Posted tagged ‘night hag’

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.

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.

#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.

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)

Nolly Ravenheart

March 19, 2009

An old hunched woman walks down the dirt road towards Mor Aldenn. She carries a weird staff with a head the shape of a funny-looking raven, yet does not use the staff as such. Her raven black hair hides most of her face, a worn face that have seen more years than most humans in the city of mages.

Nolly Ravenheart (female human, druid13) is a druid and healer known by most moraldenns. She lives a seemingly quiet life in Mor Aldenn, but those who know her even better also knows that she frequently leaves the city. Nolly is a good person, or rather, she was a good person. How she came to be a member of the night hag’s secret coven is a story that only she and her mistress know, but it may be related to the death of her husband, Alwis the Mage.

When Nolly leaves Mor Aldenn, she takes the shape of a raven and flies towards the Spindlewood Marshes, to see her mistress. She is a spy within the city of mages, who frequently makes reports to the night hag.

Another well-kept secret concerns the dark curse in the Barrowdelve. Nolly Ravenheart hid an artifact deep within the ancient vaults, an artifact that awaken the dead to unlife each night.