Posted tagged ‘elves’

Races of Mor Aldenn

May 1, 2009

Mor Aldenn devides is populace evenly between humans and elves, which means that you’ll also find quite a few half-elves here as well. However, humans and elves are not the only inhabitants; you’ll find halflings, gnomes, dwarves, centaurs and kobolds living here as well.

Centaurs

The horsemen made peace with the mages more than 200 years ago and came to settle on the island in the place that is now called the Horse Downs. One would think that the centaurs thought this name a mockery of their nature, but no, they seem to fully accept and cherish the name. They live in huge tents in small families.

Dwarves

Dwarves are not known for their love of magic, but the dwarven families living in Mor Aldenn have actually come to study the arcane arts however unlikely that may sound.

Elves

The elves have a long history in Mor Aldenn, dating back to the first travellers who passed through this region. They came originally from Ossindil, to study with the human wizards, but have since then settled down and created a history of their own. They consider themselves moraldenns the same as the humans.

Gnomes

You wont find a lot of gnomes in Mor Aldenn, but they do exist. They view magic a little differently than the human and elven mages. You should seek out the Tower of Illusion if you wish to talk to a gnome.

Half-elves

It is no disgrace to have the blood of both humans and elves in your veins, in fact, for some its considered a blessing; the best of both races. Half-elves from other parts of the world consider Mor Aldenn a sanctuary, a place where they are fully accepted. You wont ever find a person in Mor Aldenn who would dare mock a half-elf, but you will find lots who would defend one.

Halflings

The small folk have also found a home amongst the mages. They love the surrounding lands, and treasure the beauty that surrounds them. They are often found amongst the craftsmen of the city.

Humans

Like the elves, humans have lived in Mor Aldenn ever since its founding more than 300 years ago. They are found in all layers of the society, also, the current mayor of Mor Aldenn is a human named Oswin Theodorick.

Kobolds

Kobolds have actually been accepted as part of the population. They are as peaceful as the other races and will raise the spears in defence of the city, should it ever need it. However, there are some who fear that the kobolds will turn upon the city, revealing their alliance with the night hag, but they haven’t thus far.

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.

Adventure!

March 29, 2009
A Wraith in the Barrowdelve

A Wraith in the Barrowdelve

Without adventure, a setting is nothing. Players make adventurers and heroes, and these need places to explore, monsters to fight and mysteries to solve.

So what places, monsters and mysteries does Mor Aldenn offer a group of adventurers?

 

The Curse of the Night Hag 

Low to high-level characters

Something is making the dead walk the streets of Mor Aldenn. Moraldenns have named this new threat the Curse of the Night Hag, but its really not a curse at all, but a powerful artifact that is making the dead restless. It is, however, the night hag who is behind the artifact.

Low-level PCs may find themselves invited to the Mage Guild where they are hired to patrol the streets at night. The Barrowdelve Gate has been magically sealed, but some undead still find their way into the streets at night, a mystery the mages have yet to solve.

Mid-level PCs are hired to enter the Barrowdelve and retrieve certain items. The moraldenns fear that the undead will destroy their memories hidden within the Barrowdelve and seek the PCs to retrieve them before this happens. The mages will open the gate during the day, but from there on the PCs will be on their own.

High-level PCs will be asked to find the source of the curse. They are asked to go to deep into the Barrowdelve, where they will fight very powerful undead. When they find the artifact, they will need to destroy it (quickly) or become undead themselves.

 

The Night Hag

Low to high-level characters

The night hag of the Spindlewood Marshes has risen again. Her coven has regained its strength and she is amassing a great army to the west of Mor Aldenn.

Among her army is lizardfolk, kobolds, giants, human brigands and, of course, other hags (mostly green hags). They are not all found in the marshes, but patrol the surrounding forest, striking out against travellers, merchants and the small villages.

Low-level PCs are hired as guards or even guides. A merchant needs to travel to a small village to the west and fears brigands and kobolds. A rich innkeeper must visit his dying mother and needs guards to keep him safe. Maybe the Mage Guild hires them to kill kobolds and lizardfolk, or perhaps a mage hires them to capture an ettercap.

Mid-level PCs are hired to kill hill giants, especially the infamous tribe that terrorizes the forest east of Mor Aldenn, making the road to Ossindil dangerous. They may also be hired to find the night hag’s spies (see Nolly Ravenheart).

High-level PCs are strong enough to make the journey into the dreadful Spindlewood Marshes where they must fight the night hag herself. Elven mages are also interested in finding an ancient (now lost) elven city within the marsh, and perhaps they hire the PCs to seek it out and retrieve some of its many secrets.

 

The Demon Tower

Mid to high-level characters

 The Fallen Tower has been abandoned for decades and the mages have tried to kill the demon many times, failing each time. Perhaps the PCs will succeed, retrieving ancient secrets of summoning and conjuration. The Mage Guild will pay them greatly if they succeed.

Art by Gary Dupuis (www.gdupuis.com)

Another history lesson…

March 23, 2009

Taraathalorm Wyrmmother

Long before the founding of Mor Aldenn, nearly 350 years ago, a green dragon named Taraathalorm settled on the big island. It had managed to escape its mortal enemies of the east, the elves of faraway Ossindil. Under different circumstances, the dragon may have stayed to fight, but this particular dragon had a belly full of eggs and needed somewhere safe to make a nest. This is exactly what it found here at the heart of Ossindrillon, or so Taraathalorm thought.

The eggs hatched and for a time the island was swarming with green wyrmlings. They may well have destroyed the last remnants of the tower that stood on the hill, scattering the memories of a lost era.

Taraathalorm would leave the nest and bring back food for her young, often staying away for weeks. Some believe that the Horse Downs is actually named after the horse bones that the first settlers found beneath the hill, but this may not be the entire truth.

Five years after Taraathalorm hatched her young wyrmlings, a group of human travellers discover the nest. The largest and most powerful of the wyrmlings is brutally slain, but the humans manage to bring the rest of the wyrmlings with them to Ossindil where they sell them to the elven wizards.

When Taraathalorm finally returns, she is enraged to find one of her wyrmlings murdered and the rest stolen. She smells humans, but suspect that the elves are behind the theft, especially since the trail leads directly towards Ossindil. She sends her minions against the elven city, who successfully destroys a few villages and towns on their way to the elven capital. However, in the end, the army is scattered by the elves who wields some of the strongest magic in the world. A few minions return to Taraathalorm bearing the bad news. She is enraged and filled with an even stronger hate than before. But with her army scattered she cannot strike at the elves.

A group of humans and elves from Ossindrillon travels to the island where Taraathalorm resides. They attack during the night and successfully slay the green dragon. The heroes bring back a dragonstone, taken from the chest of Taraathalorm, as proof of their deed. This famous dragonstone is later named the Emerald Heart and is, to this day, still in the elves possession.

The small group search the island and finds remnants of a lost age, but more importantly, they also find a place of strong magic. There is something hidden, deep below the island, which makes this place the perfect home of wizards, sorcerers and bards.

Designer’s Notes

There is, indeed, something hidden deep below Mor Aldenn, but so far, the mages have not managed to find the source of this magic. They do, however, suspect that it is not by accident that the magic is strong here and have delved deep. This dungeon that the mages have carved from the earth can be accessed through the Barrow delve, but also through the Tower of All-Magic. In fact, most of the mage towers have a portal that takes the mages into the deep reaches.

This place may be Dragon’s Delve… or perhaps, some other ancient dungeon.

Houses

March 14, 2009

A house in Mor Aldenn

A house in Mor Aldenn

Aye, thats me house over there, by the big red oak. Just last week I repaired the front door. It was starting to creak, but I could live with that, until me wife started to complain! Sorry, I haven’t got a room for ye, my friend, but try the Gloating Giant, there’s always a few rooms to rent, or so I hear.

 

 – Gorick Thalmis, owner of Gorick’s Emporium 

 

Most people in Mor Aldenn own their homes and take great pride in this ownership. They work hard and make sure that repairs are made every year, or even every month. If you are lucky, you can find a small apartment to rent, or even a single room, but while you wait for such a fortunate opportunity, you better rent a room at one of the six inns.

In Mor Aldenn you’ll find that most buildings have more than one story. Most live in two storey buildings, but you’ll find some that has up to three stories. Most houses has a small cellar as well and perhaps a small shed out back, in their garden. Its also quite ordinary to have a small balcony that overlooks the street, or even better, the river, if possible.

Gardens are very common in Mor Aldenn, often surrounded by a simple hedge or a low stone wall. A few gardens, like the one of the alchemist, Jordrick Runsen, is surrounded by a tall stone wall, making it impossible to se what secrets the garden hides. Some have their garden in front of their home, but mostly, you’ll find it behind the building.

Shops are found on the ground floor of most houses, though some can be found on the second floor as well. They have glass windows displaying some of the goods and beautiful intricate signs hanging outside. Moraldenns know how to sell their goods. Shopowners often live on the second floor.

Elven craftsmanship

For as long as their have been a city here, at the converging rivers, there have been elves as well. Their exquisite craftsmanship have made its impact upon the city and nowadays, you’ll find lots of houses, and even a few mage towers, like the incredible Tower of Enchantment, that bears their mark.

Some humans have tried to learn the craft of the elves, but somehow, they never quite succeed. A house created by the elves is often twice as expensive as any other house.

 Mansions

There is only one true mansion in all of Mor Aldenn, and this is the mayor’s mansion. It is located on one of the southern isles, connected to the rest of the city, by a beautiful elven bridge. Some of the larger houses around the city could actually be called mansions or manors, but moraldenns would never do that. The mayor’s mansion have at least 15 rooms, a few kitchens, a large stable and a beautiful courtyard with a circle of old trees. Its a sight to behold, which is probably why the mayor rarely leaves it. Below one of the towers, the barrack tower, you’ll find a small prison. This is not the only prison around town, but the one mostly in use.

Art by the Forge Studios (www.theforge.pl)