Archive for April 2009

New artist hired!

April 27, 2009

Today I hired cartographer and artist, Jonathan Roberts to colour the city map. I’ve seen his work before and really liked his colouring, so I’m pretty sure that he will do something amazing to William McAusland’s wonderful map.

I know I’m looking forward to seeing it!

Also, the link to his site has been added to the links, if you want to take a look for yourself or maybe hire him for something.

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A Trail of Poison – Part II

April 27, 2009

Continuing the write-up of the adventures of Mor Aldenn, I’ve come to writing the background story. I consider this training and much will definitely change before the final adventure is “published”.

 

A Trail of Poison (a Mor Aldenn adventure)

Adventure Background

For 300 years, the city of Mor Aldenn have been at war with the night hag of the Spindlewood Marsh. She is a strong archenemy and with each defeat, the vicious night mistress has grown ever more hateful of the mages and their city. How the night hag has survived these countless wars, remains a mystery even to this day, but she seem to finally understand that to destroy the mages of Mor Aldenn, she must first weaken them.

After months of peace, the night hag finally shows her face. A hag in her coven has discovered a long lost tower deep within the treacherous Spindlewood. At the heart of the forgotten tower, she has also found a powerful artifact that has the power to attract the animals of the forest. With this artifact, the night hag hopes to strike at the mages.

That the mages use the magic of the surrounding lands, is a well-known fact. They find magic, not only in the trees, plants, lakes, rivers and the earth, but also in the animals that make Ossindrillon their home. To strike at these animals would indeed pose a severe threat to the mages.

The forgotten tower lies by a shadowy lake; a lake of poisoned water. This poison eats away at the very soul of those who drink it. Now the night hag uses the artifact to call out to the magical beasts. She forces them to come to the shadow lake and drink its poison, and while most of the beasts die by the lake, some are strong enough to escape into the Spindlewood. But their fate is sealed, no one survives the poison, not even the fabled unicorn.

#2 Adventure: Thieves in the Barrowdelve

April 26, 2009

Illus. William McAuslandHere is another synopsis based on another of my original ideas, the heirloom in the Barrowdelve. It has been retitled, to focus more on the actual theft and those behind it, than on the heirloom itself. The secret of the heirloom is only revealed later on in the adventure and may indeed lead to an even greater adventure.

 

Thieves in the Barrowdelve (a Mor Aldenn adventure)

Thieves are looting the Barrowdelve! A young thief is found dead outside his home, wearing an old magical pendant from the Delve, but who killed the thief? And like that wasn’t bad enough, the pendant seems to hide a secret far worse, a secret hidden deep within the Barrowdelve, a secret that has now been revealed.

Thieves in the Barrowdelve is a Pathfinder RPG adventure designed for four 1st-level characters. The adventure takes place in Mor Aldenn, the City of Mages. This small city could in reality be located in any setting where two rivers converge inside an ancient forest.

Adventure Synopsis

This adventure starts as an heirloom turns up on the body of a dead thief. The heirloom, a seemingly magical pendant, was buried deep within the Barrowdelve and now the people of Mor Aldenn is wondering; is someone looting the ancient necropolis?

The mayor asks the PCs to investigate the matter, both the looting of the Delve and the strange murder. He is willing, of course, to pay them for their services to the city. They are given access to the Barrowdelve, where they discover that other graves have been robbed, but by whom? Was it the young thief wearing the pendant, or was it perhaps someone else?

The PCs also discover that the pendant hides a secret, a cursed ring hidden within the pendant. This ring is what killed the thief, and it may in fact kill others if the PCs don’t find a way to stop it.

The trail also leads the PCs to the Tower of All-Magic, where they find the thief’s brother, a young ambitious mage. He is the true mastermind behind the plan to loot the Barrowdelve and will not give up without a fight, also, it seems that he has hidden the loot, but where?

 

Designer’s Notes

When I started thinking about writing this synopsis, this adventure truly opened up for me. I didn’t want the thieves to be involved with Yargus Tem and the Thieves Guild, no, those guys are way too likable and shouldn’t become direct antagonists of the PCs, so I wanted thieves a little different. I started thinking…who would have access to the Barrowdelve and how? One of the mages, of course, a really ambitious one, but he wouldn’t be working alone, no…he had a brother, of course! A young and foolish thief.

I imagined how they had done it, how research had led to all these secrets hidden inside the necropolis, but what about the pendant and the cursed ring? You see, the mage knew about its nature (or guessed, at least) and so asked his brother NOT to take it… but that was indeed a mistake, after a few planned raids into the Barrowdelve, the young thief decided to make a little raid of his own, stealing the pendant for himself, but that was a mistake! A mistake he would pay dearly for and that would start this adventure…

#1 Adventure: A Trail of Poison

April 25, 2009

Illus. William McAuslandWhat follows is the introduction and synopsis for one of the adventure ideas, the “Strange Death” which has been retitled. Its not necessarily the adventure I’ll be writing first, merely my first synopsis. I hope you enjoy and have some constructive critisism for me afterwards.

 

A Trail of Poison (a Mor Aldenn adventure)

The animals of Ossindrillon are slowly being poisoned. A local druid has found some of the poisoned creatures, but cannot find the source of the poison. Who would want to destroy this beautiful place and its magical inhabitants? Is the poison merely a natural occurrence or is this some foul ploy of the night hag?

A Trail of Poison is a Pathfinder RPG adventure designed for four 1st-level characters. The adventure takes place in the forest surrounding Mor Aldenn, the City of Mages. This small city could in reality be located in any setting where two rivers converge inside an ancient forest.

Adventure Synopsis

This adventure begins when a local druid contacts the PCs. He has found several dead animals in the forest north of Mor Aldenn and is absolutely certain that they died from a strong and unknown poison. The druid fears that more animals will die a horrible death and therefore asks the PCs to find the source of this poison. He is, of course, willing to pay them for their efforts.

Eventually, the PCs will leave Mor Aldenn and enter the northern forest. They may have marked some of the places where the druid found the poisoned animals. Each of these places would be a good place to start their search.

Once in the Spindlewood, several events will occur, leading the PCs on the trail of a dying unicorn. It has reached the gateway to one of the fabled forest sanctuaries, but is too weak to enter. The unicorn tells the PCs of the tower and the shadowy lake, but before it can tell them anything else, the party is ambushed by the minions of the night hag. One of the minions manage to escape the wrath of the PCs, and heads back to the tower where his dark mistress awaits.

At the tower, the night hag’s scheme will be revealed. A green hag has found a long forgotten tower, a poisoned shadow lake and a dark relic that calls out for animals to serve its mistress. More dead animals are found near the lake, but why…

 

Designer’s Notes

What I’m really looking forward to here is deciding on the type of minions that will ambush the PCs. My first thought was a mad kobold tribe, perhaps with a kobold sorcerer as their leader, but I dont want the minions to have a comic feel. I want them terrifying as hell, at least for a 1st level party.

Also, I’m looking forward to introducing the forest sanctuary. I guess the PCs could ask the unicorn about the entrance, in which case it would tell them a riddle, but not the answer… but the plan is not that they are going to enter the sanctuary at this point, merely that they have discovered it for future use.

The First Adventure…

April 22, 2009

Which of the following ideas would you like to see developed into the very first adventure of Mor Aldenn?

 

The Heirloom from the Delve

One day, an heirloom turns up in Mor Aldenn, seemingly by accident. It was supposed to be buried deep within the Barrowdelve, but is someone looting the necropolis of the city of mages? And like that wasn’t bad enough… this heirloom appears to be cursed!

 

The Spy

An old and weak woman dies one day, a brutal death by the hands of some vicious and unknown creature. The necromancers of the Shadow Tower bring back her soul briefly, to ask her a few questions. It seems that she know the identity of one of the night hag’s many spies… but when she tries to utter the name, the spell is broken! Can the PCs find the murderous creature and possibly…the spy?

 

The Strange Death

A local druid returns to Mor Aldenn, bearing terrible news. He has found several magical beasts in the surrounding forest, dead. It appears that they have been somehow… poisoned! When the PCs investigate the poisonous trail, they find a dying unicorn who knows some of the truth, but before the creature can tell them everything it knows, they are attacked by the cruel minions of the night hag…

 

Luck in the Woods

A wizard from the Tower of All-Magic needs the PCs to catch a blink dog. They are (under no circumstances!) to kill the beast or make it suffer, he wants it (mostly) unharmed and alive. However, while looking for this beast in the forest, the PCs come across a group of half-elves and human rogues who catch (dead or alive) magical beasts! The small group hope to sell the beasts to a nameless buyer in one of the western settlements… but will the PCs allow this?

 

The Theft

Something is stolen from the PCs, an item of value and importance. A little investigation leads to… nothing. However, a few days later, the PCs learn from a shadow in the night, that a caravan is transporting stolen goods south. Will the PCs be able to track down the caravan, find the thieves and perhaps learn the identity of their shadow ally? In fact, if the PCs play their cards right, they may uncover a whole organization of thieves…

 

The Demon’s Cult

An imp, a prophet who has terrible nightmares, a Fallen tower, a young cult and the deomn they worships and who wish to be free of its prison. Will the PCs be able to hunt down the cultists, stop their scheme and perhaps learn secrets of the Fallen Tower’s single inhabitant… or will the cultists unleash a fury upon the city unlike any Mor Aldenn has ever seen? 

 

Remember that these are just ideas, and will definitely change (somewhat) before the adventure is finished!

The Setting

April 19, 2009

What follows is a short essay on the lands that surround Mor Aldenn, and that are important to the City of Mages. Some of these locations can be found on the map, but not all of them.

Ossindrillon

To merely call Ossindrillon a huge forest doesn’t do it justice at all. Granted, most of Ossindrillon is indeed covered by forest, but any traveler worth his boots, will tell you of the rushing rivers, the thundering waterfalls, the deep azure lakes, the troll-infested marshes and, of course, about its titans – the three mountains!

None of the intelligent races have ever been able to tame and dominate this great wilderness completely, though the elves have indeed come close! Once the elven cities were spread all over Ossindrillon, but after the great Elven Wars, only a few cities remained. The elven noble houses had almost managed to destroy their entire race, but today they stand more united than ever before, having learned the lessons of their dark past.

Ossindrillon is home to both humans, elves, halflings, kobolds, centaurs, orcs and goblins, in fact, you’ll probably find small towns dominated by each of these races, if only you search long enough. You’ll also find undead here, along with harpies, trolls, hags, giants, ettercaps, blink dogs and many other creatures. For some of these creatures, Ossindrillon is the only place in the world that allows them to survive. Yes, you’ll even find dragons in the great wilderness.

Ossindil

The elven capital is one of those ancient elven cities that survived the great Elven Wars. It has changed a lot over the years, but some of the old structures can still be found at the heart of Ossindil. Today, not only elves make this city their home, no, you’ll find both humans, centaurs and halflings living side by side with the elves. Ossindil is famous for its magical bridges that allow its citizens to walk freely amongst the islands.

Spindlewood

This huge forest is located west of Mor Aldenn, a dangerous place infamous for its inhabitants, the spiders. They are not all to be feared, but most are. You’ll also find other creatures hiding here, like the ettercaps. In the southern part of the Spindlewood, you’ll find marshlands also called the Spindlewood Marsh.

Spindlewood Marsh

This is actually not a marsh in the best sense of the word, especially since you’ll find lots of different tree types here. These trees are often short and with long twisted branches that entangle making traveling difficult. The Spindlewood Marsh is best known as the home of the venomous night hag, the archenemy of Mor Aldenn. She has lived here for more than 300 years, and call the entire marsh her dominion.

River Tassalin

This small river springs from the hills east of Mor Aldenn. A waterfall makes it one of the rushing rivers, a truly beautiful river. A few small hamlets have sprung up along this river over the years.

Moon’s Folly

This is a small town located south of Mor Aldenn, the home of 700 inhabitants, mostly humans. It is surrounded by wooden palisades, a necessity since its still very much located at the heart of Ossindrillon. Its inhabitants are known to be very religious, revering the Moon Goddess. The name is still very much a riddle, even to those who live here.

Links!

April 13, 2009

So, this post ain’t really a design post or anything directly related to Mor Aldenn, however, I want more people to come, visit and (hopefully) take part in the project!

So, in that spirit, if you post a link here (website, blog, favorite site etc.) I’ll add your link to my blog (look to your right and down), and then you’ll add my link to your website, blog etc. 

It’ll be a beneficial relationship, hopefully.