Feb 2020 :  11:07:34  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by ericlboyd

Has anyone notice that Wizards broke a lot more links?



Every few months or so, they rearrange everything on their website for no readily apparent reason -- and they never bother with updating links.

I know for a fact that there are files on the Wizards site that they put up in 2000, like the Roll of Years -- but there are no links ANYWHERE to those files.

It's why I've long questioned the competence of their web team. They've been doing this weird rearrangement without updating routine for several years.

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Candlekeep - The Library of Forgotten Realms Lore
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TheIriaeban
Learned Scribe

USA
143 Posts

Posted - 06 Feb 2020 :  17:03:09  Show Profile Send TheIriaeban a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Code of the Harpers has information about the Harper stationed in Westgate. It also has the name of the Herald there.

Volo's Guide to the Sword Coast lists a rumored gate in a shop south of Daggerford that may lead to Westgate.

Ed mentions in Forging the Realms articles:
"backalley sorceress in Westgate going by the name of "Blackstars" that takes coin to use mage to change someone's appearance.

"trade in slaves with each other, with the shady manywares merchants Talburt Suskar and Yandaerlo Immurrusk of Westgate, and with the slavers Indyls "Red" Handroth and Nornra "Tallsails" Taulsaerma. Both Indyls and Nornra are formerly pirates of the Sea of Fallen Stars who've now turned to legitimate fleet shipping that's largely a cover for slaving and smuggling)."

"Lord Haeling Stonetower (a thin, dignified, aging brother of the current patriarch of House Stonetower) suffered recent "reverses" in his investments in wineries located in Sembia, the Dales, and east of Westgate. Word has come to him that some of the wineries failed thanks to fires set by unknown, masked "bravos and bullyblades" hired by rival vineyards. He wants to hire adventurers to learn the truth of this, and if it is true, punish those responsible "so they can do such harm to no one else, ever again. It is only fitting and just, and is the duty of all nobles to harshly punish armed maliciousness, and so dissuade the breakdown of civility and adherence to law."

There are numerous references to Westgate in the So Sayeth Ed compilations available here at Candlekeep (including information about a gate just outside of town that let the user bypass entering the city normally.

"Iriaebor is a fine city. So what if you can have violence between merchant groups break out at any moment. Not every city can offer dinner AND a show."
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ericlboyd
Forgotten Realms Designer

USA
1708 Posts

Posted - 06 Feb 2020 :  19:24:28  Show Profile  Visit ericlboyd's Homepage Send ericlboyd a Private Message  Reply with Quote
"Volo's Guide to the Sword Coast lists a rumored gate in a shop south of Daggerford that may lead to Westgate."

Torleth's Treasures in Gillian's Hill.

I talk about this in Under Illefarn Anew.

--
http://www.ericlboyd.com/dnd/
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Arivia
Great Reader

Canada
2946 Posts

Posted - 06 Feb 2020 :  19:36:55  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by George Krashos

The Cloak and Dagger web enhancements.

-- George Krashos



Right! Got those, have to look through them.

quote:
Originally posted by ericlboyd

Has anyone notice that Wizards broke a lot more links?



They did. I was looking for the 3e update to Iymrith last night and had to drag it out of Google's archives. That's not even that old!

quote:
Originally posted by TheIriaeban

Code of the Harpers has information about the Harper stationed in Westgate. It also has the name of the Herald there.

Volo's Guide to the Sword Coast lists a rumored gate in a shop south of Daggerford that may lead to Westgate.

Ed mentions in Forging the Realms articles:
"backalley sorceress in Westgate going by the name of "Blackstars" that takes coin to use mage to change someone's appearance.

"trade in slaves with each other, with the shady manywares merchants Talburt Suskar and Yandaerlo Immurrusk of Westgate, and with the slavers Indyls "Red" Handroth and Nornra "Tallsails" Taulsaerma. Both Indyls and Nornra are formerly pirates of the Sea of Fallen Stars who've now turned to legitimate fleet shipping that's largely a cover for slaving and smuggling)."

"Lord Haeling Stonetower (a thin, dignified, aging brother of the current patriarch of House Stonetower) suffered recent "reverses" in his investments in wineries located in Sembia, the Dales, and east of Westgate. Word has come to him that some of the wineries failed thanks to fires set by unknown, masked "bravos and bullyblades" hired by rival vineyards. He wants to hire adventurers to learn the truth of this, and if it is true, punish those responsible "so they can do such harm to no one else, ever again. It is only fitting and just, and is the duty of all nobles to harshly punish armed maliciousness, and so dissuade the breakdown of civility and adherence to law."

There are numerous references to Westgate in the So Sayeth Ed compilations available here at Candlekeep (including information about a gate just outside of town that let the user bypass entering the city normally.



Thank you!
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TheIriaeban
Learned Scribe

USA
143 Posts

Posted - 06 Feb 2020 :  20:09:26  Show Profile Send TheIriaeban a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by ericlboyd

"Volo's Guide to the Sword Coast lists a rumored gate in a shop south of Daggerford that may lead to Westgate."

Torleth's Treasures in Gillian's Hill.

I talk about this in Under Illefarn Anew.



Yeah, I am afraid of putting too much information out there for published, paid items. Free stuff (like web page articles), I know I won't run up against copyright issues.

"Iriaebor is a fine city. So what if you can have violence between merchant groups break out at any moment. Not every city can offer dinner AND a show."
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
Moderator

USA
33191 Posts

Posted - 06 Feb 2020 :  20:54:42  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by TheIriaeban

quote:
Originally posted by ericlboyd

"Volo's Guide to the Sword Coast lists a rumored gate in a shop south of Daggerford that may lead to Westgate."

Torleth's Treasures in Gillian's Hill.

I talk about this in Under Illefarn Anew.



Yeah, I am afraid of putting too much information out there for published, paid items. Free stuff (like web page articles), I know I won't run up against copyright issues.



Small bits of info, like a sentence or even a couple of paragraphs, are fine -- just make sure to cite the reference, providing a page number if possible.

Candlekeep Forums Moderator

Candlekeep - The Library of Forgotten Realms Lore
http://www.candlekeep.com
-- Candlekeep Forum Code of Conduct

Editor and scribe for The Candlekeep Compendium

I am the Giant Space Hamster of Ill Omen!
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AJA
Senior Scribe

USA
424 Posts

Posted - 13 Feb 2020 :  00:03:00  Show Profile Send AJA a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by George Krashos
The Cloak and Dagger web enhancements.

A link, for anyone who hasn't seen them (Wayback machine link, c/p directly into your browser):
https://web.archive.org/web/20040822023438/http://wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/we/20010327d



AJA
YAFRP
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