Archive for the ‘Location’ category

New Setting Guide!

January 6, 2011

Its been a while since I last wrote anything here, and I think its about time that I did! I mean… its not like Mor Aldenn is dead or anything, in fact, the setting may be more alive now than ever before!

And what do I mean by that?

Well, just this;

At the moment, a bunch of awesome designers are currently working on fleshing out and expanding the setting further, and adding a bunch of very cool rules for the Pathfinder RPG. You will see new monsters, lots of NPCs, feats, spells and yes, even a new base class!

Also, you’ll see a couple of minor adventures in the near future, staged in and around Mor Aldenn, of course!

To kickstart the new year, I have decided to open the bag a bit (just a bit!). Every thursday, from now and the next few months, I will try to reveal a little something from the City of Mages. Since this is a city setting, why not start by showing you a location?

Green Elixirs

This small shop is nestled between larger buildings in the southern part of Mor Aldenn. A small sign above the door display a couple of potions in varying greens.

Type shop (average), residence; Size small (1 floor, cellar)

Owner Vastian Breth (male human wizard 5, CG); Staff none

Typical Visitors adventurers, mages, wizards; Famous Visitors Lord Balsadarus

 

This small shop is owned and run by a guild mage named Vastian Breth, who (deep within his heart) is more alchemist than wizard. Vastian is well-known and liked around the mage guild, yet choose to live here, away from his friends. He does this, mostly because of his many experiments. Lots of amazing potions grace the windows of Green Elixirs, but none of them are real potions. Vastian makes potions on request, but only to other guild mages and his closest friends.

Looking for alchemical items? Well, Vastian has lots of strange concoctions and weird items on display in his shop. If you are ready to take a chance, you might even buy one of his more experimental items, but remember, all of these come with a severe warning!

Items bought at half price have a 75% chance of working, while items that are even cheaper have a 10% chance of exploding, causing 1d8 points of damage to the user.

This is a pretty typical site within the City of Mages. The location is supposed to be useful, to the GMs and to the PCs, and bring tiny rules that are unique to each site.

What kind of locations would you like to see in a City of Mages?

Also, because I want everyone to experience Mor Aldenn, I’ve decided to create a big bundle of goodies, available for almost… nothing.

You can find it here, at RPGNow.com

And what do you get? Well, both the Player’s and GM’s guide, the Mor Aldenn cartography, an adventure, a very cool map pack of the Barrowdelve, an inn named the Ugly Harpy and lastly, insight into one of three gods that exist in the City of Mages!

I truly hope that you’ll enjoy these, and dont worry, we are not altering much of the information here, we are basically adding new material in the upcoming Expanded Setting Guide, so all this wonderful material will be useful even then!

Welcome to the City of Mages, hopefully you’ll enjoy your stay!

Barrowdelve, Area 1

January 15, 2010

I’ve actually had this writeup of Area 1 of the Barrowdelve for some time (meaning at least a few months). The idea is to present the area without any specific storyline. Later on, I will be able to add specific encounters. Some areas, though, will have specific encounters not associated with a specific storyline.

Those of you familiar with Monte Cook’s Dungeon-a-day project will recognize the area layout. For more information about Monte’s project, please follow this link; http://www.dungeonaday.com (and yeah, I’ve become a fan of this megadungeon).

 

Area 1: Entrance Hall 

Summary: This ancient hallway leads to the fabled Hall of Bones and offers a visitor insight into the history of Mor Aldenn, the City of Mages.

Sights and Sounds: Magical braziers along the walls provide plenty of light in the entrance hall. The braziers also provide dim lighting in area 1A and 1B. There are no sounds to be heard as the PCs walk down the corridor.

An ancient hallway displaying the history of Mor Aldenn stretches before you. Wizards, dragons, harpies, hags and sword-wielding adventurers fill beautiful landscapes seemingly carved from the very stone walls. You are witnessing more than 300 years of history in this very hallway.

Braziers set along the walls provide you with enough light to see all the astonishing details, revealing that even the ceiling is carved in intricate patterns. Not a speck of dust litter the floor, as if removed by magic.

Four tall statues rests in alcoves set along the walls. A large knight, two wizards and an elven sorceress. The statues are obviously carved from stone, yet the details are amazing and very vivid.

Background: Most moraldenns believe that the enormous stone relief here was created by magic, when it was actually created by elven artisans from Ossindil. It has changed over the years, and every year new details are added to complete the history of the city.

The city wishes not only to honour its dead, but also to remember them. The entrance hall was always meant to tell the history of the city and that is exactly what it does.

Statues: There are four tall stone statues in this hall, each displaying a famous hero of Mor Aldenn. Each description lists a Knowledge (history) DC that allows the PCs to identify the person depicted in the statues.

Sir Brennick Shieldworth: A tall muscular man wearing a full plate and wielding a fiery greatsword. Sir Brennick fought in the first Marsh War, alongside the elven wizards from Ossindil. He saved many lives by sacrificing his own. (DC 25)

Alendar Shadorash: A lean and proud wizard clad in a flowering robe wielding a quarterstaff with a head carved to look like a dragon skull. Alendar Shadorash was a child of the human and elven alliance, one of the first half-elves to live in Mor Aldenn. He is one of the few people to actually wound the night hag of the Spindlewood Marsh. (DC 27)

Hakael the Blind: An elderly man wearing a simple tattered robe and who carries a strange rod and an orb. The Blind Wizard was once a great diviner, the apprentice of Grey from the Lonely Tower. He helped the city by anticipating the attacks of the night hag. He vanished in the Spindlewood Marsh and his body has never been found. (DC 29)

Lady Liassara: A beautiful elven lady holding a flame in her right hand and a shard of ice in her left. Like most of the elves, Lady Liassara came from Ossindil more than 200 years ago. She was in love with a human wizard, an archmage, and joined him in the battle against the armies of the night hag. She was one of the greatest sorcerers who ever lived in Mor Aldenn. (DC 25)

1A: This small antechamber holds a wooden bench and a stone relief. The warrior depicted in the relief is actually Sir Brennick Shieldworth fighting four harpies and an army of hill giants. (DC 26)

1B: There is nothing in this antechamber, besides a stone relief depicting a gargantuan dragon surrounded by a horde of wyrmlings. This is Taraathalorm Wyrmmother, who once inhabited the site where Mor Aldenn is located today. (DC 23)

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If you want to know more about the Barrowdelve, you can find more information, and some pretty cool maps here; http://www.rpgnow.com/product_info.php?products_id=65111&filters=0_0_0_0_0&manufacturers_id=2779

The Barrowdelve Map Pack!

October 14, 2009

Cartography by Rene WalkHeadless Hydra Games is proud to present yet another Mor Aldenn product, this time concerned with the ancient Barrowdelve!

We bring to you, a small map pack containing 4 full colour maps detailing the 4 uppermost levels of the Barrowdelve, and 4 greyscale maps of the very same levels. All maps were done by the newcomer, Rene Walk, whose work is splendid!

http://www.rpgnow.com/product_info.php?products_id=65111

Just remember, this is just a map pack, not a complete walkthrough of the Barrowdelve! That will come later!

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.

Barrowdelve map

April 5, 2009
The first level of the Barrowdelve

The first level of the Barrowdelve

I’ve been playing around with the Barrowdelve map for days, trying to find a cool and interesting design.

I’m one of those people who likes that a dungeon “makes sense”, that it has a story behind it, and that it makes sense that there is a nest of bats inside a locked 10×10 room.

As a DM I want to know who created the corridors, who built the mighty halls, traps and who decided that it would be a good idea with iron-fortified doors instead of its simpler wooden cousin.

The Barrowdelve is going to make sense, but that certainly doesn’t mean that its going to be a boring place… no, its going to be a place of magic, history, undead and with a connection to something far older than Mor Aldenn, something hidden deep within the earth. Something related to the Trelmyrean Archwizards…

It’s been hinted before, that there was something on the island before the city of mages…

Anyways, I’ll get back to that at a later time.

Valthor of Calathia

March 16, 2009

Mor Aldenn is not just a home of wizards and sorcerers. You’ll find lots of other great personalities, heroes and adenturers here as well, like the naive Mayor Oswin, the secretive innkeeper Yargus Tem, the odd diviner Grey and the powerhungry Lord Balsadarus.

Prince Valthor of Calathia is one of these important persons that help define Mor Aldenn as more than just a magehome.

16 years ago, a feud shattered the royal family of Calathia, driving Prince Valthor north to the City of Mages. All Valthor took from his childhood home was a magical demonslaying greatsword (his legacy) that he offered to the mages in return for their guidance and friendship. That blade can be found somewhere within the Tower of All-Magic, though few know its exact location. Valthor does not consider this blade his own, but have promised the mages that he will wield it again if they ask it of him.

Prince Valthor has made Mor Aldenn his home and sanctuary, creating a strong, if small, fighters’ guild. Here, he is one of three guildmasters, though Prince Valthor founded the guild on his own. All members give Valthor the respect that he deserves, and while he would never call himself the leader of the guild, the others will.

Some call Prince Valthor a knight and lord, but he would never call himself that. Valthor is a prince no longer, but a simple fighter with a great and compasisonate heart. He is brave and valorous beyond compare and those who claim membership in the guild, do so because of him.

About the Fighters’ Guild

The guild offers a blade and a shield to those who truly needs it. They would never join an army or even a warband, instead they guard shops, slay beasts, helps caravans, yes anything that requires a sword, a shield and a valorous heart.

A member of the fighters’ guild is no crude warrior, but a virtuous fighter who follow the codex of the guild, as set forth and signed by the three guildmasters. 

Designer’s Note

Also, I imagine that the guildhall, where you can always (or at least, most of the time) find Prince Valthor and most guildmembers, looks like the house below.

Map Sketch #1

March 12, 2009

#2 Map of Mor Aldenn (details)

#2 Map of Mor Aldenn (details)

Mor Aldenn
Mor Aldenn

Here are the first of my sketches for the city map. Its not actually the first one I made, more like the 4th or even 5th sketch, but its the first one that I have posted here. I’m quite proud of this map and its been hard work making it.