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Legends of Corwyn


No Legends of Corwyn on 18 March


(1) No Legends of Corwyn on 18 March

Posted by : Lewis on 17/03/2018 23:12:57

Folks, as mentioned last week, I am at a gig on Sunday night, so no Legends of Corwy this week. I am back next week (25 March). Cheers.



Sun 11 Feb - Corwyn on


(1) Sun 11 Feb - Corwyn on

Posted by : Lewis on 11/02/2018 11:26:26

Folks, I’m still feeling a little under the weather, but prepared to give it a go tonight (sponsored by Benylin and Lem-Sip). Will want to finish a little early, say 9:30pm.



04 Feb NO CORWYN (Lewis sick)


(1) 04 Feb NO CORWYN (Lewis sick)

Posted by : Lewis on 04/02/2018 10:12:38

Sorry, folks. I’m not going to make it tonight. I awoke with a chesty cough and it has now been joined by a heavy cold and a sore throat.

Hopefully, will be back next week.



Legends of Corwyn is ON for 28 Jan 2018!


(1) Legends of Corwyn is ON for 28 Jan 2018!

Posted by : Lewis on 28/01/2018 13:10:54

I'm back, baby.

And I'm bringing mah monks wi' me!



21 Jan 2018 - NO CORWYN (sorry)


(1) 21 Jan 2018 - NO CORWYN (sorry)

Posted by : Lewis on 21/01/2018 12:53:42

Folks;

Apologies, but having just taken the dog out for a walk and experienced the weather, I won't be running Corwyn tonight. The risk to my journey home, especially is too high.

We had persistent (rather than heavy) snow earlier, and this has turned into equally persistent sleet, with the temperature hovering around zero C. Once this starts freezing later, it's gonna be very unpleasant on the roads between here and Cannock.

Apologies, see you next week at the Monastery of the Fallen King.



Character sheets for the Legends?


(1) Character sheets for the Legends?

Posted by : Lewis on 27/12/2017 12:21:33

I guess this a question mostly for Colin B and Sam B - do you have your character sheets for Legends of Corwyn?

Most players seem to have kept their own, did you guys as well?


(2) Re: Character sheets for the Legends?

Posted by : ColinBuckler on 27/12/2017 22:35:53

Hi Lewis,

That would be a yes.....

If you need them we can send you an electronic version.


(3) Re: Character sheets for the Legends?

Posted by : Lewis on 28/12/2017 00:57:03

I don’t need the sheets - had a bit of a panic when I couldn’t find any of them with the rest of my Corwyn stuff. Turns out nearly all the players kept their own sheets last time out.



The Ballad of Fergus of Terrelton


(1) The Ballad of Fergus of Terrelton

Posted by : Lewis on 28/10/2017 20:30:34

The Ballad of Fergus of Terrelton: A Corwyn Story.

- 2018 -


(2) Re: The Ballad of Fergus of Terrelton

Posted by : ColinBuckler on 29/10/2017 15:26:09

Intriguing !

You now firmly have my attention.


(3) Re: The Ballad of Fergus of Terrelton

Posted by : Lewis on 02/11/2017 22:42:06

Not all heroes are mighty Disciples of Legend, wielding legendary weapons to fight gods and demons. Sometimes, ordinary people might be heroes too.

“The Ballad of Fergus of Terrelton: A Corwyn Story”. Coming in 2018.


(4) The Ballad of Fergus of Terrelton: Feem Toon

Posted by : Lewis on 10/11/2017 23:09:54

The likely ‘theme tune’ for “The Ballad of Fergus of Terrelton: A Corwyn Story”.

“Rise” by Sixx AM

Get yourselves together
(Rise) stand up and live your life
(Rise) get yourselves together
(Rise) hands up, hands up high

Stand up to the devil slowly rising
Speak out, don't let the status quo define you
This is your world, just put the fear back in their eyes

There comes a time when you know there's a problem
Rise up, it's a dawn of a new day
Hands up, it's gonna be okay

Even when they strangle you, get yourselves together
Strike down all that oppose you
Look now, what have they sold you
Even if they anger you, get yourselves together, get yourselves together

(Rise) get yourselves together
(Rise) stand up and live your life
(Rise) get yourselves together

Wake up, this could be your finest hour
Pick your head up, and get your body off the floor
Hey now, don't be afraid to fight for something
This is your chance, and you can stand for so much more

Rise
get yourselves together
(Rise) stand up and live your life
(Rise) get yourselves together
(Rise) hands up, hands up high

https://open.spotify.com/track/7yniOnkR ... TPczD7hGKQ



Sun April 30 - Corwyn - I should be there, but...


(1) Sun April 30 - Corwyn - I should be there, but...

Posted by : Lewis on 29/04/2017 21:39:16

Hi, Legends of Corwyn players.

A quick update - I am feeling well enough to drive and run Legends of Corwyn[. However, Edwyn is currently ill with potential appendicitis. The hospital have sent him home to see what happens, but he may have to go back in tomorrow (Sunday). I'll post updates as I can.


(2) Re: Sun April 30 - Corwyn - I should be there, but...

Posted by : Lewis on 30/04/2017 14:28:49

At the moment Edwyn is still at home. So, I shall be running Corwyn tonight (Sun 30 April).



No Lewis on 23 April 🙁


(1) No Lewis on 23 April 🙁

Posted by : Lewis on 22/04/2017 23:57:45

Just a quick warning for Legends of Corwyn tomorrow: I have wrenched my neck and currently cannot drive. I'm hoping this gets better soon, but might be best to have a plan B in case I can't make it to Cannock on Sunday.


(2) Re: No Lewis on 23 April 🙁

Posted by : Lewis on 23/04/2017 07:50:56

I definitely won't make it tonight. I can barely type, never mind drive!


(3) Re: No Lewis on 23 April 🙁

Posted by : Walrus on 23/04/2017 16:16:51

Due to multiple Real Life issues, Corwyn or it's alternative Munchkin will not be on this week.



Legends of Corwyn from 9 Apr (not 7 or 14 May).


(1) Legends of Corwyn from 9 Apr (not 7 or 14 May).

Posted by : Lewis on 22/03/2017 06:44:41

I will be running Legends of Corwyn in the next block of six weeks at Cannock, starting on Sun 9 April. However, I will miss the final two weeks of that block (7 May and 14 May).



Legends of Corwyn Vol 3 - The Ghostlord's Lair - Coming Soon!


(1) Legends of Corwyn Vol 3 - The Ghostlord's Lair - Coming Soon

Posted by : Lewis on 02/02/2017 22:21:47

Sunday 26 Feb 2017: Legends of Corwyn - Volume Three - The Ghostlord's Lair.

After an exhausting battle in the drowned ruins of the ancient city of Rhest, the six heroes from The Disciples of Legend have defeated Wyrmlord Saarvith and the black dragon, Regiarix. In the process, they have thwarted Tiamat's diabolical scheme to reinforce Azarr Kul's Red Hand army with deadly razorfiends, spawned in the infernal realms. However, they have discovered that Azarr Kul has another powerful ally, the bogeyman of Elsir Vale, the dreaded lich known as The Ghostlord. Can they somehow use the items and information they have recovered to break asunder this evil alliance, before it is too late for Brindol and the other towns of the Vale?


(2) Re: Legends of Corwyn Vol 3 - The Ghostlord's Lair - Coming Soon!

Posted by : Lewis on 03/02/2017 10:10:05

Mick Pallatina has asked if his grandson Jamie can join Corwyn, to be with his grandad. As you know, I've been trying to avoid going over six players, because the combat gets unwieldy and people get bored, waiting their turn. However, if Jamie was happy to play one of the two NPCs currently in the party, Jorr (ranger/were-tiger) or Trellara (wild elf bard), that might work. Thoughts?


(3) Re: Legends of Corwyn Vol 3 - The Ghostlord's Lair - Coming Soon!

Posted by : ColinBuckler on 04/02/2017 13:30:52

Yes !!!! corwyn, Corwyn !, CORWYN !! Looking forward to it already!!!!

Happy for Jamie to join, though given the choice (selfishly ?) I would prefer Jamie to play Trellara as Jorr is not strictly an NPC but a follower.


(4) Re: Legends of Corwyn Vol 3 - The Ghostlord's Lair - Coming Soon!

Posted by : Lewis on 05/02/2017 17:29:20

Ah, yes, good point. I overlooked that important distinction.



Corwyn - Orc-flu - Backup plan??


(1) Corwyn - Orc-flu - Backup plan??

Posted by : Lewis on 26/03/2016 11:53:55

Mornin' peeps. It may help to have a 'Plan B' to have something to do instead of "Legends of Corwyn" tomorrow. Just in case. I've come down with Orc-flu, which has been going round the office (like normal flu, only a lot more green!). Hopefully, I'll be well enough by tomorrow night, but I feel pretty ropey right now.


(2) Re: Corwyn - Orc-flu - Backup plan??

Posted by : Lewis on 27/03/2016 09:44:49

I'm afraid it's time for Plan B - I'm still full of flu and can't make it tonight.



Legends of Corwyn - Party Diary


(1) Legends of Corwyn - Party Diary

Posted by : Lewis on 22/09/2015 16:14:29

LEGENDS OF CORWYN PARTY DIARY

Chapter One (20 Sep 2015)]

Meet our new heroes;

Gwyn Withel – a male Human cleric of the Church of the Trinity

Weena – a female Aasimar healer, also a servant of the Trinity

Howard – a middle-aged male Mabion Branoci wizard - in his youth he was a star pupil at Swinescabs. Accompanied by his familiar, a raven called Robert.

And three elves…

Maor-Collis - a male ranger, with his animal companion, a badger called Silver.

And the two Eventyme siblings…

Kaylyn - a female rogue

And her brother, Taegen – a male fighter/rogue

The Eventyme siblings plusGwyn and Howard are all members of the [Disciples of Legend organisation. Taking a break from their studies at the Reliquary of Six, the four of them pop into the nearby city of Dennova to get a meal and drinks at the Grey Minstrel Inn[. In the tavern room, they are joined at their table by Weena (who hits it off theologically with Gwyn) and Maor-Collis (taking a break from the frontier with Lloegyr).

Entertainment is provided by a bard called Tomas “the Rhymer”, who tells very entertaining tales of a band of adventurers known as “Denzil’s Delvers”. However, those who belong to the Disciples of Legend think some of these stories sound rather familiar – like tales of the exploits of the Brotherhood of the Wolf, perhaps jazzed up a bit and given a few modern details.

Howard chucks a gold piece in the Tomas’s hat and gets the bard to sit with them while they ask him about the stories and where he got them. Tomas explains that he got them from the horse’s mouth – from Denzil and his delvers. Only Taegen suspects that ‘Tomas’ and ‘Denzil’ might actually be the same person.

As the questioning gets more intense, Tomas makes his excuses to use the facilities, but Howard steps outside and spots the bard disappear into an alley. Back inside, the wizard is outraged to be presented with a large bar bill – it seems Tomas added a couple of bottles of fine elven wine to the slate and legged it with them. And the barkeep confirms what Taegen suspected – the bard is Tomas Denzil.

After a night-long search for the bard (which only adds to his notoriety), the heroes head to the Reliquary of Six. There they discover that Tomas Denzil managed to join the Disciples for a while, but was thrown out, after he was suspected of stealing material from the archives. They also briefly cross paths with Mythic Exemplar [b:2rcdcpic]Mikolai Laziros[/b:2rcdcpic] and his Squire, Ezria Birrinsdottir. It appears the pair are off to investigate something to do with Cettrux Hill.

Later that morning, a dwarf weaponsmith called Tordek ‘Tor’ Reston arrives, seeking help from the Disciples with an urgent, but delicate, matter. In Mikolai’s absence, our six heroes agree to help. It seems that Tor’s nephew and apprentice, Klas Tentre, has disappeared, along with a magic war-axe that was the result of months of work. Tor offers the heroes a masterworked blade each, if they can recover his nephew (and preferably, the axe as well!). It seems that young Klas was seduced with tales of gold and glory by a silver-tongued reprobate called … Tomas Denzil!

Maor-Collis speaks to Tor’s other apprentice, Sven Nanithal, and finds out that Denzil had tired to convince both of them to leave, saying he had a treasure map that showed the location of the fabled vault of Vraath Keep somewhere in the Witchwood. This corresponds to what Kaylynfinds out at the Reliquary – Denzil seems to have removed anything that would reveal the precise location of the Vraath Vault. And the Witchwood is a little too large to search at around 20,000 square miles of forest! Meanwhile Taegen discovers that Denzil’s party, including Klas, left Dennovar early that morning, via the West gate.

Borrowing horses from the Disciples, the newly-minted band of six heroes set out on their first mission – to find Klas and convince him to return home safely. Oh, and have a few words with Denzil about that bar bill.

After only a few hours on the road, the heroes get their chance to do the second of those things. They find a wounded Denzil staggering back down the road toward them. While Weena tends his wounds, Denzil initially claims the rest of his party turned on him. But under interrogation, and presented with the evidence of the primitive arrow that was stuck in him, he confesses that they were ambushed by monsters. To his shame – he says – he ran, as there was nothing he could do, and he thinks the rest of his party are all dead.

When Kaylyn tries to tie him up, Denzil vanishes and refuses to be coaxed back, noting that some of the heroes’ party were threatening to kill him.

Fuming, but having more pressing matters to attend to, the heroes head for where the ambush happened. The tracks at the scene seem to bear out Denzil’s story – the monsters were possibly goblinoids. Maor-Collis and Weena follow the tracks into the wooded hills nearby. They find two possible cave entrances and choose the one that is least used. A heavy boulder blocks the entrance and proves impossible to move, until Gwyn increases Taegen’s strength and - with aid from Maor-Collis - the elf fighter heaves the rock aside.

A dark cave entrance sloping down into the hillside awaits our heroes. Can they find who has taken Klas? Is the dwarf still alive? Will they be in time to save him?


(2) Legends of Corwyn - Party Diary - Chapter 2

Posted by : Lewis on 28/09/2015 18:36:46

LEGENDS OF CORWYN PARTY DIARY

Chapter Two (27 Sep 2015)

Taegen pushes into the cave ahead of him. However, even using his watch light for visibility, he fails to spot a crude deadfall trap, but is lucky to avoid damage. The elf fighter is then ambushed by three goblin archers, but his armour turns aside their puny arrows. He charges and batters one of the goblins which retreats. The elf’s companions move into the cave and Howard incinerates another of the goblins with a ray spell.

The heroes push on past the burnt goblin and start entering a larger cave, with signs of habitation. A dangerous bottleneck occurs, as Gwyn is distracted by small goblins, attacked by a fiendish snake summoned by a goblin cleric and then disarmed by two human sized, armoured goblinoids (hobgoblins). Worse, a hairy, feral goblin standing seven feet tall (a bugbear) appears from the other cave entrance and looks ready to batter the cleric. Meanwhile, at the back, another hobgoblin armed with a dwarven waraxe, plus a bugbear and yet more little goblins try to attack from the rear!

However, Edweena launches a devastating spell that kills or blinds a number of the goblins attacking Gwyn, who is then able to cast his own spiritual weapon, which makes short work of the hobgoblins. Meanwhile, at the back, the Eventyme siblings slaughter the goblins attacking from the rear.

The half-dozen or so surviving goblinoid warriors make a tactical withdrawal, covering the escape of a number of non-combatants carrying what appear to be babies. They flee out of the caves and are allowed to go. Amazingly, despite the brutal fight and being heavily outnumbered, the heroes have taken hardly any damage between them.

Howard explores a tunnel that leads to another small cave and finds the dwarf Klas and the fighter Gwylon, tied up and badly wounded but both still alive! However, sadly, he also finds the dead body of Teleri. Back in the main cave there is gruesome evidence of the fate of Inastra – the goblins were spit roasting haunches of horse… and elf!

Along with various arms and armour, the rescue party recover an ancient silvered dagger that once belonged to a member of the fabled Coastguard and Inastra’s spellbook. Howard notices that many of the goblinoids have a tattoo. At first the wizard fails to make sense of it, but wiser heads point out that it is a black knife or dagger.

Using his local knowledge, Howard ponders the significance of this symbol. There are two possibilities that the wizard can think of, but each is problematic.

(a) There are rumours of a criminal organisation called ‘The Black Knives’ that operates in and around the town of Brindol, around 90 miles to the West. But Howard has not heard any mention of them employing goblinoids to attack travellers on the Dawn Way.

(b) The wizard has also heard of a tribe of goblinoids called the Black Knives. Whilst this would seem a more likely origin for the goblins here, their tribal lands are four or five HUNDRED miles away in the Wyrmsmoke Mountains. For them to be encountered so far from their territory, deep within the lands of the Corwynic League, is unprecedented.

Apart from piles of arms and armour from their fallen foes, the party also recover the following five items of note:

(1) A scroll case containing a scroll upon which three ‘Identify’ spells are inscribed.

(2) Tordek’s missing enchanted dwarven waraxe.

(3) Silvered Dagger - sized for medium creatures. It is coated in alchemical silver. It is clearly very old. Where the blade meets the hilt on one side there is a stylised skull symbol, on the other are engraved the following words: Drustan ap Gwyn. Howard recognises it as a dagger that would have belonged to a member of the fabled Coastguard of Gwynedd, over one thousand years ago. He uses one of the spells from the scroll to identify the magics upon the silvered dagger: +1, Ghost Touch, Undead Bane.

(4) A typical wizard’s spellbook. Inside the front cover is written the name: “Inastra”. Using ‘Read Magic’ Howard discovers the following Sorcerer/Wizard spells written into the book:

Level Zero (Cantrips):
• All those in the basic PHB (see p192)
Level One:
• Charm Person
• Detect Undead
• Hold Portal
• Jump
• Mage Armor
• Mount
• Protection from Evil
• Sleep
Level Two:
• Eagle’s Splendour
• Owl’s Wisdom
• See Invisibility
• Web

(5) And finally – a map. This appears to be the one made by Tomas Denzil from the information he stole from the Disciples of Legend. A red ‘X’ seems to indicate a site in the Witchwood – perhaps Vraath Keep? But Kaylyn also spots a small question mark that Denzil has drawn on the map, somewhere in the Blackfens.

The heroes set off back to Dennovar, to return Klas to his uncle and to help Gwylon bury and say goodbye to the slain Teleri and Inastra. However, at the city’s West gate they do not get the reception they were expecting. Blade Captain Yelshara wants to arrest them on suspicion of murder!

It appears that “the fine upstanding and in no way dishonest citizen, Tomas Denzil”, has sworn a statement saying that the party attacked him and his friends, shot him with an arrow and murdered Denzil’s companions.

Fortunately, Howard is able to send Robert the Raven to fetch Tordek, who quickly identifies his nephew, amongst much manly dwarven hug… err.. I mean backslapping. Faced with such a discontinuity in what she believes and what is right in front of her enables Captain Yelshara to break free of whatever enchantment Denzil had placed upon her. The good captain is very apologetic and rapidly agrees to send out wanted notices for Denzil.

So Klas is reunited with Tordek and the heroes get their promised rewards of “blades by Tor”. Back at the Reliquary the Speakers ask the party, when rested and completed any training they need, if they would undertake the long voyage to Drellin’s Ferry at the other end of the Vale of Elsir, in order to inform Captain Sorrana Anitah of the unusual goblin activity and to answer any questions she may have. This would also take the heroes very close to the possible location for Vraath Keep and the fabled treasure vault!


(3) Re: Legends of Corwyn - Party Diary - BONUS

Posted by : Lewis on 28/09/2015 22:03:27

For completing the rescue at the urging of the Disciples of Legend and agreeing to take the message all the way to Drellin's Ferry, each member of the party who is also a member of the Disciples gains a special BONUS of +1 to theirAFFILIATION SCORE.

This includes those characters who elect to join the Disciples at L5 and qualify as a result of spending some of their L5 skill points on Knowledge: History.


(4) Legends of Corwyn - Party Diary - Chapter 3

Posted by : Lewis on 06/10/2015 10:15:30

LEGENDS OF CORWYN PARTY DIARY

Chapter Three (04 Oct 2015)

Edweena joins the Disciples of Legend, and she and her colleagues spend a couple of days training and preparing for the journey ahead. As a result of their recent successful rescue mission, Howard has risen in the organisation’s ranks to Scion of Paragons. As a result, the Mabion Branoci wizard now has access to the Disciples’ library of ancient lore. He uses this to determine that the second location on the map (that Denzil marked with a question mark) is the site of the ruins of the once mighty city of Rhest. But what was the conniving bard’s interest in the site? Howard spends the rest of his time frantically copying spells into his spellbook.

As Edweena looks around the Reliquary in some wonder, she stumbles across a room where a parrot seems to be having a conversation with Howard’s familiar, Robert the Raven. The aasimar healer is introduced to the bird, a macaw known as ‘General Flynn’, by one of the Speakers of the Ancient Voice, “Now that bird is, may be, three hundred and fifty years old — they live forever mostly, and if anybody's seen more wickedness it must be Tiamat herself. She's sailed with Trelawny — the great Captain Trelawny, the explorer and later pirate. She's been at Nizakh, and at Malabar, and Providence... She was at the boarding of the King Niall’s Revenge, she was, and to look at her you would think she was a baby.”

Edweena knows that macaws, popular with widely-travelled wizards as familiars, can reach their century, but she’s never heard of one this old. It appears that ‘General Flynn’ turned up at the Reliquary of Six, shortly after the Disciples of Legend were founded slightly over a century ago by Darvalius Vetticlarus. General Flynn seemed to know a lot of phrases and occasionally mentioned figures known to historians, including Sylvar Lightfoot and Morwenna (an accomplished wizard who accompanied Sylvar on his last mission). The disciples ‘adopted’ the colourful bird and looked after her.

About eighty years ago, a young female disciple from Pengwern, called Elestren, started to take the parrot’s mutterings seriously and undertook research that strongly supported the frankly amazing conclusion that General Flynn was actually over 300 years old and had been an observer of all sorts of important historic events.

Amongst the travels hinted at by the Speaker, Flynn was also Morwenna’s ‘familiar’ for many years (although the General regards them as having been more an equal partnership). Occasionally some random phrase the parrot comes out with actually grants a disciple some insight or clue into a matter of research. For this reason, the parrot is regarded as a good luck mascot, a living link to the past and is kept at the Reliquary and well cared for.

However, Edweena, herself descended from a celestial bloodline, realises with a shock that the parrot is actually also part celestial. Summoning her colleagues, Edweena has an illuminating conversation with the very intelligent bird. Flynn listens intently to what the characters have to say about their experiences and agrees that the most likely allegiance of the goblins would be the Black Knife tribe in the Wyrmsmoke mountains.

General Flynn seems to have quietly collected quite a store of historical knowledge. It seems she accompanied Morwenna and Sylvar Lightfoot on their mission – Sylvar’s last – to cleanse a temple of Tiamat on behalf of the city of Rhest. She is also able to furnish them with some colourful history for Vraath Keep, their current focus of interest.

According to the half-celestial macaw, Vraath Keep has a tragic history, For centuries, trade through the Witchwood used the Dawn Way, and the soldiers stationed at Vraath Keep were the primary defenders of the region. Their presence kept the road safe for merchants to travel. A few years before the fall of Rhest, an ambitious young man named Lord Amery Vraath inherited control of the keep.

After the Rhestilor kingdom dissolved, Amery laid claim to the entire Witchwood and sought to rid his new domain of its evil reputation. Chief among his targets was a tribe of forest giants that dwelt deep in the woods. Known as the Twistusks, these forest giants generally kept to themselves but raided merchants on the Dawn Way from time to time. The brash young lord gathered together an impressive group of mercenaries and adventurers, and early one summer day led his force against the Twistusks. The battle was furious, but in the end Amery’s men won the day and forced the Twistusks to flee into the mountains. The soldiers burned the giants’ steading to the ground and returned to Vraath, victorious.

Yet their victory was short-lived. One week later, the surviving Twistusks returned and attacked Vraath Keep during a tremendous thunderstorm. The giants bombarded the keep all night long with hurled boulders and massive poisoned arrows. When the sun rose, four of the Twistusks lay dead amid the ruined keep, but none of the keep’s soldiers or residents remained. Those who had survived the battle were taken away to be eaten by the giants in their own victory feast. Rumors persist that Amery’s ghost haunts the ruins, and that those who dare to travel the Dawn Way at night say they sometimes hear the sounds of his anguished cries coming from somewhere deep underground.

Or so they say.

General Flynn asks that the heroes keep her secret – she does not like too many people to know her true nature. As most think she is ‘just a parrot’ this aids with her information gathering and also allows her to drop subtle hints and clues to the disciples without the source of their information getting about to where it might be heard by her enemies. She asks that they return to tell her all about their adventures.

After a couple of days, the party set off on the long 350-mile trek along the Dawn Way to Drellin’s Ferry. The Disciples of Legend loan them horses and the names of contacts in various towns along the way that can supply fresh mounts. They spend the first night in Marthton. Located in the shadow of the Marth forest, this small town thrives on woodcutting and catering to traders on the Dawn Way.

The second night they meet some other travellers and make camp under the stars, swopping tales and rations. As usual, the party ask if anyone has seen a bard called Tomas Denzil, but no-one has.

The next day they are passing through farmland, about 15 or 20 miles east of Brindol when Maor-Collis notices an isolated farm where things do not seem right. Cows are lowing in the fields, clearly in some distress. Inspection (and the Knowledge: Nature skill!) show that they have not been milked for some days. The party decide this is worth investigation and turn off the road and up the track towards the farmhouse.

Closer in, more animals (pigs, chickens) are also in some distress and run towards characters – this time inspection reveals that they are hungry / unfed. At the farmhouse, all is quiet. Opening the front door reveals a terrible smell – Maor-Collis recognises this as decomposition of one or more human bodies.

[and welcome to ‘CSI: Corwyn’]

Investigation reveals four bodies, dead with many bite marks. Dead for a couple of days. In this heat the decomp is quite advanced. After some inspection the elf ranger and the healer Edweena identify the sexes and ages of the deceased - Male age late 40s, Female age mid-40s, female age mid-teens, female age 10-ish.

Maor-Collis finds a large leather stachel containing various legal papers connected with the farm. From this they put names to the unfortunate farmers. They are the Puw family: Berian Puw (father), Marged Puw (mother), Cyffin Puw (adult son), Tegwen (daughter, 15), Dilys (daughter, 10).

Thus, our heroes discover that there is one person is missing, the eldest son, Cyffin. The letters reveal that Cyffin has been in trouble lately with suspected cattle rustling. However, he managed to get off it through lack of evidence, papers at the farm show someone called Borrin Dautram in Brindol was his defence attorney. There is an extensive file of letters about the case.

After much excellent tracking from Maor-Collis, Edweena and Silver the Badger, the party work out that Cyffin seems to have changed into a dire rat – a type of enormous rat that is bigger and more vicious than most dogs. It has coarse, spiky fur, malevolent eyes, and a long, naked tail. Cyffin is a wererat and must have changed unexpectedly at the full moon a couple of nights ago.

That night the party elect to stay in the Puw farm’s barn. They catch a glimpse of a dire rat with glowing red eyes raiding the hen house. The next morning they track down the lycanthrope. It is indeed Cyffin, now back in human form and racked with guilt and horror over what he has done and what he has become. It takes all of Edweena and Gwyn’s diplomatic skill to coax the distraught farmboy into accompanying them to Brindol, where Gwyn promises that the church has a possible cure for his curse. Cyffin is partly deranged, but blames the lawyer Borrin Dautram for his condition.

The party ride into Brindol, stopping at the gatehouse to pay the small levy of 1sp each. [the town/city of Brindol is described in brief in the Player’s Guide, so I don’t plan to repeat that information here – a key point is that the city has walls, around 20’ high, although they need some attention]. The heroes pass through the city streets, skirting the foot of the central hill upon which stands the city’s second most recognisable landmark – Lord Jarmaath’s squat, four-towered keep. They marvel at Brindol Academy: This two-story building is the most prestigious place of learning in the entire Elsir Vale. Founded and financed by a huge grant given by a revered wizard named Lessiter Kayne (now deceased), the academy offers courses in history, magical theory, geography, alchemy, engineering, and culture. For magical training within the Corwynic League, Brindol Academy is second only to Howard’s alma mater, Swinescabs Academy in Eldred.

The party soon arrive at Brindol’s most distinctive building - the Cathedral of the Trinity. A massive structure with towers rising well over 100 feet in height, supported by flying buttresses and intricately carved pillars, the cathedral is an impressive display of the religion’s dominance over the city.

Thanks to the presence of the cleric Gwyn and the aasimar Edweena, they are quickly granted an audience with Shining Servant Tredora Goldenbrow, head of the Church of the Trinity in Brindol (effectively, the local bishop). Like Edweena, Tredora is an aasimar. [from this chapter it must seem like half the League is populated with celestials and their offspring – this is not the case, they are in fact very rare. It’s just that they tend to rise to the heights of whatever career they choose and also tend to be very noticeable!]

Gwyn hands poor cursed Cyffin into the care of Tredora and her priests. They will look after him until the next full moon, when they can attempt a cure. Gwyn firmly steers the other members of the party away from investigating the were-rat problem further in Brindol. The cleric insists that this is not their concern – they have a mission and still a long way to go to Drellin’s Ferry.

Gwyn and Edweena are given accommodation by the Church in Cathedral Square. The rest of the party enjoy a reasonably-priced stay at a local inn called The Stone Wyvern. [Yup – the inn is actually built around a 100% genuine petrified wyvern. That’s not risky at all, is it?]

The next morning the heroes swap their mounts for fresh horses from the Disciples’ local contact, who asks if they have any messages to send back. Before they take their leave of Brindol, the party are lucky enough to witness one of the wonders of the city. The angle of the church is such that as the sun rises, its rays shine through a massive stained glass window in the cathedral’s eastern face and out through a matching window to the west, to wash Cathedral Square with a glorious riot of early morning colour.


(5) Legends of Corwyn - Party Diary - Chapter 4

Posted by : Lewis on 13/10/2015 18:52:36

LEGENDS OF CORWYN PARTY DIARY

Chapter Four (11 Oct 2015)

The story so far: The party of six heroes – Gwyn, Edweena, Howard, Maor-Collis and the two Eventyme siblings, Kaylyn and Taegen – are travelling to the town of Drellin’s Ferry at the western end of the Elsir Vale.

The heroes have two reasons for undertaking the ten-day trip from Dennovar. After a couple of run-ins with the unscrupulous bard, Tomas Denzil, the party recovered a map from the thieving songsmith’s belongings. The map shows the location of Vraath Keep and hints at a hidden vault containing a great treasure. The ruins of the castle are in the Witchwood, near Drellin’s Ferry. The heroes are also delivering a message about unusual goblin activity to Soranna Anitah, the captain of the guard in Drellin’s Ferry.

A couple of days after leaving the city of Brindol, the heroes arrive at Talar, a small town west of Brindol. Talar is governed by Lady Celiira Nesten, a highspirited young woman who lately returned home to take up her father’s title on old Lord Nesten’s death. Her impulsive ideas are tempered by an old and conservative town council, whose members (including Brother Padarn, the local priest) grew accustomed to running things during the old lord’s long decline.

At the town gate, Kaylyn Eventyme is the subject of much interest and is briefly held at spearpoint when she is accused of running out on a bill owed to Dyfrig, the owner of the town inn, the Blue Boar. Fortunately, Brother Gwyn convinces the town guard captain, Elgan, that Kaylyn was not in Talar two days ago. Kaylyn offers to pay Dyfrig a platinum piece IN ADVANCE for a night’s food and lodging for her and her friends. The grumpy innkeeper is mollified by the elf’s generous offer. The party assume that Tomas Denzil has been travelling west ahead of them and causing more trouble.

Some days after this little incident, the party pass through Terrelton at the western end of Elsir Vale, which is drier and more sparsely settled than the eastern end. Terrelton is a dusty town that gets by on the livestock and leather trades; several large, foul-smelling tanneries sit in the hills east of the town. The town is governed by a Merchants Council allegedly with connections to various criminal gangs. Gwyn meets with the local representative of the Church of the Trinity, a crusading cleric named Sister Leille. She is working to clean up the council by exposing the misdeeds of the criminal members.

Finally, a day or two later, the party are just a few miles from their destination. The afternoon sun beats down on them; the air is hot and still. The sparsely settled lands of Elsir Vale are starting to grow monotonous, with a seemingly endless line of dusty flyspecks of towns. The town of Drellin’s Ferry lies a few miles ahead of them, hard on the borders of the Witchwood, and the best place from which to begin exploring the nearby forest.

The road crests a small rise and descends into a dusty grove in a large, shallow dell. An abandoned farmhouse, partially visible through the trees, stands on one side of the road. The heroes have passed a dozen spots much like this one already today, but this one feels wrong. Then Maor-Collis, scouting a short distance ahead, glimpses the glint of mail through the brush by the side of the road. Fierce warriors – tall, hairy humanoids with wide mouths and flat faces – hobgoblins - are lying in wait! The elf ranger barks a quick warning to his comrades, saving them from surprise attack.

The hobgoblins are hiding at the eastern edge of a small stretch of woods, apparently keeping an eye on the road. By hiding amongst the trees, the marauders have the advantage of cover. These marauders clearly have no reason to suspect that they’re dealing with a seasoned band of adventurers when the fight begins. Big mistake. An initial shower of arrows from longbows prove relatively ineffective against the heroes. Over the next 30 seconds or so, the ambushers are now joined by various reinforcements.

Maor-Collis pushes forward with longbow drawn and Silver the Badger at his side. The ranger and his companion pull up short as a blast of hot, fetid breath hits their nostrils, filling them with a smell akin to sulphur. They come face to face with what appears to be an unnaturally large, black-furred wolf, its jaws alight with hellish flames and its eyes alight with killing intent. The demonic creature unleashes a breath weapon – a blast of hellfire that singes the ranger and his companion. Silver collapses in a heal, slowly dying from his wounds.

Another such creature wounds Gwyn and Edweena. The two divine casters become the focus of the enemies’ missile attacks as well, and have to heal each other, especially when Edweena goes down, severely wounded, after she casts a devastating spell that targets numerous enemies.

Meanwhile, Kaylyn and Taegen work together, moving through the trees and attacking various hobgoblin targets. The siblings are at their most deadly when jointly attacking a target. Their biggest problem is a cruel and cunning hobgoblin cleric who turns invisible, heals wounded hobgoblins and summons more fire-breathing demon dogs. Before the cleric turns invisible, however, Kaylyn spots that he carries a holy symbol of Tiamat – the Queen of Evil Dragons!

Howard tries to keep a low profile, having heard the barked goblin order to “target the spellcasters!”. However, when six more hobgoblins suddenly race up the road, the wizard puts himself in harm’s way in order to drop a precision fireball strike. The fiery explosion takes out eight hobgoblin warriors, halving the enemy’s forces at a stroke. It has no effect on the demonic canines, which Howard identifies as HELL HOUNDS.

Maor-Collis is suddenly confronted by a larger then average hobgoblin. This appears to be an elite champion, who clashes the blades of his twin shortswords together and calls out to the ranger, ”I am Uth-larr! You! You dare fight me? Face me in single combat and these others will leave you be!”

The elf accepts the challenge and the hell hounds ignore him in order to attack his companions. Maor-Collis draws his greatsword and engages the hobgoblin champion. Their combat is short and brutal. Uth-larr stabs at the ranger to little effect, and too late realises he has underestimated the elf. With two mighty blows, Maor-Collis first wounds the hobgoblin and then separates the champion’s head from his shoulders!

With this dramatic development, whatever is left of the hobgoblins’ morale collapses!

The trees on the hillside beside the road are now well and truly alight, thanks to the combination of Howard’s fire spells and the hell hounds’ hell-fire breath attacks. The last surviving hobgoblin warrior and the cleric take advantage of the thick smoke to escape.

Silver is literally seconds from death when he is healed. The party are all wounded to some extent, Edweena most seriously, but fortunately, she and Gwyn still have plenty of healing spells.


(6) Legends of Corwyn - Party Diary - Chapter 5

Posted by : Lewis on 20/10/2015 17:55:27

LEGENDS OF CORWYN PARTY DIARY

Chapter Five (18 Oct 2015)

Quickly looting the dead hobgoblin raiders, the heroes discover a number of excellent longswords. The armour worn by the champion is likewise of high quality and his twin shortswords are enchanted! Gwyn uses a Wind Wall spell to hold back the smoke, while the party search the abandoned farmhouse. The marauders have a crude campsite set up in the main room of the ruined farmhouse, with dirty bedrolls, cook fires (now banked), and other such necessities present. The heroes discover the goblinoid’s banner – which features a clawed red hand. No-one recognises it.

It soon becomes apparent that the warband have already ambushed and killed five people so far today — what appear to be a traveling elf merchant and her three bodyguards, and a local farmer. The bodies of these unfortunates have been dumped out of sight in the ruined farmhouse. In addition to the gear they were carrying, the marauders seem to have looted 355 gp from their victims and the money pouch is still sitting beside the bodies. The dead guards are dressed in studded leather armor and carried light crossbows and longswords, none remarkable.

The party quickly push on down the road. At the spot where the Dawn Way crosses the River Elsir stands the small town of Drellin’s Ferry, once known as Dwarfbridge. As the old name implies, long ago the Elsir was spanned by a sturdy dwarf-made bridge at this spot, but a hundred years ago the bridge washed out in a great flood. An enterprising man named Drellin hammered together a small horse-drawn ferry to maintain a river crossing here, and a town eventually grew up around the enterprise.

When the heroes ride into town, they find the townsfolk making preparations to defend themselves against attack. The road descends into the small town built mostly on the near side of a broad, sluggish river. Six old stone piers jut from the water, marking the spot where a bridge once stood, but the span itself is long gone. Instead, a couple of long thick ropes cross the river, each secured to a flat-bottomed ferryboat. Brown fields and green orchards surround the town. A group of armed townsfolk — three looking rather ill-prepared in ill-fitting leather, and one in mail and with a military bearing — stands guard, watching the new arrivals warily. “Halt and state your business, strangers,” one of the guards says. The guard is in charge of the post is Sergeant Hersk. He’s a burly man in scale mail with a curling, waxed moustache.

After introductions are made, Hersk sends a runner to let Captain Anitah know that the party have arrived and have a message for her. Hersk also points them to Morlin’s Smithy to unload some of the arms and armour they have picked up. This is the workshop of Morlin Coalhewer, the town smith. Morlin also happens to be a talented armorer and weaponsmith. He is able to pay the heroes for the gathered items and provide an enchanted sword.

The party head for The Green Apple, a cheerful taphouse and inn on the north side of the Green, run by a stout dwarf named Tharrma, who possesses a great gift for expressing her opinion, regardless of whether it’s asked for. She is able to inform the party that another party of adventurers, led by a bard called ‘Tom Jones’ (it’s not unusual, in fact it’s quite a common name) left town a couple of days ago, but caused some problems at the town’s other inn, The Old Bridge. He also sang some very rude songs that appear to have been about certain of the heroes (who could forget classics like, ‘What’s New, Lizard Boy?’ and [i:vmff0ve2]‘Why, Why, Why, Edweena’?). The party assume that ‘Tom Jones’ is in fact Tomas Denzil, their nemesis.

The party are just enjoying a meal and a few pints of dwarven ale, when a couple of visitors arrive - a tall, balding man of about fifty and a capable-looking swordswoman. “Sorry to trouble you, travellers, but I’d like a few minutes of your time,” the man says. “My name is Norro Wiston, and I’m the Town Speaker for Drellin’s Ferry. This is our guard captain, Soranna. I’ll get right to the point: We’re in a lot of trouble, and I was hoping I could persuade you to help us out.”

The party deliver the message about the goblins near Dennovar to a concerned Soranna. Meanwhile, Wiston wants to engage the PCs in the town’s service, “Our town is under attack,” he begins. “Hobgoblin raiders have been harrying our lands for several days now. They’ve attacked and killed people in the outlying homesteads, and they’ve been waylaying travellers along the Dawn Way.”

Captain Soranna adds, “We’ve had some trouble with them before—a quick raid on homesteads on the west side of the river, usually not that bad—but this is different. It looks like a large, aggressive tribe has moved down out of the Wyrmsmoke Mountains. Frankly, I fear they might be numerous enough to sack the town.”

“Beyond the immediate threat to our homes, the road is our lifeblood,” the Speaker continues. “If the hobgoblins make the Dawn Way impassable between the vale and Merionydd and Eldred and Corwyn, trade won’t come this way, and we’ll be ruined. Not only do we need to repel the raiders from our town, but we’ve got to keep that road open. Can you help us do it?”

The heroes ask about payment. “Well, we had to promise the other band of adventurers 500 pieces of gold each, if they drove off the hobgoblins.” Soranna adds, in response to the party’s concerns, “We didn’t pay them in advance – to be honest most of the party looked like dodgy types that have had to leave Terrelton in a hurry”. It seems the other party were ‘Jones the Bard’, a couple of disreputable looking halflings and three or four human fighter types. If the party provide proof of success, the payment will be theirs instead. Gwyn immediately goes into Colonel Kurtz mode and draws up plans for a Hobgoblin Ear Necklace. You don’t want to know the alternative that Howard offered to collect!

Soranna is able to provide extra information: “We’re not sure exactly how many hobgoblins there are in the tribe. A hundred warriors, maybe. There have been at least three different warbands around our lands at the same time, each about fifteen to twenty strong, so fifty at the minimum. The hobgoblins are also using fearful monsters and evil magic against us. Until you and the other adventurers showed up, we haven’t had any heroes here who could stand up to them.”

The party ask “Monsters? What kind?” “Foul hounds that breathe fire, dragonmen, even a couple of manticores!” Has she ever heard of Vraath Keep? “Yes, it’s an old ruined castle about 15 miles or so west on the Dawn Way.” If friendly: “Hmmm . . . it’s certainly possible that the hobgoblins have seized it for their stronghold. It’s supposed to be haunted, but they might not care.”

Howard reviews his extensive knowledge of manticores – evil magical beasts made up of an amalgam of features from other creatures – one of the Body Weavers’ less pleasant legacies. The party briefly discuss possible tactics for fighting them.

When the conversation is about finished, Soranna offers one last piece of advice – advice which Jones dismissed - “If you’re going to be wandering around in the Witchwood, I would advise you to seek out Jorr Natherson. You can’t find someone who knows the woods better. His cabin is out of the way, but it could be worth the walk. If you take the Witch Trail, go left at the first big trail crossing; Jorr’s cabin is about seven miles in - near the Blackwater.”

Wiston also arranges for the towns merchants to stay open late, so that the heroes can buy magic items, scrolls, potions and the like. This leads the party to the house of Sertieren the Wise, the town wizard. Sertieren turns out to be a halfling of middle years who wears spectacles and has a disheveled mop of gray-white hair. He is willing to provide arcane spellcasting to PCs in the service of the town for half the normal cost. He also has a small number of scrolls and minor wondrous items for sale. Unfortunately, it appears that Jones’ party had all the good stuff. The items that remain are … different. Over long centuries, each has picked up some … quirks. In the end the (less than adventurous) adventurers only purchase a few scrolls and Taegen risks a ring of protection that also drains the wearer’s constitution. For some reason, no-one fancied the Ring of Extra Magic Ring Wearing, nor changing their name to Heward, in order to make use of a cheap Heward’s Handy Haversack ™.

Gwyn visits Brother Derny at the local Shrine to the Trinity, and decides to donate his earnings to upgrading the shrine to a proper temple. The party also donate a lot of the arms and armour they found to the newly-raised town militia, who need it badly.

The next morning the heroes collect their scrolls from Sertieren and then head out, following the directions to Jorr Natherson’s place.

The reclusive woodsman lives in a small cabin overlooking the Blackwater—a large swath of drowned forest and swampland in the middle of the Witchwood. The trail leads past his small cabin in a deep forest glade. A ramshackle front porch is littered with fishing baskets and skinning frames. The cabin overlooks a dark bayou or lake, with old gray cedar-trees draped in moss rising out of the water. An old skiff is tied up on the shore nearby, and a little smoke curls from the fieldstone chimney. Jorr keeps three big hunting dogs. When Maor-Collis approaches within 60 feet they charge out, baying loudly. The hounds stop about 10 feet short and growl. When Jorr hears the hounds barking, he moves to a shuttered window with a loophole and peers out. Then he swings the shutter open and leans out to call off the hounds.

The cabin’s door opens, and a lean woodsman of indeterminate age steps onto the porch. He has a seamed, leathery look to his face and arms, and a big curved knife sits in a sheath strapped to one thigh. “Don’t get many visitors out here,” he rasps. “Who’re you, and what d’ya want with me?”

When the heroes state their intention to end the goblin threat, Jorr’s attitude improves immediately. “Goblins! I just can’t stand ’em! Wood’s rotten with ’em right now. All right, I’m your man. I seen worg riders and troublemakers all over, especially along Dawn Way. They live up yonder in the Wyrmsmokes, but seems like we got a big war party in the forest. Maybe they come down the Old Forest Road, or might be they came by the Skull Gorge. My money’s on the Skull Gorge.”

He knows where Vraath Keep is, too. “Hey, I ain’t stupid. Go west on out to the big road; keep’s maybe eight miles north of there. Wouldn’t surprise me if some of the goblins are holed up there. Just the sort of thing damn goblins would do.”

Jorr grabs a few things, locks up his cabin, leaving the dogs top guard it and guides the party through the forest. A few hours later they reach the Dawn Way, and not long after that the Dawn Way passes through a large expanse of low-lying flooded forest. The road crosses the Blackwater by means of a causeway.

A wide expanse of dark water has flooded the woodland in this low valley. Trees still protrude from the calm, dark waters here and there, but many large reaches seem to be little more than open pools of algae-choked water. The trill of frogs and the whine of insects fills the air. The forest road leads right down to the edge of the flooded section, up to a rickety-looking causeway made of thick planks of wood lashed together with mossy rope. The wooden causeway runs for several hundred feet through the boggy patch, only a foot or so above the water.

Jorr says that ever since the goblinoids infiltrated the Witchwood and travel though the region has abated, creatures that have long lurked in the deeper reaches of the woods have become braver and have been moving into areas closer to the road.

Indeed, Maor-Collis and Kaylyn spot one such creature about thirty feet from the causeway, lurking in a large pool near the half-submerged wreckage of an old wagon. Howard identifies it as a dreaded hydra! The hydra is reptilian magical beast with anywhere from five to twelve heads.

The walking encyclopaedia known as Howard informs his comrades that a hydra can be killed either by severing all its heads or by slaying its body. However, each time a head is severed, two new heads spring from the stump in less than 30 seconds. To prevent a severed head from growing back into two heads, the stump must immediately seared by fire or acid. A hydra’s body can be slain just like any other creature’s, but hydras heal incredibly quickly and are difficult to defeat in this fashion. Still, forewarned is forearmed and all that!

As Maor-Collis tries to sprint across the causeway, the hydra clambers up out of its pool to within 10 feet of the causeway and uses its reach to attack with all six of its heads. The ranger is badly wounded. His comrades immediately rush to engage the creature. Howard sears the beast with a mighty fireball – but then watches in horror as it immediately heals nearly all the damage.

Kayln and Taegen engage the beast on either side, the siblings’ well-practiced tag-team manoeuvre takes the heat off Maor-Collis and allows them to stab and hack at the creature’s body. Meanwhile, Edweena casts a number of spells on Gwyn, including one that allows the cleric to fly. The party decide to target the hydra’s body, knowing that they must expend maximum effort to cause massive injury within a few seconds, or the magical beast will simply heal up again.

They are successful and Gwyn dives in from above to deliver the killing blow.


(7) Legends of Corwyn - 1 Clocks 2 Edwyn

Posted by : Lewis on 24/10/2015 22:28:55

Legends of Corwyn: (1) clocks go back tonight, don't forget! (2) Edwyn can't make this any more - he says he's no longer enjoying it and has also recently changed courses for his A-levels, meaning he's got catching up to do.


(8) Legends of Corwyn - Party Diary - Chapter 6

Posted by : Lewis on 26/10/2015 17:30:34

LEGENDS OF CORWYN PARTY DIARY

Chapter Six (25 Oct 2015)

With the hydra slain, Gwyn takes advantage of his remaining magical flight to recover a mithral breastplate from the creature’s hoard. Then Jorr Natherson guides the heroes north along the Dawn Way, towards the remains of Vraath Keep. A mile or so from the ruined castle, the party rests in the shade to enjoy some respite from the harsh midday sun. As they share lunch, Jorr is able to recount the sad tale of the keep and the end of the Vraath family. The grizzled woodsman confirms what the heroes were told by General Flynn back at the Reliquary of Six, but also filling in a few gaps and adding some local colour. Jorr also mentions that the last time he swung by the keep, about six months ago, a mated pair of owlbears were lairing there.

With lunch behind them, the party quickly pushes on to their target. Looming out of the shadowy woods ahead is a haunting sight—a ruined keep. The old castle sits on a small rocky hillock, and the heroes catch glimpses of a broken tower between the trees. A moss-covered stone at the side of the road marks a footpath that looks like it leads up to the keep. The easiest path up to the keep from the road is the overgrown track. Maor-Collis examines this path and can tell that numerous Medium humanoids and several large wolves have been using this track recently. The keep itself is a 5-minute hike up the path.

As they draw near, Howard sends Robert the Raven to fly over the keep. The canny bird says that he can see nothing moving but does not like the look of a hole in the roof of a building in the south-east of the keep. It looks to the familiar like something with the power of flight might be using it to go in and out.

Then Kaylyn Eventyme elects to scout out the environs of the keep. The stealthy elf rogue successfully completes a circuit of the walls. She notes that the old keep is in very poor repair. The gatehouse is partially collapsed, as is a section of wall to the south. A small wooden building sits next to the remains of a long-abandoned garden in front of the structure. The walls surrounding the keep are about fifteen feet high, with a two-storey tower looming in the southwest corner of the courtyard within.

Large boulders lie strewn amid the ruins of the two watch towers, and a massive humanoid skeleton slumps amid the ruins of the northern one. This skeleton still wears tattered fragments of hide armor, and a large club lies next to one of its bony arms.

The courtyard of hard-packed earth has an eerie air of desolation. Jagged boulders embedded in the ground seem to have been dropped here, or thrown from a great distance; many of the walls bear large dents and cracks where these boulders might have once struck. Two massive skeletons lie at opposite ends of the courtyard, one propped up by the watchtower and the other sprawled at the far end by a building that could be a stable. To the south, where a section of the keep’s outer wall has collapsed, a third giant skeleton lies partially buried in the rubble.

Like Robert before her, Kaylyn has not seen any living creature yet.

The heroes elect to sneak in through the gap in the south wall and investigate the squat building there that abuts the two-storey tower in the south-west corner. They plan to enter the building via a hole in its wall, where there is a loose pile of rubble. Meanwhile, Jorr will remain in cover outside the wall, ready to provide covering fire with his bow, if they have to make a fighting retreat. However, Kaylyn is barely inside the walls when she dislodges a loose stone amongst the rubble and alerts a keen pair of ears within. Yes, the keep is occupied, but the goblinoid-led forces within were bedded down for the day.

The interior of this stone building is open and spacious. Wooden timbers support the roof above, and here and there the remains of what were probably once interior dividing walls are evident. Two large boulders sit on the floor to the south, near a large hole that has been knocked in the southeast wall. Rubble from this hole has been piled in a circle to form a crude fire pit. Against the west wall of the room are arranged four double bunk beds, each strewn with filthy covers. Another bed, this one larger, sits near the south wall, partially obscured by a badly damaged wooden screen. A poorly stuffed owlbear looms in the centre of the room. The third-rate taxidermy initially fools the heroes and the first shot of the ensuing combat does no more than knock the head off the badly stuffed creature.

At first, the heroes are fighting four hobgoblins, two of whom were asleep, and an unexpected minotaur, which severely gores Taegen. Soon, once these enemies raise the alarm, they are joined by goblins riding dreaded wolf-like worgs from the stables. Then a manticore appears from the hole in the roof that worried Robert. The monstrosity’s tail spikes cause severe damage to Edweena and Howard. Then a bugbear sorcerer appears. He initially plays no role in the sprawling combat, instead rushing to complete some task in a side room. When the goblinoid does join the battle, he proves a fearsome wielder of arcane magic, blasting Gwyn and Howard with a lightning bolt.

Edweena and Gwyn are kept very busy healing each other and their comrades, as – despite the dangers posed by the minotaur and the bugbear - the heroes decide to fight inside the room, away from the ranged attacks of the manticore and the threat of the worgs and their riders. Howard then uses his ranged fire burst attacks to whittle down the goblinoids and the worgs and Taegen mops up the others. Meanwhile, Kaylyn backstabs a bloody swathe through the enemies.

This tactical choice works to the party’s favour, even though the sorcerer – now wielding two wands – blasts Kaylyn unconscious and close to death. However, the party triumph and Gwyn reaches the downed elf in time to save her life.

Only the manticore remains…


(9) Legends of Corwyn - Party Diary - Chapter 7

Posted by : Lewis on 03/11/2015 17:44:45

LEGENDS OF CORWYN PARTY DIARY

Chapter Seven (01 Nov 2015)

Kaylyn searches the room the bugbear spellcaster ran into. She discovers a large table, where it seems a large paper document was attached and hastily ripped off. Searching the bugbear’s body, she discovers a bag of holding and inside it – amongst other things – a clumsily folded map. The map is annotated in Goblin. Howard translates and suggests the notes show a planned invasion of the Elsir Vale by a large force of goblinoids. It seems that, once the enemy pass over the narrow bridge at Skull Gorge, their first target is Drellin’s Ferry.

Kaylyn then searches the upper and lower floors of the tower.

The circular chamber on the ground floor has been outfitted with a mix of furniture, including a large desk, an overstuffed chair, a massive four-poster bed, and a large easel that holds a sizable canvas covered with a sheet. A flight of stairs arcs up along the south wall to the upper floor, and a fair amount of rubble from a hole in the ceiling lies heaped on the base of these stairs.

Upstairs, the roof of this circular chamber has partially collapsed to the southeast. Massive timbers slump against the floor, fallen from the rafters above. A huge gap in the tower’s east wall allows a brisk breeze into the chamber, which has four windows in the remaining walls. Three large boulders lie on the floor amid a halo of fractures and cracks. Mounted about ten feet from the hole in the wall is what looks like a humanoid figure, lashed to a framework of wooden beams, arms upraised. A glow from beneath it illuminates the figure in a pale light. The reek of rotting flesh fills the room.

The figure is the corpse of a farmer, illuminated by an everburning torch.

The party scramble to deal with the manticore next. After a brief battle, the wounded creature flees, pursued briefly by a flying Gwynn, until the cleric of the Trinity gets peppered with spikes for his trouble.

The heroes than spot a trio of worgs racing up the hill towards the castle. They ambush the monsters and the goblin scouts riding two of the wolf-like creatures. On the third worg is a naked man, tied up and gagged.

After a brief battle, the worgs are dead as is one of the goblins. The other is captured and the party start to interrogate him, finding out that he was bringing a prisoner to ‘Wyrmlord Koth’ (the bugbear) who serves something called the ‘Red Hand’.

Meanwhile, Edweena is busy healing the variously badly wounded members of the party and their new friend rescued from the goblins. He is a Mabion Branoci wizard (like Howard) called Feral. The Wizard was investigating rumours of The Ghostlord in the Witchwood when his party were ambushed by a goblin patrol and his comrades were killed. Edweena selflessly neglects to heal herself, making her comrades the priority. This decision later proves fatal.

Before the interrogation can get further, an arrow is lofted from the forest and clatters off the courtyard wall. The heroes assume this is a warning from Jorr Natherson. So they split up, leaving the heavily wounded Edweena all on her own, standing exposed in the gap in the wall. The one any attack might come from. Sometimes the bad guys don’t even have to try that hard to kill the heroes. <shrugs>

So, as a result, none of the other heroes is watching when Edweena is suddenly stabbed through the back and chest, dropping to the floor, her life’s blood gushing from her. Kaylyn belatedly runs to the stricken healer, but even a healing potion hastily poured down the aasimar’s throat does not revive her. Edweena is dead.

And then a strange haunting melody, played on panpipes, starts up, seemingly coming from thin air. Seconds later, there is the sound of rustling and squeaking and scrabbling coming from the ground, the rubble, the undergrowth… what new horror is this…?


(10) Re: Legends of Corwyn - Sun 8 Nov

Posted by : Lewis on 05/11/2015 13:02:11

As you know, I want to run 'Legends of Corwyn' on Sunday 08 Nov, albeit I need to finish 30 mins early.

However, there are other factors that mean the chances of me being there are about 50/50 at the moment. On top of new job on Monday, a long drive, the weather, etc. 1. my knee ligament that laid me up for weeks earlier this year is playing up again. 2. My father has just been taken into hospital.

So, I think we need a plan B. Can someone in the Corwyn group please offer to run a one-off game, so that you don't end up with nothing on Sunday, if I can't make it?

Thanks.


(11) Re: Legends of Corwyn - Party Diary

Posted by : Jyaku on 05/11/2015 16:24:26

Having only come back to role playing games in the last few months, i don't feel confident to run anything complicated. However, for a easy/simple ready to go game, I do have "heroquest" and would happily enjoy a laugh and play that for an evening, just putting it in as an idea.

Dave


(12) Re: Legends of Corwyn - Party Diary

Posted by : Jyaku on 06/11/2015 10:02:06

though i have just thought of a slight draw back with my suggestion.. . it is a max 5 players (DM, Wizard, Dwarf, Barbarian, Elf)


(13) Legends of Corwyn - No Lewis on 8 Nov

Posted by : Lewis on 06/11/2015 17:22:44

Apologies, folks. I can't make Sunday 08 Nov for 'Legends of Corwyn'.

Apart from starting a new job on Monday morning, I also need to visit my ancestors.

Activate Plan B!


(14) Re: Legends of Corwyn - Party Diary

Posted by : ColinBuckler on 07/11/2015 13:11:16

Hi Lewis,

Thanks for letting us know about Sunday.

With regards to Heroquest,me and Sam will graciously decline as one of the main firework displays (Longford) is on Sunday night and is by where I live. Michelle will be very appreciative of me and Sam being at home to help look after the dogs - they were barking like mad last night.

Regards,

Colin.


(15) Legends of Corwyn - Sun 08 Nov

Posted by : Lewis on 08/11/2015 12:31:55

Sounds like no Josh or Colin or Sam (or me, obvs). So that Heroquest should work? There will be three of you (?) Mick Pallatina, Mark Evans and David Pearson. Really sorry about this, guys, but there's too much happening here. My dad's just come out of hospital and I need to make a pre-6am start on Monday to get up to Chester. I currently plan to be back next week, but I'll keep you posted.


(16) Legends of Corwyn - Party Diary - Chapter 8

Posted by : Lewis on 28/11/2015 09:56:25

LEGENDS OF CORWYN PARTY DIARY

Chapter Eight (22 Nov 2015)

(apologies for the late posting, it’s been a busy week)

As swarms of rats appear and burst out of the undergrowth and the rubble, Kaylyn drags Edweena’s body back inside the fort. The swarms descend on Taegen and Maor-Collis, biting and nauseating them. Fortunately, the wizard Feral still has a Dispel Magic memorised, and the party’s newest member soon removes whatever enchantment is controlling the rats, which then disperse. The eerie piping music stops… and then starts up again with a different tune.

Kaylyn steps outside the walls of the keep, and suddenly two heavily armoured fighters appear out of thin air and charge her! The thugs lay into the elf with expertly wielded bastard swords, wounding her severely. Meanwhile, to add to the woes of her fellow elves a sinister horned humanoid appears on the roof of the manticore’s den and snipes at them with a tiny crossbow. Although wounded, both elves are able to resist the poison that coats the bolts.

Meanwhile, Edweena has a strange experience. She believes she (or her soul) has travelled to Light’s Blessing, Pelor's realm in Elysium. Edweena seems to be in a fortified palace, high upon a mountain amidst fields and orchards of vibrant green, straddling the mighty River Oceanus, in Amoria, the topmost layer of Elysium. There she meets two members of The Trinty, Pelor and Chauntea. They talk of the threat posed by Tiamat and the urgency of action to save civilisation in Elsir Vale. They say Edweena will soon have a choice – to return to the battle on the Prime Material plane, or to remain in Elysium as a petitioner of Pelor, like the animal-headed archons that guard the fortress.

Back at Vraath Keep, the rest of the party join in the fight. The fighters are killed and the infernal humanoid sniper is forced to flee for his life. The heroes work out that there is an invisible musician directing their attackers – and several of them have a good idea who this might be. They trap him in an entangle spell and use spells and arrows to force him to appear and surrender. The piper is, of course, their nemesis – Tomas Denzil.

Meanwhile, since he launched the warning arrow, Jorr has been locked in a deadly knife fight with a Halfling. The woodsman and his attacker are both wounded from a series of cuts and slashes. The diminutive rogue – calling herself Sly Shadow - is now surrounded and captured.

Denzil bargains for his life. He sells out his last associate (Sly Shadow) and reveals that his party’s attack was a mistake – having ‘led’ the heroes to Vraath Keep with a trail of ‘breadcrumbs’, the bard and his new associates thought that the heroes had found and looted the vault, and so wanted to relieve them of the treasures. Denzil gets the party to swear oaths to all three members of the Trinity not to harm him and to let him go with his belongings (minus 40 GP as compensation). In return, he swears to provide evidence and directions to where they can find one of the Six Paragons!

Kaylyn briefly entertains the idea of thwarting the intention of the oath by cunningly using the Halfling to kill Denzil as soon as he has provided the information he has promised. However, the elven rogue steps back from this action, when she realises that Heironeous, Father of the Trinity and god of honour and valour would undoubtedly look very unfavourably upon such a ruse to deliberately flaunt an oath taken in his name!

Denzil explains that the rcords refer to Sylvar ‘asleep in his resting place’, waiting heroes to come in the land’s hour of greatest need, when he will have a gift for them. Denzil assumes that this would be something valuable, worth a lot of money. He provides maps to the location of Sylvar’s ‘resting place’, a tomb in the drowned city of Rhest in the Blackfens.

The bard also has other information. His group ‘encountered’ a goblin patrol and learnt that the Red Hand’s forces are huge. They are not a raiding party, or even a warband, they are an army. Denzil reckons that the bulk of that army will cross Skull Gorge Bridge within three days and then Drellin’s Ferry and probably the rest of the Vale is doomed. He for one is not sticking around to watch what happens. The conniving bard picks up his equipment and flees the scene, trying to stay well ahead of an angry Halfling.

A thorough search of the keep reveals a trapdoor in the foot of the tower and a shaft leading down to the vault. The heroes rest overnight and heal their wounds from the many battles they have had since they awoke in Drellin’s Ferry that morning. The next morning, Kaylyn cautiously enters the famed Vraath Vault!

This small vault is located deep beneath Vraath Keep. It is reached by a 5-foot-wide vertical shaft fitted with a rusty but sound iron ladder that descends 40 feet. The walls of this small vault are of worked stone, the ceiling twelve feet overhead. The air is thick and smells stale and slightly smoky. Three alcoves have been cut into the walls, two to the north and one to the east. Each alcove is sealed by an iron gate and locked with chains and a large padlock. Beyond one alcove are several shelves bearing no less than ten small iron coffers. Beyond the second is a small desk and chair, the desk piled high with papers and books. Beyond the third sits a single large trunk. A human skeleton lies slumped on the floor between the shaft and the gates. Still dressed in tattered chainmail and feebly gripping a sparkling bastard sword, the skeleton has a massive arrow protruding from its ribs.


(17) Legends of Corwyn - Party Diary - Chapter 9

Posted by : Lewis on 03/12/2015 14:52:30

LEGENDS OF CORWYN PARTY DIARY

Chapter Nine (29 Nov 2015)

After Kaylyn employs her locksmithing abilities the various gates are opened and the elf rogue finds a load of cash, some interesting items and some equally interesting documents.

The party are now the proud possessors of the following items that were once the greatest treasures and trophies of the keep (plus detailed instructions on their use):

The skull of a young black dragon
Two dozen forest giant teeth on a thick string
A +1 mithral chain shirt that once belonged to a hobgoblin chieftain
A staff of life with 10 charges left
A huge +1 spiked gauntlet
A +1 frost bastard sword
A pair of gauntlets of ogre power

The staff of life is a potent item, kept by the Vraath family in case of an emergency. Unfortunately for Lord Amery, it seems that the final attack on the keep came too suddenly – and the last lord of Vraath Keep was too swiftly overwhelmed by his wounds and poison - for him to retrieve this item and use it to save himself. The staff is made of white oak and carved to resemble braided bands of holly and oak boughs, twisted around a unicorn’s horn at the end. It has enough charges remaining for ten ‘heal’ spells or two ’raise dead’ spells. The surviving heroes immediately agree that they will use the staff to raise Edweena, whose body has been preserved by Gwynn’s ‘gentle repose’ spell.

The gauntlet was made from a bulette’s teeth and claws (!), and despite its magic it looks fairly primitive. Embossed on the back of the gauntlet is a distinctive symbol that looks something like a frowning tusked mouth. This gauntlet once belonged to a Twistusk giant chieftain slain by Amery Vraath. Although they could sell it in a city such as Brindol for a modest profit, the heroes have an inspired idea for a better use for the gauntlet – to use it as a peace offering to any surviving Twistusks!

Gwynn uses the staff of life to bring back Edweena from the realms of the dead. The aasimar healer claims to have spoken with the gods of the Trinity and to have a message that the evil dragon goddess Tiamat has somehow inspired and enabled the Red Hand army that threatens the Vale – and that there is no time to lose if they are to save as many people as possible.

The party know from the documents they found and that Howard translated, plus the boastful claims of the captured goblin (apparently confirmed by Tomas Denzil) that so far they have only faced the goblinoid army’s scouting parties. The main bulk of the Red Hand’s forces have been mustering at Cinder Hill and plan to cross Skull Gorge Bridge in a matter of days. If the party can somehow prevent that crossing, they could significantly delay the approaching invaders.

The heroes consider an extreme action – destroying the bridge over Skull Gorge. This would make trade along the Dawn Way impossible, but at least would hold up the bulk of the Red Hand forces for several days. They consult with Jorr Natherson on their chances. The grizzled woodsman agrees that the bridge is many centuries old, so may have developed weak spots, but on the other hand, it was dwarf-built, “and the stunties build to last, always have!”. Considering other options, Jorr reveals that (a) he can speak Giant, and (b) he knows where the territory of the Twistusks lies – interestingly this is in the same direction as Skull Gorge.

A plan is agreed. Howard summons a magical mount and rides off fast towards Drellin’s Ferry to try and warn the townsfolk about the impending doom. Meanwhile, Taegen, Kaylyn, Maor-Collis, Gwynn, Edweena and Feral, guided by Jorr, head North, towards Skull Gorge, aiming along the way to try and make an alliance with any surviving Twistusk forest giants to aid them, perhaps in bringing down the bridge.

Some hours later, Jorr leads the party to a point along the Dawn Way where it cuts close to the traditional territorial grounds of the Twistusk Tribe, a group of forest giants that once dominated most of the woodlands between the Dawn Way and the mountains to the west.The forest grows more ominous as the Dawn Way winds deeper into the woods. The party come to a spot where a wide track leads away from the road, heading west. A massive effigy of some kind stands here, a fifteen-foot-tall humanoid shape made from a sagging, moss-covered frame. The thing looks almost like a crude giant-sized skeleton. Birds nest in the massive barrel that served the effigy as a head. Knowledge (nature) identifies the effigy as a territorial marker of some sort for a tribe of giants. The heroes recognise the work as that of forest giants, although the workmanship seems a bit crude for these normally rather skilled giants. The wide track that leads west remains fairly easy to follow, despite years of neglect.

The old track comes to an abrupt end in the shadow of a fairly large hill that looms up from the surrounding woodlands. At the hill’s base sits the collapsed ruin of what was once a massive and probably quite impressive wooden fortress. Entire trees were used to form the walls of this building, but now the whole thing is little more than a heap of moss-covered, rotting logs. A thin curl of smoke rises up from a great fire pit in the middle of the old walls, where an enormous boar sizzles on a spit the size of a lance. A giant sits by the fire, turning the spit and muttering to himself in his own language. He is extraordinarily tall and lean, with stooped shoulders, earth-yellow skin marked by angry red blotches, and a wild mane and beard of tangled green hair. He easily tops ten feet, even while sitting on the ground.

Once the site of a forest giant fortress, this ruined building now serves as the home for one lonely, slightly deranged old forest giant named Warklegnaw. Old Warklegnaw has a prominent tattoo on his wrinkled forehead, a symbol that looks like a frowning tusked mouth. The party approach openly, but cautiously. Jorr initially speaks for them, until the sickly old giant reveals an ability to speak the Common Tongue of Corwyn.

Once he notices the heroes, Warklegnaw wearily stands up and fingers his club, muttering, “You little worms won’t get me! You did for my kith and kin, but you won’t get me!” Despite his words, Warklegnaw is old and tired and doesn’t attack – although his initial attitude is unfriendly, he gives the party a chance to speak. The heroes succeed in calming the giant and he invites them to share his dinner (which is surprisingly tasty, it turns out). The party offer him the spiked gauntlet and the giant teeth from Vraath Keep as gifts and Warklegnaw becomes positively friendly.

This forest giant patriarch is the last survivor of the giants who lived here when Vraath Keep launched the attack on this steading. He later participated in the reprisal against the keep. He lost his right eye in that battle, and after it was over he stubbornly refused to relocate with his kin into the foothills of the Wyrmsmoke mountains. He was born here in the shadow of Bald Hill (as the Twistusks called the site), and he is determined to live here until he dies. Today, old Warklegnaw has one foot in the grave. Aged and sick, it’s unlikely he’ll live through another winter. Edweena recognises that the giant is currently suffering from a case of red ache disease, which leaves his skin an angry red colour and his face and joints painfully swollen. He gathers what food he can from the surrounding woodlands, but he’s not the hunter he once was. Edweena heals the giant, curing the disease, and winning his gratitude and friendship even more.

Warklegnaw is disturbed to hear that a huge goblinoid army is about to descend on his beloved forest. He shares many of Jorr’s opinions on both subjects. And the party easily convince the old giant of the need for his help (the mere idea that someone wants or needs his help seems to go far toward convincing him), he promises to seek out his surviving kin in the Wyrmsmoke foothills to the west and to ask them to aid in repelling the Red Hand. Warklegnaw seems to have been given a new lease of life – not just by having the red ache cured, but having an important mission.

The heroes take their leave of the old forest giant and head back to the Dawn Way and northwards again, towards Skull Gorge. Finally, they approach the strategically vital bridge. The ground has been rising for the last few miles, and finally the forest itself peters out. Ahead is a stretch of barren ground, about sixty feet wide, ending in a gorge. Roughly a hundred feet wide at its narrowest point, the gorge drops away precipitously to a fast-rushing stream far below. The ancient Dawn Way crosses the cleft on a bridge of stone. Anchored at both ends to large stone towers with pentagonal roofs, the bridge seems sturdy despite its obvious age. It is, clearly, the only easy way to cross, since the gorge continues as far as the eye can see to the east and west. Perhaps, as some have suggested, the bridge will have weak spots? The four stone towers that anchor the bridge are each forty feet high. A narrow wooden stairway winds around each, leading up to an open-air watchpost at the top.

The heroes emerge from the forest stealthily and without alerting the Red Hand forces that hold the bridge. They take in the scene before them. A small encampment of a half-dozen tents clusters near the northern side of the bridge. Curls of smoke from campfires attest to some sort of activity. A single humanoid figure stands at the watchpost on the top of each of the four watchtowers, longbow in hand. A powerfully built hound with glowing red eyes and short ruddy fur sits watchfully near either end of the bridge. And yet, the most impressive – and worrying - creature present is certainly the sleek and menacing green dragon that perches on the roof of the northwestern watchtower on the far side of the gorge. It lies basking in the warm rays of the sunset, but its bright yellow eyes are fixed on the bridge.

As night falls, the party decide to pull back into the forest. There they will rest, plan their attack, and regain a new spell selection in the morning to aid their dawn assault.


(18) Legends of Corwyn - XP and cancelling Sun 13 Dec

Posted by : Lewis on 10/12/2015 16:50:31

Good news, bad news.

Bad news first. Unfortunately, I am rather ill with a cold and a throat infection. Even if I'm recovering by Sunday, I'll need to rest to get my strength back for work (5:30 start on Monday). So I'll have to cancel Sunday 13 Dec's Legends of Corwyn.

We'll meet again on Sunday 20 Dec.

Good news: XP award for the last couple session of legendary giant-bothering and bridge-slaying: 2,750 XP each. This puts Maor-Collis, Ferrel, Gwynn, Taegen and Kaylyn on 16,875 and they level up to LEVEL SIX[. Colin Buckler?, Sam, David Pearson?, Mark Evans?, Joshua Hall?, please go ahead and level up your characters (unless you need a book from me). If anyone wants to consider either of the Disciples of Legend prestige classes (Mythic Exemplar or Squire of Legend), please let me know, and I'll provide more details.

Edweena is on 14,875 XP, a little short of L6, but will go up next time I can award XP. Mick Pallatina? - I suggest you prepare a L6 sheet, which you can use immediately after the next significant encounter.

Party diary for the destruction of Skull Gorge Bridge and the slaying of Ozzyrandion will follow shortly.


(19) Legends of Corwyn - Party Diary - Chapter 10

Posted by : Lewis on 10/12/2015 22:01:01

LEGENDS OF CORWYN PARTY DIARY

Chapter Ten (06 Dec 2015) – The Battle of Skull Gorge Bridge

At dawn, after waiting for the green dragon (who they discover is called Ozyrrandion) to finish snacking on parakeets, Edweena casts flying spells on Gwynn and Kaylyn, and Ferrel contributes by making Gwynn invisible. As they fly down the gorge towards the underside of the bridge (stay on target!) Edweena lights a fire in the woods as a distraction.

Ozyrrandion spots the aasimar and attacks with his acid breath weapon. As the bridge’s other defenders – hobgoblins and hell hounds – rush to try and attack, Maor-Collis blocks them with an entangle spell.

Meanwhile, Kaylyn desperately searches the underside of the bridge for weak spots while Gwynn hovers, ready to use his stone shaping spells. The elf is frantic to discover the bridge’s vulnerability before the green dragon can return.

Kaylyn is spotted by one of the hobgoblins and their sergeant shouts orders and calls back the dragon. Despite a shower of arrows from the hobgoblins, Kaylyn manages to locate a promising looking crack in the underside of the bridge and points this out to Gwynn. As Ozyrrandion abandons his pursuit of Edweena and flies back, Ferrel catches the dragon with a fireball that wounds him so badly that he flies back to his perch and recovers a healing potion. The dragon also drinks a second potion that makes him invisible.

As Maor-Collis and Taegen exchange arrow fire with the hobgoblin sentries in the towers, Kaylyn draws attention away from the underside of the bridge and makes herself a big target by insulting Ozyrrandion, quite rudely. In fact so successful are the elf’s insults that the dragon loses his temper entirely and pursues her to the exclusion of good sense.

The hobgoblin sergeant ordered his men to target the obvious spellcaster. Wounded, Ferrel has to fall back to get healing, leaving the goblinoids to target the other heroes on the south bank. Jorr Natherson saves a badly wounded Maor-Collis by drawing the fire of the hobgoblin sentries in the towers, allowing the ranger to get healing.

The invisible Gwynn has now used his spells to extend the crack, undermining the supports of Skull Gorge Bridge. With a terrifying roar of splitting stone the bridge collapses and plummets 150 feet down into the river below!

The handful of surviving Red Hand soldiers are trapped on the north side of the gorge. But the incensed Ozyrrandion is making an all-out attack on the hapless Kaylyn. Various of the other heroes rush in to help, but it is Gwynn who turns the battle by flying in, sacrificing his invisibility at the last second to deliver a killing blow to the saurian from above.

The party have triumphed! They have performed a feat worthy of the legendary heroes they seek to emulate. They have destroyed the crossing, delaying the Red Hand army significantly. And, on top of that, they have slain a dragon!


(20) Legends of Corwyn - Party Diary - Chapter 11

Posted by : Lewis on 24/12/2015 13:15:47

LEGENDS OF CORWYN PARTY DIARY

Chapter Eleven (20 Dec 2015) – Desperate Counsel

Following their victory over the Red Hand garrison led by the late un-lamented green dragon, Ozyrrandion, the party have divided views on what to do next. An urgent discussion is held. The most cautious advocate immediate flight back to Drellin’s Ferry and to make sure the town is evacuated. Those heroes obsessed with the idea of the paragon Sylvar Lightfoot having a ‘gift’ for them want to head straight to the drowned city of Rhest. But, when the matter is put to a vote, the view that wins the day is that the party should risk heading to Cinder Hill and get visual confirmation of the size of the Red Hand’s forces mustering under Wyrmlord Hravek Khan.

Meanwhile, while Ferrel takes Ozyrrandion's bracers of armor, Taegen is brave enough to try on the dragon’s amulet, which – despite an unusual design – proves to be an amulet of health.

Thanks to Jorr’s guidance, and some help from Maor-Collis, the party are able to follow a trail westwards to where Skull Gorge narrows in the shadows of the foothills of the Wyrmsmoke Mountains. However, their plan to cross the gorge and then spy on the plain that lies north between there and Cinder Hill is helped by Ferrel identifying one of the potions that was seized from Wyrmlord Koth as a potion of flight.

Maor-Collis volunteers to undertake the perilous mission – despite the fact that there appears to be another dragon in the air. This is not the first reconnaissance in hostile territory that the elven ranger has undertaken – he’s a veteran of the Corwynic League’s frontline with the forces of the dragons.

Flying over the gorge and keeping low, Maor-Collis crests a rugged ridge, sparsely covered with wind-twisted pine trees, just as the sun starts to set behind the Wyrmsmokes. From the ridge the ranger finds himself looking across a broad vale, with a rugged knoblike hill or small mountain on the opposite side. The Dawn Way cuts through the valley, a ribbon of pale stone leading past the towering heights of the hill. The valley is filled with a great encampment. Hundreds of crude tents dot the valley floor, interspersed with bulky siege engines, groups of wagons, and pens for draft beasts. Major-Collis can easily make out hundreds of warriors in view at any given time. Bands of goblin worg riders patrol the camp’s outskirts, battalions of fierce hobgoblins engage in mock battles with martial shouts and the clang of steel on steel, hulking giants plod from place to place, and the elf’s keen eyes pick out a scarlet-coloured dragon lazily circling overhead. This is the camp of an army numbering in the thousands.

When the ranger returns to his comrades with this chilling news, they all realise that Drellin’s Ferry is doomed; it’s only a matter of time. The heroes decide to withdraw into the forest for the night and then make best speed back south towards Drellin’s Ferry the next day.

As they settle down, Maor-Collis’s long-suffering badger companion, Silver, decides to leave. Saddened, but sympathetic, the elf lets the poor badger depart – Silver limps off, still missing most of his fur that was burnt off in the ambush by hellhounds a few days ago. During the night however, Maor-Collis encounters a cheetah roaming the forest. The elf and the big cat approach each other cautiously, and soon make friends. Major-Collis has found a new companion, perhaps one that is more suited to the dangerous scrapes the ranger gets himself into.

The next day, the party make it as far as Vraath Keep before the light is too bad even for the elves to make progress. They spend the night in the relative safety of the stables of the ruined fortress. The next morning they are surprised to see an approaching giant. Jorr speaks to the 30-foot tall creature, who turns out to be female and looking for Edweena.

In fact, the giantess is Zhulannar, the granddaughter of Old Warklegnaw. She thanks Edweena for healing her grandfather and explains that only she and her friends – around two-dozen young giants – have answered Warkelgnaw’s request to oppose the Red Hand. It seems the Twisttusk elders will not risk open war with the powerful Kulkor Zhul – the People of the Dragon – and their Red Hand army. The best Warklegnaw and the youngsters can do is use their knowledge of the forest to fight a guerrilla campaign and harass the Red Hand and hopefully slow them down.

Combined with the destruction of the bridge, the heroes are convinced the help from the giants will mean they have bought at least an extra five days for the folk of Drellin’s Ferry to evacuate and get ahead of the Red Hand.

And it is to Drellin’s Ferry that they now push on. Gwynn is frustrated to see that the town has not been evacuated, although there are some signs of preparation. The heroes are taken to the Town Guard HQ in the Old Toll House. There, Captain Soranna hands them a letter left by the wizard Howard…

>>>To: Gwynn, Edweena, some elves and the other one.

If you’re reading this, then you must have survived your journey to Skull Gorge. Which is a surprise, frankly.

The town council of Drellin’s Ferry are idiots. I’ve told them about the information we discovered, but they still seem to think that the goblin horde is only a few hundred. So the cretins want to defend the town. I even told them they were idiots, and this still didn’t change their minds.

Iormel wants to fight, Kellin wants to ‘make peace’ and Speaker Wiston is indecisive. The only ‘leader’ with any sense is Delora Zann. I think Captain Soranna also understands better, but she will do what the council orders. Weakling.

At least they’ve made some preparations to evacuate the non-combatants at short notice.

I’m not sticking around here to watch everyone die. I’m heading east, back to Dennovar via Brindol. I’ll warn everyone who’ll listen – which will probably be nobody, then. I’m taking the spellbook that once belonged to Inastra with me. It’s mine now and I’m not sharing it with you. Instead, you can have all the monetary reward offered by the town council. If you live long enough to spend it, I’ll see you back at the Reliquary.

Yours, Howard the Magnificent.<<<

While they read that, Captain Soranna heads off to fetch the Town Speaker. Soon Norro Wiston, steps into the room. Soranna follows him, along with another tall, broad-shouldered woman with blonde-gray hair—Delora Zann, the master of the town’s livery stable. The speaker ushers the rest of the townsfolk out of the room; Kellin, the halfling who runs the Old Bridge, helps him. Then the four townsfolk sit down across from you. “Well?” asks Wiston. “What happened? What sort of trouble are we in for?”

The party fill the townsfolk in on the events of the last four days, while Jorr confirms the accuracy of their story with the occasional “Ayup”.

Gwynn is firm in repeating and emphasising Howard’s message. “Look at this map we found”. “That’s our vale, all right. What do these goblin scribbles say?” The cleric is blunt, “There’s an enormous horde coming to kill you all”. “But you can stop them, can’t you? I mean, when you say enormous, you mean a hundred or so, right? We could help.” Gwynnis relentless, ”No, we mean ENORMOUS. With 50,000 hobgoblins. And manticores. And dragons. And giants. Wiston is worried, “Pelor save us! We can’t fight an army like that! What are we to do?”

The heroes confirm that they destroyed Skull Gorge Bridge. Wiston winces “Did you have to? When things get back to normal, we’ll need that bridge. There’ll be no trade along the Dawn Way until we build a new one.” “It’ll buy you some time to evacuate – which is what you should be doing”.

Finally, Wiston says, “Rest for now; I need to talk to the other town elders. I’ll ask you to come speak to all of us, later tonight.”

Town Speaker Wiston originally suspects that about a hundred hobgoblins are lurking in the area, and that with the adventurers’ aid the town militia should be able to handle them. However, Gwynn impresses upon him that thousands upon thousands of hobgoblins are advancing, supported by giants, manticores, and dragons, his next reaction is panic and indecision. The hobgoblins have never formed such a large army in the recorded history of Elsir Vale.

While the party wait for their next meeting with the town council, they are resting in the inn. A black-haired woman, her face streaked with the dust of the road, trudges into the common room. She wears a soldier’s tunic of blue and white over a shirt of mail, with the stylized image of a golden lion over her heart. She signals the barkeep. “Ale,” she rasps. “And send for your speaker. I’ve got ill news for him.”

Concerned, the party speak to the woman, who gives her name as Teyani Sura, a Lion of Brindol (that is, an elite soldier in Brindol’s Lion Guard). “I ride in the service of the Lord of Brindol. I was part of a patrol sweeping up the old Rhest Trail. Five days ago, we ran into a roadblock — hobgoblins and ogres, waylaying any travellers heading into or out of the vale from the north. They were too strong for us, and we had to retreat. My captain sent several of us riding off to warn folks across the vale to avoid the old Rhest Trail. So here I am.” Teyani describes the roadblock as “four or five ogres, maybe as many as a dozen hobgoblins.”

When the heroes tell her about the Red Hand horde, Teyani swears colourfully and drains her ale. “I’m on my way back to Brindol, then,” she mutters. “That news can’t wait. Guess I’ll need a fresh horse.” When the party show her Wyrmlord Koth’s map, she says “Lord Jarmaath needs to see this,” and she asks to borrow a copy for delivery to Brindol’s master. Teyani asks them to briefly tell her what its coded annotations say, memorizing any information they give her for her report.

Later that day, Speaker Wiston summons the heroes to his home, where Captain Soranna, Kellin (proprietor of the Old Bridge), Delora Zann (owner of the stable), and Iormel (a wealthy landowner) are waiting. Along with Norro Wiston, these people comprise the Town Council.

“Well, you all know why we’re here,” Wiston says without preamble. “In a matter of days we’re going to have an army of goblins, hobgoblins, and monsters on our doorsteps. What do we do? Fight? Try to talk to them? Abandon the town and flee? Or do nothing and hope to The Trinity that they don’t come this way?”

The councillors each have their own opinions…

Delora: Grim. A seasoned ex-adventurer herself, Delora has no illusions about how fighting or talking are likely to work out. She advocates flight, the sooner the better. “I’ve seen towns put to the sword before. Death or slavery await us if we remain here. We must gather the things we can and flee east, the sooner the better!”

Iormel: Sarcastic and snappish. He favours fighting, because he can’t bear the thought of abandoning his property or paying a hefty ransom. “We can’t let them take everything we’ve worked so hard for, just because we lack the nerve to stand up to this hobgoblin rabble!”

Kellin: Optimistic, even-tempered. Kellin advocates sending emissaries to the hobgoblins and trying to buy them off with whatever it takes. “They want treasure, don’t they? Let’s give it to them this time, but see to our defences. If they come back next year and ask for more, we’ll be ready to fight then.”

Soranna: Also grim. It’s her job to execute whatever decision the council makes, so she does not advance any particular course of action — but if asked, she replies that she thinks it would be suicide to fight. “It’s not for me to say. I’ll try to do whatever you ask me to, but I don’t think I can stop an army of thousands.”

Wiston: Flustered and indecisive. The speaker doesn’t really know what to do. He leans toward trying to talk to the hobgoblins, but he doesn’t expect that would work. “I guess I don’t see that it could hurt to at least ask them what they want . . . maybe we should tell folks to get their children and elderly in wagons heading east, while we still can. What do you think?”

Gwynn argues the case for immediate evacuation. The cleric argues persuasively, using the specific evidence that the party have gathered, including Koth’s map and notes and Maor-Collis’s eye-witness description of the Red Hand army at Cinder Hill. Finally, however reluctantly, the council accept the reality of their situation and agree to start evacuating Drellin's’s Ferry as soon as possible.

That night, Kellin invites them to the Old Bridge inn to help him finish off the drink and food that they cannot take with them in the trek eastwards towards possible safety.

Thanks to the heroes then, the evacuation of Drellin's Ferry is timely rather than a hopeless attempt to escape an enemy on the town’s doorstep. The next day, as the population leave, Speaker Wiston and Captain Soranna seek out the PCs for a quick farewell. The town of Drellin’s Ferry is empty. Houses stare vacantly out at silent roads. The sun has just vanished behind the formidable scar on the horizon that is the Wyrmsmoke Mountains. Speaker Wiston takes a deep breath and wipes tears from his eyes with the back of his hand. “It seems we’re about out of time,” he says. “We’d best be going now if we want to keep ahead of the worg riders.” Captain Soranna nods to you. “You’ve already done us good, heroes. Without your warning, we’d have all been asleep in our beds when the horde arrived on our stoops. You’ve saved many lives today. For that you have my thanks. But I am afraid your work may not be done yet. There’s nothing to stop the Red Hand before they reach the walls of Brindol.”

“If there’s anything more you can do to slow down the Red Hand, we’d be mighty grateful,” the Speaker says. “I’ll personally make sure that Lord Jarmaath knows what you’ve done for us. I reckon we’ll head east till we reach Terrelton. We’ll soon see if the horde is following or not. In the worst case, we move on to Nimon Gap, and then Talar. We’ll run all the way to Brindol if we have to. I’ve already sent some riders ahead to spread the news, warn the towns, and alert Lord Jarmaath to the dire news. Brindol’s the largest town in the vale. It’s got a good wall, and a standing army. If we can spread the word and raise the country, we might be able to stop the Red Hand there. If we can’t stand at Brindol, we can’t stand anywhere.”

“I suppose you could try to stay in front of the horde, keep the worg riders and such from slaughtering the folk of the vale-towns before they can flee. But what worries me most is the reports that the Old North Road and the Rhest Trail are blocked. If we’re going to get reinforcements from outside the vale, they’ll have to come in from Meirionydd in the north. I guess I’d say go north and find out if there are any more hobgoblins marching from that direction.”

Gwynn asks, “What’s the best way to get up north? “Well, normally I’d say the Old North Road. But right now, I wouldn’t recommend that route. You could take a boat up the Rhestwash to Lake Rhestin. Your other option is to head east toward Brindol. At Talar or Brindol, you’ll be able to cross the Elsir River and head north along the Rhest Trail. It’s up to you. The river route is probably more dangerous, but it’s faster. If you head east, I can give you several horses. If you head north from here, feel free to take any of the boats moored in town. We won’t need them.”

The party offer Jorr a place in their ranks, knowing that the guide’s courage and knowledge of the Witchwood has been invaluable to them. However, the grizzled ranger regretfully declines. Once he has collected his dogs he plans to accompany the refugees and use his bow to protect them from worg riders.

And so, Drellin’s Ferry is abandoned and the band of heroes head out of town towards Rhest. By delaying the Red Hand and convincing the townsfolk to evacuate in good order they have prevented the otherwise inevitable rout of civilisation, and the massacre of mankind.

The adventurers have learned several key pieces of information during the last week or so:

The Red Hand horde is actually an army loyal to High Wyrmlord Azarr Kul.

Kul leads the Kulkor Zul – the People of the Dragon – who worship Tiamat and have extinguished all opposition and other religions amongst the tribes of the Wyrmsmokes.

The horde means business. If it is going to be stopped, that will have to be at Brindol, the only place in Elsir Vale with a standing army large enough and the fortifications necessary to have a chance against such a large force.

Monsters are now blocking the roads to the north.

One of the leaders of the Red Hand – Wyrmlord Saarvith - is in the ruined city of Rhest – but why?

The Red Hand seem to have an interest in the Ghost Lord. This does not bode well.

The horde is going to steamroller the towns east of Drellin’s Ferry and keep going.


(21) Legends of Corwyn - Party Diary - Chapter 12

Posted by : Lewis on 24/01/2016 00:47:59

LEGENDS OF CORWYN PARTY DIARY

Volume Two – The Ruins of Rhest

Chapter Twelve (17 Jan 2016) Entrances and Exits

Kaylyn makes a last ditch effort to persuade Jorr Natherson to accompany her to Rhest. The elf finally convinces the woodsman that he can do more damage to the Red Hand as a member of the party than covering the refugees. Jorr agrees to follow her, and confides the dark secret that drove him to live alone in the forest.

Meanwhile, Ceiswir o Wybodaeth, a young female Mabion Branoci wizard, has been recovering in the Shrine to the Trinity, under Brother Derny.

Ceiswir (fortunately more usually known as ‘Cas’) studied the magic arts at Brindol Academy in the city of Brindol, where she was classmates and friends with Ferrel. They shared a passion for history and tales of the exploits of great wizards of ages past. Like Ferrel, Cas also joined the Disciples of Legend and has recently become a Mythic Exemplar, following the path of the paragon Alun.

Through their connection to the Disciples, the two wizards have studied legends/history of both the Paragons of 1000 years ago and more recently the contradictory records of the terrifying ‘Ghost Lord’ and his role in the destruction of the kingdom of Rhestilor, 200 years ago.

A couple of weeks back, encouraged by the Disciples of Legend, Cas and Ferrel recruited a small party of adventurers to travel to the Western end of Elsir Vale and investigate rumours that the Ghost Lord may be active again. Their research utilised the library of the Disciples at the Reliquary outside Dennovar and the libraries of local history and lore in Brindol.

A few days ago, travelling through the western edges of the Witchwood, the party was ambushed by a war party of goblinoids and wargs. Most of th adventurers were cut down before Cas received a serious head wound and was knocked unconscious. She recovered consciousness to find herself barely alive, pinned under the body of a worg. It appeared her dagger had pierced its brain through an eye socket. The adventurers Cas and Ferrel recruited were all dead, but of Ferrel there was no sign. Hoping that her friend had somehow survived, but fearing the worst, Cas painfully dragged herself as far as Drellin’s Ferry.

When Gwyn visits the shrine to help Brother Derny evacuate the wounded, Cas recognises him as being a fellow Disciple of Legend. It does not take long after this for Cas to be joyfully reunited with Ferrel – who explains that he was captured by the goblins and taken for interrogation before being rescued by his new friends. The two wizards had each feared the other dead.

However, their reunion is short-lived. Ferrel decides he must travel to Brindol with the refugees. With his first hand knowledge, he can add weight to the warnings already carried to the lords of the Vale by Howard. Also, Ferrel thinks he can replace Jorr in helping Captain Soranna Anitah defending the column, reckoning that his fire spells will drive away any raiding bands of worg riders and the like.

So Cas joins the party in his place. They decide to take the name "The Wolf" for their adventuring band. The party now consists of:

• Gwyn Withel – a male Human cleric of the Church of the Trinity
• Edweena – a female Aasimar healer, also a servant of the Trinity
• ‘Cas’ (Ceiswir o Wybodaeth) – a young female Mabion Branoci wizard. Accompanied by her familiar, an owl called Toupe (in the Old Tongue, this means ‘head wig’).
• Maor-Collis – a male elf ranger, with his animal companion, a cheetah called Spot.
• Kaylyn Eventyme - a female elf rogue. Accompanied by her follower, Jorr Natherson and her familiar, a parrot.
• Taegen Eventyme – a male elf fighter/rogue.

Taking advantage of Speaker Wiston’s offer, The Wolf take a couple of boats from the dock and navigate up the Elsir River and then the Rhestwash, heading for Lake Rhestin. They are not sure what to expect when they reach the Blackfens around the city that once ruled the Vale. Of possible allies, they have only come across scant references to the Tiri Kitor – wild elves that were the caretakers of the swamplands from the time before even the kingdom of Rhestilor. However, little is known of the Tiri Kitor’s current state and how the wild elves might respond to those intruding on their realm.

The party have three goals:

1. To investigate Tomas Denzil’s claim that somehow Sylvar Lightfoot, supposedly dead for centuries, is still in Rhest and has ‘a gift’ for them.
2. To find out what the Red Hand’s officer, Wyrmlord Saarvith is doing in Rhest (is he also after Sylvar’s gift?).
3. To try to lift the Red Hand’s blockade of the roads between Elsir Vale and Meirionydd to the north.

They travel up the river for a couple of days. On the first night, they camp making use of Cas's welcome magical secure shelter. On Maor-Collis’s watch, he is attacked by a giant viper. Although the party defeat the monstrous snake without injury, they are perturbed to discover that markings on its scales appear to spell out praise to the ‘Serpent Who Dreams’ in a demonic language.

The next day, the party are having to use their horses to drake the boats up river, when they are ambushed by a colony of river crocodiles. There is a bloody but brief battle. Cas again proves useful, summoning fiendish dire sharks to hold off the crocodiles in the water, while her companions fight those on the land. The Wolf escape with minor injuries.

Once they reach the edge of Lake Rhestin, rather than risk a long trek through the Blackfens, the party make a decision to cut eastwards across country, using the firmer ground at the north edge of the Witchwood. During the night, something large flies overhead. The next day, hitting the Rhest Trail, they turn north along the road. Once they are near Rhest, they will then cut through the Blackfens to the drowned city. A longer journey overall, but one that means less time in the marshes and swamps of the Blackfens.

After some miles, Kaylyn’s parrot, flying ahead to scout, returns with a warning that there is a blockade on the road ahead – one guarded by numerous goblins and ogres!


(22) Legends of Corwyn - Party Diary - Chapter 13

Posted by : Lewis on 26/01/2016 22:51:24

Legends of Corwyn - Volume Two - The Ruins of Rhest

Chapter 13 - Lifting the Blockade

Cautiously, the sneakiest members of The Wolf edge forward to spy out the blockade. Up ahead a crude, ten-foot-high palisade of logs has been erected across the road, extending forty feet to either side and completely blocking all passage. A squat, twenty-foot-tall watchtower looms in the middle of the palisade. Our heroes catch a glimpse of movement up in the tower, and spy a hobgoblin archer leaning against a post, chin on his chest.

The company come up with a cunning plan. Cas casts a 'Protection from Arrows' spell on Gwyn. The cleric then strides along the road towards the blockade, loudly announcing his presence and bringing the good news of The Trinity. As expected, the Red Hand forces occupying the palisade rouse themselves and then start to try to kill the bold intruder. First, the hobgoblin archers on the towers try to slay him with arrows. Then two huge shaggy heads peek over the wall. Then these ogres start hurling giant-sized spears at Gwyn. This exhausts the spell and Gwyn takes some actual damage. He makes this look far worse than it is and drops, apparently having been hit by many missiles.

Under cover of this distraction, the rest of the company manoeuvre into position. Edweena grants the power of flight to several of the party, but drains her strength to power the spell. Maor-Collis and Jorr provide ranged support, while Taegen prepares to help Gwyn and Cas and Kaylyn sneak up on the palisade.

As hoped for, the Red Hand soldiers open the southern door of the fortification, in order to come out and loot the 'corpse of the stupid cleric'. They get a nasty surprise when Gwyn leaps to his feet and Taegen joins him.

Things do not go entirely the party's way, as the two ogres charge into Gwyn and Taegen, causing them extremely serious wounds with their enchanted giant-sized greatclubs. However, with some ranged support from the two rangers, brief help from Spot and healing from Edweena, the cleric and the elf eventually triumph, slaying one of the mighty ogres and several of their hobgoblin allies.

Edweena casts her blinding spell and finishes off the last ogre and a hobgoblin.

Meanwhile, Cas and Kaylyn storm the central part of the blockade. Cas so terrifies one of the hobgoblin archers by a combination of 'Mirror Image' and 'Magic Missile' that the poor thing panics, falls off its ladder and plummets to the ground below, breaking its neck. Kaylyn kills a hobgoblin sergeant with her swords And some help from Gwyn's 'Spiritual Weapon' spell (a flying glowing longsword).

The final two surviving hobgoblin archers attempt to flee by opening the north gate, but thanks to the power of flight, find a number of the party waiting for them. The goblinoids immediately surrender.

The party interrogate their captives, terrifying them with magical threats (an invisible, flying glowing longsword) and force them to say that they have converted to worship The Trinity, instead of that nasty Tiamat.

Before being sent on their way with pamphlets, the demoralised hobgoblins reveal that they were ordered to set up these blockades and to guard them by Wyrmlord Saarvith, but they are quick to add that they were only supposed to be here for a few days before they were replaced with fresh guards. They know little or nothing about what’s going on in the Blackfens or farther south with the main army.

The adventurers recover a degree of magical and masterworked loot, including rings of protection and masterworked swords. What they can't take with them, they cache nearby and leave a Trinity-based set of clues to the location.

Our heroes have succeeded in the first of their objectives on this mission - they have broken the Red Hand's blockade on the Rhest Trail!


(23) Legends of Corwyn - Party Diary - Chapter 14

Posted by : Lewis on 06/02/2016 12:10:45

LEGENDS OF CORWYN PARTY DIARY

Volume Two – The Ruins of Rhest

Chapter Fourteen (31 Jan 2016) A Worrying Development

The heroes camp for the night near the edge of the Blackfens. Although there are sounds of a large predator some distance into the marshes, the company are not harassed and manage to get a decent night’s sleep (or meditation, in the case of the elves).

The next morning (the ninth day since they arrived at Drellin’s Ferry) is all about spell selection. Gwyn provides all their horses and some of the heroes with the ability to walk on water, meaning they can travel at normal speed over the bogs and streams. Cas, meanwhile, identifies several of the magic items that the company of the Wolf have captured over the last week or so.

A low, mossy island of mud and peat protrudes from the marsh waters ahead. Two gnarled trees grow fitfully on the rugged ground, and sprawled across their turgid roots is the ruined and bloody remains of a horse-sized owl. The once-magnificent bird’s body has been partially dissolved in places, and swaths of foul, dark green fluid still sizzle and pop, eating away at exposed flesh and bone.

The creature that killed the owl lurks in the underbrush nearby. As the heroes examine the owl’s carcass, they are spotted by a lanky, crested, humanoid green Dragon with wings growing from its arms and fingers the way those of a bat do. The wing edges are as hard as tempered steel and razor sharp. This thing (that Cas later calls a ‘greenspawn razorfiend’) immediately rushes through the underbrush to attack.

In the combat that follows, the razorfiend uses its Spring Attack feat and breath weapon to wear down the heroes without giving them much chance to mire it down in melee. It use its outstanding jumping ability to leap over obstacles that otherwise would slow its movement. It is able to launch frequent, devastating clouds of acid, that are not hampered by water, and the creature itself seems equally comfortable on land or underwater. It wounds several of the heroes and kills a number of their mounts. Finally, a combination of Gwyn’s spiritual weapon spell and ranged attacks from the archers kill the terrifying monstrosity.

A search of the islet reveals that the razorfiend has done quite well for itself, having plundered what appears to be ruined wizard’s manor or similar. Its treasure lies in a rusty iron coffer, sitting on the highest point of the islet and includes four magic items: a headband, a rapier, a pearl, and a ring, together with 720 gp.

When the party search the dead owl, they discover it has a jade band around one leg. The band is inscribed with Elven letters that spell the name “Liokio”. The heroes cut open the razorfiend and find in its digestive tract an obsidian ring set with a single white pearl and the mostly digested remains of an elven skull and fingers.

Cas tentatively identifies the slain monster as a “dragon-blooded greenspawn razorfiend”. She says it is the first example she has seen of something that the Disciples of Legend have been hearing rumours of recently. Supposedly, Tiamat – Queen of Evil Dragons – has access to Body Weaver™ technology/magic and has either crossed the bloodlines of her dragon offspring/worshippers with other creatures (including fiends) or else has found a way to ‘tweak’ the eggs of her children and alter the creatures that hatch to produce powerful new warriors. Cas believes this leaping, acidic monstrosity is one of these ‘spawn of Tiamat.

A few minutes later, our heroes hear a strange rush of wind and see soaring overhead six giant owls like the one that lies dead in the clearing. Each bears a rider — a dark-haired elf wearing leather armor dyed green and brown to match the colours of the marsh. The flying elves circle the area twice, and then alight next to the slain owl. They study the party with narrowed eyes. Then one speaks. “Who are you?” he demands. “What are you doing in the marsh?”

The party have their first tense encounter with the mysterious protectors of the wetlands – the savage and reclusive wild elves, known as the Tiri Kitor.

This patrol of elves consists of five Tiri Kitor hunters and Battlehunter Killiar Arrowswift, the leader of the tribe’s hunters. They have been searching for a brash and daring young elf named Lanikar Nightshadow, brother of their tribe’s High Singer, who has been missing for two days now.

Killiar is obviously the leader of this group; the other elves say nothing during this encounter. His initial attitude toward the company of the Wolf is unfriendly, since he suspects they might be bandits or mercenaries who are simply lost in the marsh. Once the Battlehunter realises that the heroes killed the razorfiend (which he calls a ‘harrowblade’), he becomes more inclined to listen, since the elves hold no love for these strange new creatures that have suddenly infested their homeland.

The party hand over the jade band and the ring that they found. Killiar reads the name engraved on the band, recognises Lanikar’s ring and initially grows even more sullen. However, this act of honesty and generosity on their part forces Killiar to reconsider his opinion of them, and (combined with Gwyn’s gift of the gab) is enough to push his initial reaction into a more friendly category.

Killiar asks the heroes to accompany him back to his tribe’s main encampment deep in the Blackfens, remarking that their presence in the region seems both fortuitous and suspect. He says that the speaker of his tribe might want to converse with them, but gives no other information. He offers the PCs rides on his and his hunters’ owls, telling them that the encampment is fairly close by air but far away by boat or land. Killiar has to ask a couple of the company to wait here for him to go fetch more owls. He leaves one of his hunters. The surviving horses are eventually led to one of the Tiri Kitor’s smaller, but nearby, camps.

The Tiri Kitor have numerous encampments in the Blackfens, most of which contain only a dozen or so tents or tree-platforms and serve as home for thirty to forty wild elves. The largest encampment, known as Starsong Hill, is home to nearly five hundred elves. This is where the party are taken by giant owls.

Starsong Hill is a mound of dry land surrounded by a thick grove of trees. The hill within this grove only rises 20 feet from the surface of the surrounding wetlands at its highest point. The wild elves live in simple hide and wooden shelters similar to wigwams. The southern third of the hill is uninhabited by the elves; here, the giant owls allied with the tribe nest in the tall trees.

The giant owls are silent as they wing through the gloom, apparently able to navigate effortlessly through the darkness. The wild elf escorts are also silent, aside from softly pointing out some dimly glimpsed landmark far below from time to time. Before long, they reach their destination.

Rising from the marsh is a low hill of solid ground, encircled by a thick ring of trees. Dozens of pinpoints of light dot the hill — small lanterns filled with fireflies, each hanging from a tree-platform or the upper reaches of a conical tent. Many elves silently emerge to watch as the owls fly overhead. Killiar produces a sleek, silver horn of some sort from a saddlebag and blows one wailing note similar to a loon’s cry. Near the hill’s peak stand three large trees, and built into their boughs are wooden structures. One glows softly with luminescence of its own and seems to be a temple. Another looks to be some sort of public building or town hall. The third, and your destination, is the smallest of the three — a cozy-looking tree house set above a large pool (which is occupied by a giant crocodile!)

Waiting inside thye tree house is a wise-looking and ancient elf. She wears flowing golden and green robes, and her hair is braided around a complex headdress made of wicker and wood. She stands next to a much younger female elf in plain brown and green robes who looks to have been crying recently. The younger elf is seated in a large wicker chair, and the standing elf indicates nearby chairs for you. Behind you, Killiar the hunter takes a silent stance near the door.

“I am Sellyria Starsinger, Speaker for the Tiri Kitor,” the standing elf says. She indicates the seated elf and continues, “This is High Singer Trellara Nightshadow. We do not often see strangers in our homeland. Now, strangers, what brings you to the Blackfens?”


(24) Legends of Corwyn - Party Diary - Chapter 15

Posted by : Lewis on 13/02/2016 02:31:20

LEGENDS OF CORWYN PARTY DIARY

Volume Two – The Ruins of Rhest

Chapter Fifteen (07 Feb 2016) Potential Allies

The elves that Killiar sent back to pick up the rest of the party finally arrive with Maor-Collis and Jorr Natherson. There is a surprising development and a nasty moment when the two rangers enter the treehouse. Sellyria reacts badly to Jorr’s arrival, branding him a “therian’ and demanding to know why the party brought such a thing into the protected wetlands.

Gwyn is totally confused as to what is going on, until Cas explains that Jorr is a lycanthrope! Gwyn is not very happy at such a secret having been kept. However, when Jorr admits that he is a were-tiger, not evil, that he inherited the condition and has it under control, then Gwyn uses his powers of diplomacy to mollify the wild elves (Wild? They were livid! etc, etc). Given that the more puerile members of the party immediately start making jokes about Jorr getting jiggly with Spot the cheetah, we can perhaps understand the woodsman’s reticence.

Accepting the heroes’ reassurances about Jorr, Sellyria thanks the company of The Wolf for their aid in slaying the greenspawn razorfiend thingy, which she refers to as a “harrow-blade”. She informs the PCs that it was Trellara’s brother who was slain by the creature. Sellyria listens to their explanation quietly, without interrupting, but does not answer their questions until she is satisfied that the PCs have explained their presence. One interesting point that emerges is that Sellyria claims that the Tiri Kitor have been on the island that makes up the ‘North Kingdom’ (as was) for many thousands of years longer than anyone else – she says that they were already here when King Theron’s forefathers brought the so-called First Civilisation here, around 3,000 years ago.

Finally, the elf Speaker is ready to answer the heroes’ questions. She explains, “As you have seen, the marsh is growing dangerous. We have long struggled to hold these beautiful lands for our own. The local lizardfolk have vexed us for many decades, but now a new peril stalks the Blackfens. We do not go into the ruins of Rhest. The place has bad memories. It was once the centre of a proud nation, but now it is little more than a few ruined buildings slowly sinking into the mire. We respect the memories of that folk and avoid the place. The lizardfolk do not.”

“I do not know why the Red Hand as you call them are so interested in Rhest. Months ago some dark power established itself in the ruins and brought the lizardfolk under its dominion. Whoever it is has not meddled with our encampments yet. We have not tried to infiltrate the ruins for fear of arousing a wrath we may be ill-equipped to cope with.

“The forces in Rhest are not many, but they are strong. Their leader is a cruel and clever goblin chief. They have claimed several buildings near the centre of the ruins. The thing that worries me most is the dragon. We have seen the beast in the skies. It has not attacked any of our encampments, yet I fear it is simply biding its time. The dragon is black, and not quite as large as one of our giant owls.

“That creature you fought – the harrow-blade – is something new to us, even in all our long history. We’ve seen only a few of them over the past few weeks. Poor Lanikar was the first of us to fall to one. Our high priest, Illian Snowmantle, claims that they have ties to the infernal. Until today, none of the beasts have been sighted far from Rhest — it seems obvious that the ruin’s new tenants have something to do with them.

“You are now our guests. If you need healing, you should seek out Illian Snowmantle at the temple. If you wish to trade, simply ask. Beyond this there is little I can offer. I must keep our defences focused on our homes. Alas, we dare not fight the Red Hand openly. We need all our warriors here, should the beasts in Rhest grow more numerous. Perhaps if the menace in Rhest were driven out. . . . perhaps then we could do more…?”

“What we can do is provide you with boats, although I cannot loan you our owls. They are our strongest defence, and we may need them all in the coming days.

Sellyria thanks the heroes again for slaying the harrow-blade. She also invites them to attend Lanikar’s funeral the following day. The party use their freedom to move about Starsong Hill to go on an epic shopping spree to purchase, amongst other things, magic arrows and crystals that can be attached to their armour to help them deal with the extremes of heat around midday. Cas hands the wings of the Harrow-blade to the Tiri Kitor’s weaponsmith. He agrees to make one into a sword for the party in return for keeping the other one to sell for profit. The elven weaponsmith reckons that the resulting blades will be masterworked and capable of cutting through hardness and DR.

The next day is Lanikar’s funeral. The elves’ funeral ceremony for Lanikar consists of an hour of song led by the deceased’s sister, Trellara. Usually the body would be burned atop a pyre and the ashes collected in an urn to be kept in the Hall of Ancestors. Since no body was recovered, Only a scrap of bone, the pyre consists of boughs and branches collected by all the elves and anointed with holy water, along with various small mementos. These ashes are placed in a proxy urn, along with Lanikar’s ring. After the ceremony, the elves spend the rest of the day in celebration of Lanikar’s time with them, with feasting, dancing, and storytelling (particularly of stories involving Lanikar himself) taking them well into the night.

Gwyn takes an opportunity to speak to Trellara Nightshadow and offer both his condolences and a magic sword. The High Singer is touched by his gestures, and reveals that her grief is soldifying into a thirst for revenge on those responsible for unleashing the Harrow-blades that killed her brother. Knowing that Sellyria and the other elves would not approve (as they do not want to provoke a conflict with the Red Hand), Trellara secretly arranges with Gwyn to accompany the party on their infiltration of Rhest. She will make sure that she is one of the guides who steers them to Rhest on the morrow, and then will stay with them.

Meanwhile, Cas has had some disturbing thoughts.

(1) The Red Hand came to Rhest, then the harrow-blades appeared.

(2) The harrow-blades appear to be a combination of dragon and fiend – such combinations of bloodlines were once performed by the Body Weavers using their feared Body Looms.

(3) Tomas Denzil reckoned that ‘Sylvar Lightfoot’ had a gift for citizens of the Corwynic League in time of dire need – and we’ve all been assuming this is a weapon.

(4) The harrow-blades are a type of weapon.

(5) Therefore, could the ‘gift’ – if it exists – be a dread Body Loom?

Arguing against this unsettling line of thought would be the legend that says that Sylvar and the Brotherhood of the Wolf once came into possession of a Body Loom – and promptly disposed of it by chucking it into a deep chasm in the Underdark.

The proud city of Rhest, capital of the kingdom of Rhestilor, once stood as the center of civilization in this region, its rule extending far to the east and west and south. After three hundred years of glory, a combination of corruption, treachery, and civil strife weakened the kingdom to such an extent that it was unable to withstand the horde that assaulted it two hundred years ago. This last great goblinoid uprising before the present day saw the kingdom destroyed and the city of Rhest sacked. As the goblin horde looted the burning town, its remaining defenders made a fateful decision and destroyed the levees that held back the waters of the Stonewash River, flooding the city and drowning the horde. In the aftermath, the survivors abandoned their homes and resettled in Dennovar, Brindol, and similar communities to the south. For the last two centuries, the city of Rhest has slowly been sinking into the sodden Blackfens.

The next day, the Tiri Kitor assign two guides (Trellara and one of the hunters) to take the company upstream to the ruins of Rhest. When the time comes for the wild elves to turn back, Trellara refuses, the thirst for revenge burning brightly in her eyes. The hunter reluctantly returns alone.

A large, dark lake broods in the marshland here, measuring nearly two miles wide. The cloying reek of decaying vegetation and swamp ooze is thick in the air, and countless frogs and insects and marsh-birds chirp and croak and call to each other. Out near the middle of the lake, dozens of decrepit stone buildings jut from the black waters. In most cases, these buildings sag and lean treacherously, the windows of their upper stories now even with the still lake’s surface. Three buildings seem to have survived relatively intact. One is a once-grand marble mausoleum, sitting on a small hill that was once a graveyard, another is a large stone tower, about a quarter-mile from the southern shore, and the last a large stone building near the lake’s centre. The latter two structures have rickety wooden walkways ringing them at water level. These look like recent additions; it would seem that someone has made an attempt to settle down here.

The party take the time to observe the lake and its environs from hiding. They see lizardfolk lurking about various huts that ring the lake and note a glint of steel and movement near the top of the tower out in the lake as hobgoblin sentries move about. They hear a distant, chittering roar from somewhere within the ruins, which sounds much like the roar of the greenspawn razorfiend. After a few hours of observation, the characters see a group of six lizardfolk board a reed boat and paddle across the lake to the central building. They moor the boat and enter. Five minutes later, the PCs hear a tremendous roar followed by two wailing screams and a loud hissing sound—not the same roar that they have heard already. Four lizardfolk immediately emerge from the building, scramble back down to their boat, and hurriedly return to shore to hide in their hut.

The party see their chance to strike. They ambush the four returning lizardfolk as they try to enter their hut. Very swiftly, three of the lizardfolk are slain and the third is captured and interrogated. It seems the black dragon Regiarix and goblin Wyrmlord Saarvith are generally to be found in the central building. The lizardfolk regard the dragon as a god. However, the lizard prisoner claims that the inhabitants of the marsh never go near the mausoleum… on account of the ‘ghosts that walk’.

Ah. That could be a problem…


(25) Legends of Corwyn - Party Diary - Chapter 16

Posted by : Lewis on 21/02/2016 12:36:16

LEGENDS OF CORWYN PARTY DIARY

Volume Two – The Ruins of Rhest

Chapter Sixteen (14 Feb 2016) The Ghost of Corwyn Past

The heat of the day causes an awful lot of moisture to be drawn from the wetlands, until this builds into a sudden but heavy thunderstorm. The party decide to take advantage of the cover provided by the downpour. They decide to tackle the bell tower first, the rain meaning that sight and hearing across the lake are severely restricted.

This stone building, obviously an old bell tower, protrudes from the lake at a slant, reaching a height of thirty feet above the surface of the water. Eroded images of dozens of lions—stalking, sleeping, and pouncing— adorn its sides. A rickety-looking wooden platform has been built around the tower’s circumference at water level, with three small skiffs docked alongside. It appears that the tower is three stories tall, but only its upper two floors remain above water.

The bell tower is held by a group of six hobgoblin veterans, commanded by a hobgoblin bladebearer named Korkulan. A shift of three hobgoblins is stationed on lookout duty in the bell room (the top floor) while the other three sleep in their makeshift barracks on the lower level. Thanks to the weather, the three on duty hobgoblins do not spot the heroes until the reed skiffs they are using are within 50 feet of the tower.

A massive iron bell weighing tons hangs within the upper level of the old tower. Its clapper has long since rusted away, but when the hobgoblins see the intruders they beat on the bell with the hilts of their swords, raising a clamour that alerts the rest of the Red Hand troops (and perhaps everyone else for miles around).

With a mixture of spells and arrows, the heroes severely wound the guards and then storm the tower. The hobgoblin champion, Korkulan, barely has time to issue a challenge to single combat before he is riddled with Maor-Collis’ arrows and dies. Before long, the rest of his garrison join him in death.

The room being used a barracks reeks of stale body odour and rotten food. Three double bunk beds are pushed up against the east wall, and a single bed sits to the south, with a wooden chest protruding from beneath it. A rickety wooden table and three chairs round out the room’s cramped furnishings. A long dagger has been thrust up through the table from below, its thin blade protruding from the table’s centre. No less than three dead frogs are impaled on the blade. Those with local knowledge recognise this as a favourite goblinoid game called Stupid Frog. In theory, the hobgoblins take turns trying to impale frogs on a dagger blade stuck in a table. In reality, most games of Stupid Frog are spent trying to catch frogs that prove too smart for the hobgoblins and leap in unanticipated directions.

Korkulan has a key to the locked chest under his bed. Inside the chest are four bags holding 25 gp each, perhaps money set aside for bribes. Wedged in behind the bags are three potions of transmutation magic.

Before deciding where to go next, Cas uses a clairvoyance spell to spy out the likely target of the old Town Hall. What the Mabion Branoci wizard sees is as follows…

What must have been an impressive stone structure now lies half submerged in the lake. Its facade still displays majestic heroes bearing heraldic lion devices and armed with swords, spears, and bows, their countenances carved into marble pillars. The building’s ground floor is now completely submerged, and its second floor sits just above the water level, its marble heroes caked with moss and mud. The third floor is partially collapsed, exposing its rooms to the sky above. A wooden walkway has been lashed together around the building’s perimeter, and a floating bridge leads to a nearby low ruin surrounded by a wooden fence. Two flights of wooden stairs lead up along the facade to the ruined roof above.

It looks like the easiest method of entering the Town Hall is by way of one of two stairways from the roof. However, unfortunately the roof is also where at least four ogres are posted. Apart from rubble and the six ogre beds (little more than gravel nests), the only things of interest here are seven barrels of ten javelins each, positioned at various points about the roof.

Down on the boardwalk, two more ogres stand guard, and as Cas scrys the scene, a much larger giant sticks its head out of a door. Sorry, did I say ‘head’? I meant ‘heads’. Plural.

So, that’s at least seven giants, then. And Cas has not seen any sign of Saarvith or Regiarix. And, on top of that, the giants all appear to be on high alert, possibly as a result of the hobgoblins’ amateur campanology effort. (ah, but does it count as a pastime or a sport?).

Right, so, off we go to Sylvar’s Mausoleum.

After another trip by skiff across the lake in the rain, the heroes are soon picking their way through the semi submerged gravestones and up the hill to the most important tombs, so far largely untouched by the rising water.

Gwyn, Maor-Collis and Taegen force open the doors to the tomb, identified by Sylvar Lightfoot’s name in Elven and Common. Inside, apart from the sarcophagus itself are various carvings. One attracts attention. Carved on the walls in large letters are the words: “A battle without end is our blood. But a fight worth the work.”

After some head scratching the various assembled historical experts recognise this as a misquote of something Sylvar is once supposed to have said many centuries ago. Sure enough, Kaylyn discovers that the words can be moved around on the wall. Once the words are reassembled to spell out the quote correctly – “Our work is a fight without end, but a battle worth the blood” – then suddenly the ghost of Sylvar Lightfoot appears!!

The undead spectre of the last of the Brotherhood cannot resist trying to scare the heroes, but soon gets down to a more serious business. Waiting for the heroes to overcome their awe at meeting one of the legendary paragons from 1000 years ago, the ghostly elf admits that the quote was actually from an inspirational speech he had to give during the Reign of Fire. He didn’t talk like that the rest of the time!

Sylvar admits that during, their pursuit of the Vanguard of Sertrous to recover the weapons of legacy, the Brotherhood overlooked one threat they encountered. In the Underdark, they were briefly assailed by the aboleth that some call Imaug. This ancient primordial force invaded their minds and learnt all about their quest and the weapons they were trying to wrest from the Vanguard. Thinking they had escaped, the Brotherhood gave no more thought to this incident.

However, the aboleth is ‘older than the gods’ and the passage of 1000 years matters little to such a creature. Waiting until Sylvar had helpfully gathered all the weapons, the Five Treasures of the Old North, in one place, Imaug has sent his sinister agents to recover the weapons. Whatever such a monstrosity wants such magical power for, it cannot be good. After all, the Vanguard of Sertrous gathered them in order to perform the Sacrament of the Risen King ritual to raise the Slumbering Serpent!

Finally Sylvar reveals the secret entrance to the half drowned network of tunnels below his tomb. Down here are the vaults that contain the “Pum Trysorau Hen Ogledd”. Down here are the hideously corrupted agents of the aboleth, who already have at least one of the weapons…


(26) Legends of Corwyn - Party Diary - Chapter 17

Posted by : Lewis on 28/02/2016 09:06:23

LEGENDS OF CORWYN PARTY DIARY

Volume Two – The Ruins of Rhest

Chapter Seventeen (21 Feb 2016) It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Fishmen

Beneath Sylvar’s tomb lies a network of tunnels and chambers designed by him with the help of the mighty wizard Morwenn, who also supplied magical defences for the Five Treasures. The first tunnel is broad, long and straight. It is also dark, and very damp. The water and slime underfoot makes fast movement a tricky proposition.

The party soon find the first side chamber that once held one of the Five Treasures. Unfortunately, the only thing it contains now is a dead Kua Toa, which is – to say the least – rather pungent.

Pushing on, the heroes soon run into another group of tomb raiders consisting of three Kua Toa and three rather odd humanoids with transparent skin. A complex tactical battle unfolds, as the two factions try to take advantage of the lighting conditions, the range, standing and fallen pillars for cover and the treacherous footing.

The Kua Toa unleash lightning bolts, which injure most of the heroes, some cunning traps in the form of giant statues of warriors cause more damage. The party’s archers take advantage of their low-light vision and superior archery skills to eliminate the Kua Toa. Kaylyn and Taegen close to melee range with the strange transparent humanoids, who reek of rotting fish even worse than the Kua Toa.

Kaylyn has some terrifying moments as one of the creatures charges at her brandishing a glowing longsword. Fortunately the strange humanoid misses and does not decapitate the elf. Meanwhile her brother, Taegen, is touched by one of the creatures and has to fight off the effects of their slime. Luckily, the elven swordsman is made of tough stuff and survives unchanged.

The party triumph, and now have in their possession Dur Llachar – the magic longsword better known as Bright Steel.

The dead humanoids are strange to even the most experienced dungeoneers. Apart from the transparent skin and slime, they are not all physically the same. One resembles a human, one some sort of bald dwarf, and the other some sort of elf.

The heroes proceed further into the network of tunnels and discover two more chambers. Each is protected by Morwenna’s magical traps. They manage to get past the wards, where the aboleth’s agents were not able to. Now they hold three of the Five Treasures, ‘Bright Steel’, the black longsword ‘Merthúvial’ and the shield known as ]‘The Aegis Inviolable’. When Gwyn Withel picks up the latter, the design on the face of the shield suddenly changes to the holy symbol of the Trinity.

Now the heroes are faced with some difficulties.

First, they have discovered the whereabouts of another chamber, but this time the magical ward is not so easily bypassed. To pass safely one must be the spell’s original caster or speak a password. Two members of the party consult Sylvar’s ghost, but he can only offer three suggestions.

Second, one direction ahead is full of wa

ter, and appears to require at least some underwater swimming…


(27) Legends of Corwyn - Party Diary - Chapter 18/19

Posted by : Lewis on 13/03/2016 10:34:51

LEGENDS OF CORWYN PARTY DIARY

Volume Two – The Ruins of Rhest

Chapters Eighteen and Nineteen (28 Feb/06 Mar 2016) - A Race Through Dark Places, Parts 1 & 2

The party are intrigued to learn snapshots of the life of the great wizard with whom they are having a battle of wits across a gap of centuries. Morwenna travelled with Sylvar on his last adventure and it was she who brought his body back to Rhest and built the magical protections for the Five Treasures he had assembled.

Morwenna once had a faithful hound called Ren, who died saving his mistress. The wizard was sent to kill an orc messiah, but instead ended up ruling the orcs with him for a number of years – the orcs knew her as ‘Morganna’. For a time Morwenna had General Flynnas her familiar/companion and she had a son called Morgan. Sylvar will not reveal the name of Morgan’s father, only that he was ‘a famous villain’. Sylvar confirms that he saw her wield both fire and electricity spells, but that her most unusual and powerful magical achievement was the ability to wield time itself as a weapon. This was a distinction she shared with her apprentice, variously known as ‘Raven’ or ‘Silverwing’] until they had a falling out.

The heroes decide to tackle the well-protected chamber first. From a subtle clue pointing to the Mother Goddess, Chauntea, they guess that the password is the name of Morwenna’s son, 'Morgan'. This is just as well, as it is doubtful that even the party’s elaborate precautions would have saved Kaylyn from the force of Morwenna’s ancient protective glyph. Within the chamber they discover the legendary staff, Banrhialorg.

There are two ways to go from here. One means travelling a distance underwater. Exploring the other way ahead leads only to a large sinkhole, possibly the means by which the aboleth’s fishy agents gained access to the tunnels.

After careful preparation and filling their lungs with air, the party brave the underwater route. It is possibly the longest 100 feet any of them have ever travelled. They are beset by crocodiles, Kua-toa and the aboleth’s weird mutated slaves. The party barely make it to the pocket of air on the other side of the flood before some of them would have run out of air and drowned.

However, they are not unscathed. Cas was touched by one of the aboleth’s slaves, who transmitted some sort of disease to her. Edweena steps in quickly to halt the progress of the disease, but Cas’s arm now has transparent skin and exudes a revolting slime. The mabion baronoci wizard resisted the telepathic link from Imaug that also came with the slave’s awful touch.

In the pocket of air, the party do rather better than the kuo-toa by discovering that the apparent final chamber is a bluff. The real one is in the floor. Only good-aligned creatures can pass Morwenna’s ward and the chamber is of course flooded. Maor-Collis takes the plunge. While the ranger is recovering the armour Nanietharil, Kaylyn attempts to disable the magical and mundane traps. However, the rogue instead sets them off, briefly trapping her fellow elf and risking collapsing the whole ancient tunnel network. Fortunately, Maor-Collis is able to escape the chamber and the extra flooding Kaylyn has caused is slow enough for the heroes to exit back through the flood without drowning! On the far side, Trellara, Jorr and Spot are very pleased to see them return.

Finally, the party have recovered all Five Treasures of the Old North. They hold items that were wielded by legendary heroes, including their own heroes, the Brotherhood of the Wolf and the Paragons. Sylvar’s ghost has two final tasks to perform before he goes to his final rest. The undead elf formally transfers ownership of the various legacy treasures to various members of the party. Then he reveals the hiding place of a book wrapped in oilskin.

This volume is ‘Pum Trysorau Hen Ogledd’. It is written in elven runes, but the language is not Elven, it is The Old Tongue. Fortunately, two members of the party are fluent in both languages and able to decode the book, It is a treasure in its own right. It represents the accumulated lore, knowledge and information that Sylvar and his hired sages and wizards acquired over a period of centuries. Containing spells, feats, rituals, trigger words and so on – it is nothing less than a complete instruction manual for the Five Treasures!


(28) Legends of Corwyn - Party Diary - Chapter 20

Posted by : Lewis on 20/03/2016 09:07:06

LEGENDS OF CORWYN PARTY DIARY

Volume Two – The Ruins of Rhest – The Bigger They Are…

Chapter Twenty (13 Mar 2016)

The party spend the night in Sylvar’s tomb, now empty of the paragon’s ghostly presence after more than three centuries. Glancing through the book ‘Pum Trysorau Hen Ogledd’ they realise there is much collected knowledge here to put the Five Treasures to even greater use. Six centuries' worth of investigation and experiment turned up all sorts of magic and training that can enhance the items’ powers. Cas also discovers some intriguing marginalia that hint at other, unknown powers. One word reoccurs several times, ‘Tessina’.

During the night, patrols of lizardfolk led by hobgoblins systematically search the lake. When they land on the cemetery hill, the heroes scare them away with ghost sounds, as if Sylvar’s spectre is still in residence.

The next morning a low mist wreaths the lake that was once the proud city of Rhest. Despite the hazard to navigation, the party are able to use the dawn fog – and Cas’s boating skills – to slip between the various ruins of roofs and spires, and get close to the remains of Rhest’s town hall. Then the heroes employ their magic to complete the approach in total silence and invisibility.

What must have been an impressive stone structure now lies half submerged in the lake. Its facade still displays majestic heroes bearing heraldic lion devices and armed with swords, spears, and bows, their countenances carved into marble pillars. The building’s ground floor is now completely submerged, and its second floor sits just above the water level, its marble heroes caked with moss and mud. The third floor is partially collapsed, exposing its rooms to the sky above. A wooden walkway has been lashed together around the building’s perimeter, and a floating bridge leads to a nearby low ruin surrounded by a wooden fence. Two flights of wooden stairs lead up along the facade to the ruined roof above.

Using their magic cover, the party easily gain a foothold on the walkway and start to attack the town hall’s monstrous defenders. On the rooftop are four ogres, while two more patrol the walkway itself. As these two are dealt with, a two-headed ettin appears from within the building. The three giants at ground level are peppered with arrows and stabbed by the Eventyme siblings. Cas, Gwyn and Edweena are able to use their magic to support their comrades, not revealing themselves for quite some time.

A lightly-armoured hobgoblin appears and seems to be in charge of the ettin and the ogres. He attempts to cast a ‘dominate person’ spell from a scroll, targeting Taegen. However, the elf swordsman resists and then the hobgoblin too is wounded. But not before he shouts an order to the ogres on the roof and one of them blows a long blast on a loud horn. The call echoes across the misty lake…


(29) Legends of Corwyn - Party Diary - Chapter 21

Posted by : Lewis on 29/03/2016 00:03:32

LEGENDS OF CORWYN PARTY DIARY

Volume Two – The Ruins of Rhest

Chapter Twenty-One (20 Mar 2016) … The Harder They Fall

The battle of Rhest Town Hall is short, but exceedingly bloody. The horn blast warns the black dragon Regiarix that something is amiss at the Town Hall. As the fight against the remaining ogres and hobgoblin continues, the dragon arrives within half-a-minute, bearing on his back a skilled goblin archer – Wyrmlord Saarvith!

Regiarix employs his breath weapon, a line of acid that burns several of the heroes and also drops Trellara Nightshadow. The High Singer of the Tiri Kitor is mortally wounded and Edweena has to fight to make her way to the stricken elf bard in time to save Trellara’s life.

Saarvith’s arrows wound Maor-Collis only slightly. The elf ranger’s ‘dragonbane’ arrows, on the other hand are far more deadly, wounding Regiarix severely. The impetuous dragon is so enraged by this that he pounces on Maor-Collis and starts biting and clawing the ranger, severely wounding him. The presence of such a dangerous opponent amongst them provokes Jorr to transform into a terrifying, ogre-sized tiger/human hybrid monster. In this form, Jorr rips the black dragon to pieces.

Meanwhile, Gwyn and the Eventymes are fighting the hobgoblin and the remaining giants. And now one of the Five Treasures proves its awesome power. Taegen is wielding ‘Dur Llachar’, better known as ‘Bright Steel’. Just as the legends of Suriel Nadarun, Corwyn Dragonslayer, and the paragon Alun tell, the blade is vorpal and seeks to take the heads of its targets. Taegen slices the head off the hobgoblin Mindbender, then from a giant and finally – despite the cries of his comrades to leave the Wyrmlord alive for interrogation – he decapitates Saarvith himself!

And with that, the battle is over. The heroes have slain a black dragon, a goblin Wyrmlord, a hobgoblin Mindbender, six ogres and an ettin. Although a number of them were heavily wounded, they and their followers have all survived. As the paragon Branoc is quoted as saying, “They’re all dead and we’re not. I’d count that a victory”.

Within the ruined Town Hall the triumphant heroes discover a human bard who appears to have been a prisoner of the goblins and giants. They introduce themselves and the man says his name is Gareth ap Gareth, and that he was captured on the Rhest Trail with a patrol of soldiers from Brindol around three days ago. The ogres ate the other prisoners and the bard feared he was next.

Perhaps because of their experiences with Tomas Denzil, perhaps because one or two details of Gareth’s story don’t seem quite right, Gwyn does not trust him. He leaves the bard on the roof of the town hall, under the watchful eye of Maor-Collis, while everyone else loots the heck out of Saarvith’s HQ and Regiarix’s hoard. It seems the black dragon had slowly managed to build up a new hoard after his previous one was taken from him by one Kerden Jarmaath, now the ruler of Brindol.

As the tales tell it, seventeen years ago, when young Kerden Jarmaath was a member of an adventuring band known as the Knights of the Vale, he and his companions encountered a very young Regiarix in the Marth Forest near Elsircross. Jarmaath landed a lucky blow that sent Regiarax fleeing for his life. The dragon returned several hours later to find that his treasure had been stolen by the adventurers, down to the last copper piece. Regiarix fled to the Blackfens to heal and plot his revenge. How’s that working out for him?

The most interesting things the party find are a letter and what appears to be a corresponding item.

The letter is written in Goblin, strangely perfumed, and says …

“Saarvith— Take great care with the enclosed phylactery. I need not explain to you what the Ghostlord would do if he knew where I had sent his little bauble for safekeeping. Hide it somewhere safe—perhaps it could be trusted to your dragon friend’s keeping? Keep it hidden until Brindol is taken. Should it fall into the hands of someone who could return it to its owner, the consequences for our effort could be dire indeed. — Ulwai”

Amongst the dragon’s hoard, the heroes discover a small iron coffer which contains a delicate adamantine chain on which are threaded a lion’s claws and teeth. Could this be the phylactery that the mysterious ‘Ulwai’ sent to Saarvith?

Anyway, that’s all lovely, but where, pray, are all the Harrowblades?


(30) Legends of Corwyn - Party Diary - Chapter 22

Posted by : Lewis on 10/04/2016 10:12:23

LEGENDS OF CORWYN PARTY DIARY

Volume Two – The Ruins of Rhest

Chapter Twenty-Two (03 Apr 2016) Oh, And Three Dozen Eggs, Please.]

Most of the party are whooping it up, drooling over the goodies in Regiarix’s hoard. Kaylyn is detecting magic and notices something very strange. The head of the ‘hobgoblin spellcaster’ that her brother decapitated is no that of a hobgoblin at all, but a human. A human who looks like Gareth ap Gareth. Meanwhile, up on the roof “Gareth ap Gareth” pulls a fast one on his guards. Using a telepathic power, he tricks them into thinking that goblin reinforcements have arrived and are sneaking up the stairs. When they go to check, he escapes, also turning himself invisible, and starts swimming away – aiming to meet the real reinforcements coming from the re-garrisoned bell tower.

With the prisoner apparently lost, attention turns to the search for the harrowblade eggs, and the low building across the floating bridge.

A one-story stone building once stood here, but now its fl at roof has almost entirely collapsed. A section to the east remains intact, forming a narrow and mossy platform above the water. The remaining walls stand about a half-foot above the water level, creating an L-shaped enclosure. The entire area has been reinforced with a fence of logs and branches lashed together with ropes, extending the ruined walls of the building up by another ten feet. At the west end of the enclosure lies a large heap of mud and rotting plants. The only easy way inside seems to be a gate in the northeast corner, near a floating bridge that leads back to the boardwalk that surrounds the larger building (the town hall).

Cas strides forward and opens the door, in the process learning an important lesson about why you should always get a rogue in for such actions. The mabion branoci wizard triggers a powerful magical trap and releases a thick cloud of acid fog. She also alerts the harrowblade that is guarding the hatchery. This one is noticeably larger than the one they fought and killed in the Blackfens – presumably this one hatched first and has been acting as a protector to the other eggs. Between the corrosive fog and the razorfiend’s breath weapon, the wizard is brought close to death, and several of her comrades take significant acid damage as well. With the guardian harrowblade’s ability to operate equally well underwater or on land, the fight is tricky, and the party get battered before they finally kill the dragon-blooded fiend. Edweena is kept busy healing her comrades.

Taegen, Kaylyn and Gwyn set about destroying the leathery, rugby ball-sized eggs hidden within the hatchery. They find and destroy thirty four eggs, which – with the two harrowblades they have killed – makes up the thirty six brought to this plane from the infernal realms. The heroes have put a stop to this part of Tiamat’s plan to reinforce the Red Hand with new and deadly creatures.

With her quest for revenge on her brother’s killers finally sated, Trellara and Jorr keep a close watch on the hobgoblins of the bell tower, and see them start heading across the lake on a reed raft.

Cas uses a spell that allows her to see invisible beings, and spots the head of a hobgoblin she assumes is their escaped prisoner. He’s swimming to meet his comrades in the raft. The mabion branoci wizard flies out to intercept him, and despite taking damage from the arrows of the hobgoblins, somehow manages to defeat the mindbender in a battle of enchantment. Now convinced that Cas is his bestest friend in the whole world, Nurklenak follows her back to the town hall. As some of her comrades pursue the other hobgoblins, Cas interrogates her charmed victim.

This is Nurklenak, the real hobgoblin mindbender. Nurklenak had anticipated how deadly the heroes were, and had engineered a cunning swop with a dominated prisoner. This used spells of illusion and transmutation as well as the disguise skill. I’m afraid Taegen killed the real – and innocent – human, Gareth ap Gareth. The hobgoblin mindbender allowed himself to be a prisoner in order to gather intelligence on the heroes, which he was going to report back to the Red Hand. Nurklenak then used a telepathic power called Push the Weak Mind to trick his guards and then an Invisibility spell. Once within range he also used a Message spell to co-ordinate with the other hobgoblins.

None of which helped when he rolled a ‘1’ on a crucial Will save against Cas’s Charm Person] spell – the only number he could have rolled that was a fail. Bastard dice.

Nurklenak reveals that Saarvith was the mastermind of this bit of the Hand’s plan. The mindbender feels that the goblin was unfairly promoted to Wyrmlord over Nurklenak’s head because of his friendships with Regiarix and Ulwai. Nurklenak readily tells Cas the Red Hand contingent’s purpose in Rhest – breeding a platoon of razorfiends – and confirms the number of eggs are hidden in the hatchery.

Nurklenak tells Cas that High Wyrmlord Azarr Kul plans on using other spawn of Tiamat. However, the hobgoblin isn’t aware of any creatures other than the razorfiends that have been successfully transported to the Material Plane at this time.

Azarr Kul ('Son of the Dragon') is apparently part-dragon himself and it is he who converted the Wyrmsmoke tribes to the worship of Tiamat, most recently destroying the last holdouts - the Black Knife goblins.

He also knows that Azarr Kul has recruited the aid of a powerful necromancer known as the Ghostlord, and that he managed to do so by having the hobgoblin Wyrmlord Ulwai Stormcaller steal the lich’s phylactery. The Ghostlord commands a large number of ghosts, and these undead troops are a major part of the horde’s plan for the taking of Brindol. Ulwai Storm caller is currently stationed at the Ghostlord’s lair, somewhere in the Thorn waste, waiting for the lich to finish his preparations for his ghostly army. The stolen phylactery is the only thing that guarantees the Ghostlord’s aid. If the lich could regain the phylactery, he would certainly withdraw his support from the horde. Ulwai Stormcaller sent the phylactery north, entrusting Regiarix and Saarvith with its protection.

Once Nurklenak has revealed all he knows, the party gather round and suddenly stab the hapless mindbender to death. Bastards.

A quick discussion ensues. It looks as if the party will need to head south to the Thornwastes. To the Ghostlord’s lair!

End of Volume Two.


(31) Legends of Corwyn - Party Diary - Chapter 23

Posted by : Lewis on 27/02/2017 17:02:50

LEGENDS OF CORWYN PARTY DIARY

Volume Three – The Ghostlord’s Lair - Chapter Twenty-Three

Chapter Twenty-Three (26 Feb 2017) How To Win Friends and Influence People…?

Current party and XP after the Battle of Rhest Town Hall (all PCs are L7):
Gwyn Withel – human cleric of the Trinity: 25,337
Maor-Collis – elf ranger (and his animal companion, Spot the cheetah): 25,387
Edweena – Aasimar healer: 23,337
Kaylyn Eventyme – elf rogue (plus her parrot familiar and her follower, Jorr Natherson): 23,450
Taegen Eventyme – elf fighter: 23,450
Ceiswr ‘Cas’ o Wybodaeth – mabion branoci wizard (and her owl familiar): 23,137
Trellara Nightshadow – wild-elf bard: 21,000

In the aftermath of the battle of Rhest, the eight victorious adventurers grab the treasure and plan to head back to the main Tiri Kitor encampment at Starsong Hill. The party quickly discuss what they know about the lich known as The Ghostlord – Elsir Vale’s boogeyman.

The Disciples of Legend know tales that speak of a once-proud druid who dwelt in the verdant plains south of Rhest and led several tribes of nomads. These nomads were said to have built a massive lion of stone in honor of this great druid, who taught them the ways of the lion and how to live at peace with these proud creatures. Yet when dark times fell on Rhest, their shadow also fell upon the lions’ plains. It began when nobles visiting from Rhest arrived in the region. The nomads befriended the nobles but were betrayed by them when the visitors hunted down and killed a lion monarch for his pelt and claws. The nomads reacted with violence, slaying the visiting nobles to a man. Rhest answered in kind, and its army marched against the southern plains. The disorganized nomads stood little chance against Rhest’s military might, and the tribes were slaughtered despite the fact that the lions rose to defend them. The warriors of Rhest confronted and slew the druid between the paws of his own massive stone shrine. But the night after the warriors returned to their city, doom came to Rhest. Ghost lions prowled the streets, stalking and killing anyone they came across. When the dawn came, the entirety of Rhest’s cavalry, including families, servants, and squires, lay dead. Rhest never recovered from this night of terror, which marked the beginning of the decline of that once-proud nation. In the years since, the once-verdant hills to the south have grown horrid and tangled. The Thornwaste is all that remains.

However, Trellara Nightshadow knows the ancient tales of the Tiri Kitor, who have been living in this land a lot longer than anyone else. She is able to correct some significant mistakes in the information the others have heard about the Ghostlord.

While the story known to the Disciples is accurate in its general outline, it gets several important facts wrong. Urikel Zarl, the great druid of the story, was in fact the leader of a cruel lion cult based in the southern regions of the kingdom. His people were not the noble nomads legend recalls, but feral cannibals who believed that in death their bodies would transform into lions and thereafter live forever. Urikel Zarl was their undying lord and master, who had long before turned his back on the natural world for the tainted promises of eternal undeath. When the Rhestian lords sought to challenge his power and subjugate the region, their cavalry and the cultists destroyed each other; in the years to come, both Rhest and the Thornwaste fell to ruin as a result. The reason behind Urikel Zarl’s fall from grace is not known even to the High Singer. Presumably, it remains hidden in the depths of his great stone lion in the Thornwaste.

The party struggle through the marshy land and get about half-way back to Starsong Hill before dusk. The rangers, Maor-Collis and Jorr find a slightly raised hillock amongst the marshes that should at least keep them out of the mud. However, the heroes spot unnatural-looking clouds rolling in. Trellara Nightshadow uses her bardic spells to create a shelter of magic force in the lee of the mound. Sheltering inside, the party are shocked at a devastating rain of thousands of snakes that hammer down and explode on the magical barrier, covering it in viper blood and intestines. Some few snakes survive and the heroes notice strange markings on their scales that look like Infernal script for “Serpent Who Dreams”.

The next day, the party arrive at Starsong Hill. Along the way, Trellara has decided to join the heroes and take the war to the Red Hand. The High-Singer of the Tiri Kitor is partly driven by a continuing wish for revenge on those responsible for her brother’s murder, and partly because she can see that the goblinoid hordes are unlikely to respect the ages-old neutrality of the wild elves.

First Trellara and then Gwyn try to persuade the other three elders of the tribe that the Kulkor Zull’s army will have no regard for ‘neutrality’ nor any respect for the elves’ guardianship of the Blackfens. However, even with Merthúvial’s powers of persuasion, they are unable to get Sellyria, Killiar and Illian to agree to join the coming war officially. However, the elven leaders do agree that they will not stand in the way of any individual elves who wish to join the defence of Brindol. In addition they will use the giant owls to fly the party out of the Blackfens and back to civilisation, at a location of their choice. Trellara manages to convince a handful of her fellow wild-elves to volunteer to help in the defense of Brindol.

The next morning, the Tiri Kitor are as good as their word and use the giant owls to fly the party of eight heroes and drop them off near Terrelton. Yes, they are eight heroes now, as Trellara has renounced her position as High Singer of the Tiri Kitor and joined the band of adventurers, believing they are the last, best hope to stop the Red Hand army and thwart the evil schemes of Tiamat’s cultists. As they approach Terrelton from the air they can see a huge stream of people abandoning the town and heading East with whatever they can carry. At least the Red Hand have been delayed sufficiently that the goblins have not got this far yet!

The heroes come upon a sorry scene at the edge of town. The local cleric of the Trinity, Leille, and her acolyte are working to evacuate an infirmary next to a shrine. Dozens of injured and sick people are clustered around the wagons, including some badly frightened children and others on stretchers who moan in pain and fear. The clerics don’t seem to have much help.

Leille is pleased and relived to see Gwyn, Edweena and their friends again. “Can you spare ten minutes, friends?” she asks. “We need to get these poor people away from here before the goblins arrive!” The party give much-needed aid in loading patients and calming them, and also in keeping the citizens in the streets from getting in the way of their operation. One of the last patients loaded onto the wagon is a striking-looking female human with her arm in a sling. The clerics know this woman as a traveling sorcerer named Miha Serani. When asked, she says she was assaulted a few nights ago by a drunken town guard; she even admits that, although she was able to defend herself with her magic, the drunk broke her arm before she killed him with a magic missile.

Although unable to sense any lies from Miha, some of the heroes are suspicious of her story nonetheless. The sorcerer agrees to take them to the body of the dead guard. Along the way, Cas tries to cast a Charm Person spell on Miha. Worryingly, it has no effect whatsoever…


(32) Legends of Corwyn - Party Diary - Chapter 24

Posted by : Lewis on 06/03/2017 21:15:29

LEGENDS OF CORWYN PARTY DIARY

Volume Three – The Ghostlord’s Lair

Chapter Twenty-Four (05 Mar 2017) He’s a leg man, obviously...

While Edweena and Trellara stay to help the clerics get the sick and wounded loaded for their flight from Terrelton, the others accompany Miha Serani back to an abandoned warehouse on the other side of town, near the tanneries.

Cas is now highly suspicious of the sorceress and tries various tactics to expose her. Meanwhile Miha is charming and persuades Gwyn to be quite chatty. When they arrive at the warehouse it all kicks off.

First of all, the ‘dead guardsman’ is not dead at all. Fergus (for it is he) is in fact infatuated with the lovely Miha. He greets her lovingly and is confused by her escorts. She asks him to protect her and flees to the back of the warehouse. Fergus interposes himself and begs the heroes to leave her alone. Finally he draws a weapon and succeeds in hitting Spot.

Meanwhile, his beloved has made herself invisible, and then leaps out of a window, starting a complicated and desperate chase all over this part of town. Only Cas and her owl familiar, Toupe, are able to see the invisible Miha, and get a shock when they see she has transformed into something out of a nightmare. Miha now resembles a big spider, with a humpbacked body a little bigger than a human torso. It has fanged mandibles like a normal spider. Two small arms, each about 2 feet long, lie below the mandibles. Each arm has a hand with four many-jointed fingers and a double-jointed thumb. Cas recognises this as an aranea. In this form Miha scales the side of a building in seconds and starts leaping away across the rooftops.

Kaylyn and Glyn subdue and tie up Fergus. The guardsman was clearly magically charmed, somehow. The rest of the heroes give chase, guided by Cas and Toupe. The chase rages from one rooftop to another until something of a showdown in a courtyard of a rich mansion. Thanks to Gwyn’s spells, the spider creature misses a jump and falls and is then harassed by Jorr who has transformed into a huge tiger (it must be two for one on shapechangers this week).

The aranea is then cornered, unable to escape the town and finally brought down by Cas’s magic missiles. Miha falls from the roof and dies at Jorr’s feet (paws?). One of the Red Hand’s most dangerous spies has been brought low by the party’s sheer bloody-mindedness!


(33) Legends of Corwyn - Party Diary - Chapter 25

Posted by : Lewis on 14/03/2017 21:43:31

LEGENDS OF CORWYN PARTY DIARY

Volume Three – The Ghostlord’s Lair

Chapter Twenty-Five (12 Mar 2017) Mercenary Gold

Edweena and Trellara catch up with their comrades just as they are talking to the horrified guardsman, Fergus, and searching the warehouse.

Fergus explains that a few days ago his occasional drinking companion, a wizard of local renown, called Mungo the Magnificent, reported detecting odd magical auras around Terrelton and went to look for the source. When Howard and then Ferral passed through with news of the Red Hand army, the local Merchant’s Council took them seriously and seized all the best transport and the cream of the town guard and fled eastwards, leaving the panicked population to fend for themselves. In the chaos, Fergus did not want to leave Mungo behind and came to look for his friend. That’s when he instead found Miha, who used magic to enchant the hapless guardsman.

The search of the warehouse that the Arenea was using as a lair reveals a gruesome discovery – the dead body of Mungo, still with his spellbook and a few other items. Kaylyn and Maor-Collis search the building thoroughly and turn up some scattered notes in Goblin. The party are able to translate these and discover that Miha had been receiving orders from a Wyrmlord Kharn. The shapechanger had been passing information back to this Red Hand general and also to someone more local called Captain Krann.

Kharn had ordered Miha to leave Terrelton with the refugees and infiltrate Brindol, making contact with the Hand’s agents in the walled city. The general also wanted any infomation on the identity of whoever killed Wyrmlord Koth and the dragon Ozzyrandion. Meanwhile Krann was apparently about to intercept soldiers from Brindol who were heading for the Hammerfist Holds to recruit Dwarven mercenaries to help defend Brindol.

The heroes decide to try and save the mission from Brindol and head south towards the Hammerfist Holds. First of all they recover some useful items from Mungo’s house while Fergus rounds up some mounts. The guardsman is keen to join the heroes and seek revenge for his murdered friend and also travel amongst the scattered settlements south of the Dawn Way that will not yet have received warning of the coming invasion. The guardsman does his best, but the mounts he rounds up are a sorry bunch indeed – a mixture of horses and donkeys that were all literally on the doorsteps of the knacker’s yard and the glue factory (yes, I’m using the word ‘literally’ properly). The nine miserable equines are untrained, bad-tempered, skittish and sickly. The heroes should be able to ride them for a couple of days but these mounts will not go into battle.

The heroes plan to head south and then, once they have discovered the fate of the soldiers from Brindol, cut westwards towards the Thornwaste. Cas and Trellara are able to summon magical mounts to ease the burden on the sorry nags. When they make camp, they use a Leomond’s Tiny Hut to further shelter the weakened beasts.

After a day and a half, the Disciples of Legend and their allies spy trouble ahead on the road. In the shade of several tall poplars, a two-horse wagon has been dragged off the road. Small goblins clamber all over the wagon, shouting in wicked glee, while a pair of hulking, two-headed monsters hide in the trees on either side of the road. The elves in the party can make out a couple of motionless bodies in surcoats of blue and white lying at the side of the road. Battle is swiftly joined, and a hobgoblin bladebearer (Captain Krann) emerges as the leader of the Hand’s raiding/reconnaissance party.

Kaylyn, Taegen, Jorr and Gwyn charge into combat and bravely face off against the monstrous forces pillaging the wagon. Maor-Collis provides devastating ranged support and peppers Krann with goblin bane arrows, soon taking the bladebearer out of the fight. With the loss of their leader, several of the goblins flee in panic. The rest of the goblins are soon cut down, as are two ettins. Unfortunately, another pair of the two-headed giants emerge from the depths of the woods and join the attack, badly wounding the over-confident Cas!


(34) Legends of Corwyn - Party Diary: Chapter 26

Posted by : Lewis on 21/03/2017 22:32:27

LEGENDS OF CORWYN PARTY DIARY

Volume Three – The Ghostlord’s Lair

Chapter Twenty-Six (19 Mar 2017) Customer Service

Cas is battered by the ettin and drops to the ground, her life ebbing away. Fortunately, Gwyn is able to reach her in time and save the stricken wizard. The two remaining ettins put up a spirited fight, but with most of the party working in concert, the two-headed giants are finally brought down.

Amongst the remains of the mission from Brindol our heroes discover three iron coffers. They later discover that each chest contains 1,000 gp and assorted gemstones worth another 1,000 gp, for a total of 6,000 gp of treasure. Four dead guards are here, each wearing the colors of the Lord of Brindol (blue and white surcoats, with a golden lion over the chest). They are dressed in chain shirts and carry longswords and longbows (although the goblins have started to strip the arms and armor from the bodies). A leather satchel lying near a dead guard close to the chests contains a key to the chests and a letter. The letter is addressed to Captain Ervath Helmbreaker of the Shining Axe Company, Hammerfist Holds. It is a mercenary contract signed by Lord Jarmaath of Brindol, which hires the Shining Axes for the defense of the city; it refers to the 6,000 gp payment for the company’s services. According to the letter, the Shining Axes—a skilled company of axe-wielding dwarves almost two hundred strong—are to set out for Brindol at once on receipt of Lord Jarmaath’s payment.

Realising the importance of this contract to the defence of Brindol, the heroes immediately change their plans and head for the Hammerfist Holds. A difficult journey through the hot and dusty foothills of the Wyverwatch mountains sees one of their horses die, only the party's magic means more do not join it.

Finally, they arrive at one of the main entrances to the vast kingdom below the mountain. They are greeted and questioned by Captain Himli, who quickly realises the importance of their news and sends messengers to both Captain Helmbreaker and to the king of the dwarves, Florin McHammer, descendant of the paragon, Gror McHammer, for whom the Hammerfist Holds are named.

Two factors mean that the dwarves favour the party with hospitality and aid. First they are willing to spend a lot of gold on arms, armor, and magical supplies. Secondly, the king recognises that several of them are Disciples of Legend, who revere his ancestor.

While they wait for the Shining Axe company to assemble and get underway, the party spend three days in the spartan but comfortable guest quarters in the gate complex. During this time, they undertake expensive rituals to unlock more abilities of the Five Treasures. Some of the party also go shopping in epic fashion, leaving several dwarf shopkeepers and smiths sighing happily at the amount of gold they have been paid.

Finally, with fresh ponies and supplies, the party take their leave of the Holds, possibly waving goodbye to the last source of civilised comfort they are likely to see for some time.


(35) Legends of Corwyn - Party Diary - Chapter 27

Posted by : Lewis on 02/04/2017 13:31:02

LEGENDS OF CORWYN PARTY DIARY

Volume Three – The Ghostlord’s Lair

Chapter Twenty-Seven (26 Mar 2017) - They Disagreed With Something That Ate Them

As the party leave the Hammerfist Holds, Cas uses some cunning magic to misdirect anyone who might be trying to find the Ghostlord’s phylactery by scrying or divination, she convinces one of the few merchants who came to market to take a coin with him – this lays a false trail. After a lot of debate, the heroes decide upon a risky strategy – they will take the phylactery with them to the Ghostlord’s lair.

As they wind their way down the mountain track, in the far distance, over the horizon to the north-west, the party spy a haze of white smoke as if at the end of a days-long fire. They assume the Red Hand army has finally sacked Drellin’s Ferry and must have crossed the River Elsir and be on their way towards Terrelton and the smaller towns of the Vale.

The dwarven ponies prove hardier than the glue-factory rejects from Terrelton and steadily bear the heroes from the Wyvernwatch Mountains into the Thornwaste.

The Thornwaste is the least civilized region in Elsir Vale. Even the Wyrmsmoke Mountains are more densely settled, albeit by goblinoids. The Thornwaste is desolate in comparison, populated only by a few roving tribes of feral barbarians. The Ghostlord’s presence has driven these tribes westward, and almost none of the superstitious barbarians remain dwell in the eastern reaches of the region today. Instead, the Thornwaste is home to all manner of nefarious and dangerous creatures, from packs of lions and dire lions to more fantastic creatures such as chimeras and bulettes.

The terrain of the Thornwaste is dangerous as well. A maze of broken hills, briar-choked ravines, and thistle-clogged fissures, this treacherous landscape can most easily be traversed by overland flight. Creatures forced to slog through the Thornwaste on foot find the prospect gruelling at best. Overland movement rates are reduced by half. Worse, the countless thistles and thorns have a way of working themselves into armor and clothing.

Fortunately, a the rangers, Maor-Collis and Jorr, as well as the healer, Edweena, all have sufficient survival skills to be able to move through the Thornwaste without fear of taking damage from the nettles and thorns. The rest of the party rely on Maor-Collis’ magic to clear a path for them and on their new leather underwear that provides some protection against the thorns.

The party elect to travel mostly by night and rest during the heat of the day – making use of Leomond’s Tiny Huts provided by Cas and Trellara. Although the huts are opaque to light, they prove no defence to creatures that hunt by other senses. In the middle of their second rest, the party are surprised when, in each hut, the ground shakes and rolls and then bursts open to reveal a terrible, armor-plated, bullet-shaped creature with a huge, snapping maw and short, powerful legs. The heroes have been ambushed by a mated pair of bulettes!

Fortunately (for some) the bulettes initially try to swallow Trellara and Kaylyn, but find the taste of elf-flesh disgusting and spit them out, only slightly chewed. Next, one of the bulettes nearly swallows Spot, evidently finding cheetah meat more to its liking. Maor-Collis’s animal companion is grievously wounded, and only saved by Edweena grabbing his tail and channelling healing energy into the stricken feline.

Finally, the heroes strike down the huge voracious predators and prise Spot out of the jaws, barely alive.

That evening they see an orange glow over the north-eastern horizon, and surmise that Terrelton must be ablaze.

During their next period of travel, the party come across a malnourished, desperate bunch of eight or so barbarian tribespeople, heading north out of the Thornwaste. A grizzled, one-armed old man called Taerlach grabs a dagger to defend his young grandson, Rab. However, the heroes are in a diplomatic mood and soon discover that the tribesfolk have been driven out by the loss of their hunters and fighters (including Rab’s parents) and by something they call ‘The Blight’.

The heroes provide the starving tribesfolk with food and water, and talk to them, gaining useful information. Taerlach is taking Rab to The Monastery of the Fallen King in the Wyrmsmoke Mountains, in the hope that the Doom Fist monks will take the lad in and raise him. The old man is also able to point the heroes in the direction of their goal. tells the party of the Ghostlord’s Lair and The Blight.

The Ghostlord’s lair is an imposing structure, shaped roughly like a lion atop a low, barren mesa. The area for several miles around the ghostlord’s domain is completely barren of vegetation, not even the ubiquitous briars grow here. Over the centuries, a barren wasteland has gradually encroached further and further out from the lair, until now it has a radius of several miles. Upon hearing that this is where the heroes wish to go, Taerlach begs them not to. They have been kind to his small band, he feels guilty pointing them to what must surely be their deaths. However, Gwynn is adamant and so, reluctantly, the old grandfather tells them to head south west a few miles.

Taking their leave of the grateful tribesfolk, the party head into the desolation of the Blight. Soon they can see their destination ahead of them. Rising from a low mesa is an intimidating sight. A massive lion of stone crouches, as if ready to pounce on a nearby hill. The cyclopean monolith is composed of a dull tawny stone. It looks to be about two hundred fifty to three hundred feet in length, and the top of its maned head rises perhaps one hundred feet from the ground. There seems to be some sort of hollow between the lion’s front paws, in the area bordered by its chest. Likewise, hints of a dark cave are apparent in its gaping maw.

However, before they can reach it they are cunningly ambushed by the ghostly form of a fifteen foot long lion. This Ghost Dire Lion is presumably one of the minions created by the lich. After a battle which uses up some of the party’s precious spells such as ghost touch weapon, they are triumphant. And only two miles to go to the Ghostlord’s Lair.


(36) Legends of Corwyn - Party Diary - Chapter 28

Posted by : Lewis on 05/04/2017 15:55:09

LEGENDS OF CORWYN PARTY DIARY

Volume Three – The Ghostlord’s Lair

Chapter Twenty-Eight (2 Apr 2017) - They Disagreed With Something That Ate Them Again

Cas uses a Sending spell to communicate with General Flynn back at the Reliquary of the Six. The ancient celestial macaw urges them to break the Red Hand’s hold over the Ghostlord. The party’s spellcasters buff up Jorr while in a terrifying hybrid were-tiger form. In this state, he is able to bash the phylactery and – despite the item’s impressive resistances – Jorr is able to damage it. The party hope this will convince the Ghostlord that they can destroy his life force if he won’t listen to them.

As the heroes press on towards the imposing structure of the great stone lion, they hear a roaring noise. They spy ahead of them a crew of around ten hobgoblins (?) carrying a struggling lion in a net. The party discuss how they might catch up and rescue the captive big cat. However, the hobgoblins have too big a lead and disappear into the entrance in the mighty edifice’s chest area.

The party push on. Cas becomes aware that dozens of translucent lionlike shapes fly and caper about the massive lion’s head and body. The shapes sometimes even pass through its stony surface to emerge in a different spot.

The entrance is flanked by massive stone paws to the north and south, the hollow is hidden in the shadow of its great stone head above. A worn stone path leads between the great paws to a low stone ramp, which climbs up to an impressive archway in the lion’s chest. Two basalt statues of skeletal lions stand facing each other on either side of that arch, as if passing judgment upon those who travel between them.

As the party approach the entrance, warily eyeing both the ghostly flying lions and the skeletal statues, a terrifying creature suddenly attacks from out of the archway. At first it appears to be a huge armoured snake, slithering across the ground between the lair and the party at great speed. Then, without slowing, it unfolds a dozen legs from its great serpentine body and runs forward to strike at Kaylyn, grabbing the hapless elf in its mouth.

Members of the party are confused as to the nature of the creature. Taegen thinks it is some sort of fiendish equivalent to an earthly creature. Gwynn thinks it is a dragon. Cas disagrees, but isn’t sure what it is. Next second, the gargantuan beast unleashes a devastating electrical attack that nearly drops half the party.

The party attack the creature with arrows, spells and melee weapons. To their horror, they find is is immune or resistant to all sorts of things, electricity, cold, spells and most weapons. The monster floors Taegen, who is mortally injured and bleeding out until healed by Edweena.

It falls to Spot to rescue Kaylyn. The cheetah bravely leaps through the monster’s mouth and plucks out the elf rogue before she can be swallowed and die horribly in the creature’s stomach.

Finally Cas and Trellara realise that this thing, known to the Red Hand as Varanthian, is actually a half-fiend behir. Far more powerful than the fiendish behir that they mistook it for, it is the product of some horrific cross-breeding programme in the infernal realms. Once again they wonder – does Tiamat have control of a Body Loom?

Armed with this revelation, the party select attacks that stand a chance of damaging the mighty serpent. Finally they bring it down. They have triumphed against the doorkeeper, but have been sorely wounded and used up much of their magic.

Looking up, Cas spots a humanoid figure move back into the shadows of the stone lions gaping maw. Is this the Ghostlord himself?


(37) Legends of Corwyn - Party Diary - Chapter 29

Posted by : Lewis on 16/04/2017 13:41:44

LEGENDS OF CORWYN PARTY DIARY

Volume Three – The Ghostlord’s Lair

Chapter Twenty-Nine (9 Apr 2017) – Who Ya Gonna Call?

Once the party have looted Varanthian’s corpse of her only valuable – a devotional bracelet – Kaylyn cautiously leads the way into the giant stone lion and through the behir’s lair guarding the entrance. Some of the party notice that an unexpected storm is brewing with unnatural speed outside, and so hurry quickly up the ramp and into the lion’s chest.

The elves discover a secret door and Kaylyn leads the way up a long winding ramp, easily big enough for captured lions to be carried up. Along the way, the heroes are ambushed by two ghost brute lions that emerge from the walls and do some damage before being destroyed. The ancient Coastguard dagger that Kaylyn found so many weeks ago proves an absolutely invaluable weapons against such ghostly foes.

Finally, the top of the rising passageway has an undead guardian that proves more of a challenge. A Ghost Dire Lion uses its corrupting touch and gaze attacks to rob Kaylyn of Charisma and her henchman Jorr of Strength. Finally, it too is killed by the amazing dagger that once belonged to a forgotten Coastguard hero called Drustan ap Gwyn.

Uncovering another secret door, Kaylyn discovers the room beyond is filled with a strange fog. The clouds of vapour hide the layout of the room, but the elf rogue discovers a door. Upon opening this, a fight is started by the creatures waiting on the other side. They include a couple of hobgoblins dressed as Doom Hand clerics, some more hobgoblins in the simple garb of Doom Fist monks, and a mysterious invisible presence that provides musical and spellcasting assistance to the others. Jorr and Kaylyn and Teagan lead the charge. But when Kaylyn is stunned by one of the monks, the Coastguard dagger drops to the floor and by the time the elf recovers her wits, it has disappeared.

Suddenly more monks ambush the party from behind, via a staircase that was hidden by the fog. The clerics drop their invisibility to cast spiritual weapon spells in an attempt to hit Jorr in hybrid form. The swirling melee is hampered by the thick fog and by the attempts of each side’s spellcasters to outdo the others with buffs and counter-buffs.


(38) Legends of Corwyn - Party Diary - Chapter 30

Posted by : Lewis on 29/04/2017 22:53:02

LEGENDS OF CORWYN PARTY DIARY

Volume Three – The Ghostlord’s Lair

Chapter Thirty (16 Apr 2017) – Silence Falls

The Doom Fist monks prove to be most difficult and accomplished adversaries. They co-operate well together, employ a variety of special abilities, take advantage of the conditions, and are supported by spellcasters. The two Doom Hand clerics and the invisible singer try to provide the monks with buffs and healing, while an invisible servant summoned by the unseen musician makes off with any fallen weapons whenever a hero is stunned by the monks.

However, the clerics attempts to lurk invisibly to provide healing ultimately fail, due to some lucky guesses by the heroes. The two clerics are stabbed to death. Without healing and buffs, the monks start to take losses, especially from Jorr in his terrifying hybrid form.

The bard appears – a strangely attractive female hobgoblin – and blasts Kaylyn with a massive bolt of lightning and a thunderclap from a distinctive magic staff, apparently enhanced by her singing. The hapless elf rogue is deafened and would have died on the spot, were it not for the instant reaction of Edweena the healer, who immediately uses a spell to save Kaylyn’s life.

Cas finally decides to put an end to this and casts a powerful silence spell. An eerie and unnatural quiet descends on the battlefield. No-one can cast spells. No-one that is except Cas herself, who uses a ring of silent spells. With this the Mabion Branoci wizard overhwelms the hobgoblin bard and, in a rage, even when Teagan grapples the surrendering bard, she nearly fries them both with a scorching ray.

The last two surviving monks make use of the cover provided by the magical fog in the room with the staircase and withdraw. They outpace the party members that pursue them and leap from the stone lion’s mouth, using their training to land gracefully without damage. They flee into the raging storm outside… although one of them has been bitten by the weretiger!

Meanwhile, the party have a new captive – the bard, and Wyrmlord, known as Ulwai Stormcaller.


(39) Legends of Corwyn - Party Diary - Chapter 31

Posted by : Lewis on 02/05/2017 17:48:15

LEGENDS OF CORWYN PARTY DIARY

Volume Three – The Ghostlord’s Lair

Chapter Thirty-One (30 Apr 2017) – Another View

Interrogating Ulwai Stormcaller seems to require some very elaborate precautions. Despite this, she co-operates – mostly – and answers the heroes’ questions honestly – mostly.

It seems that Ulwai is convinced that Tiamat needs more lands under control of The Lords of Summer (her dragon and dragon-blooded followers) and hence more room for a population of worshippers. Apparently this would increase Tiamat’s divine power. And Ulwai believes that Tiamat needs this power to protect the world from destruction by something called an ‘obyrith’.

Most of the party of heroes have never heard of an ‘obyrith’. Taegen and Gwyn both agree that an obyrith is an incredibly powerful and ancient demon or lord of the Abyss. However, they disagree about exactly where such things came from. Were they amongst the first creatures that formed in the Abyss of this plane – the chaotic Abyss left over from the forge of creation? Or where they beings of unspeakable power and evil that consumed all life on all planes in their own universe, and then in their cosmic hunger and greed somehow punched a hole in the wall between realities and entered our universe? As I say, they disagree on this point.

Anyway, according to their strangely attractive prisoner, the Red Hand army will offer people the chance to convert to the worship of Tiamat. If they refuse, they will need to be killed to make way for a population that will. There is simply no other way to save the world, except by killing lots of people.

The captive Wyrmlord offers an outline of the Hand’s plan to take Brindol. This is truthful, even though this is mostly an attempt to demoralise the characters and prove to them how pointless their opposition is. Ulwai also says (truthfully) that Azarr Kull is raising a further force of monstrous allies to help in the imminent battle. She tries to steer the party to look to the Gaintshield Mountains for this activity, but the latter is revealed to be misdirection via the Detect Thoughts cast by Cas and granted to Gwyn by the Weapon of Legacy, the longsword ‘Merthúvial’.

The hobgoblin bard offers to take the characters to Kull’s headquarters, the Fane of Tiamat in the Wyrmsmoke Mountains. They decline this kind offer, and anyway, didn’t Sylvar (on his final mission), Morwenna and General Flynn clear that out two centuries ago?

Cas tries to ask why the party have been plagued by snakes (storms, spells gone awry) but Ulwai merely says cryptically that this is somehow their own fault.

As you will expect if you have been reading these diaries, most of the party are for killing the Wyrmlord, or else handing her over to the Ghostlord, to a fate worse than death. However, Cas spots an opportunity to complete one of the requirements of the legacy ritual ‘Past Wrongs’ for Banrhialorg – the Weapon of Legacy once wielded by Queen Imecia and later by the Arcane Paragon, Alun.

After much discussion, Cas convinces the other heroes that they should release Ulwai, with conditions that she leave the lands of the Corwynic League, head west over the Mountains to Lloegyr (‘The Lost Lands’, which she instead calls ‘The Summer Lands’) and never return to the League, nor act against its inhabitants – on pain of death. She has to swear to this on the shrine of Tiamat. Throw in an eight hour head start and you have a ‘service’ as required by the legacy ritual. Ulwai accepts and does not hang about, even though the party are so petty and spiteful that they won’t let her take her own beautifully written operatic masterpiece with her. Plus, obviously, they also keep the Wyrmlord’s legendary staff – the Staff of Stormclouds. She leaves them with a cryptic warning – ‘Don’t let them drink your bones!’

The party use the ‘guest quarters’ previously used by the hobgoblins. After a suitable rest to recover their spells, they start to explore the rest of the Ghostlord’s lair. With the fog gone, the elves discover more doors in the once-foggy room. Following a corridor, Kaylyn opens a door to discover a long chamber awash in sickly yellow light shining up from the glowing surface of a large pool of mustard-colored water. Some sort of large shape is floating inside the pool. The pool’s rim is made out of dozens, perhaps hundreds, of lion’s skulls that have been fused together with gray mortar. Shadowy alcoves line the north and south walls, and to the west of the sickly pool stands a fifteen-foot-tall statue of a rotting lion. The morbidly majestic figure’s head reaches nearly to the ceiling.

Suddenly, half-a-dozen creatures emerge from the alcoves. These gaunt creatures are humanoid in shape, except for two long, writhing, pale tentacles that sprout from beneath their arms. Although their features are somewhat goblinoid in appearance, wicked talons cap long, spindly fingers, and their wide maws open to reveal many sharp teeth, including six 6-inch-long fangs. The hairless, gray-skinned bodies are covered in oozing sores that weep a pale white fluid.

Kaylyn slams the door shut.

However, a ghost dire lion then emerges from the wall and drains her brother’s strength before Gwyn deploys the Legacy shield, known as ‘The Aegis Inviolable’ and unleashes a powerful turning effect, as the symbol of the Trinity on the shield glows with holy light. The ghost lion tries to flee but is cut down by Kaylyn wielding the ancient Coastguard dagger.

However, Gwyn turns pale and says, ‘Guys, I don’t think that turning stopped the six things that Kaylyn saw … they’re still coming!”

Legends of Corwyn will return!


(40) Legends of Corwyn - Key Plot Points for Jan 2018

Posted by : Lewis on 28/12/2017 02:13:49

LEGENDS OF CORWYN

As I see it, these are the issues facing the heroes as we return to this campaign in 2018:

Before they can even think about anything else, they need to survive the horrors of the Ghostlord’s Lair and resolve the issue of what part the Ghostlord himself, Urikel Zarl, will play in the war. The Ghostlord has been a powerful type of lich, draining the life from the land and causing The Blight for CENTURIES. Before that, he was a mighty druid. Currently, he is aiding the Red Hand as they have blackmailed him using his phylactery. His intervention in the expected siege of Brindol would likely be decisive. Can the characters be smart enough to persuade the lich to at least abstain from battle, or even turn on the representatives of High Wyrmlord Azurr Khul?

Then, for the survivors, there is the question of where to go next?

The decisive action of the war for Elsir Vale will almost certainly be the Siege of Brindol.

Thanks to the delays the party have caused for the advance of the Red Hand army, they should have almost three weeks before the Red Hand General, Wyrmlord Kharn, can begin the assault on Brindol in earnest.

The Weapons of Legacy, “The Five Treasures of the Old North”, once carried by the Paragons, and which the heroes recovered from Sylvar’s tomb in drowned Rhest, would give a much needed boost to the defence of Brindol. The city’s chances of survival will be significantly enhanced by the presence of the heroes wielding the legendary Merthuvial, Bright Steel, etc.

However, the party have also learnt of three sites of interest in the Wyrmsmoke mountains that mark the boundary between the Corwynic League and the Lost Lands, ruled by the dragons (the Lords of Summer, as Ulwai called them).

The notebook of the deceased Terrelton mage, Mungo the Magnificent, documented the believed location of the aberration-filled cavern which marks the spot where the Paragon Gror McHammer died while slaying the dragon Valingorklax. Hence, the cavern almost certainly marks the location of the lost Arkaul. Forged by the dwarves of the now destroyed Dwarvendale, this legendary magical item is perhaps better known by its Common name: The Shield of Corwyn Dragonslayer. According to Mungo’s notes, the cavern is but a couple of days travel north-west of the Blight.

The remnants of the Barbarian tribe of the Thornwaste (encountered by the heroes) were making their way to the Monastery of the Fallen King. This is the place where the Order of the Doom Fist monks are trained and learn the iron discipline and martial arts techniques that make them such feared combatants. The party have encountered a handful of monks trained by the order who decided to join the Kulkor Zhul. Our heroes can attest to the truth of the monks’ fearsome reputations. The barbarians intended to beseech the Abbot (Sensei Oyado) to take in their last few children, to give them a home, and to raise the youngsters within the order, as an alternative to likely starvation in the Thornwaste, or death at the blades of the Red Hand. The monastery is also a couple of days travel north into the Wyrmsmoke Mountains. It’s possible that the heroes could dissuade any further monks from joining the war on the side of the Kulkor Zhul.

Finally, there is the centre of the religion of Tiamat, and that has inspired Azarr Khul (The Son of the Dragon) to convert all the tribes to the worship of the Dragon Queen, and to lead the Kulkor Zhul (People of the Dragon) to take the lands of the human, the elf and the dwarf and make them their own. This mighty temple, the Fane of Tiamat, cost the Paragon Sylvar his life when he, Morwenna and General Flynn raided it to put an end to the cult centuries ago. However, according to Ulwai, the Fane, and the cult, are once again fully restored. If the heroes could repeat Sylvar’s feat, they could remove the religious inspiration that fires the hordes of the Kulkor Zhul with such fanatical devotion and fervour. They might also find out if Tiamat has control of a Body Loom and if this is how the horrific new minions such as the harrowblades and Varanthian are being created. The temple is much further into the mountains, and the heroes do not know the exact location yet.


(41) Legends of Corwyn - Party Diary - Chapter 32

Posted by : Lewis on 09/01/2018 22:11:21

LEGENDS OF CORWYN PARTY DIARY

Volume Three – The Ghostlord’s Lair

Chapter Thirty-Two (07 Jan 2018) – The Hooded Man Settles a Tab

Previously on Legends of Corwyn... Suddenly, half-a-dozen creatures emerge from the alcoves in the room lit by sickly green luminescence. These gaunt creatures are humanoid in shape, except for two long, writhing, pale tentacles that sprout from beneath their arms. A ghost dire lion then emerges from the wall and drains Tegan’s strength before Gwyn deploys The Aegis Inviolable and unleashes a powerful turning effect. The ghost lion is cut down by Kaylyn wielding the ancient Coastguard dagger. However, Gwyn turns pale and says, ‘Guys, I don’t think that turning stopped the six things that Kaylyn saw … they’re still coming!”

As the six goblinoid bonedrinkers open the door and try to swarm the party from one direction, the heroes find their escape in the other direction blocked by yet another ghostly dire lion!

The lion pops in and out of the walls of the Lair, draining various members of the party of their strength (although it fails to drain Edweena and Cas of their Charisma). Before the party manage to destroy the undead lion and the bonedrinkers (by deploying various Undead Bane weapons), one of the undead severely altered goblins manages to latch onto to Kaylyn, injecting her with a powerful (and very painful) toxin that starts to dissolve the calcium in her bones. The creature drinks deeply, causing the elf to lose constitution.

The heroes use much of their magic to heal and restore the damage they have suffered in the last two fights with the Ghostlord’s undead minions. They then push on into the chamber lit by the baleful mustard-tinged glow from a pool in which floats the body of a dire lion. As previously noted, half the party are frikkin’ elves, so naturally they find several secret doors in this chamber.

Tegan opens one of the secret doors to uncover a room 15’ by 15’. The floor of this smaller chamber has been polished to a mirrorlike sheen. Intricate carvings of lions in their natural habitat adorn the walls, but unlike with the carvings elsewhere in the complex, the great cats depicted here are healthy and alive. The grandeur of nature is apparent in every aspect of the masterful carving, except for one lone figure in the southern wall. The lions on this wall recoil in horror and disgust from this half-elven figure, whose face is downcast and whose arms, held palms out, hang limply at his side. At the figure’s feet is a single dead lion cub.

As the party ponder the meaning of all this, yet another secret door opens and a robed and hooded figure steps into the carved chamber. Several members of the party assume this is the Ghostlord. However, when the figure throws back his hood, he reveals himself to be ... Tomas Denzil, bard and serial non-payer of bar-tabs!

A strange and disjointed conversation ensues. Several of the heroes spot that there is something unnatural about Denzil’s actions and speech - almost as if he is under some sort of influence. The fact his eyes are also completely black may just be some sort of clue, as well.

Denzil refers to himself as a vessel for the Ghostlord, one that the lich is especially pleased with, as there does not appear to much of anything that Denzil can be ordered to do that is actually against his nature. What horrific past trauma could have so severely broken the handsome bard’s moral compass?

Through Denzil, the lich reveals that it was he who secretly sent Denzil after the information held by the Disciples of Legend. He was seeking clues to weapons that could help fight the Red Hand, including the Five Treasures of The Old North. The Ghostlord declares himself pleased that this plan has worked out in the rather unexpected way that it has. It seems that Denzil was not much of a leader, so the fact that the party stole the information off him and recovered the weapons themselves and have caused the Red Hand so much trouble means that the lich’s plan has worked after all. He claims that he seeks revenge on the Hand for stealing his phylactery and blackmailing him, but had to do this secretly, for fear of them realising what he was doing.

The lich claims to have prepared several more of these “bonedrinkers”, made from the Hand’s goblin footsoldiers. He makes it clear he wants his phylactery back. In return, the heroes get to leave his sphere of influence unharmed, and he will not deploy the remaining undead on behalf of the Red Hand. Indeed, the Ghostlord says he will destroy any of the Hand that stray into his territory.

The figure of Denzil, or perhaps presumably the Ghostlord speaking through him, recognises [i:3h8h7ewh]Bright Steel[/i:3h8h7ewh] wielded by Tegan. He claims to know the powerful longsword of old, having fought alongside the Paragon Alun (“a young man of such powerful, but unpredictable potential”). In fact he claims to have been a member of the legendary Brotherhood of the Wolf before they and the Druid Conclave abandoned him.

The Ghostlord forces Denzil to hand over a bag containing 20+ GP, in full and final settlement of the disputed bar bill. Which surely means that this adventure is now concluded...

...or does it?

It seems the heroes are still trying to negotiate further reward for the return of the phylactery. Since one of Denzil’s cohorts murdered Edweena, forcing the party to use up 5 charges from the Staff of Life, then they want similar compensation. The Ghostlord reluctantly agrees to find some treasure amongst the artefacts collected over the centuries that will have a value in the 20-30k Gp range.

What will happen next?


(42) Legends of Corwyn - Party Diary - Chapter 33

Posted by : Lewis on 15/01/2018 12:50:32

LEGENDS OF CORWYN PARTY DIARY

Volume Three – The Ghostlord’s Lair

Chapter Thirty-Three (14 Jan 2018) – FREE WILLY

Previously on Legends of Corwyn... Deep in the stronghold of the ancient lich known as The Ghostlord, our heroes face a hooded figure. It is their old nemesis, the bard Tomas Denzil. However, the words that come from his mouth seem to be those of the Ghostlord himself. Ironically, as our heroes are disciples of the legendary paragons, it seems that the Ghostlord knew and worked with those paragons, back when he was still a mortal druid… known as Cargil! Now, can our heroes successfully negotiate with the powerful undead necromancer?

It seems you don’t get to live for over a thousand years unless you are somewhat paranoid, or perhaps the Ghostlord himself would say ‘cautious’. The lich never appears in person, but communicates with the party via Denzil. Cas works out that the bard is enchanted (possibly dominated) and also subject to some divination spell, which the Mabion Branoci wizard reckons allows the lich to see and/or hear them. It seems that this last spell is contagious, as it apparently gets passed onto Gwynn.

The Ghostlord’s aims in the negotiations are to get his phylactery back, and for the party to leave his realm of influence and take their fight back to their mutual enemy, the Red Hand. Preferably he wants to keep Denzil as a useful tool. The party meanwhile, are determined to extract as much recompense as they can from the lich, both in the form of magic to replace that which they had to use to resurrect Edweena, and also information.

Finally, an agreement is reached. The Ghostlord confirms some of their information about the Monastery of the Fallen King, and gives them a better idea where the Fane of Tiamat is (at least a week’s travel into the Wyrmsmoke Mountains and beyond anywhere that even Maor-Collis has been). The necromancer will activate the remaining ‘bonedrinkers’, but instead of sending them to the Red Hand, will send them to accompany the characters to the edge of the Thornwaste and then take the phylactery off them. This also has the twin advantage that nothing is likely to mess with the party on the way out, and that they are well motivated to hand over the phylactery.

To sweeten the deal and provide replacement magic, the Ghostlord allows the party to pick a couple of items from his treasury… which appears to have been thoroughly trashed in a fit of rage. Nonetheless, they find a couple of useful items that Trellara with her bardic knowledge and Cas with her arcane knowledge manage to identify and work out how to use.

The Lingam of Ascension – a beautifully carved, life size, anatomically correct phallus, which has to be worn around the neck. It is an ancient symbol of gods of fertility, life, etc. When a character activates the lingam, they must sacrifice a prepared divine spell or divine spell slot. The caster level of any divine spells of that level or lower that they cast before their next turn increases by 4. The lingam of ascension functions three times per day.

Scrolls of uncertain provenance - this bundle of rough parchment contains scraps of varying shapes and sizes; some appear old and others new. It is bound with a braided cord and secured with a medallion bearing the holy symbol of Wee Jas. These are not spells stored in written form, but collections of death-obsessed writings in an unknown hand. Popular myth holds that those who can command the lore contained in a set of these scrolls have power over life and death. Trellara and Cas know that such collections of writings have long been associated with the ancient cult of Wee Jas (goddess of death and magic), although even her lorekeepers don’t know where the ?rst ones came from. The two heroes believe that the scrolls were penned by beings that lost their sanity in the pursuit of arcane knowledge and then later collected by agents of Wee Jas for the sake of the knowledge they contain.

As long as you possess scrolls of uncertain provenance, you gain a +5 competence bonus on Knowledge checks, provided that you are lawful neutral, lawful evil, lawful good, or neutral. If you have established a proper divine connection (by permanently sacrificing a 6th level spell slot), you can attempt to read from the scrolls once per day for 1 hour. Understanding their lore, however, is not an easy task. To begin with, the scrolls are written in nearly every language, ancient and modern, and the text sometimes switches languages within the same sentence. Thus, a successful hour of reading requires a successful DC 20 Knowledge (religion) check. You receive a +2 bonus on the check for every language you speak. So cryptic are the scrolls that even read magic, comprehend languages, or other spells don’t help you understand them, nor does the Decipher Script skill.

If your check is successful, you gain temporary understanding of one of the scrolls’ secrets depending on how long you have spent reading them. Your hours of successful reading stack for this purpose, so you can read over multiple days to gain a greater bene?t, if desired. The time spent need not all be spent at once; you can divide it as you choose for the purpose of gaining bene?ts. Reading scrolls of uncertain provenance is not without risk, since delving into their mysteries draws you near to the border between life and death. Whenever you spend an hour reading scrolls of uncertain provenance, you risk insanity or worse.

The benefits include being able to apply renewal pacts, death pacts and even true resurrection.

With negotiations successfully concluded, the party strike out north across the Blight and then the Thornwaste. The accompanying undead bonedrinkers keep eyeing up Kaylyn, hungrily. The heroes have decided that the delays they have caused to the Red Hand’s war plans, means that they can risk heading to the Monastery of the Fallen King before racing to Brindol to bring the Five Treasures to bear in defence of that key city.

At the monastery, they intend to see if the Abbot can tell them about the cavern where they might find the Shield of Corwyn Dragonslayer, and also perhaps persuade the monks to stop signing up with the Red Hand.

After camping overnight in the Thornwaste (and practicing the new spells and powers they suddenly have!), the next lunchtime they reach the edge of the dangerous thorns and the foothills of the Wyrmsmokes. There follows a nervous handover of the phylactery to the Ghostlord’s minions (mage hand is employed!). Let’s hope the heroes never come to regret their deal with Elsir Vale’s ancient boogeyman!

Once the undead have departed, Maor-Collis, with aid from Jorr, leads his comrades into the mountains. The rangers manage to get to the top of a difficult slope by the time that the failing light is causing problems for those without low-light vision. However, they have picked out a good route for the following morning. Cas raises her new spell – Leomund’s Tiny Hut, and very nice it is too.

The next day, the rangers lead the party safely down the far side of the slope and start along the valley that will take them to the monastery. However, suddenly, a couple of the heroes spot a large menacing shape in the sky above them. The beast begins to plummet towards the party!

All player characters have just reached LEVEL EIGHT. Here is a summary of the current XP totals, after the Ghostlord's Lair:

Gwynn (cleric of The Trinity): 33,187
Maor-Collis (ranger): 33,237
Cas (wizard/mythic exemplar): 31,037
Edweena (healer): 31,187
Trellara (bard): 28,850
Kaylyn (rogue/sorcerer/unseen seer): 33,137
Taegen (fighter/rogue): 33,137

Next time on Legends of Corwyn... assuming the characters survive, we will be starting Volume Four - The Monastery of the Fallen King


(43) Legends of Corwyn - Party Diary - Chapter 34

Posted by : Lewis on 03/02/2018 13:30:19

LEGENDS OF CORWYN PARTY DIARY

Volume Four – The Monastery of the Fallen King

Chapter Thirty-Four (28 Jan 2018) – Will ye have another cup of tea, Father?

Previously on Legends of Corwyn... our band of brave heroes has risked a side-quest into the Wyrmsmoke Mountains, gambling that they can recover the legendary, long-lost Shield of Corwyn Dragonslayer (a.k.a. ‘Arkaul’) in the hope its magic can protect them from Tiamat’s dragons. Gambling also that they can do this and reach Brindol in time to help defend the city from the Red Hand’s overwhelming assault. Hence, they travel towards the Monastery of the Fallen King, in the hope that the monks will be helpful enough to steer them to the missing shield’s last known location. But, before they find the monastery, a huge, menacing shape has appeared in the sky, and plummets towards them!

Maor-Collis recognises the shape as a chimera, a crazy mixture of several creatures, perhaps caused by some misfiring of the ancient and terrible Body Looms. Usually, such poor deranged creatures, although dangerous predators, would not be a threat to a large well-armed group. However, this one is different. For a start, it is the size of a house! Also, all its eyes glow red with hellfire – the creature is fiendish! If this is the work of a Body Loom, then Tiamat has used it to create a horrific cross between a dire lion, a giant goat, a black dragon, and a demon of the Abyss!

Taegen tries to stall the creature’s attack by rushing forward to intercept its attack. The chimera’s black dragon head unleashes the first of several devastating acid attacks, burning several of the party. Its remaining heads and claws then savage the brave elf. The party soon discover that the chimera is resistant to normal weapons, fire, and cold. Even spells have a hard time targeting it. Taegen, Kaylyn and Gwynn take the worst of the damage, being bitten, clawed, gored and burnt, but between them and Kaylyn’s faithful follower, Jor, they manage to start hurting the beast severely.

Meanwhile the spellcasters are busy. Edweena keeps her comrades alive with powerful healing. Cas uncovers the monster’s weaknesses and prevents it from escaping by summoning a very confused celestial hippogryph. After a desperate fight, Gwynn finally slays the chimera by decapitating it with a mighty blow from Merthúvial.

Skirting the resulting pool of hellish acidic blood, the party pick up the trail again towards the Monastery of the Fallen King. In the late afternoon, they spy a group of humanoids toiling up a long cliff path with logs of wood. The woodcutters are climbing towards… a very solid looking structure built into the side of the cliff. It definitely looks monastic! The band of heroes climbs the path themselves, finding it has been well crafted, with steps cut in the steepest sections. Trellara is out of breath by the time they complete their climb and finally arrive at the Monastery of the Fallen King.

The party are able to enter the main courtyard of the monastery without problem. They join the woodcutters in watching the events that unfold. At floor level in the courtyard is someone they recognise, Taerlach, the one-armed barbarian grandfather. Around three- or four-dozen monks are looking down at him from a balcony or rampart, around 30-40 feet above the stone floor of the courtyard. The monks are a mixture of humanoid races, approximately 60% hobgoblin, 30% half-orc and 10% human.

A hobgoblin monk, his hair white with age, leaning on a walking stick addresses the barbarian from the vantage point of the balcony. This appears to be the abbot and he addresses Taerlach, “We thank you for the gift of your children. And now, the reward that you deserve”. A heavy dagger is thrown at Taerlach’s feet and a large, well-muscled half-orc monk called Tulmak leaps from the balcony, landing perfectly on the flagstones below. Taerlach picks up the large dagger and the unarmed half-orc monk, called Tulmak, adopts a fighting position. Gwynn quickly discusses with his comrades if they should intervene. However, they conclude that that a quick death in battle might suit a proud follower of Kord, Lord of Battle, better than a long, slow death of starvation or illness. The heroes allow events to take their course. The fight is short and lethal, and ends with the monk easily snapping Taerlach’s neck.

The party make themselves known. The abbot, known as Sensei Oyado, demands that their leader (Gwynn, in this case) answer three questions honestly, to see if the monks can do business with them. If the abbot does not like the answers, the party will be sent on their way, politely but firmly.

Oyado begins, “Do you believe the world around you, this stick, these stones, the air we breathe, is real and exists independently of us?” Gwynn answers yes.

The abbot continues, “Do you believe we can have contact with these real things via our senses? Or are our perceptions merely the product of our own minds?” Gwynn replies that he thinks we can sense the real world through our hearing, sight, etc.

Oyado asks the third and final question of this odd trial, “Do you believe we can obtain objective knowledge of reality by applying reason and inductive logic to what we sense. Or do you believe we are dependent upon divine revelation to grant us insight and knowledge?” This is more of a toughie for someone who is, after all, an ordained Cleric of the Holy Trinity, and whose comrades include Edweena who LITERALLY died, went to heaven and came back with vital knowledge imparted by not one, but two gods! However, Gwynn eventually replies that both are true, in his opinion. We can gain knowledge from divine revelation, but also by using logic.

Gwynn’s answers seem to satisfy Oyado that the party have at least enough common ground with the monks that reasonable discussion is possible. The sensei invites the party to take tea with him in his quarters. Tulmak, the huge half-orc, serves up the tea and snacks as his teacher parlays with the heroes. Making their way to the abbot’s rooms, the party realise that the monastery contains much high-quality art in various mediums. Encouragingly for Gwynn and comrades, some of the pictures show stylised ‘heroic’ monks in battle against chromatic dragons. The party also realise that while stone, wood, ceramics, rope and leather are widely used in the construction of the monastery, there is almost no metal.

Oyado gives a brief explanation of the beliefs and disciplines of the Order of the Doom Fist. It seems their core belief is one of ‘rational self-interest’. The order conceives of each humanoid as a heroic being, with their own happiness as the moral purpose of their life. Productive achievement is their noblest activity and reason as their only absolute. Where this code might agree with the values held by the heroes is in the promotion of productiveness, honesty and justice as virtues. However, a couple of the stirring slogans painted on the wall give the heroes pause: “To be selfless is to deny oneself” and “To be selfish is to embrace the self and to accept your wants and needs”.

Causing some confusion in the party, it also turns out that Oyado (in addition to being a highly skilled monk) is himself a cleric. However, like all the order, he follows no god. Indeed, he regards the gods such as those followed by the party as frauds and hoaxes. He says the Doom Fists’ great teacher, Darn Nay, revealed the secret of accessing divine power without offering worship to false gods. As Darn Nay said, “Why serve these so-called ‘gods’ when their playthings can gain the same power through their own strength of will?”.

For their part the heroes explain they they are looking for the chasm into which fell Gror McHammer and Valingorklax the Mighty and that they want to recover Arkaul to aid in the battle against the Red Hand. Oyado surprises them by announcing that the Monastery of the Fallen King is built over that very chasm. Indeed, huge wooden doors seal the entrance to that chasm not fifty feet below where they are sitting. However, the old teacher cautions the adventurers against entering the chasm. He says there are very dangerous creatures down there. Creatures that the monks do not want to escape from the chasm.

After some negotiation, the heroes get the abbot to agree to allow them to search the monastery’s archives for more information. Here, with some help from her Trellara and Kaylyn, Cas uncovers and translates a couple of interesting scraps of ancient letters. These refer to “death without magic”, “dweomervores” and “ferrovores”. The warnings give the party real pause for thought. Gwynn especially is now wondering of they are on a fool’s errand trying to recover Arkaul. Perhaps they should abandon this side quest and head straight to Brindol to aid in the defense?

In the end the party decide to send a psychic message to General Flynn back at the Reliquary of the Six. Perhaps the ancient celestial parrot can shed some light on the threats in the dark below?


(44) Legends of Corwyn - Party Diary - Chapter 35

Posted by : Lewis on 14/02/2018 22:39:59

LEGENDS OF CORWYN PARTY DIARY

Volume Four – The Monastery of the Fallen King

Chapter Thirty-Five (11 Feb 2018) – Don't you open that trapdoor, 'Cos there's something down there.... ]

Previously on Legends of Corwyn... our band of brave heroes have survived the journey to The Monastery of the Fallen King in the Wyrmsmoke Mountains. Despite time running ever shorter for the city of Brindol, they are (mostly) determined to try and recover the lost Shield of Corwyn Dragonslayer, to aid them in their fight against Tiamat’s fearsome draconic minions. To that end, they have persuaded the lawful-evil order of Doom Fist monks that inhabit the Monastery that there is mutual benefit and self-interest in recovering the Shield and thwarting Tiamat. And now, they must descend into the sunless caverns below the Monastery and face the deadly aberrations that dwell in darkness below…

General Flynn’s reply to the party’s sending (a.k.a. ‘psychic text message’) provides cold comfort. Flynn thinks the ‘ferrovores’ are probably rust monsters. The ancient half-celestial macaw warns that ‘dweomervores’ can negate all your magic if they grapple you, and that they eat flesh as well as enjoying the taste of magic items (but apparently not consuming them?).

Gwyn Withel has severe reservations about heading into the caverns to seek the legendary shield. The cleric of the Trinity feels this is a dangerous side quest that risks diverting them from saving Brindol, and possibly risks their lives. However, his companions, especially Edweena and Cas, based on Mungo's research, think the Shield will give them a vital edge in the coming battle. Outvoted six-to-one, Gwyn reluctantly agrees.

To give him his due, once the course of action is agreed, Gwyn throws himself behind the project. The cleric temporarily parks his reservations about some aspects of the moral code of the Doom Fist monks and makes a persuasive request for monks to accompany the party in their dangerous endeavour. In fact, Gwyn’s speech is so convincing that none other than Tulmak, Sensei Oyado’s highly competent, barbarian-murdering, half-orc second in command, is persuaded to join them. For an equal share of the loot, obviously.

Cas erects Leomond’s Secure Shelter and several of the heroes leave a lot of their equipment within. Taegen and Kaylyn manage to bargain with visiting woodcutters and traders for wooden weapons and leather armour. Maor-Collis leaves his faithful leopard, Spot, behind with the monks. Sheer cliffs and long drops are not the natural environment of big cats.

In the basement of the monastery, teams of monks strain to pull thick cables that lift huge wooden trapdoors, opening an entrance to a large hole that plummets into utter blackness and from which comes an unpleasant smell… the smell of death…

The heroes plus Tulmak begin a perilous descent into the sunless realm. More than once, they are grateful for the half-orc monk’s long hours of training that have honed both his climbing skills and his ability to drop long distances unharmed. After much heart-stopping business with rotting rope ladders, tiny ledges and perilous slopes, everyone makes it to a final ledge, overlooking the cavern floor about 30 feet below. The sound of running water can be heard nearby… and the sudden sound of a small creature coming to a violent end. And then Tulmak spots two creatures…

The creatures are about the size of ponies. Each has four insect-like legs and a squat, humped body, protected by a thicky, lumpy hide. The tail is also covered in armoured plates and ends in a bony projection that resembles a double-ended paddle… or a double-bladed axe. Each creature sports two long antennae on its head, starting just below each eye.

Cas distracts the presumed ‘rust monsters’ with caltrops from a magic bag. Maor-Collis takes the opportunity to pepper them with arrows until the creatures flee up a large tunnel that heads under the mountains in both directions from this set of linked caves. Tulmak remarks that the tunnel is new since the last time monks came to the caverns and managed to return to the monastery (some years ago). The tunnel is oddly regular, but no one can identify tool marks. There is some worried speculation among the heroes that it could have been created by disintegration rays.

Maor Collis and Jor find footprints. Looking at the rangers’ discovery, Taegen thinks the prints belong to a creature he calls a ‘choker’ – a nasty, halfling-sized ambush predator found in the upper reaches of the underdark. Cas uses a spell to locate the approximate location of the Shield of Corwyn Dragonslayer (a.k.a. Arkaul or Defender). It appears to be nearby, deeper into one of these caves, perhaps on the other side of the fast-flowing stream of cold water that has carved its way through the cave.

The party spread out on the cavern floor and head into the caves. Jor, Taegen, Tulmak and Kaylyn lead the way. Soon they discover the ‘choker’… or rather half of it! Something has bitten the creature in half, leaving only its legs. While the scouts examine this, they fail to spot the cause of the choker’s demise waiting for them, nestled all but invisibly against the ceiling of the cave, patiently waiting for the bearers of such tasty magic auras to come within reach…

A hulking creature with an ovoid body suddenly drops from the ceiling. It moves swiftly on six long tentacles instead of legs, and from between its shoulders protrudes a slavering mouth full of jagged, ripping teeth. As Taegen soon discovers. The large aberration surprises the heroes and inflicts much damage. In short order it grapples Taegen, Jor and Kaylyn. Not only does the dweomervore start to crush the hapless trio, once grappled their magic weapons, spells, and supernatural powers are all nullified, meaning they cannot do it any damage.

Their comrades try to help. Edweena uses mass healing to keep everyone alive. Cas is busy finishing off the rust monsters that try to take advantage of the ambush. Gwyn and Maor-Collis try to wound the monstrous thing crushing the life out of their friends. However, Maor-Collis’ arrows cause as much damage to his comrades (especially Kaylyn) as they do to the ravenous aberration.

It is the half-orc monk, Tulmak, however, who leaps to the stricken heroes’ aid. Despite taking severe damage himself, the monk throws himself at the monster, pummelling it with a flurry of blows and attempting to stun it. The creature shrugs off the stunning fists and attempts to grapple the monk, but somehow, Tulmak evades the tentacles of doom! It's almost as if the monk, who carries neither metal nor magic, is somehow harder to spot.

The dweomervore then retreats to the cave ceiling to finish off its three captives. But again, Tulmak leaps after it, somehow scaling a large stalagmite and again evading the tentacles. Even the brave (but evil) half orc cannot force the monster to let go of the three heroes. Things look grim for Taegen, Kaylyn and Jor, as the pressure from the tentacles slowly squeezes the life out of them…


(45) Legends of Corwyn - Party Diary - Chapter 36

Posted by : Lewis on 25/02/2018 09:13:21

LEGENDS OF CORWYN PARTY DIARY

Volume Four – The Monastery of the Fallen King

Chapter Thirty-Six (18 Feb 2018) – No, I said ‘tentacles’...

[i:28kehmxw]Previously on Legends of Corwyn... our band of brave heroes – despite warnings from Oyado, the Abbot of The Monastery of the Fallen King – have descended into a deep cavern in the Wyrmsmoke Mountains. The Doom Fist monk, Tulmak, has accompanied them. Although time runs ever shorter for the besieged city of Brindol, the adventurers are hoping to recover the lost Shield of Corwyn Dragonslayer, to aid them in their fight against Tiamat’s fearsome draconic minions. However, things are not going well, and several of the heroes have been grappled by the tentacles of a huge aberration known as a “dweomervore”…[/i:28kehmxw]

The hideous dweomervore continues crushing its victims, while their companions try to kill it. Gwyn summons spiritual weapons – the longswords of Heironeous, Father of the Trinity. Cas blasts the monster with magic missiles. And, despite the risk to his friends, Maor-Collis continues to launch arrows into the struggling mass of bodies. One of these severs an artery, and the aberration begins spurting dark ichor with every movement.

However, the dweomervore is not down yet. It also proves surprisingly fast, as it leaps from the ceiling perch and races after Gwyn and Maor-Collis, quickly adding them to its haul of clutched victims. Like their companions before them, the cleric and the ranger find that they cannot escape the creature’s tentacles, and while so grappled their magic spells and items do not work. Things look bleak, as the monster slowly crushes the life from the five helpless heroes.

However, Trellara Nightshadow, High Singer of the Tiri Kitor, is still free, and not without a few tricks of her own. The elf bard casts Haste on her few allies that remain free of the dweomervore’s clutches. This gives the half orc, Tulmak, the extra burst of speed he needs to get in close to the menacing bulk of the dweomervore, without being grappled himself. The Doom Fist monk delivers a mighty punch. Truly a ‘fist of doom’, his blow penetrates the monster’s hide and ruptures some unnameable, but vital, organ within. The terrifying aberration gives a mighty shudder and dies, releasing its five victims, so close to death themselves.

Once Edweena has healed everyone, the victorious adventurers – some quite surprised to still be alive – head over an underground river to the dweomervore’s lair. They discover the remains of a freshly killed drow. Hmm.. what are the notorious dark-elves up to beneath the Wyrmsmokes?

They also finally uncover the target of this little jaunt – Arkaul, a.k.a. The Shield of Corwyn Dragonslayer. This dwarf-crafted heavy mithral shield can protect the wielder against the chosen energy type, chosen to match the breath weapon of the dragon they are fighting. The heroes also recover a small number of other enchanted items, including a warhammer that once belonged to Gror McHammer. The legendary dwarf’s weapon of choice, this warhammer also has the ‘defending’ ability. Nice.

Using their now-functioning magic to assist them, the weary band make the long climb back up the cavern walls to the basement of the monastery. They report to Sensei Oyado everything they discovered. The Abbot is pleased to hear how his disciple, Tulmak, conducted himself, and to hear of the death of the dweomervore. However, the grizzled hobgoblin is puzzled and concerned by the appearance of a huge new tunnel and the apparent presence of drow beneath his monastery.

The party take a brief rest. A couple of them discover a very old and well-visited wall painting, which shows a tall, slender, yellow skinned humanoid apparently teaching a class of goblinoids. This is a depiction of the mysterious Darn Nay. Teagen reckons the yellow-skinned humanoid looks like a member of one of two species of planar travellers he has heard of. Called ‘gith’-something, they were once slaves of mind-flayers, but successfully rebelled and gained their freedom.

The heroes reward Tulmak for his bravery and for striking the killing blow, with not just his agreed share of the loot, but also Gwyn’s share. They leave an open invitation for monks and their visitors to join the fight against the Red Hand, and respectfully ask that no more of the highly trained martial artists join the enemy.

Guided by a visiting band of traders, the party travel for two days to make their way back out of the mountains. The traders are more than happy to travel with the adventurers, especially as the presence of such fearsome warriors keeps away certain menaces of the Wyrmsmokes.

Parting company with the travelling merchants at the Elsir River, the heroes follow the waterway back towards Drellin’s Ferry, scene of their first encounter with agents of the Red Hand army. Most of the village is destroyed, although a few buildings, such as the stables and livery still stand. And it is in those stables that several goblins and their mounts, Wargs, are resting. Meanwhile, on the village green, half a dozen hobgoblins are backed up by a hill giant.

The party use mass invisibility to get in close. Maor-Collis steps out and starts shooting down the goblins and wargs. But he is spotted by a hobgoblin, who shouts “It’s one of the Dragonslayers! Retreat!”


(46) Legends of Corwyn - Party Diary - Chapter 37

Posted by : Lewis on 01/03/2018 20:39:05

LEGENDS OF CORWYN PARTY DIARY

Volume Five – Enemy At The Gates

Chapter Thirty-Seven (25 Feb 2018) – Welcome to Drellin’s Ferry… Again

Previously on Legends of Corwyn... our band of brave heroes are trying to make their way through the rearguard of the Red Hand army and get to Brindol in time for the legendary weapons they carry to help the outnumbered and outmatched human defenders. They have run into Red Hand forces in the ruins of Drellin’s Ferry.

Although the goblins, wargs and hellhound are quickly dispatched, the heroes find it harder to close the distance to the hill giant while dodging the huge chunks of masonry he throws at them. Once again Taegen and Jorr lead the charge. This time the ranger transforms into true tiger form, for the benefit of speed, and goes hunting some of the hobgoblins that scattered and hid. Meanwhile Taegen recklessly takes on the giant.

His sister, Kaylin also tries to close the distance, but is held up when, suddenly, Maor-Collis gets ‘confused’ and starts firing arrows into her, causing serious damage (and not for the first time). Kaylin survives, but gives serious though to WWAD? (What Would Alun Do?). The giant drops her brother, but by then his comrades have arrived, including Edweena, whose healing magic keeps the elf fighter alive.

One by one the hobgoblins are flushed out and killed, by Jorr and by Taegen and Gwyn. However, Cas has the ability to see invisible creatures, and has noticed something (presumably the last hobgoblin?) flying unbelievably quickly nearly half a mile away. Can they possibly catch this creature? Or will it escape to warn the hand where the ‘dragonslayers’ are?


(47) Legends of Corwyn - Party Diary - Chapter 38/39

Posted by : Lewis on 22/04/2018 19:26:28

LEGENDS OF CORWYN PARTY DIARY

Volume Five – Enemy At The Gates

Chapters Thirty-Eight and Thirty-Nine (11 and 25 Mar 2018) – The Battle of Nimon Gap

Previously on Legends of Corwyn... our band of brave heroes are trying to make their way through the rearguard of the Red Hand army and get to Brindol in time for the legendary weapons they carry to help the outnumbered and outmatched human defenders. They are making progress along the Dawn Way, but drawing ever nearer to the main body of the thousands-strong army.

The heroes don’t catch whoever it was managed to escape. They quickly decide to push on before Red Hand reinforcements are summoned. The party encounters a strong Red Hand foraging party in woods, and although outnumbered, the heroes are keen to take on the goblinoid forces. However, the party are frustrated when the Hand’s foragers withdraw into a fortified camp, backed up by giants.

This is a pattern that repeats itself several times, the bearers of the Five Treasures come across goblinoid patrols, only for the enemy to flee at the sight of them. It seems – after the heroes’ previous successes – the Red Hand’s rank and file have been given strict orders not to engage them.

As the adventurers push eastwards along the Dawn Way, they see the trail of destruction wrought by the Hand’s passing. Once lush pasture has been churned to mud and dust, orchards that should be groaning with this year’s harvest have been stripped bare and the trees cut down to fuel General Khan’s war machine. They see evidence that the army has been split into three columns, travelling as far apart from each other as the geography of the Elsir Valley allows. The heroes speculate if this might be because of internal tensions amongst the Kulkor Zhul that Azarr Kul has stitched together from so many previously competing tribes and races.

As the great road starts to ascend in the foothills of the Nimon range, the rangers spot an adult blue dragon (Nycorax) flying above them and spying on them. The dragon keeps his distance at 1000 feet of altitude, thinking himself safely out of range of the humanoids puny weapons. However, the overconfident wyrm is in for a nasty shock. A range of spells are quickly cast on Maor Collis, giving him the ability to treat even this extreme range as point blank, and guaranteeing a critical hit. The elf lofts an arrow that strikes true, blinding the beast in one eye and half killing him with a single missile!

Nimon Gap is a tiny hamlet located at the place where the Dawn Way descends out of the Nimon Hills, Nimon Gap grew up around a large walled inn known as the Cross-Eyed Beholder. In better times, the folk of Nimon Gap grew apples, pears, and chestnuts in orchards sheltered below the hills, while shepherds and goatherds kept their livestock in the heights. It is towards this, now deserted, settlement that the grievously wounded Nycorax now descends, with the heroes in pursuit.

Just outside of Nimon Gap is a bridge that spans a major tributary of the Elsir River. A force of hobgoblins is guarding the bridge, but retreat swiftly eastwards, withdrawing in good order, despite losing a couple of casualties to the heroes’ long range weapons. Some of the party spot a creature watching them from the hills above, but don’t have time to investigate before Gwyn precipitates what is later known as the Battle of Nimon Gap (in truth, ‘tis but a skirmish in the wider scheme of things, but, hey ho).

The cleric of the Trinity charges across the bridge, with a couple of his more stabby comrades (Jor, Kaylyn) backing him up. This charge comes to a sudden halt when the Tiamat’s carefully selected force for dealing with the ‘dragonslayers’ springs their ambush. Suddenly half-a-dozen creatures appear from invisibility all around the isolated heroes on the eastern side of the bridge and start stabbing with the advantage of surprise.

As with the “harrowblades”, Tiamat seems to have spawned some new horror from the bloodline of one of her chromatic dragon races, only this time from black dragons, instead of green. Most of the creatures are roughly humanlike, with black-scaled skin with glints of green. Two horns jut from the side of their heads, curving forward around their skulls. These are the males and they wield falchions. One of the creatures is larger than the others and appears to be female. A dark strip of cloth covers her face, and she wields shortbow and shortsword.

After the initial ambush, the creatures vary their tactics and spray the wounded heroes with deadly jets of acid – they have breath weapons inherited from the black dragons they were created from. It seems the creatures take no care to miss each other with this massed breath weapon attack – they are immune to acid! A number of the heroes are badly burned and nearly drop. Only Edweena’s healing magic keeps them up.

The big female seems to be the leader, and deploys a variety of skills and tactics that mimic the effects of the special abilities of rogues (extra damage striking from hiding), sorcerers (turns invisible) and monks. And yet, Cas notices, the blackspawn creature never actually casts any spells, and the abilities aren’t exactly any of the above. This creation of Tiamat’s has been trained in some previously unknown set of skills and powers, and then sent to exterminate the party!

The ambush on the bridge is one of the deadliest attacks the party have faced, with the monstrous humanoids frequently mixing melee attacks, invisibility and breath weapons. However, in the end, the heroes triumph, slaying the creatures, despite suffering terrible wounds of their own.

After healing up, the party press on, and, on the eastern slopes of the Nimon range, finally catch sight of the Red Hand army. Three huge columns of goblinoids snake across the flat land below towards Brindol. Outriders on wargs scout beyond the columns and carry message between, giants drag siege engines, and dragons and manticores fly overhead. A terrifying sight.

The party decide quickly to summon magical mounts, and to strike across country to the south-east as fast as they can to try and circle round the army’s southern flank and beat the Hand to Brindol. The race is on!

To Be Continued…



Legends of Corwyn Introductory Adventure 20 Sep

 


(1) Legends of Corwyn Introductory Adventure 20 Sep

Posted by : Lewis on 12/09/2015 10:29:52

I'm writing a short introductory adventure to allow the players and characters to find their feet before we enter the main campaign plot and the stakes are raised (!).

At the end of the introductory adventure (one or two sessions) the PCs should level up to L5 and I'll allow a bit of tweaking if you discover there are things about your character that don't work or that you aren't happy with. You'll also get a chance to earn some nice items and maybe find out a bit about the setting that will help in the campaign ahead.

I would like to know if anyone is planning to be a member of the Disciples of Legend. This would make it a lot easier to swiftly introduce the characters to each other and get them into the adventure. If you don't want to, then I'll use a different introduction.


(2) Legends of Corwyn Intro - City of Dennovar

Posted by : Lewis on 16/09/2015 13:49:27

The City of Dennovar

The introductory adventure starting on Sunday 20 Sep is based in and around the city of Dennovar. The Reliquary of the Six - HQ of the Disciples of Legend - is located nearby. PCs may have heard some of the songs and tales circulating in local taverns recently, concerning the larger-than-life exploits of a band of adventurers calling themselves 'Denzil's Delvers.

A trade-city located on the shores of Lake Ern, Dennovar is the largest community in Elsir Vale. It’s the eastern gateway from northern Corwyn into the vale, the first bit of civilization a weary traveller encounters after crossing the Golden Plains.

Lady Yisel Bristeir is the titular ruler here, but in practice the city is governed by the Merchants Council — powerful oligarchs primarily concerned with keeping the city a good place to do business. Dennovar is also noteworthy for tolerating numerous shrines to various minor and racial deities that dot its streets. The activities of these places are however regulated and overseen by the Temple Council, made up of the highest-ranking clerics and of course dominated by the Church of the Trinity.

]Authority Figures: High Councilor Nindel Thorn, leader of the Merchants Council and de facto ruler of the city; Prelate Barila Harrask, high priestess of The Trinity in the vale and head of the Temple Council.


(3) Legends of Corwyn - Crit/Fumble cards good idea?

Posted by : Lewis on 26/09/2015 15:06:40

What do people think about the Critical Hit and Critical Fumble card decks (e.g. the ones produced by Paizo)? Would you prefer to use these in Corwyn? Or stick to the standard double damage etc?

http://paizo.com/products/btpy8ysr?GameMastery-Critical-Hit-Deck


(4) Re: Legends of Corwyn - Crit/Fumble cards good idea?

Posted by : ColinBuckler on 26/09/2015 19:18:31

Lewis: What do people think about the Critical Hit and Critical Fumble card decks (e.g. the ones produced by Paizo)? Would you prefer to use these in Corwyn? Or stick to the standard double damage etc?

http://paizo.com/products/btpy8ysr?GameMastery-Critical-Hit-Deck

Initially it sounds like a good idea - but I do have doubts. The main reason for the doubts are whilst its good to do damage to NPC's and have the effects on the cards, its only fair that they also apply to PC's as well. I would like to know the severity of the critical - hopefully the worst effect is x3 damage but this could still be a an instant death for a slightly wounded character.

Combat is a random affair, but it does make combat even more randm/risky. Other game systems such as Savage Worlds have open combat damage - by this I mean if you roll max damage on a dice it "explodes" and you get to that damage die again, and again and again ...etc. However these systems do have measures in place to counter such as Bennies in Savage Worlds which you can spend to soak damage.

I know it sounds like I am anti-cards, this is not the case, but I would need ideally to see the effects before confirming.


(5) Re. Legends of Corwyn - Crit/Fumble cards good idea?

Posted by : Lewis on 26/09/2015 21:02:57

If you follow the link above it has pictures of several sample cards, so you can see the sort of effects. In the interest of balance, major NPCs would get the effects as well, but possibly not the nameless grunts (although there are options). I've found Critical Hits and Critical Fumble decks online for less than £2.50 each.


(6) Re: Legends of Corwyn Intro Adventure - feedback?

Posted by : Lewis on 01/10/2015 23:19:07

By the way, now the introductory adventure is over, I'd welcome some feedback (positive or negative, as long as it's constructive) from the players of 'Legends of Corwyn'. How's it going so far? What worked for you and what did not? It's been fairly 'action-lite' so far, with an emphasis on conflict of personalities and attitudes - that's deliberate, in order to provide contrast between why 'heroes' become adventurers and why others do so. That will change, and as you get deeper into the main plot, the amount of action (specifically, combat, this is D&D, after all) will start to ramp up. Let me know, though, if this starts to mean you're not getting enough role-playing. As I've mentioned before, I'm planning to be in this for the long haul (work permitting) and this main campaign plot could last a year, depending on how often we play.


(7) Legends of Corwyn Sun 4 Oct - Player's Guides

Posted by : Lewis on 04/10/2015 01:14:56

Please don't forget to bring the Player's Guide with you on Sunday. And someone took two (or if you are Colin, possibly three), so check how many you've got, please. As the party will be moving through the Vale, you are quite likely to want to refer to the information in the Guide from now on.

Thanks.


(8) Re: Legends of Corwyn Introductory Adventure 20 Sep

Posted by : ColinBuckler on 04/10/2015 15:43:55

Just checked - I have one and so does Sam.


(9) Legends of Corwyn 04 Oct - No Edwyn tonite

Posted by : Lewis on 04/10/2015 16:07:38

Legends of Corwyn - definitely no Edwyn tonight (04 Oct). Too much course work to do. So, there's a wizard going spare (!).



POLL: Multiclass characters and XP penalties?


(1) POLL: Multiclass characters and XP penalties?

Posted by : Lewis on 10/09/2015 08:59:02

Do we want to bother with the full D&D v3.5 rules for multi-classing in Legends of Corwyn? If we do, the likely effect would be to encourage some players to have characters with less overall classes, or to keep their various classes more even, or to pay more attention to the favoured classes of different races.

Some background information:

]If a multiclass character's classes are not nearly the same level, then he suffers a multiclass penalty of -20% XP for each class that is not within 1 level of his most experienced class. These penalties apply from the moment the character adds a class or raises a class's level too high. For instance, a 4th-level wizard/3rd-level rogue gets no penalty, but if that character raises his wizard level to 5th, then he would receive the -20% penalty from that point on until his levels were nearly even again. The penalty is -40% if all three levels are uneven, for instance, a 5th-level wizard/3rd-level rogue/1st-level fighter.

Races and multiclass XP

A racially favored class does not count against the character for purposes of the -20% XP penalty. For instance, an 11th-level gnome character (a 9th-level rogue/2nd-level wizard) suffers no XP penalty, because he has only one non-favored class (wizard is favored for gnomes). Suppose he then achieves 12th level and adds a level of fighter to his classes, becoming a 9th level rogue/2nd-level wizard/1st-level fighter. He suffers a -20% XP penalty on future XP he earns, because his fighter level is so much lower than his rogue level.

A dwarf 7th-level fighter/2nd-level cleric suffers no penalty, nor does he when he adds 1st-level rogue to his classes since his cleric and rogue classes are only 1 level apart, and fighter is a favored class for dwarves.

A human or half-elf's highest-level class is always considered his or her favored class for purposes of the multiclass penalty.

Human is not always the best choice to avoid an XP penalty. For example, a human 2nd-level fighter/8th-level wizard/8th-level rogue would suffer a -20% XP-penalty, a dwarf with the same class combination would not. Humans and half-elves can never suffer a -40% penalty.

Because polymorphs (including spells like shapechange and a shifter's abilities) change a creature's race, the multiclass penalty can also change while one is in effect. Generally, excluding some rare cases in which the opposite can hold, this means sometimes introducing a penalty for Tenser's transformation and the drow form of humanoid shape, while reducing or eliminating the penalty for other polymorphs. More precisely, the polymorphed character uses the favored class of the new race, and the favored class of all non-playable races is the same as for humans (the highest base class). Furthermore, the standard polymorphs that change a creature to a playable race are only available to players via Tenser's transformation and the drow form (both change the race to "elf").

Prestige classes and multiclass XP

Prestige classes are exempt from the multiclass XP rule and do not count against the character. For example a 20th-level character (10th-level rogue/3rd-level shadowdancer/7th-level assassin) will not suffer any XP penalties no matter what race the character has chosen.


(2) Re: POLL: Multiclass characters and XP penalties?

Posted by : ColinBuckler on 10/09/2015 09:23:32

I can see why most people ignore this rule.... LOL

If you wish to have some limit, you could consider:

(1) Simply limit the numnber of base classes to 2. But unlimited prestiege - if you meet the prestiege class requirements.

(2) Or say your first 2 base classes do not have any effect, but a 3rd base class or more does. (prestiege classes are not base classes). 20% penalty until the classes beyond 2 are within 1 step of all other classes. No 40% penalties. e.g. 6/3/1 would have a 20% penalty but 6/3/2 wouldnt.

Penalties are calculated as cost to level - when leveled the XP is reduced (abit like having to overspend to achieve the goal).



XP for Multiclass Characters


(1) XP for Multiclass Characters

Posted by : ColinBuckler on 09/09/2015 20:46:53

Hi Lewis,

Are you playing with the XP for Multiclass Characters penalties for Uneven Levels / Favoured Classes (PHB pg60) in particular the 20% XP penalty ?


(2) Re: XP for Multiclass Characters

Posted by : Lewis on 09/09/2015 23:45:53

Good question. Last time (Chronicles of Corwyn) I took the view that this was too much extra bookkeeping getting in the way of fun and - in any case - I thought it would be self-correcting, in that anyone who took multiple character classes would be behind on their highest class and not getting the high-level abilities of the characters who had stuck with one class.

I also allowed any WotC material in the game. And I still thought everyone would behave sensibly and have fun.

Yeah... that's what I thought. But it felt like someone abused that attitude, to be frank, and took levels in all sorts of classes from various weird and wonderful splat books in order to mix and match various weird abilities. In retrospect, I don't think that was really treating the game or their fellow players entirely fairly.

So, with that experience in mind, I think I might have to apply the full multiclass rules after all. So, I will add a note of favoured class to the Mabion Branoci description in the Legends of Corwyn Player's Guide.

Also, in case anyone didn't know, taking a prestige class does not incur the experience point penalties normally associated with multiclassing.

Anyway, if the multiclassing penalty applies to your character, we'll have to work out at what point the XP penalty kicked in and what their actual level is.


(3) Re: XP for Multiclass Characters

Posted by : ColinBuckler on 10/09/2015 00:16:40

Makes sense....

Edit: Wow - just re-read the rule and it is 20% FOR EACH CLASS that is not within the 1 level limit. If you have 3 classes that are staggered that could be 40% XP penalty !


(4) Re: XP for Multiclass Characters

Posted by : ColinBuckler on 10/09/2015 00:57:11

Searching the internet I found this article which explains it rather well:

http://nwn.wikia.com/wiki/Multiclass_penalty

Reading that - and then applying it to: Elf 5th Thief/1st Sorcerer/7th Unseen Seer

The Unseen Seer does not count in the calculation - so assume for the analysis Elf 5th Thief/1st Sorcerer.

Therefore the character would suffer a 20% XP penalty permenantly until the Sorcerer level is brought to within 1 level of the favored class (5th Thief) this would be regardless of what level the character took next (i/e prestiege).

However as a Human you take his favored class as the highest class he has at that point - making it 5th Thief - and this favored class can be ignored. The character would not suffer any penalties to XP at all.

Now take the same Elf character and mix in 1 level of cleric (why - because I can ) so we now have:

Elf 5th Thief/1st Sorcerer/1st Cleric/7th Unseen Seer

As the character now has 2 classes (which are not favored or prestiege classes) more than 1 level away from the higest class level the character currently has, the character would take a 40% penalty on all XP gained regardless of the class being taken (even Prestiege class).

Yet again - if the character had been Human - the 5th Thief could be ignored along with the Prestiege class meaning the two remaining 1st level classes are within 1 level of each other and therefore no penalty in XP loss.

WOW - I have been doing this wrong for years and I bet most other people have too..... it makes going multiclass a real bind in loss of XP for none favored classes !!!!!! Also a *BIG* reason for being Human!!!!!!


(5) Re: XP for Multiclass CharactersPosted by : Lewis on 10/09/2015 08:21:14

(I've not so much been doing it wrong as just completely ignoring it - on purpose)

Anyway, on top of your excellent points above (40% penalty, ouch), and having slept on it, I'm back to feeling that it's all far too much bookkeeping again.

What I said in response to your original question was strictly according to the rules as written (RAW)...

However, as I say, it still feels like a lot of bookkeeping for no benefit in terms of 'fun'. You can imagine the sort of problems:

DM: "So, after that bruising encounter with the fiendish half-dragon-half-Halfling blackguard and his pet owlbear zombie, everyone gets 2000 XP, except Bob, who only gets 1600 XP, 'cos his character Blodwyn Peasmold the half-orc is Wizard 4, Rogue 3, Beguiler 2 so there's a 20% penalty because Wizard and Beguiler are two levels apart and none of these are a half-orc's favoured class".

Bob: "Aha, wait, not so fast, Mr DM. Blodwyn levels up to level ten after the first 750 XP, so I'll level her up to Beguiler 3 and then the 20% penalty doesn't apply to the remaining points, so... how many do I get now?"

DM: "F*** you, Bob".

So, question for 'Corwyn' players - do you want to observe the RAW for multiclassing (specifically the 20% penalty per class more than one level behind the top class), or can we all be grown ups about it and not worry?


(6) Re: XP for Multiclass Characters

Posted by : Lewis on 10/09/2015 08:25:23

Oh. My. God.

It gets worse...

"Because polymorphs (including spells like shapechange and a shifter's abilities) change a creature's race, the multiclass penalty can also change while one is in effect. Generally, excluding some rare cases in which the opposite can hold, this means sometimes introducing a penalty for Tenser's transformation and the drow form of humanoid shape, while reducing or eliminating the penalty for other polymorphs. More precisely, the polymorphed character uses the favored class of the new race, and the favored class of all non-playable races is the same as for humans (the highest base class). Furthermore, the standard polymorphs that change a creature to a playable race are only available to players via Tenser's transformation and the drow form (both change the race to "elf")."

Arrgghh.


(7) Re: XP for Multiclass Characters

Posted by : ColinBuckler on 11/09/2015 23:29:10

Reading Disciples of Legend, as I understand it, you put 3 ranks into Knowledge (history) you can join the Disciples of Legend:

Entry Requirements:
Skill: Knowledge (history) 3 ranks.

As I read it, one of the benefits is:

]Furthermore, you can choose one of the organization’s six primary classes and henceforth treat it as a second favoured class for the purpose of determining multiclass penalties.

With the six primary classes being: Clerics, fighters, marshals, scouts, rogues, and wizards,

I assume I have read this correctly, if so this is probably the best way of handling it and should surfice for most scenerios. I assume this Knowledge (history) is treated as normal regarding rank buy (i.e 2pts for 1 rank for a rogue).



Legends of Corwyn - Sun 20 Sep 2015


(1) Legends of Corwyn - Sun 20 Sep 2015

Posted by : Lewis on 31/08/2015 00:25:11

First session, including character generation. I will post the guidelines for character generation in the next couple of weeks. There are new feats and races to consider.

The countdown begins...


(2) Legends of Corwyn - Sun 22 Nov 2015

Posted by : Lewis on 22/11/2015 14:49:50

Everyone ready for [i:16qh2jp3]Legends of Corwyn[/i:16qh2jp3] tonight? We may blow the season's special effects budget on tonight's episode...

...oh, wait, we don't have a special effects budget!


(3) Legends of Corwyn - Sun 20 Dec 2015

Posted by : Lewis on 18/12/2015 18:12:46

Sunday 20 Dec. Last session of Legends of Corwyn this year!

We'll be levelling up most PCs to L6. Let me know if you want me to bring specific books (e.g. Complete Warrior, Complete Mage, etc).

Also, is anyone thinking of going into either of the Disciples of Legend prestige classes - Mythic Exemplar or Squire of Legend? How could I make these more interesting/attractive for you?


(4) Legends of Corwyn Vol 2 - Sun 17 Jan 2016

Posted by : Lewis on 16/01/2016 10:30:29

Yes, it's back! Sun 17 Jan 2016 Legends of Corwyn returns with Volume Two - The Ruins of Rhest.


(5) Sun 17 Jan - weather watch</ br>Posted by : Lewis on 16/01/2016 22:33:14

Best keep an eye on the weather on Sunday and adjust plans if necessary.

http://gu.com/p/4fqvm?CMP=Share_iOSApp_Other



Legends of Corwyn - Campaign Setting Part 1


(1) Legends of Corwyn - Campaign Setting Part 1

Posted by : Lewis on 02/08/2015 14:38:13

LEGENDS OF CORWYN – A BRIEF HISTORY

PART ONE - INTRODUCTION

(for your own benefit and enjoyment, please read this series of posts on the “Legends of Corwyn” campaign setting in the correct numerical order, i.e. the order they were originally posted)

Welcome to the first of a series of posts describing setting of my new Dungeons and Dragons (D&D) v3.5 campaign, “Legends of Corwyn”!

The campaign takes place in a number of locations around a group of closely allied states known as The Corwynic League. The League mostly occupies the southern half of a large (UK-plus-Ireland-sized) island realm, plus some smaller offshore islands, lying in an ocean to the west and north of a much larger continent. Although Corwyn is the most influential, indeed dominant, member of the League, the various states that make up the alliance are nominally equal. The main area involved in the new campaign will be the Elsir Vale, amongst the ruins of the kingdom of Rhestilor.

For those of you familiar with my previous D&D campaign, ”The Chronicles of Corwyn”, you will recognise the island realm as that which was known one thousand years ago as ‘The North Kingdom’. Within that realm, the southern coastal fiefdoms of the Principality of Corwyn and the Barony of Eldred were the major focus of events.

However, since the events of the battle against the mad god Sertrous and his followers, the northern half of the old North Kingdom has been lost to dragons and their various monstrous client races, allies and hirelings. There have been changes over the last millennium – political, social, technological, religious changes and even changes to the climate.

In this series of posts, I will briefly cover the history of the setting and the current set up. This should allow anyone to understand how and why things are the way they are – regardless of whether you played in “The Chronicles of Corwyn” in order to join and enjoy ”Legends of Corwyn”


(2) Legends of Corwyn - Campaign Setting Part 2

Posted by : Lewis on 02/08/2015 17:32:07

LEGENDS OF CORWYN – A BRIEF HISTORY

PART TWO – SOME ANCIENT HISTORY

(for your own benefit and enjoyment, please read this series of posts on the “Legends of Corwyn” campaign setting in the correct numerical order, i.e. the order they were originally posted)

For those of you familiar with ”The Chronicles of Corwyn”] and blessed with excellent memories, some of the “what everyone knows” that follows may seem a bit vaguer that you recall and may even seem to contradict what you thought you knew. This is deliberate, partly to avoid previous player knowledge being an unfair advantage in the new campaign, and partly, as J R R Tolkien once wrote…

“And some things that should not have been forgotten were lost. History became legend. Legend became myth.”

Prehistory – The Body Weavers

In the time before time, there were various alien forces of unimaginable power that shaped this world and the life upon it. Collectively, these forces are known to scholars as ‘The Body Weavers’. And with their hideous Body Looms they created the first mortal races, for their own unknowable and terrifying motives.

Most mortals believe that, in the beginning, the gods created the world. That they helped shape the world is not in dispute, but they were far from the first to cast their influence across the Material Plane. The aboleths lived in the primeval depths before the first deity wrought life from primal clay. The elemental races established vast multiplanar empires long before the first priest offered prayers from a crude stone altar. And in the roiling deep of the Abyss, demons had already conquered entire planes before the advent of intelligent life on the Material Plane. Most powerful among these ancient demons were the obyrith lords. One such obyrith lord was Sertrous, whose ascension from demon prince to virtual godhood spelt such danger for the North Kingdom one thousand years ago.

Few if any artefacts of this age can be found on the Material Plane. The Body Weavers were not beings to carelessly let their power fall into the hands of others. In the event that such an artefact is found, its awesome alien power is not meant for mortals. Not matter how tempting, it will almost certainly spell the wielder’s corruption and doom.

First Civilisation (Ancient)

Somewhere over three millennia ago, there arose on the large continent to the east a mighty human civilisation. They took the arcane knowledge offered by their allies, the elves, and through experimentation took this far further than the elder race ever had. They produced mighty magic weapons, armour and other artefacts.

Some of these ancient magic items can still be found – indeed, the player characters in ”The Chronicles of Corwyn”] came into possession of a number of these legendary objects. The items themselves were the focus of part of the evil plans of the Vanguard of Sertrous, plans that the heroes fought hard to defeat. Possibly the most famous of these were two long swords. Known as ’Bright Steel’ in the common tongue, the sword wielded by the duskblade Alun eventually became a major weapon in the fight against the evil dragons. Meanwhile, 'Merthúvial'], the blade gifted to Sylvar by King Theron’s spirit, eventually granted the elven rogue much success not just in slicing through any armour, but also in his role as a diplomat and leader of men.

This ancient civilisation of men came to the island realm around 3000 years ago. With their mighty magics, they easily cleared away the monsters that inhabited the island and drove them to offshore strongholds, mountain fastnesses and into the Realms Below.

Their mightiest ruler was King Theron. However, he was betrayed and murdered by his trusted advisor and in the appalling events that followed, the entire kingdom split apart, crumbled and was washed away by tides of vengeance-driven monsters. The North Kingdom returned to being the hunting ground of goblinoids, orcs, dragons and savage beasts of all kinds.

Second Civilisation (The North Kingdom)

So, by 2000 years ago, the great ancient civilisation had vanished, leaving only relics and legends. A new set of allied civilisations arose on the mighty continent to the south-east. Humans, elves and dwarves all had well-established cultures of their own, even if none quite reached the magical heights of the ancients.

Led by the ever-restless humans, a second wave of settlers arrived in the monster infested island around 1800 years ago. One particularly mighty human warlord declared that the whole island would be his new “North Kingdom”. He promised grants of land and titles to whoever of his followers could clear territories of monsters. Depending on your point of view, what followed was either a glorious and heroic expansion of civilisation and the vanquishing of evil, or it was a brutal campaign of genocide.

During this campaign, an ambitious noble called Corwyn had a special shield made for him by the dwarves of Dwarvendale across the sea. This shield was said to resist dragon fire. With the aid of the dwarf-smithed shield – and considerable reserves of courage and skill - Corwyn ‘Dragonslayer’ defeated a number of dragons. In recognition of his outstanding service, the self proclaimed king granted him some prime land in the fertile south of the new kingdom, together with the title ‘Prince’. And so was born the Principality of Corwyn.

(next, Part Three and we touch on the Chronicles of Corwyn!)


(3) Legends of Corwyn - Campaign Setting Part 3

Posted by : Lewis on 02/08/2015 23:52:43

LEGENDS OF CORWYN – A BRIEF HISTORY

PART THREE – THE CHRONICLES OF CORWYN

I don’t intend to describe the previous campaign in great detail. Party diaries are available elsewhere on this website in any case. Knowledge of the exploits of the player characters – known as The Brotherhood of the Wolf” – is something treasured by an in-game organisation called ‘The Disciples of Legend’. The passage of time has turned history into legend and legend into myth. What characters in “Legends” think the heroes in “Chronicles” did may well not be what players remember happening!!

By the time of “The Chronicles of Corwyn”, one thousand years ago, the North Kingdom had been relatively stable for centuries and monsters were things only found at the extreme margins once again. However, the High King, Niall, did not have the strength of character or rulership skills of his ancestors. He was insecure, weak, tending to paranoia and jealousy.

A band of heroes, eventually known as ‘The Brotherhood of the Wolf’, formed around a nucleus of Sylvar, Alun and Grimm. Sylvar was an elven rogue and had been a drinking companion of Prince Emrys in their younger days. After Emrys inherited the rulership of Corwyn, he occasionally employed his old friend for ‘special’ jobs. Alun was a hot headed duskblade, trained in the harsh environment of Swinescabs Academy of the Arcane Arts. Grimm was a half-orc barbarian, raised amongst the orcs and possessing much of their outdoor survival skills and ferocity in battle.

The three heroes originally teamed up when Sylvar and Grimm were sent on a mission to recover a missing artefact and hence broker a more friendly relationship with the Principality of Corwyn’s neighbour and rival, the Barony of Eldred. Alun, meanwhile, arrived at the same place to take down a band of goblin bandits on behalf of the terrified citizens of a nearby town. In the process, Alun recovered the legendary sword, ‘Bright Steel’ from the bandit’s hobgoblin leader. After this he dedicated himself to aid Sylvar’s mission to Eldred.

There are conflicting legends about how successful the mission was, but it led to Sylvar playing matchmaker after meeting Princess Isolde, the most beautiful woman in the North Kingdom. The elf later introduced Isolde her to his friend, Prince Emrys, and subtly encouraged their courtship and eventual union, reflected in the union of Corwyn and Eldred – the genesis of the Corwynic League of today.

As the three heroes travelled, they adopted the name “Brotherhood of the Wolf” and attracted other adventurers from across – and indeed beneath - the land to their cause. Chief among the legendary heroes who fought evil beneath the banner of those who called themselves the Brotherhood of the Wolf were the following:

- The dwarf marshal Gror McHammer – who recovered the lost shield of Corwyn Dragonslayer and subsequently was the only survivor of the dragon attack on Dwarvendale that heralded the Return of the Dragons.

- Gavin the scout - who fought his way single-handed through an entire city of dark elves and a necromancer’s tower in order to rescue trapped children.

- Gotta’flul – a deep gnome, rescued by the party from slavery and torture at the hands of evil dark elves in the Underdark. Gotta’flul proved his usefulness time and again before leading dangerous secret missions back into the Underdark to rescue his people and lead them to freedom. Gotta’flul later became the spiritual leader of his newly liberated people.

- Branoc – a courageous and mighty warrior, with a happy-go-lucky attitude and an unquenchable joy for the hearty pleasures of life. His legendary romance with a yuan-ti called Ossuru led to her redemption and ultimately to the half-human-half-yuan-ti race, known as Mabion Branoci.

The Brotherhood of the Wolf discovered that an evil organisation called ‘The Vanguard of Sertrous’ were working to conduct a ritual called ‘The Sacrament of the Risen King’. If successful, this would wake the demon-god Sertrous and bring him into the Material Plane, to wreak universal destruction. The Sacrament was largely successful, although the heroes through their actions had limited Sertrous’s initial power. The serpent demon-god raised an undead army that swept across northern Corwyn, growing exponentially as it went. While a desperate defence held the zombie horde at a deep canyon, the heroes infiltrated Sertrous’s camp and fought the risen serpent-god himself. They succeeded in slaying the demon-god and thus saving the kingdom, possibly the world, from destruction.


(4) Legends of Corwyn - Campaign Setting Part 4

Posted by : Lewis on 04/08/2015 16:00:59

LEGENDS OF CORWYN – A BRIEF HISTORY

PART FOUR – CIVIL WAR

One thousand years ago, the matchmaking of the rogue Sylvar Lightfoot brought about the love affair and eventual marriage of Prince Emrys V of Corwyn and Princess Isolde of Eldred. This brought to an end centuries of rivalry and occasional conflict between the two fiefdoms. The populations of both states celebrated the new found peace and to see their rulers so clearly in love.

But not everyone was so pleased with the nuptials. Rival lords and powers were not happy at the new alliance, and dripped poisoned words into the ears of High King Niall. The insecure and paranoid king was all too ready to see this marriage between two of his vassals – which went ahead without his permission – as a threat and a challenge to his ailing rulership.

High King Niall ordered the Prince and Princess to dissolve their marriage and come to court to make amends. However, the newly-weds were, for once, in no mood to play politics at the expense of personal happiness. They declined the High King’s invitation. Next, Niall attempted to force the priesthood of Heironeous to annul the marriage that had been performed by their bishop in Caer Corwyn. The priesthood – long used to the patronage of the House of Corwyn - refused, claiming that the marriage was legitimate in the eyes of their god. Enraged, Niall began raising forces to attack Eldred and Corwyn and bring the ‘rebels’ to heel.

However, Prince Emrys and Princess Isolde already had a two-pronged response in preparation. Emrys tasked his brother Michael with preparing Corwyn’s army, so recently mobilised against the undead menace unleashed by Sertrous. Meanwhile, a diplomatic ‘charm offensive’ was launched. Ambassadors were sent to all the other fiefdoms within the North Kingdom, explaining how the High King was overstepping his rights and that such cruel power over all aspects of his vassals’ lives could no longer be tolerated. This diplomatic mission was led by Sylvar – who, legend has it, was much aided in the success of this task by the mysterious powers of the ancient sword, 'Merthúvial'.

Regardless of the reason, several other lords flocked to the Corwyn-Eldred alliance, determined to resist High King Niall’s increasingly arbitrary and unfair treatment of his vassals. The alliance of princes and barons expected to make a show of strength and then present reasonable demands to King Niall for better treatment and some rights codified in law. In return, they would pledge their continued acknowledgement of him as High King.

But, the dissenters had underestimated Niall’s unhinged rage at anyone defying his word and his “divine right” to rule in whatever way he saw fit. Egged on by ‘advisors’ such as Valiant of Bercow, the High King launched an all out war against the dozen or so ‘rebel’ fiefdoms. However, thanks to Lord Michael, the dissenters had an army of their own ready and managed to defend Corwyn and Eldred, the initial targets of the High King’s wrath.

And thus was the North Kingdom plunged into a bloody and damaging civil war. Families were turned against each other. Good people looked on in despair as, first their entreaties of peace were ignored, and then they were forced to take sides.

Even the Brotherhood of the Wolf was apparently not immune to this saddening division. The vast majority of the adventuring company were natives of Corwyn or Eldred and thus had no difficulty immediately supporting their beloved liege lords – distinguishing themselves as heroes on the battlefields of this heartbreaking conflict. However, one or two members came from states that sided with the king and faced a terrible choice between duty to one’s lord and king, or loyalty to one’s comrades. Legends say that some of the great heroes faced each other on the battlefield, fighting epic battles that lasted all day and all night, until both slew each other, finally embracing in comradeship once again, as death took each of them.

And so the land was torn apart by this internecine conflict. As the two sides struggled for a winning advantage, neither realised how the enemies of the North Kingdom rubbed their claws with glee and waited for the armies of civilisation to butcher each other, fatally weakening the Kingdom’s ability to defend itself from the horrors of a far worse threat…

(next, The Return of the Dragons)


(5) Legends of Corwyn - Campaign Setting - an aside

Posted by : Lewis on 06/08/2015 16:26:06

LEGENDS OF CORWYN – AN ASIDE

Before I embark on writing the next part of the history and setting, it occurs to me that what I am about to relate may confuse some players who participated in ]”The Chronicles of Corwyn”. Some of what I am about to state may appear to contradict what they think actually happened in game.

I have been mulling over whether to lay all my cards on the table, so to speak, and explain exactly what happened and what all the various NPCs were up to, including all the stuff that the Brotherhood of the Wolf never found out… or at least never found out in game. That way, everything would make sense and the history that follows would appear logical, inevitable even.

Whilst that approach is tempting, as I believe that this is a shared enterprise, not just mine alone, and so it needs ‘buy-in’ from players to be successful, it also partly defeats one of the aims of ]”Legends of Corwyn”. We need to create the right atmosphere, in which the exploits of the characters in”The Chronicles of Corwyn” genuinely feel like heroic myths that would inspire a later generation of adventurers. Likewise, the new in-game organisation, the Disciples of Legend, treasure scraps of genuine information about the Brotherhood of the Wolf and send people on adevntures to uncover them. For all that to stick, there has to be the feeling of immense passage of time, of details being hazy, for there to be the sense of – as I quoted earlier -

“And some things that should not have been forgotten were lost. History became legend. Legend became myth.”

With that in mind, I have decided against explaining everything from ”The Chronicles of Corwyn”. The old characters and the events surrounding them should have ambiguity and even exaggeration in the tales told of them. To the new characters, the stories about the old characters should not feel like a dry precise history of (say) the British Abdication Crisis of 1936. No, they should feel more like the stirring tales of Cú Chulainn, of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table or of Robin Hoode and His Merrie Men.

Therefore, I shall only offer a limited amount of information to clarify some of the blanks and contradictions…

- Lord Valiant of Bercow: I expect most people worked out there was something very funny going on here. The party killed Lord Valiant in the Underdark, and then had to watch him ride away from Eldred after the whole wedding/kidnap plot was thwarted. I think I’m not giving too much away to say that the Lord Valiant killed in the Underdark was an illithid parasite that had taken over the original unfortunate Valiant’s body. Then the other “Valiant” was actually Draco Thrax, who was (obviously) a dragon in human form. Once again, the subtlety of my NPC-naming was up there with calling the CIA mole in Spycraft “Ian T Cage”. Anyway, the party caused a temporary setback in the enemy’s plans for Corwyn and a shift to ‘Plan B’.

- Magic Items: The party recovered a number of ancient treasures from the tomb of King Theron and subsequently from the Vanguard of Sertrous. These included the staff ‘Banrhialorg’ (= ‘Queen’s Staff’) and the two longswords, ‘Bright Steel’ and 'Merthúvial' (= ‘Kingmaker’). All of these were ‘legacy’ weapons, with powers and enchantments that the player characters never had time to discover in-game. Just as ‘Bright Steel’ was always more than ‘merely’ a +1 Keen Longsword, 'Merthúvial' was always more than only a +1 Adamantine Longsword. I assume that, once they had time to pause after the frantic pace of pursuing the Vanguard of Sertrous from Eldred via Kingsholme and the Underdark all the way to Castle Serastis, then Alun and Sylvar took the opportunity to research the history of these weapons and then to practice the rituals to unlock the weapons’ various higher powers. Hence Sylvar gained powers to do with leadership and diplomacy, while Alun gained access to arcane powers to make him the equal of a wizard, while also unlocking a weapon lethal to dragons.

Hope that helps!


(6) Legends of Corwyn - Campaign Setting Part 5

Posted by : Lewis on 13/08/2015 02:59:51

LEGENDS OF CORWYN – A BRIEF HISTORY

PART FIVE – THE REIGN OF FIRE Pt 1 - The Return of the Dragons and the Fall of the North Kingdom

"But who shall dwell in these worlds if they be inhabited? . . . Are we or they Lords of the World? . . . And how are all things made for man?” (Kepler, quoted in The Anatomy of Melancholy

One thousand years ago, the Principality of Gwynedd lay several hundred miles to the north of the Principality of Corwyn and Barony of Eldred, in the north-western part of the North Kingdom. Before the Reign of Fire, it encompassed windswept sandy beaches, gentle farmland, dark forests and rugged high mountains.

A few miles off the shore of Gwynedd, more or less opposite the mouth of the River Volar, lay an island that two centuries earlier had been known to all the kingdom as ‘Ynys Glwys’ ('Holy Island'). This had been a sacred site since the days of the vanished Old Civilisation. When the current inhabitants came to the North Kingdom eighteen centuries ago, the priests of Pelor built their own shrine upon the sacred island. This became a well-known monastery for clerics of the Sun-Father and one of their major sites of study and learning.

However, 1200 years ago, disaster struck. The exact cause is not known - although rumours abound, some blaming the enemies of Pelor's clerics, some even blaming the priests themselves. Whatever the truth, on that day all contact from the island suddenly ceased. The first boat sent over to ask the clerics what was happening never returned. The second sailed with heavily armed guards and more caution. The crew returned with horrific descriptions of monstrous undead infesting the shores of the once holy island. It seemed that all the inhabitants had been turned into more of the vile undead spawn. The island now became known as ‘Ynys Anfad’ ('Unholy Island'). However, to ordinary people across the North Kingdom it had another more direct name - The Isle of Wight.

The inhabitants of the coastal town of Abervol soon found to their horror that some of the more determined undead could occasionally cross the barrier of a few miles of ocean and wreak terror and death (and worse) upon the population of the mainland. The Prince at the time set up a force to protect the coastal lands from this plague - an elite order of undead-fighting specialists known as The Coastguard. With their headquarters at Abervol, this elite body attracted Paladins and the more combative Clerics (especially of Pelor), together with Fighters, Rangers and elven-trained Duskblades.

A millennium ago, when the dragons returned from their long exile and sleep after 800 years, they first took Nizakh on the continent. Then, across the gulf of the cold northern seas, their intellects vast and cool and unsympathetic, regarded the island kingdom with envious eyes. And slowly and surely the dragons drew their plans against the mortal inhabitants.

Their agents infiltrated the kingdom and helped instigate conflict between the various humans and demi humans. This culminated in the civil war one thousand years ago. When the various humans were wrapped up in killing each other, the dragons launched the next step in their campaign. The dracolich Necrothrax sent emissaries to the Isle of Wight. These dragon cultists convinced the lich rulers of the Isle of Wight to ally with the dragons for a combined attack.

Hence, the first blow of the hammer fell in Gwynedd. The cultists and the undead servants of the liches freed the proto-lich Nedrezar from the ancient secret temple beneath the town of Pontvol. The horror that followed would have been worse were it not for the brave efforts of a band of heroes led by Brother Stefano, a cleric of Pelor.

An eyewitness – in fact a participant in the action - wrote an account of the events:

”… in the middle of the night we were rudely awoken by the doors bursting open and an attack by shambling, half decayed animated corpses. Brother Stefano said they were zombies! Along with our companions, we fought them off and rescued a couple of local residents downstairs. Outside we heard screams and a glance through the window showed that foul zombies were everywhere, grabbing residents of the village and dragging them off somewhere. It looked like the entire "population" of the village graveyard had suddenly risen from their graves and attacked … As we approached the cemetery, we could make out an eerie witch-light pulsing over the graveyard. The eldritch fox-fire silhouetted a macabre scene. Ten zombies were standing in a circle in the graveyard's centre, clutching five villagers in their filthy undead hands. In the middle of the ring, a tall and well-preserved undead figure stood with its hands locked around the head of a shrieking villager. Evil light burned like a green fire in this creature's eyes and with a moan of hellish pleasure it drained the life from the hapless farmer, whose ash-grey corpse tumbled to the ground…”

(contemporary journal entry by eyewitness Dylan Huws, manservant to Brother Stefano of Pelor).

The Coastguard had already been drained of members and supplies by King Niall, eager to prosecute his war against Corwyn in the south. Now they had to turn their attentions inland to deal with the horror at Pontvol. As they did so, hordes of undead started washing up on the beaches around Abervol. The Isle of Wight launched a full-scale invasion of the living dead!

Gwynedd was lost. Those of the living who could fled south. This gave the dragons both a beachhead and meant that the ruler of the North Kingdom was now fighting on two fronts even before dragons arrived.

The evil dragons and their allies now started arriving in Gwynedd and attacking any armed force that approached the doomed Principality’s borders. Too late, High King Niall recognised the new danger. Too late did he suspend hostilities against the dissenting southern fiefdoms. Too late did he marshal his army and send it north to fight the mighty saurians and festering undead. Although they fought valiantly, the human and demi-human army was now fighting a well entrenched enemy backed by awesome magic. The mighty lizards had complete control of the sky from which to swoop down and employ their devastating breath weapons.

Niall’s army was destroyed. Survivors of the northern provinces fled south. The civil war was forgotten as Prince Emrys and his general Lord Michael organised their forces, employing tactics and formations suggested by the veteran dragon-fighter, the dwarven Marshal, Gror McHammer.

At great cost, the armies of the south held the enemy back beyond the Dwr Mountains and saved hundreds of thousands of civilians. But the northern provinces were lost to the monsters. The North Kingdom was no more…

(and, yes, all this means that Legends of Corwynis officially a sequel to Edwyn's Heroes of Gwynedd campaign as well as my Chronicles of Corwyn).


(7) Legends of Corwyn - Campaign Setting Part 6

Posted by : Lewis on 16/08/2015 00:08:07

LEGENDS OF CORWYN - PART SIX - DISCIPLES OF LEGEND

(adapted from material in ‘Complete Champion’], written by Ed Stark, Chris Thomasson, Ari Marmell, Gary Astleford and Rhiannon Louve, published by Wizards of the Coast, 2007).

The Disciples of Legend are students of the past who view the great mythic heroes of bygone ages as models for a life of skill and virtue. While they honour and respect many such ancients, their primary focus is on the legendary Brotherhood of the Wolf (see notes below and the forum for “The Chronicles of Corwyn” on the club website). By studying and emulating these heroes, the Disciples of Legend hope to better themselves and the world around them.

JOINING THE DISCIPLES OF LEGEND

The classes most often represented in the Disciples of Legend are cleric, fighter, marshal (MH), scout (CAd), rogue, and wizard. These preferences are not based on any specific requirements but represent the choices that provide abilities similar to those of the Six Paragons from The Brotherhood of the Wolf. Members of other classes are free to join as well, and it includes a respectable number of rangers, bards, favored souls (CD), warmages (CAr), and knights (PH2).

Entry Requirements:]
Skill: Knowledge (history) 3 ranks.
Special: Although the organization does not have a specific alignment requirement, members who behave contrary to its teachings are quickly expelled. Thus, evil members are rare.

The Disciples of Legend focus on their energies on two goals: to learn more about the Six Paragons, (and the rest of the Brotherhood of the Wolf and other historical heroes), and to put that knowledge to use by performing heroic deeds similar to those of their legendary patrons.

Clerics, fighters, marshals, scouts, rogues, and wizards not only emulate the Six most easily, but they also gain the most benefit from the organization’s signature prestige class, the mythic exemplar. Thus, they most frequently represent the Disciples of Legend on adventures and as emissaries to governments, churches, and other factions.

DISCIPLES OF LEGEND BENEFITS]

The organization known as the Disciples of Legend is a quasi-religious sect in many ways. The respect with which its members view the Brotherhood of the Wolf - especially the Six Paragons - borders on worship, and members are expected to conduct their daily lives according to a strict set of behaviours modelled upon those of the legendary heroes.

Disciple of Paragons: The organization’s wizards and clerics can provide you with spells and minor magic items. If you are a wizard, other member wizards might be willing to trade spells with you, or at least charge only 75% of the normal market value. Similarly, you can buy scrolls and potions for 75% of market value. The Disciples of Legend can provide training in most classes. If your campaign involves training times or costs, training with the Disciples requires only half the standard amount of either. Furthermore, you can choose one of the organization’s six primary classes and henceforth treat it as a second favoured class for the purpose of determining multiclass penalties.

Scion of Paragons: The organization’s library of ancient lore focuses on the heroes of the mythic past, but the material covers a substantially wider array of topics. Accessing the library grants you a +1 circumstance bonus on all Knowledge checks for every hour spent in research (maximum +8 for Knowledge [history] and +3 for all other Knowledge skills).

Favoured of Paragons:] Once per year per five class levels (maximum four times per year at 20th level), you can call on the organization for aid to combat some evil force or cult. This aid takes the form of a number of followers and cohorts, determined as though you had the Leadership feat (DMG 106), but only for the duration of that specific endeavour.

Legendary Paragon:] Once you have attained this rank within the organization, you can provide heroic inspiration to other members. Your presence in battle grants each Disciple of Legend within 60 feet (other than yourself) a +1 morale bonus on attack rolls and saves against mind-affecting spells and abilities. This is a supernatural ability.

PLAYING A DISCIPLE OF LEGEND

You have devoted great effort, if not the entirety of your waking hours, to emulating the Six Paragons and other legendary heroes from the Brotherhood of the Wolf. You might have selected one of the Six to serve as your primary guide, or you might simply seek to live up to the reputation of the group as a whole. Whatever your specific focus, you work to destroy powerful evils or dangers wherever they appear, seeking them out not for treasure or gain, but to protect the innocent or to maintain the natural order of the world. You also attempt to live a life of virtue. Dedicating yourself to this goal doesn’t mean you must follow any particular code, or live like a paladin or a monk. It simply means you avoid behaviours that reflect poorly on you or the organization, and you try to make decisions as a hero would rather than as a common person. You are a believer in the old ways, though not necessarily a blind traditionalist.

Combat

You fight in the way that is most appropriate to both your class and the specific hero you emulate, if any. You’ve studied tales to learn the favoured tactics of the Six, and you do your best to fight accordingly, though not at the expense of combat effectiveness. (See the mythic exemplar class description when I add it for more detail on how each of the Six fought.)

Advancement

Many historical and religious groups exalt the Six, and their tale is not well known, so you might have learned of them almost anywhere. Perhaps you modelled yourself after one of them early and only later discovered the Disciples of Legend. Alternatively, someone in your religious community might have taken note of your similarity to one of the Six and pointed you in the right direction. In either event, the Disciples of Legend were happy to take you in. Unless you’ve chosen to go the route of the mythic exemplar, your training is as strict and thorough as you wish it to be. As long as you study the Six Paragons and attempt to follow their example and the precepts of the organization, you are permitted to continue on as you choose.

Missions

The organization does not assign specific quests. Instead, it alerts you to evils of the sort that the Brotherhood of the Wolf faced, or to sources from which you might be able to retrieve historical texts or valuables on behalf of the organization. Your leaders never order you to undertake a given mission. Should you consistently refuse such requests, however, you’re likely be expelled from the group because you are clearly failing to follow the example of your paragons.

In addition to undertaking at least some of the quests suggested by the Disciples of Legend, you must contribute to the growth and research capability of the organization. You have no specific fixed monetary amount of dues, but you must donate a small portion of all treasures you acquire while you are a member (5–10% is customary). Additionally, you are expected to share any knowledge you obtain. Historical information is best, but any sort of lore is valuable.

Resources

Because the organization appeals primarily to characters who are already seeking guidance in their lives, and because most of its money goes to historical research, membership offers only a few tangible benefits — and those are available only to members who have attained a certain rank, as described above.


(8) Legends of Corwyn - Campaign Setting Part 7Posted by : Lewis on 16/08/2015 00:38:08

THE BROTHERHOOD OF THE WOLF AND THE SIX PARAGONS

One thousand years ago, the Serpent Demon-God Sertrous and his cult of nihilistic yuan-ti worshippers, known as The Vanguard of Sertrous, threatened to destroy the entire known world. In an alliance unheard of before or since, various deities and their priesthoods put aside their enmities and moved as one against the forces of the Serpent God. And while the deities struggled to contain Sertrous’ power on the divine planes without tipping the cosmic balance, a band of heroes of many different faiths threw themselves into battle against his cult. These heroes called themselves “The Brotherhood of the Wolf”.

Many of the Brotherhood fell in the battle against the Vanguard, one of their mightiest warriors, the half-orc Grimm was turned to stone, Jomak the Wise was killed in a battle against one of the Vanguard’s champions. Six of the Brotherhood are now regarded as paragons of their specific classes and professions. The Six Paragons were clever Sylvar Lightfoot, the devout Jomak the Wise, the cunning mage Alun, the determined Gavin, the loutish but brilliant Branoc, and Lord Marshal Gror McHammer of the doomed dwarf kingdom of Nizakh. These six — originally of wildly varying beliefs, faiths, and alignments — together destroyed uncountable evils, from the drow who invaded Eldred to the dread dracolich Necrothrax. Only decades later, after half their number had fallen against the dragons and the cultists of Tiamat did the remainder of the Six go their separate ways.

The Disciples of Legend have made every effort to uncover and record all knowledge available regarding the Brotherhood, especially the Six Paragons, but the organization’s leaders have actually quashed one bit of information. They have hidden the identities of the deities worshiped by these six heroes — even the cleric Jomak’s allegiance remains unknown.

This is for two very important reasons.

First, the organization wants the Six to serve as paragons for all who would follow in their footsteps, and its leaders believe that making public the names of those deities would discourage adherents of other faiths.

Secondly, the worship of The Trinity (a.k.a. the Divine Family) is the official state religion throughout the Corwynic League. Other religions are discouraged as not conducive to the public harmony that underpins the League’s survival in the face of terrible threats. Even other non-evil religions are regarded as unhelpful. The Disciples do not want to be seen to be supporting other religions or cults and hence make an enemy of the very powerful Church.


(9) Legends of Corwyn - Campaign Setting Part 8

Posted by : Lewis on 16/08/2015 18:40:07

MYTHIC EXEMPLAR

“Nobody today can match the great heroes of the epic past. But by following closely in their footsteps, perhaps we can come close.” —Mikolai Laziros, mythic exemplar

Few are as devoted to history as the Disciples of Legend, and none among that august group are as committed to their paragons as the mythic exemplars. True followers — even worshipers — of the Six Paragons (see page 65), the mythic exemplars model their skills, their attitudes, and even their lives after those fabled heroes.

BECOMING A MYTHIC EXEMPLAR

Because the mythic exemplar prestige class offers a number of “paths,” each modelled on one of the Six Paragons, it is open to a wide variety of entrants. It is best suited to clerics, fighters, marshals, scouts, rogues, and wizards.

Entry Requirements
Skills: Knowledge (history) 3 ranks, plus any one of the following: Diplomacy 7 ranks, Intimidate 7 ranks, Knowledge (arcana) 7 ranks, Knowledge (religion) 7 ranks, or Move Silently 7 ranks.
Special: Any one of the following: base attack bonus +5, able to cast 3rd-level spells, sneak attack +2d6, or ability to grant allies a bonus on attack rolls, saves, or checks as an extraordinary ability.
Special: Must be a member of the Disciples of Legend.

CLASS FEATURES

The class features of the mythic exemplar vary greatly based on which of the Six Paragons you choose to follow. You exchange the more general abilities of your previous class for specific, mystical replacements. Thus, while you might lack some of the abilities of a character of your former class at the same level, your dedication to your heroic patron allows you to surpass the abilities of such a character under the proper conditions.

Spellcasting: At 2nd, 4th, 6th, and 8th level, you gain new spells per day and an increase in caster level (and spells known, if applicable) as if you had also gained a level in a spellcasting class to which you belonged before adding the prestige class level. You do not, however, gain any other benefit a character of that class would have gained. If you had more than one spellcasting class before becoming a mythic exemplar, you must decide to which class to add each level for the purpose of determining spells per day, caster level, and spells known. If your paragon is Jomak or Alun, you gain additional levels of spellcasting ability through the archetype advancement class features (see below).

Paragon’s Path: Upon becoming a mythic exemplar, you must choose one of the legendary Six Paragons upon whom to model your skills and abilities. Your choices are the clever Sylvar, the faithful Jomak, the all-knowing Alun, the inexorable Gavin, the noble and inspirational Sir Gror McHammer, and the mighty Branoc. Once made, your choice cannot be changed.

Save Bonus (Ex): At 1st level, you gain a +1 bonus on a saving throw determined by your paragon, as given on the following table. This bonus increases by 1 at every odd-numbered level up to 7th.

[table will be in final material]

Paragon’s Gift, Least (Su): At 2nd level, you gain the first of several supernatural abilities that allow you to channel the spirit and skills of your paragon. Unless otherwise noted, each paragon’s gift (least, lesser, greater, and supreme) requires a swift action to invoke, lasts for a number of rounds equal to your mythic exemplar level, is usable once per day, and has a caster level equal to your mythic exemplar level.

[table will be in final material]

Archetype Advancement (Ex): At 3rd, 5th, 7th, and 9th levels, you gain a class feature that builds on those of your paragon. If your archetype advancement grants bonus feats, you must meet all the normal prerequisites for your selections, unless otherwise noted.

[table will be in final material]

Paragon’s Gift, Lesser (Su): At 4th level, you gain a new supernatural ability that you can use once per day, according to your paragon as given on the following table. This ability follows all the guidelines for least paragon’s gift (above), unless otherwise noted. If you choose, you can forgo your daily use of this ability for an extra use of the least gift.

[table will be in final material]

Paragon’s Gift, Greater (Su): At 6th level, you gain a new supernatural ability that you can use once per day. This ability follows all the guidelines for least paragon’s gift (above), unless otherwise noted. If you choose, you can forgo your daily use of this ability for an extra use of your least or lesser gift.

[table will be in final material]

Paragon’s Gift, Supreme (Su): At 8th level, you gain a new supernatural ability that you can use once per day. This ability follows all the guidelines for least paragon’s gift (above), unless otherwise noted. If you choose, you can forgo your daily use of this ability for an extra use of your least, lesser, or greater gift.

[table will be in final material]

Ability Boost (Ex): At 10th level, one of your ability scores permanently increases by 2, according to your paragon as given on the following table.

[table will be in final material]

Embody Paragon (Su): When you reach 10th level, you truly embody every physical and spiritual concept that your paragon stood for. Unless otherwise noted, the ability you gain is permanent and constant, as long as you remain conscious. If it is suppressed, you can raise the effect again as a swift action.

[table will be in final material]

PLAYING A MYTHIC EXEMPLAR

You are utterly devoted to following the example set by your paragon. You travel the world adventuring with your comrades, just like the Brotherhood of the Wolf did, always honing your abilities in the hopes that one day you might be half as skilled as they. Emulating your paragon is not your only concern — like other adventurers, you have goals to reach, loved ones to protect, and new lands to explore. But you do it all in homage to your paragon, and you do it just the way you believe that hero would have.

You are among the most respected of the Disciples of Legend, and you see your fellows in the organisation as seekers of the truth who simply haven’t yet matched your dedication. You might think of the group as your “alma mater” and spend little time with it.

Combat

Your tactics on the battlefield depend largely on your paragon and prior classes. Consider not only your paragon’s abilities, but also his or her attitudes. Sylvar was infamous for constant movement, tumbling past opponents, flanking for a few moments, and then shifting to a new foe, but always getting the offside kill. Jomak did not merely stand back to heal his allies; he stood at the forefront, casting spells to impede the enemy’s ability to fight as well as tackling them head on with the power of his fists. Alun hurled lightning bolts with the best of them, but he tempered his early recklessness and learnt to gather intelligence, using his divinations and his extensive knowledge skills to pinpoint enemies’ weaknesses and anticipate their tactics, then chose spells to take advantage of what he had learned. Gavin was determination personified and seemed unstoppable, wading through ranks of minor foes and taking what wounds were necessary to reach his intended target. Gror McHammer used his powers to augment his allies, but he always commanded from the front, wielding hammers, axes and an ancient shield. And the mighty Branoc allowed his flail and thuggish swagger to lull the enemy into thinking him brash and foolish, only to cut them down with a combination of mighty strikes and brilliantly precise tactics.

Remember all this information when designing your own fighting style because it isn’t sufficient that you merely share the abilities of your paragon; you should strive to match him or her in every way.

Advancement

Once you joined the Disciples of Legend, your leaders swiftly recognised your devotion to one of the Six Paragons. So when they offered you the opportunity to emulate your chosen paragon in new and specific ways, you leapt at the chance.

You have only just begun your quest to become worthy of your paragon, and a lifetime of striving still lies ahead of you. You have no illusions that you will ever be the equal of your paragon; you hope only to lead a life that echoes that of your hero, and to have others say that you did honour to your paragon’s name.

The choices you make after becoming a mythic exemplar depend, again, on your abilities and your paragon. Select feats based on a combination of what you feel can most improve your own abilities, and what brings you closer to your paragon. If you are a true exemplar, these choices may often be one and the same.

Resources

While you are indeed the epitome of the Disciples of Legend, you can count on little more than moral support from them. The organisation is not a rich one, and its limited resources are devoted to unearthing more of the history of the Six Paragons and other mythic heroes of the Brotherhood of the Wolf. Indeed, it is far more likely that you might be asked to adventure in support of the organisation than that it can afford to support your endeavours, except as noted above.

(The above is adapted, rather loosely, from material in the following book published by Wizards of the Coast:
'Complete Champion’, written by Ed Stark, Chris Thomasson, Ari Marmell, Gary Astleford and Rhiannon Louve, 2007.)


(10) Legends of Corwyn - Campaign Setting Part 9

Posted by : Lewis on 29/08/2015 20:43:19

LEGENDS OF CORWYN – A BRIEF HISTORY

PART NINE – THE REIGN OF FIRE Pt 2 – CORWYN SURVIVES – BUT AT WHAT COST?

"Our work is a fight without end, but a battle worth the blood”. (Sylvar Lightfoot - with apologies to Ripper Street)

"They're all dead and we're not. I'd call that a victory. Now, let's celebrate!" (Branoc).

"The five principles of fighting a dragon: Forewarned is forearmed; Limit the battlefield; Seize the element of surprise; Spread out, concentrate attacks; And for gods’ sake - don’t stay too long.” (Corwynic League soldier’s manual – a quote attributed to Gror McHammer, Lord Marshall)

"Your spellsss cannot penetrate my magical defencesss. You are helplesss, foolish wizard!” (last words of Necrothrax, the arch-dracolich)

"I AM NO WIZARD!” (last words of Alun, duskblade)

And now we come to the hardest passage of the Chronicles to write, the one I’ve kept putting off. For now we must deal – at least in passing - with the deaths of our heroes.

Two of the Brotherhood of the Wolf had already fallen during their war against the Vanguard of Sertrous. During the showdown in the Necromancer’s Spike with Fadheela, the unholy progeny of medusa and yuan-ti, Grimm the Barbarian was turned to stone. Jomak the Wise, Leera the Bard and a number of children rescued from an Underdark slave-market were buried when a trap collapsed a ceiling on them. Gavin the elf scout was also killed in the battle, but then resurrected thanks to the Brotherhood’s magic.

The newly risen Gavin then - all alone - took a day to fight his way back to his comrades, only to discover that the saintly Jomak had used his body to shield the children and – despite his own mortal wounds – used the last of his spells to heal the wounded children and Leera, insisting that she used her last spell on the children as well. The holy Jomak had succumbed to his injuries shortly before Gavin arrived. The scout and the bard managed to get the children out of the Spike and then tentatively reached out to a duergar trader called Bruthwol Coalhauler and strike a deal to get them all safely back to the surface.

With their shares of the treasure, Gavin and Leera founded a refuge for the children (sometimes known as The Saint Jomak Memorial Orphanarium). This became a safe home for many unusual and gifted children. Leera’s own child - the result of her bargain with Sigur the Fossergrim to preserve his kind - grew up there, as did the offspring of Branoc and Ossuru (ancestors of the Mabion Branoci).

The Brotherhood of the Wolf were very active in the war against the dragons. And they paid the price. Over the next generation the Brotherhood, led by the Six Paragons, helped to hold the front line against the hordes of draconic minions. This gave time for a number of developments.

The southern states made a deal with the mysterious wizard known as Biorom, long since rumoured to have discovered secrets of the Body Weavers. In return for safe haven after being exiled from the City of Gull, Biorom helped to create Body Looms that wove a new breed of living mechanical warriors to use in battle against the dragons… mechanical beings known as THE WARFORGED.

Additionally, the precious time bought by the Brotherhood’s sacrifices allowed the ordinary inhabitants of Corwyn and its allies to learn how to fight the dragons successfully. These developments ensured the survival of the southern half of the kingdom, what is now The Corwynic League.

Alun had played no part in the civil war, but had returned to Swinescab’s Academy of the Arcane Arts, to pursue his studies into the weapons left by King Theron and the ancient inhabitants. When he eventually took to the field against the dragons, the duskblade had unlocked mighty powers in both ‘Bright Steel’ and ‘Banrhialorg’.

The Brotherhood routed the armies of the Kulkor Zhul at the siege of Vraath Keep. They turned back the undead hordes supplied by Necrothrax. They hunted and killed no less than eight of the 13 dragon leaders.

Then more of the Brotherhood began to die.

Alun fought the dracolich, Necrothrax high on a mountain, until both killed each other with their dying efforts.

Gror McHammer taught the humans all he knew about fighting dragons and about leadership on the battlefield. Thanks to him, the humans of Corwyn learnt how to mobilise themselves to fight the mighty saurians effectively. Finally, the grizzled dwarf commander led a small army to bring down the ancient red dragon, Valingorklax the Mighty. The mission was a success, but Gror perished in the battle.

Branoc and Ossuru survived the war, despite often being side-by-side in the thick of battle. The two fighters worked well together, protecting each other’s back. And many are the *NSFW* legends of how they celebrated their victories or just the joy of being alive.

Ossuru’s desire for children could not be satisfied by the usual means – her ancestors may have been human, but their bloodline had been magically mixed with snakes. This led the two lovers to strike a terrible bargain with the wizard Biorom. Whatever the deal was, Biorom apparently used a Body Loom to and alter the lovers’ bodies to allow them to have children. Ossuru was then able to have children fathered by Branoc. Many children. Seriously, ridiculous numbers of children. These gave rise to the Mabion Branoci.

One-by-one the remaining members of the Brotherhood passed away, often in battle, rarely peacefully in their old age.

Three hundred and fifty years ago, the last surviving member of the legendary Brotherhood of the Wolf, Sylvar, recruited and led a band of adventurers from the human city of Rhest against the temple stronghold of an evil dragon-cult. Although the aged elf died in the raid on the temple, the mission was a success and his surviving followers returned to Rhest, hailed as heroes.


(11) Legends of Corwyn - Campaign Setting Part 10

Posted by : Lewis on 29/08/2015 20:46:16

LEGENDS OF CORWYN – A BRIEF HISTORY

PART TEN – CORWYN IN THE MODERN DAY]

By the time of Sylvar’s death, the society of the Corwynic League had changed. No longer was it part of a kingdom, but a member of a formal alliance of nominally equal states, with an elected leader – the Lord Paramount. No longer were serfs forced to work the land. Too many had died in the Reign of Fire and so the survivors were now more highly valued - and indeed needed – by the wealthy landowners to work their lands. Feudalism was ended, work was rewarded by fair pay and a more egalitarian society was one blessing that emerged from the horrors of the long war against the dragons.

Other factors that led to increased parity were:

The tactics taught by Gror McHammer required officers who could think for themselves and everyone to be able to fight as co-ordinated equals on the battlefield. With so many humans dead, throwing lives away pointlessly in battle became a thing of the past.

The agricultural revolution – according to the Church of the Trinity the key discoveries were divinely inspired by the goddess Chauntea. Whatever the truth, farmers discovered that - with the right combinations of different crops – they could actually get two, or even three, crops a year from the same land that had previously produced only one. Apart from saving the inhabitants of the southern half of the old kingdom from starvation, amongst other consequences this meant that more land could be used to graze animals. This in turn meant meat became a regular food for all classes. The increased protein resulted in much greater physical parity. No longer did heroes, nobles and other rich types- tower over the common folk simply because of better diet.

Religion: a desperate need for cohesion, unity and community led to the adoption of one official state religion. The three most popular cults combined to become the Church of the Trinity. The ‘Holy Family’ – as the Trinity is also known – comprises Heironeous the Invincible (the Father), Chauntea the Great Mother and Pelor, the Shining One (the Son). Those who still choose to worship other deities will face serious social challenges and may have to keep their faith a closely-guarded secret to avoid persecution.

In parallel with the adoption of this official combined and all-pervading religion, there has been a shift in which alignments are tolerated within the Corwynic League. The Church of the Trinity encompasses Lawful Good, Neutral Good, Lawful Neutral and Neutral. Those of Evil alignments are assumed to be working for the dragons and other enemies of the state. Those of Chaotic alignments are regarded hardly more kindly. Even if not an enemy, their chaotic nature is not conducive to the unity and good order that the inhabitants of the Corwynic League have depended upon for their very survival for so many centuries. Anyone found to be an adherent of a chaotic or evil religion is liable to face arrest or worse.

The keys to survival have been Unity and Cohesion. This is reflected in nearly all aspects of the League’s life – religion, law, military tactics, culture, and attitudes to adventurers. No longer will ‘adventurer’ - which in the past often meant a rather disruptive free spirit with a laissez-faire attitude to property ownership – be seen as a good career choice. No longer will ‘adventurers’ be automatically accorded respect. Modern-day would-be heroes must earn the respect and trust of the common folk and wider society through their actions. “By their deeds shall ye know them.”


(12) Legends of Corwyn - Campaign Setting Part 11

Posted by : Lewis on 01/09/2015 01:19:46

THE TRINITY – THE STATE RELIGION OF CORWYN

During the long and terrible Reign of Fire, a desperate need for cohesion, unity and community led the Corwynic League to adopt one official state religion. The three most popular pre-Reign cults combined to become the CHURCH OF THE TRINITY. The ‘Holy Family’ – as the Trinity is also known – comprises Heironeous the Invincible (the Father), Chauntea the Great Mother and Pelor, the Shining One (the Son). Those who still choose to worship other deities will face serious social challenges and may have to keep their faith a closely-guarded secret to avoid persecution.

Clerics of The Trinity worship all three deities, although they may favour one in particular, depending on the specific nature of their calling and the needs of their local congregation. There are also Druids of the Trinity, although they are much more domesticated than the Druids of olden times, concerning themselves with agriculture as much as the wild. Clerics and druids will pray for their spells at either sunup or sundown (their choice).

Clerics and Druids of the Trinity must be of one of the following alignments:

• Lawful Good
• Lawful Neutral
• Neutral Good
• Neutral

Even those that are Neutral will always channel positive energy, they will spontaneously cast cure spells (never inflict spells) and will turn undead, not rebuke them.

Complete list of domains:

• Animal
• Community
• Earth
• Glory
• Good
• Healing
• Inquisition
• Law
• Plant
• Protection
• Renewal
• Strength
• Sun
• Travel
• War

Some clerics and druids favour specific members of the Trinity:

Those favouring Heironeous, the Invincible Father, are always clerics (not druids) and will be Lawful Good, Lawful Neutral, or Neutral Good. They will often travel the world on orders from their superiors to seek out and destroy evil.

Those favouring Chauntea the Great Mother will be Neutral Good or Neutral and can be clerics or druids. They usually lead dual lives as either gardeners or farmers, and are industrious people. They are expected to appreciate natural beauty and a feeling of meditation.

Those clerics or druids favouring Pelor, the Shining Son are usually Neutral Good, but can be Neutral or Lawful Good (not druids). Typically, these clergy heal the sick, bless crops, help the needy, and destroy evil and the undead.

The cleric can choose any two domains from the total list available for the Trinity, without restriction, although their specific choice may be informed by their alignment and the specific aspect or member of the Trinity for whom they feel the most affinity.

In Corwynic League society, the church is very approachable, in that it welcomes all irrespective of gender or race (with one major exception). However, do not mistake this tolerance and diversity for weakness. The Church has enjoyed many centuries of dominance over rival sects and its clergy are not about to give up that near-monopoly. Likewise, the Church of the Trinity is one of the key foundations in the communal life of the nation and helps to foster a genuine unity and cohesion – vital in the face of the awful threats that lurk still in the lost lands to the North (known as Lloegyr).

The exception mentioned above are any individuals of dragon blood (e.g. half-dragons), or worshipping dragons, or practicing dragon magic. Such individuals are seen as mortal enemies of the state, probably spies or saboteurs working for the dragons. Not being welcomed by the Church is likely to be the least of their problems.

THE FATHER

Originally a good war god, Heironeous promotes justice, valor, chivalry and honor. Because the society has had to survive a constant military threat, many of the Trinity’s temples resemble the ancient temples to Heironeous. Even in settled areas, a temple will have a large grassy area where soldiers can drill and knights can joust. The interiors are decorated with blue and silver trappings and often feature stained glass and tapestries. They always have well-stocked armories.

Titles: The Archpaladin, the Invincible, the Valorous Knight
Alignment: Lawful Good
Portfolio: Chivalry, Justice, Honor, War, Daring, Valor
Domains: Glory, Good, Inquisition, Law, War

Heironeous appears as a tall human man in a full robe of chainmail so fine that it moves with him like cloth. He has auburn hair and skin the color of copper, and is impervious to all but the mightiest weapons due to a secret solution known as meersalm. His signature weapon is a great magical longsword.

THE MOTHER

Chauntea is the goddess of life. In ancient history she had a parallel deity in Silvanus, who was considered the god of wild nature, whilst Chauntea herself is seen as being the embodiment of all things agrarian or agriculture.

Worshippers claim that her divine glimmer gave life to the natural world, and some contend that she is the creator and source of all mortal races. In some sense Chauntea is the manifestation of the earth itself. Her most despised enemies are those that wreak suffering, disease and decay upon the natural world.

Title(s): The Great Mother, the Grain Goddess, Earthmother
Alignment: Neutral Good
Portfolio: Agriculture, plants cultivated by humans, farmers, gardeners, summer
Domains: Animal, Earth, Good, Plant, Protection, Renewal

Chauntea is seen by inhabitants of Corwynn as a critical aspect of the cycle of life. Private land owners and destitute (perhaps as a consequence of an unproductive harvest) farmers visit the clerics for any divine suggestions for abetting the harvest. If at any time plague or malnutrition strikes the crops, farmers look to Chauntea, since they hope she will save the harvest, due to her love of nature.

THE SON

Pelor is the god of the Sun, Light, Strength, and Healing. He is known as the Shining One, and (confusingly) as the Shining Son. He is known as the creator of much that is good. In addition to his role as god of the sun, he is also the timekeeper of the Trinity, as well as the seasonal god of summer. He is also the god of healing.

Title(s): The Shining Son, the Shining One
Alignment: Neutral Good
Portfolio: Sun, Light, Strength, Healing, Time
Domains: Community, Glory, Good, Healing, Strength, Sun, Travel

Pelor opposes all evil. Clerics that favour Pelor strive to perform so many good acts that evil has no room in which to exist, though they will fight if necessary. Pelor strength is a spiritual strength, rather than physical strength. His strength is the power of will and hope, the need to face evil in the face of insurmountable odds. Pelor is wrathful against the forces of evil, corruption, and darkness, and is especially opposed to the undead. However, Pelor urges his followers to remember that excessive attention to things of evil can blind one to the truly important things: compassion and goodness.

DRUIDS

The druids that serve the Trinity are “pastoral” rather than “wild”. Hence they would definitely have a clash with any druids of Silvanus or similar ‘wild nature’ deities. The druids behave in ways similar to clerics, but with a greater emphasis on the care of plants and animals.

Druids of the Trinity see wanton destruction as antithetical to the cycle of life. They are urged to nourish at least one living thing every day of their lives. They are advised to eschew fire also. In terms of correct agricultural practice, the church advises that campaigns of replanting, prudent irrigation and crop rotation to ensure that the land is kept fertile. This is indeed the basis of the increased fertility and food production that allowed the southern states to survive during the Reign of Fire.

Druids usually associate themselves with settlements rather than living as hermits, aiding the community with their hands, spells, and animal companions wherever they can. They are considered to have priest status within the church, though they have a separate hierarchy.

DOGMA

The world as a deadly place, filled with perpetual challenges and trials for those who battle for justice and defend the weak and innocent. Believers (i.e. everybody!) should always act with honor and chivalry, and to uphold justice. Danger is to be faced head-on, with calm and resolve. Those who defeat evil are rewarded with Glory, while those who uphold the tenets of the faith are rewarded with Virtue.

The church outlines a general set of precepts and forbiddances, though some of these are given to subjective interpretation, since the faith is individualistic. Wanton destruction is antithetical to the cycle of life. The Faithful are urged to nourish at least one living thing every day of their lives. They are advised to eschew fire also.

In terms of correct agricultural practice, the church advises that campaigns of replanting, prudent irrigation and crop rotation to ensure that the land is kept fertile.

The life-giving sun is the best cure for all of the world's ills. Justice and freedom are brought about through charity, modesty, and perseverance. Priests teach that the truly strong don't need to prove their power. The Faithful should strive to perform so many good acts that evil has no room in which to exist, though they will fight if necessary.

A believer’s strength should be a spiritual strength, opposed to mere physical strength. Strength is the power of will and hope, the need to face evil in the face of insurmountable odds. Be wrathful against the forces of evil, corruption, and darkness, and oppose the undead. Remember, however, that excessive attention to things of evil can blind one to the truly important things: compassion and goodness.

HERESIES

There are thought to be relatively few heresies of the faith of the Trinity, and the Church will extinguish them fairly quickly, for the good of all. However, one particular heresy is thought to have survived, perhaps with passive acceptance from the ecclesiarchy – this is the belief that in fact the Trinity is just one god, the only god, and that the three gods worshipped by most are just aspects or faces of that One True God.

There is also one other widespread ‘heresy’ that the Church does not accept and yet cannot stamp out. This is typically proposed by one of the godless to a potential recruit as a variation on the following question: “Why serve your gods when their playthings can gain the same strength of power through their own will?” The godless contend not that gods do not exist, but simply that one need not worship a god to gain the power of divine magic. Rather than worship a god, a cleric can worship an ideal and gain the same reward. He could worship the mountains, or the sky, or the act of war, or himself. He could even worship a slain demon lord.

OTHER RELIGIONS AND CHURCHES OF OTHER DEITIES

The worship of deities other than the Holy Family is permitted and tolerated within the Corwynic League, subject to certain constraints.

• No religions of EVIL deities are allowed.
• No religions of CHAOTIC deities are allowed.
• Regardless of alignment, no cults that revere or worship dragons in any form are permitted.
• Adherents of other faiths are not permitted to proselytise (try to convert) members of the Church of the Trinity. To do so is regarded as a crime. The converse however, is not a crime (so, followers of the Trinity can attempt to convert non-believers).
• Public displays of non-Trinity worship are generally frowned upon, and may not be allowed in some areas. Usually, being deprived of state support or protection, other cults are so small and poor that they cannot afford public temples and tend to meet as ‘house churches’ in the private dwellings of individual believers.


(13) Legends of Corwyn - Tessina

Posted by : Lewis on 06/09/2015 10:46:19

Mick asked me if I had mentioned Tessina, the half-giant. Nope. I'm keeping some of my powder dry for future developments. Hence half-giants and psionics are not included at this stage of the game. Plus the fates of Tessina and various other characters are deliberately left unspecified, giving the Disciples of Legend some stuff they'd need to quest for!


(14) Legends of Corwyn - Legendary Bloodline feat

Posted by : Lewis on 06/09/2015 14:03:31

Legendary Bloodline [General]

You are directly descended from one of the legendary Paragons, members of the Brotherhood of the Wolf that performed heroic deeds and saved the realms of the League in its darkest hours. The citizens of the League recognise your mythic lineage and look up to you.

Prerequisite: See specific racial prerequisites for each of the bloodlines below.

Benefit:[/b:3par80nm] (i) While interacting with citizens of the Corwynic League, you gain a +1 circumstance bonus on all checks for the skills Bluff, Diplomacy and Intimidate; (ii) you gain a +6 Affiliation Score modifier with the Disciples of Legend organisation; (iii) you also gain a further specific bonus depending on you specific bloodline (see below).

Special: You may take this feat only as a 1st-level character.

Paragon Ancestor (Prerequisite) Additional benefit

Sylvar Lightfoot(elf or half-elf) +1 bonus to Bluff, Diplomacy and Intimidate checks (stacks with the benefit above for +2 within the Corwynic League)

Jomak the Wise (human, half-elf, half-orc or Aasimar) +1 to Will saves to resist magic.

Alun (human, half-elf, half-orc or Planetouched) +1 to all saves to resist fear, compulsion, persuasion, bluff, diplomacy or intimidation (applies whether the source is magical or otherwise).

Gavin (elf or half-elf) +1 on all Search or Survival checks concerned with finding or following tracks.

Gror McHammer] (dwarf) +1 to all Charisma ability or skill checks concerned with giving battlefield orders and +1 to Leadership score (see PHB 97 and DMG 106).

Branoc (Mabion Branoci) +1 to all ability checks, skill checks and saves to do with romance or seduction.


(15) Legends of Corwyn - Ability Scores

Posted by : Lewis on 06/09/2015 14:09:45

To reflect the slightly more egalitarian nature of Corwyn circa Legends compared to Chronicles] (plus the better diet for ordinary people) ability scores will be produced using a point buy system, as per DMG p169.

High-Powered Campaign Point Buy: All ability scores start at 8. Take 32 points to spread out among all abilities. For ability scores of 14 or lower, you buy additional points on a 1-for-1 basis. For ability scores higher than 14, it costs a little more (see the table below).

This method allows for maximum customisation, but you should expect each PC to have at least two good scores or one *really* good score. Note that racial modifiers are added *after* the point buy stage.

Ability Score > Point Cost

9 > 1
10 > 2
11 > 3
12 > 4
13 > 5
14 > 6
15 > 8
16 > 10
17 > 13
18 > 16


(16) Legends of Corwyn - Mabion Branoci

Posted by : Lewis on 06/09/2015 14:13:17

NEW PLAYABLE RACE - MABION BRANOCI

Descendants of the human Paragon, Branoc, and the yuan-ti pureblood, Ossuru (see MM p263). They were created by the magic of Biorom, a wizard who had somehow obtained the secrets of the Body Looms. The Mabion Branoci appear like humans at first glance, but on closer inspection one may notice the odd snake-like feature – perhaps a patch of scaly skin, or sharp teeth or unblinking eyes with slit-like pupils.

Branoc and Ossuru met when Branoc and the Brotherhood of the Wolf raided Castle Serastis in their campaign to defeat the Vanguard of Sertrous. Ossuru had rebelled against the cruel Vanguard and been imprisoned. She was freed by the Brotherhood and aided them. She and Branoc fell in love, despite the species barrier.

Ossuru’s desire for children could not be satisfied by the usual means – her ancestors may have been human, but their bloodline had been magically mixed with snakes. This led the two lovers to strike a terrible bargain with the wizard Biorom. Whatever the deal was, Biorom apparently used a Body Loom to alter the lovers’ bodies to allow them to have children. Ossuru was then able to have children fathered by Branoc. Many children. Seriously, ridiculous numbers of children. These gave rise to the Mabion Branoci.

Mabion Branoci are regarded by some humans with mild fear and suspicion (yuan-ti are normally evil and did try to destroy the world, after all). Such humans call them nicknames like ‘Mabs’ or ‘snakeboys’. However, the Mabion Branoci are also recognised as descendants of a legendary hero, so these positive and negative social effects tend to cancel out overall.

Racial Traits:

• +2 to any ONE of the following ability scores: Dexterity, Intelligence or Charisma (player’s choice).

• Medium size.

• Base land speed 30’.

• +5 to all attempts to impersonate a pure human.

• Mabion Branoci are regarded with mild fear and suspicion (yuan-ti are normally evil and did try to destroy the world, after all), so they suffer a -1 penalty on all Charisma, Bluff and Diplomacy checks [note that in the Corwynic League their automatic feat ‘Legendary Bloodline (Branoc)’ will cancel out the effect on Bluff and Diplomacy].

• Automatic racial feat: ‘Legendary Bloodline (Branoc)’ – see section on new feats.


(17) Legends of Corwyn - PC Races</ br>Posted by : Lewis on 06/09/2015 14:18:18

PLAYER CHARACTER RACES

The following is a list of all the races that are playable as characters in Legends of Corwyn. This list provides good variety, without breaking the flavour of Corwyn, so I’m not allowing others:

Standard races from PHB:

• Human
• Dwarf
• Elf
• Gnome
• Half-elf
• Half-orc
• Halfling

[b:3okrrz8h]Planetouched, from MM p209:[/b:3okrrz8h]

• Aasimar (see also Races of Destiny p93)
• Tiefling (see also Races of Destiny p107)

New Races for Legends of Corwyn:

• Mabion Branoci (unique race for this setting – see ‘New Races’ section in the ]Legends of Corwyn: Player's Guide or the post in this forum)
• Warforged (see]MM III] pp190-193 and ‘New Races’ section in the Legends of Corwyn: Player's Guide for further notes)

EQUALITY

The society of the Corwynic League is more egalitarian than a real medieval society. People of all genders and races have equal opportunity and legal rights. There is mild prejudice amongst the ignorant against the Mabion Branoci, but this is discouraged by the state and the Church of the Trinity.

There are a couple of exceptions to the general widespread racial equality, although this should not affect player characters.

• Any individuals of dragon blood (e.g. half-dragons), or those worshipping dragons, or practicing dragon magic are seen as mortal enemies of the state, probably spies or saboteurs working for the dragons.

• Likewise, members of the goblinoid races (goblins, hobgoblins, bugbears, etc) are also seen as servants of the dragons and therefore enemies


(18) Legends of Corwyn - PC Character Classes

Posted by : Lewis on 06/09/2015 14:22:53

PLAYER CHARACTER CLASSES

This is a list of all the base character classes that can be chosen in Legends of Corwyn. This list provides a wide variety of character professions and abilities, without making things too complicated or breaking the established flavour of Corwyn, so I’m not allowing others:

Standard classes from PHB

• Barbarian
• Bard
• Cleric
• Druid
• Fighter
• Monk
• Paladin
• Ranger
• Rogue
• Sorcerer
• Wizard

Classes from PHB2:

• Beguiler (note: be prepared for in-game consequences based on how publicly and/or successfully you use the character’s abilities – known beguilers are not likely to be Mr Popular in the Corwynic League).
• Duskblade
• Knight

Classes from Complete Adventurer:

• Scout
• Spellthief

Classes from Miniatures Handbook:

• Favored Soul (see also Complete Divine)
• Healer
• Marshal
• Warmage (see also Complete Arcane)

Classes from Complete Warrior:

• Swashbuckler
• Variant Paladin
• Variant Ranger

Note: at least at the start of the campaign, Psionics is unknown and not an option for player characters. The Disciples of Legend are aware of some hints that a member of the Brotherhood of the Wolf may have actually been a Psion rather than – as is usually assumed - an arcane spellcaster. This is definitely a topic about which they would value finding any more information.

PRESTIGE CLASSES

Please note that there is a new prestige class – the Mythic Exemplar. This has been adapted from material in Complete Champion, especially for Legends of Corwyn. See the Legends of Corwyn: Player's Guide or the post on this forum for more information.

As you may know, there are hundreds of prestige classes for D&D 3.5 and I don’t have the space here to list them all and say yay or nay. So, any choice of prestige class will have to be agreed with the DM (Lewis). Here are some general principles that I will be applying:

• No prestige class that derives power from evil or evil deities.
• No prestige class that derives powers from dragons, dragon ancestry, dragon magic, etc.
• Chosen classes must be from an official WotC D&D 3.5 rulebook (no 3.0 material, no reverse-engineered 4.0 or 5.0 material, no third-party material).
• No unique prestige class that is tied to a specific campaign setting, such as Forgotten Realms or Eberron].


(19) Legends of Corwyn - Alignment and Flaws

Posted by : Lewis on 06/09/2015 14:28:00

PLAYER CHARACTER ALIGNMENT

As you can see in the posts on history and religion, the Corwynic League is a well-ordered, relatively democratic (to a point) society that prizes unity and cohesion as survival tools in the face of an existential threat. Those of evil alignment are regarded as enemies. Those of chaotic alignment are regarded with great suspicion. Consequently, nearly all inhabitants will be one of the following alignments:

• Lawful Good
• Lawful Neutral
• Neutral Good
• Neutral

You can play a character of any of these alignments without needing to discuss with the DM.

However, if you wish to play a character outside this range of alignments, please discuss with the DM, as this will present you with a number of a significant challenges and drawbacks to overcome.

FLAWS

We will be using the CHARACTER FLAWS option on pp 91-92 of Unearthed Arcana.

Essentially, at character creation, you may take one or two 'Flaws'. A flaw is a drawback such as '"Slow - your base land speed is halved" or "Weak Will - you take a -3 penalty on Will saves". In return you get an extra feat of your choice for each flaw you take.

Obviously, you don't have to take any Character Flaws, if you don't want to. However, it is an option in order to get an extra feat or two. This would perhaps make it easier to qualify for a prestige class earlier, etc. You may only take a maximum of two flaws and it has to be at character creation.


(20) Re: Legends of Corwyn - Campaign Setting Part 1

Posted by : mik33dwards on 06/09/2015 16:13:04

Hi Lewis, Michael here.
just wondering if I was able to join in on tonight's game, I haven't created a character yet but was wondering if there were any pre-made characters available(doesn't matter which class).


(21) Re: Legends of Corwyn - 20 Sep, no Spaces

Posted by : Lewis on 06/09/2015 16:52:40

Hi. Sorry, but (i) the game is full - six people signed up last week and (ii) it doesn't start until 20 Sep.

If anyone drops out, I'll let the club know ASAP and you can see if you want to join in that case.

Best Wishes


(22) Legends of Corwyn - Link for glossary and maps

Posted by : Lewis on 06/09/2015 16:53:36

You can check out this short pdf document for a glossary of terms and the campaign maps.

https://files.acrobat.com/a/preview/e26 ... d980ee6b25


(23) Legends of Corwyn - Update

Posted by : Lewis on 07/09/2015 18:12:59

LEGENDS OF CORWYN - A COUPLE OF QUICK UPDATES

1) LESSER PLANETOUCHED

After a question from Mick last night, I have decided to allow the "lesser" version of planetouched even though this is detailed in the Player's Guide to Faerûn, which is a Forgotten Realms book. The 'lesser planetouched' are similar to the full version but they become 'humanoid (sub-type outsider)' and are now affected by all spells that affect humanoids AND outsiders. The lesser versions of aasimar and tiefling do not have a level adjustment. Since this isn't Faerûn, we can have both full and lesser versions (you're only meant to have one or the other in a Realms campaign). You can assume that the celestial or infernal ancestry in the 'lesser' version is more dilute or that the interbreeding was longer ago.

]2) PLAYER CHARACTERS

As I understand it, here is the current thinking on who plans to play what in Legends of Corwyn:

Mick Pallatina - deciding between a healer, a rogue and a wizard, possibly lesser planetouched.
Edwyn Griffiths - a Mabion Branoci spellcaster, probably a wizard.
Mark Evans?] - a cleric of the Trinity, assuming Mick is a healer, Mark will concentrate on buffing and metamagic.
David Pearson? - a ranger.
Colin Buckler? - a rogue.
Sam Buckler - a tank (fighter or barbarian maybe). Might want to consider warforged?

Now you can see what the group is planning you can decide if you are happy with the overall makeup. Looks a bit low on melee fighters at first glance, but we'll see.

We'll start at Level 4, so you get a feat at L3 and an ability score bump (raise one ability score by 1) at L4.


(24) Legends of Corwyn - Character Names

Posted by : Lewis on 07/09/2015 18:35:01

LEGENDS OF CORWYN - CHARACTER NAMES

You can, of course, call your character whatever name you like. However, for those looking for some guidance, here are a few simple guidelines...

Corwyn has a certain 'Celtic' flavour to it, which includes the typical names of human characters. Additionally I like the guidance given in WotC's D&D Hero Builder's Guidebook by Ryan Dancey et al. Three simple 'DONT'S' for naming a character:

No 'Bobs'.
2) No 'Merlins'.
3) No joke names.

Apart from that, I would offer the following guidance:

Demihumans (elves, dwarves, etc) - use the guidance in the D&D Players Handbook and expanded in the Hero Builders Guidebook.

Humans - I prefer Celtic names to fit in with the flavour of Corwyn. As I use Welsh (Cymraeg) for the historic human language, I look at Welsh names first, but any Celtic names will fit right in. I have *numerous* Welsh and Celtic baby name books for inspiration.

Examples:

Male: Aneurin, Cai, Elfryn, Geraint, Pwyll, Rhys.

Female: Aelwen, Catrin, Elonwy, Gweneira (trans = 'snow white'), Prydwen, Rhiannon.

Half-elves can follow either human or elven naming conventions, or even make up blends of the two.


(25) Re: Legends of Corwyn - Campaign Setting Part 1

Posted by : Jyaku on 07/09/2015 20:59:49

after a brief bit of the ol "google" im going to call my Ranger
"Maor-Collie"
its Celtic for "Forest Ranger"


(26) Legends of Corwyn - Starting Level and Gold

Posted by : Lewis on 08/09/2015 21:03:05

Characters will start at Level 4. If we find in practice that we are regularly a man or two down, then after a couple of weeks I'll bump everyone to L5.

Starting Gold for L4 is 5,400 GP.

By way of guidance, a +1 magic longsword costs 2315 GP (that's 15 GP for the longsword plus 300 GP to make it a masterworked one and then 2,000 for the enchantment). It will be +1 to hit and do (1d8+1+STR mod) magical slashing damage.

A +1 magic composite longbow built for someone with a +2 STR modifier costs 2,600 GP] (100 + 300 + [100x2] + 2000). It will be +1 to hit and will do (1d8+3) magical piercing damage.

A +1 magic chain shirt costs 1,250 GP (100 chain shirt + 150 masterworked + 1000 enchantment). It will give you an armor bonus of +5 and will have an armor check penalty of -1.

If you are buying magic weapons or armour out of your starting gold, the maximum enchantment you can have on it is +1 (so that means no special magical abilities, such as 'flaming', as they have to be in addition to at least +1). The same principle applies to other magic items - you can only purchase the least powerful version. Hence you can have a ring of protection +1, but not a ring of protection +2. You can have a wand of cure light wounds] but not a ]wand of cure moderate wounds], etc, etc.

Powerful magic items are rare (even rarer now than in olden times) and cannot be picked up at the corner shop.


(27) Legends of Corwyn - Education Feat

Posted by : Lewis on 09/09/2015 08:15:54

Education [General]

The cities of the Corwynic League are reasonably egalitarian and prize learning as much as skill with arms, providing basic free schooling to all that wish it, in the expectation that this will increase the future prosperity of the realm as a whole. In your youth, you received the benefit of several years of more or less formal schooling.

Prerequisite: Raised in the Corwynic League.

Benefit: All Knowledge skills are class skills for you. You also get a +1 bonus on all skill checks with any two Knowledge skills of your choosing (you must have at least one rank in these skills to take advantage of this bonus).

Special: You may take this feat only as a 1st-level character.


(28) Legends of Corwyn - Gotta'flul's Gift feat

Posted by : Lewis on 09/09/2015 08:20:01

Gotta’flul’s Gift [General]

A thousand years ago the deep gnome Gotta’flul joined the Brotherhood of the Wolf and aided them in their campaign against the Vanguard of Sertrous. The Brotherhood helped him rescue thousands of his people from slavery in the drow cities of the Underdark. The liberated svirfneblin (deep gnomes) were given refuge amongst their surface-dwelling rock gnome cousins. Over the millennium since then, the rock gnome bloodlines have diluted the deep gnome characteristics so that most modern gnomes are just like rock gnomes. However, in some rare individuals the recessive characteristics of the deep gnomes pop up unexpectedly and the individual is blessed with a diluted version of a svirfneblin ability or trait.

Prerequisite: Character must be a gnome.

Benefit: You have a mild version of one of the traits or abilities of your svirfneblin deep gnome ancestors. See list below.

Special: You may take this feat only as a 1st-level character. You can take this feat more than once, but you will need to take one or more character flaws to do so. Each time you take the feat choose one of the abilities listed below.

Possible gifts (choose one each time you take this feat):

• Darkvision 60’

• Spell Resistance equal to 8 plus character levels.

• Stonecunning: This gift grants the lucky gnome a +2 racial bonus on Search checks to notice unusual stonework, such as sliding walls, stonework traps, new construction (even when built to match the old), unsafe stone surfaces, shaky stone ceilings, and the like. Something that isn’t stone but that is disguised as stone also counts as unusual stonework. You can use the Search skill to find stonework traps as a rogue can. You do *not* do any of this automatically just by coming within 10 feet of the stonework, you have to be actively searching. You can also intuit depth, sensing approximate depth underground as naturally as a human can sense which way is up.

• Fortunate: +1 bonus on all saving throws.

• Spell-like Abilities: 1/day: blindness/deafness, blur, disguise self. Caster level equals half your current class levels (round down, minimum 1). The save DC for the blindness/deafness is 8 plus your Charisma modifier.

• Nondetection (Su): you have a continuous nondetection ability as the spell. Caster level for the opposed check equals half your current class levels (round down, minimum 1).


(29) Legends of Corwyn - Knowledge Devotion feat

Posted by : Lewis on 09/09/2015 08:39:50

KNOWLEDGE DEVOTION [Domain]

Description:You can use your knowledge to exploit your foes' weaknesses and overcome their strengths.

Benefit: Upon selecting this feat, you immediately add one Knowledge skill of your choice to your list of class skills. Thereafter, you treat that skill as a class skill, regardless of which class you are advancing in. Whenever you fight a creature, you can make a Knowledge check based on its type, as described on page 78 of the Player's Handbook, provided that you have at least one rank in the appropriate Knowledge skill. You then receive an insight bonus on attack rolls and damage rolls against that creature type for the remainder of the combat. The amount of the bonus depends on your Knowledge check result, as given on the following table...

Result Bonus
=15 +1
16-25 +2
26-30 +3
31-35 +4
36+ +5

You can make only one Knowledge check per creature type per combat. If you fight creatures of multiple types during the same combat, you can make one Knowledge check per type, thereby possibly gaining different bonuses against different opponents. Example: Alhandra faces a black dragon, a vampire, and a beholder. She has the Knowledge Devotion feat and ranks in both Knowledge (arcana) and Knowledge (religion). At the beginning of the battle, she makes checks to gain bonuses against the dragon and the vampire, but since she possesses no ranks in Knowledge (dungeoneering), she has no chance to gain a bonus against the beholder (an aberration). Alhandra's Knowledge (arcana) check of 27 grants her a +3 insight bonus on attack rolls and damage rolls against the black dragon. Later, a half-dragon enters the fray. Alhandra cannot make another check since she has already checked for the dragon type this combat, but she can apply the +3 insight bonus to her attack rolls and damage rolls against the half-dragon as well.

This benefit is an extraordinary ability. “Using an extraordinary ability is not an action ... because most extraordinary abilities automatically happen in a reactive fashion. Extraordinary abilities ... cannot be disrupted, do not require concentration and do not provoke attacks of opportunity.” (PHB p142)

Knowledge Devotion is described in full in Complete Champion p60 (AND SEE ABOVE). General information on Domain Feats is given on pp52-53 of the same book. Please refer to those entries for full information on this feat.

Knowledge Devotion is an example of a “domain feat”. Domain feats are a new category of feats that signify a character’s dedication to a particular religious ideal or tenet. Agree with the DM (Lewis) a reason for this devotion as part of your character’s background. A domain feat usually corresponds to one of the domains to which a particular deity grants access, or those representing a set of ideals.

Knowledge Devotion is a popular choice, especially with duskblades or characters with the EDUCATION feat. However, note that they will need to be devoted to a deity (or possibly a non-theistic belief system) that encompasses the Knowledge domain. This automatically means that the character will *not* be a follower of the Trinity, the official state religion of the Corwynic League. This is because the Trinity does not encompass the Knowledge domain. You must be prepared for the challenges that this will present.


(30) Legends of Corwyn - New Feat - Legendary Bloodline

Posted by : Lewis on 09/09/2015 08:54:26

Legendary Bloodline [General]

You are directly descended from one of the legendary Paragons, members of the Brotherhood of the Wolf that performed heroic deeds and saved the realms of the League in its darkest hours. The citizens of the League recognise your mythic lineage and look up to you.

Prerequisite: See specific racial prerequisites for each of the bloodlines below.

Benefit: (i) While interacting with citizens of the Corwynic League, you gain a +1 circumstance bonus on all checks for the skills Bluff, Diplomacy and Intimidate; (ii) you gain a +6 Affiliation Score modifier with the Disciples of Legend organisation; (iii) you also gain a further specific bonus depending on you specific bloodline (see below).

Special: You may take this feat only as a 1st-level character.

Paragon Ancestor (Prerequisite) Additional benefit

Sylvar Lightfoot (elf or half-elf) +1 bonus to Bluff, Diplomacy and Intimidate checks (stacks with the benefit above for +2 within the Corwynic League)

Jomak the Wise (human, half-elf, half-orc or Aasimar) +1 to Will saves to resist magic.

Alun (human, half-elf, half-orc or Planetouched) +1 to all saves to resist fear, compulsion, persuasion, bluff, diplomacy or intimidation (applies whether the source is magical or otherwise).

Gavin (elf or half-elf) +1 on all Search or Survival checks concerned with finding or following tracks.

Gror McHammer (dwarf) +1 to all Charisma ability or skill checks concerned with giving battlefield orders and +1 to Leadership score (see PHB 97 and DMG 106).

Branoc (Mabion Branoci) +1 to all ability checks, skill checks and saves to do with romance or seduction.


(31) Legends of Corwyn - New Feat - Ossuru's Legacy

Posted by : Lewis on 09/09/2015 08:58:26

Ossuru’s Legacy [General]

A thousand years ago the Mabion Branoci were created from a magical blending of the bloodlines of human and yuan-ti. You are blessed in that, unlike most of your race, you have expressed a trait of your yuan-ti ancestor, Ossuru.

Prerequisite: Character must be a Mabion Branoci.

Benefit: You have a mild version of one of the traits or abilities of your yuan-ti pureblood ancestor, Ossuru. See list below.

Special: You may take this feat only as a 1st-level character. You can take this feat more than once, but you will need to take one or more character flaws to do so. Each time you take the feat choose one of the abilities listed below.

Possible legacy abilities (choose one each time you take this feat):

• Darkvision 60’

• Spell Resistance equal to 8 plus character levels.

• Alternate Form (Sp): you can assume the form of a Tiny to Large viper as a psionic ability. This ability is similar to a polymorph spell (caster level 10th), but a you do not regain any hit points for changing form, and can only assume viper forms. You gain the natural weapon(s) of the viper form you assume, including poison.

• Detect Poison (Sp): You have the psionic ability to detect poison as the spell (at will, caster level 6th).

• Spell-like Abilities: 1/day: animal trance (DC 11 + your CHA mod), cause fear (DC 10 + your CHA mod), charm person (DC 10 + your CHA mod), darkness, entangle (DC 10 + your CHA mod). Caster level 3rd.


(32) Legends of Corwyn - Note on Feats + Disciples of Legend

Posted by : Lewis on 09/09/2015 09:03:31

You will notice that I have posted some information on new feats for the 'Legends of Corwyn' campaign. If you want the benefits of being descended from one of the PCs in 'The Chronicles of Corwyn', you will need to take 'Legendary Bloodline'. However, you do not need to take this in order to join the Disciples of Legend organisation. I am hoping that at least some of the party will be members of the Disciples, as this will give them various benefits as well as simplifying and speeding up introductions to adventures.


(33) Legends of Corwyn - New Skills

Posted by : Lewis on 09/09/2015 09:09:50

NEW SKILLS

LANGUAGE: THE OLD TONGUE

This was the Language used by the First Civilisation. Now a dead tongue, it has been replaced by the modern 'Common' tongue. The Old Tongue was still in use to some extent 1000 years ago and in the modern day is still encountered in place names (Corwyn, Gwynedd, Abertawe), personal names (Alun, Rhiannon) and magic item names (Merthúvial). Usually represented in-game by Cymraeg (Welsh) or sometimes Gaeilge (Irish Gaelic) or other Celtic languages.

Synergy:

Anyone with the Language ‘Old Tongue’ gets a +2 synergy bonus on any Knowledge: History or Knowledge: Royalty and Nobility checks concerning events more than 900 years ago. This includes the events of ‘The Chronicles of Corwyn’. They also get a +2 synergy bonus on all Knowledge: Arcana checks.

Anyone with 5 or more ranks in Knowledge: History gets a +2 bonus on Decipher Script checks to decipher text written in the Old Tongue, even if they don’t speak the language.

GWYDDBWYLL a.k.a. “THE TABLES”

Across the provinces of the Corwynic League there is a popular strategy board game that most characters will know at least the rudiments of. The game is thought to be at least three thousand years old. There are a number of different variations and it is known by different names. The most common name is simply “The Tables”. The oldest is “Gwyddbwyll” which means “wood sense” in the Old Tongue. It is also known as “Fidchell”, “King’s Ransom” and “Knights & Castles”.

It is played between two opponents and has a strong strategic element – similar to chess or draughts – it is therefore often used in military academies as a way of teaching tactics. However, The Tables also has an element of random chance – similar to backgammon – and there are gambling versions. Hence arcane academies also teach it as a way of promoting quickness of thought. Skilful players can also mislead their opponents about intentions and the true strength or weakness of their position – especially as most versions have an option to offer your opponent a chance to surrender at the current stakes, or play on and risk losing more, so it even has elements of poker. Hence bards and rogues tend to learn the game as a way of parting less skilful players from their money.

As you can imagine, different regional variations abound – again like Poker - for example in Eldred they tend to play down the random element. However, most players can quickly establish/agree what the local rule variations or house rules are and play on equal terms. The origins of the game are lost in history; however dragons have been known to love playing the game and rarely refuse a challenge to play. The Brotherhood of the Wolf supposedly received a golden Gwyddbwyll set as a gift from a town they saved from rampaging giants. It is said that the Paragon Alun was once challenged by a powerful fey to play Gwyddbwyll for the lives of his companions and won the match, gaining a boon from his dangerous opponent. Some adventurers’ wilder late-night camp-fire tales even speak of fantastical life-size games encountered in ancient dungeons where the hapless dungeoneers are forced to participate as playing pieces – trying to survive a deadly real-life game.

The Tables as a skill:

Knowledge (Gaming – the Tables) (INT, can be used untrained)

OR

Profession (Gaming – the Tables) ](WIS, can be used untrained)

Player Characters have an option to take The Tables as either a Knowledge Skill (based on Intelligence) or a Profession (based on Wisdom). The INT-based version is a class skill for all arcane spellcasters, Aristocrats, Experts, Bards, Adepts and Dragons. The WIS-based version is a class skill for anyone who has Profession as a class skill and can be used to earn a living at the game, using the usual Profession rules (PHB p80).

The game is so widespread that all PCs can attempt to play it untrained, in which case they can choose to use either their INT or WIS modifier.

Synergy: 5 ranks in Bluff grant you a +2 circumstance modifier with Gaming – The Tables checks. 5 ranks in Sense Motive grant you a +2 circumstance modifier with Gaming – The Tables checks.

These bonuses stack.

Following a match played to conclusion, each of the players can attempt to make a Sense Motive check with a +5 bonus to gain an insight into the other’s motivations and personality and tactical thinking. This is opposed by the other player’s Bluff skill. A successful check means that if the characters subsequently face each other in battle or in a tactical situation, you get a +2 to Initiative against your opponent or to INT checks to puzzle out what they are up to, Spot checks to avoid their ambushes, etc. If, however, both opponents make the Sense Motive check, then these bonuses just cancel out.


(34) Legends of Corwyn - Player's Guide

Posted by : Lewis on 10/09/2015 23:25:44

The Legends of Corwyn Player's Guide will contain the history of the Corwynic League, details on the new Church of the Trinity, rules for character generation, Disciples of Legend and Mythic Exemplar, a longer version of the glossary, new feats and skill uses.

I'm planning to get copies printed on Saturday. Before I do, is there anything else you'd like to see in there?


(35) Legends of Corwyn - Squire of Legend

Posted by : Lewis on 12/09/2015 18:15:24

There is another prestige class available, connected to the Disciples of Legend, called Squire of Legend. It is a lot easier to qualify for than Mythic Exemplar, although some of the powers are based around helping others in combat. I'll do a conversion to Corwyn and include it as an appendix to the Player's Guide.

SQUIRE OF LEGEND (prestige class)

For more details, please refer to the WotC book, Complete Champion, pp110-112.

Not everyone who reveres the Six Paragons from the Brotherhood of the Wolf desires to shape her entire life around her chosen paragon. Some wish only for a slight taste of their hero’s abilities, others simply recognize that no champion can stand alone. The Paragons could not have defeated the Vanguard of Sertrous without the efforts of the many other members of the Brotherhood who fought and died beside them, or the hundreds who died holding back the Demon God’s undead army long enough for the Brotherhood to slay the Sleeping Serpent. It is this philosophy that the squire of legend embraces. Whether she seeks to stand behind heroes such as the mythic exemplars, propping them up and aiding them in their quests, or simply to honour her favoured paragon without following in his footsteps, she is a hero in her own right, skilled beyond her humble title.

BECOMING A SQUIRE OF LEGEND

Like the mythic exemplar, the squire of legend devotes herself to a single path based on a chosen patron, but her abilities are much less rigidly defined by that path. Thus, a broader array of characters can benefit from this prestige class.

Entry Requirements
• Skills: Knowledge (history) 3 ranks AND any ONE of the following: Diplomacy 7 ranks, Intimidate 7 ranks, Knowledge (arcana) 7 ranks, Knowledge (religion) 7 ranks, or Move Silently 7 ranks.
• Special: Must be a member of the Disciples of Legend.

CLASS FEATURES

Your class features vary according to your paragon, but are all oriented toward aiding and bolstering your allies. You know that when a hero falls, when a knight is unhorsed, or when a champion surrenders to despair, it is up to his squire to set him right. Thus, your allies know they can always count on you when the day is darkest.

Spellcasting:] At 2nd and 3rd level, you gain new spells per day and an increase in caster level (and spells known, if applicable) as if you had also gained a level in a spellcasting class to which you belonged before adding the prestige class level. You do not, however, gain any other benefit a character of that class would have gained. If you had more than one spellcasting class before becoming a squire of legend, you must decide to which class to add each level for the purpose of determining spells per day, caster level, and spells known.

Paragon’s Path:] Upon becoming a squire of legend, you must choose one of the legendary Six Paragons from the Brotherhood of the Wolf after whom to model your skills and abilities. Once made, your choice cannot be changed.

]Save Bonus (Ex): At 1st level, you gain a +1 bonus on a saving throw determined by your paragon, as given on the following table. This bonus increases to +2 when you attain 3rd level.

> table to be inserted in final version

Squire’s Burden, Least ](Su): You gain the first of several supernatural abilities that let you use the skills of your chosen paragon to aid others. Unless otherwise noted, each paragon’s gift (least, lesser, and greater) requires a swift action to invoke, lasts for a number of rounds equal to twice your squire of legend level, is usable once per day, and has a caster level equal to three times your squire of legend level. When the description of a squire’s burden ability specifies an ally, it means only an ally; you cannot use the effect on yourself unless so stated.

> table to be inserted in final version

Squire’s Burden, Lesser (Su): At 2nd level, you gain a new supernatural ability that you can use once per day. This ability follows all the guidelines for least squire’s burden (above), unless otherwise noted. If you choose, you can forgo your daily use of this ability for an extra use of your least squire’s burden.

> table to be inserted in final version

Faithful Companion (Ex): At 3rd level, you learn to place yourself between an ally and harm. If you and an ally within 5 feet are both subject to an area spell or effect that allows a Reflex save for partial damage, you can grant your ally a bonus on her saving throw by taking a penalty of equivalent magnitude on your own. The value of the bonus and penalty can be any amount up to the value of your base Reflex saving throw. You must decide to invoke this ability before either you or your ally has attempted the saving throw.

]Squire’s Burden, Greater (Su): At 3rd level, you gain a new supernatural ability you can use once per day. It follows all the guidelines for least squire’s burden, above. If you choose, you can forgo your daily use of this ability for an extra use of the least or lesser squire’s burden.

> table to be inserted in final version

PLAYING A SQUIRE OF LEGEND

You follow in the footsteps of a legend, but you embrace your legendary hero’s influence to a lesser degree than some others do. You don’t honour your hero any less than your comrades do — you simply choose not to devote your entire life to following that person’s example. You are more firmly devoted to the notion that a true hero aids her comrades rather than seeking glory for herself. Whether you accompany a Disciple of Legend or simply team up with an ally for adventuring, your primary concern is to ensure that your heroic comrade survives to complete the task at hand. You are content with a smaller share of fame and glory; it is enough to know that your comrade could not have succeeded without you.

The Disciples of Legend accord you respect, but not to the same degree as they do the mythic exemplars. They honour the assistance you provide and your commitment to the precepts of the Six Paragons, but even they — like so many others — tend to give more credit to the flashier heroes and underestimate the contributions of those who stand behind. So far this attitude has not disturbed you unduly, since you have been content with your own contributions, but someday you might become one of those few squires who have quit the organization in disgust.

Combat[

Becoming a squire of legend does not fundamentally change what you are. The benefits you can gain from this prestige class are somewhat limited because of its short progression, so your combat tactics depend largely on your levels in other classes. Thus, if you’re a heavy fighter, you should still stand in the front line, and if you’re a wizard, you should still cast from the rear. Even so, however, you realize perhaps better than most that adventuring and combat are group activities. Your class abilities are designed to aid your comrades, bolstering them in battle, granting them new or improved tactical options, or simply helping them survive. Thus, you must stay close to your allies so that your gifts are available on a moment’s notice.

Advancement

You are slightly less fanatical about the Six Paragons than those who strive to become mythic exemplars. You respect them well enough, but you prefer to follow their example in a general sense, rather than specifically. You have also come to realize that while those worthies are the best known of all the brave souls who fought the Serpent God’s cult, their victory would have been impossible without the assistance of the many unnamed and unremembered heroes who fought and died beside them. Though you are still a member of the Disciples of Legend, you sometimes choose to go off on your own and offer your assistance to other allies. You do not chase glory; rather, you seek out situations in which your talents can do the most good. The Disciples of Legend offer you additional training and access to written records of the Six from Shadow, but given your limited advancement possibilities within the organization, these benefits might not be enough to entice you to stay for the rest of your career.

Resources

The Disciples of Legend have few resources to offer beyond a research library and moral support. When it comes to monetary or magical acquisitions, you’re on your own.

Table: The Squire of Legend]

> table to be inserted in final version

Hit Die: d8
Class Skills (6 + Int modifier per level): Appraise, Bluff, Climb, Concentration, Craft, Diplomacy, Escape Artist, Gather Information, Handle Animal, Heal, Jump, Knowledge (arcana), Knowledge (nobility and royalty), Knowledge (religion), Listen, Perform, Ride, Search, Sense Motive, Spot, Swim.


(36) Legends of Corwyn - Hit Points (HP)

Posted by : Lewis on 14/09/2015 20:06:45

Notes for calculating Hit Points (HP). HP at level 1 is always maximum, so for example, for a ranger that is always 8 (max on a d8) plus their CON bonus modifier. A character can also get extra HP from feats, e.g. 'Toughness' which grants 3 extra HP. Then for second and subsequent levels you roll your hit dice for the class and add the CON bonus and add that to the total so far. I have a house rule that says if you roll a '1' on any of your hit dice, you can re roll it until you get at least a '2'.


(37) Legends of Corwyn - Treasures of the Old North

Posted by : Lewis on 25/12/2015 11:42:00

The Five Treasures of the Old North

The Five Treasures of the Old North (Old Tongue: Pum Trysorau Hen Ogledd) are a series of magical treasures that originally belonged to the First Civilisation’s King Theron and his cohorts over 2000 years ago. Then, a millennium later, they were stolen by the Vanguard of Sertrous to use in their blasphemous Sacrament of the Risen King, before being recovered by the Brotherhood of the Wolf. The treasures were then wielded by various members of the Brotherhood during the campaign against Sertrous and their later adventures.

The legends of the five treasures list them as…

Aegis Inviolable (gives us the word ‘aegis’ - meaning 'protection' - in both the Old and Common tongues). An enchanted Heavy Steel Shield.

Banrhialorg ('Queen’s Staff'). A quarter staff that also functioned as a metamagic rod. Originally wielded by Theron’s queen, Imecia, and later by Alun, paragon of arcane casters.

Dur Llachar (better known as 'Bright Steel'). A vorpal longsword which was especially effective against dragons. Wielded by Alun, duskblade and paragon of arcane casters.

]Merthúvial ('Kingmaker'). Magic adamantine longsword which also allowed the wielder to detect thoughts, amongst other powers. Originally belonged to King Theron, whose spirit gifted the sword to Sylvar.

Nanietharil ('Gift of the Ancient Foe') darkwood scale mail.


(38) Legends of Corwyn - New Book of stuff!

Posted by : Lewis on 31/12/2015 01:10:17

Holiday, schmoliday. I've been busy writing a new book for Legends of Corwyn. Called Pum Trysorau Hen Ogledd (= 'The Five Treasures of the Old North'), it is the first major expansion of character options for the campaign since the Player's Guide.

The book reintroduces some old favourites from The Chronicles of Corwyn and even reveals a few secrets of the campaign world that I bet even keen players of Chronicles didn't spot. For example, the connection between Prince Emrys I of Corwyn and Alun the duskblade?

As well as details on unique magic items (the most powerful ones seen in either campaign), the book introduces new feats, spells and a new prestige class.

Don't say I never give you anything.

Now, if you don't mind, children, Santa's feeling a bit tired, so I'm going to rest...

... or should that be I'm going to Rhest

?



Legends of Corwyn - teaser trailer


(1) Legends of Corwyn - teaser trailer

Posted by : Lewis on 20/07/2015 08:02:32

Later this year, I will start a new D&D 3.5 campaign at the Cannock club. This will be based in the same world (The North Kingdom) as my long-running campaign that finished a couple of years ago - "The Chronicles of Corwyn".

The new campaign will be called "Legends of Corwyn". As with "Chronicles", the new campaign will be an exercise in 'long-form' story-telling over a year or two of gaming. I have a strong plot in mind that should take that long. If "Legends" is as popular as its predecessor, then I have a rather looser idea for a further plotline.

Apart from the plot, I have some strong ideas for features of the new campaign. However, some still need some working out and details putting on them.

As a taster, here are some of the headlines about "Legends of Corwyn", as it is currently envisaged:

"Legends of Corwyn" will take place approximately one thousand years after the end of "Chronicles of Corwyn".

During that millennium, some things that should not have been forgotten were lost... and history became legend.

Following the defeat of the demon-god Sertrous by the Brotherhood of the Wolf (the PCs!), the elven rogue Sylvar Lightfoot engineered the marriage of Prince Emrys of Corwyn to Princess Isolde of Eldred and finally brought peace between the two old rival fiefdoms.

But their happy union was not blessed by Niall, the King of the North Kingdom. He did not want two of his vassals so unified - seeing it as a challenge to his power.

Outraged at this act of rebellion he tried to force them to dissolve the union, sparking a civil war. Various smaller fiefdoms, especially in the southern half of the kingdom, sided with Corwyn and Eldred.

The North Kingdom's enemies took advantage of the ensuing chaos. The dragons - long thought destroyed or driven off by heroes 800 years earlier - returned and brought fire and death.

The Reign of Fire lasted for generations, and humans and their demi-human allies were very close to going out for ever.

After the war, most of the northern half of the kingdom was lost to monsters again. What were once known as the Dwr Mountains became known as the Wyrmsmoke Mountains. South of this natural barrier, Corwyn, Eldred and their southern allies survived.

The Brotherhood of the Wolf were active during the War Against The Dragons, and indeed, a number of them perished bravely in various battles with the mighty wyrms.

In the modern day there is a single official state religion, formed from the worship of three of the most popular deities a millennium ago. The priesthood of the trinity enjoy their official privileges and are not very accomodating of other faiths.

However, a discreet organisation has formed that venerates the Brotherhood of the Wolf. It holds some of the Brotherhood's greatest members up as 'Paragons' - examples to be followed and lived up to. However, the so-called Disciples of Legend are careful not to publicly frame this as any sort of worship. Precise knowledge of many of the Brotherhood's exploits has been lost and any evidence or historical information is eagerly sought after and highly treasured.

PCs who belong to the Disciples - especially those descended from the Brotherhood or those who manifestly follow their example - gain various training, benefits and help from the organisation.

PCs are not as 'perfect' as their ancestors, giving extra meaning to their quests to live up to the examples of the Brotherhood and the Paragons. In game mechanic terms I will be using 'Flaws' from Unearthed Arcana.

The wars accelerated some military technology but hampered other technologies, as much of the country was destroyed or laid waste. However, a consortium of gnomes and wizards created living constructs to help fight the dragons. And so were created the Warforged - now a playable race.

Another playable race will be a new demi-human race, descended from the hero Branoc and his lady-love, Ossuru, the pure-blood Yuan-ti that he rescued from Castle Serastis.