Posted tagged ‘towers’

Master Ardamiron

May 27, 2009

Illus. Justin HernandezThe time has finally come to explore the Mage Guild and the mages that make up the heart and soul. Not all of the mages like to be in the spotlight, in fact, most of them keep to their studies and only rarely make short trips into Mor Aldenn. There are exceptions, however, and lets start by exploring one of these… the Archwizard of Transmutation!

Master Ardamiron

“Archwizard of Transmutation”

This half-elf is far older than he looks, but that is a personal choice of the archwizard’s. He has sharp features that clearly mark him as a half-elf, with sharp pointy ears and a small trimmed beard. Ardamiron likes to take care of his looks.

The archwizard is always well-dressed in lavishly decorated robes with golden arcane marks on the sleeves. In fact, most of his clothes is enchanted by spells.

Ardamiron came from Ossindil, where he grew up in the care of his elven mother, Lady Elssane. He was always curious about the world and kept asking amazing and difficult questions, even some that his mother had no answers for. She was, afterall, a courtier and not a wizard. Ardamiron was a wizard, even though it would take many years before he fully understood this fact.

Ardamiron made his first trip to Mor Aldenn in the company of his master and friend, Thelbeck Room, a human wizard and merchant. Here he found he first signs of his human heritage, as his human father had studied at the Tower of All-Magic. But that was years ago, and sadly, his father had long since passed away of old age. Ardamiron swore that he would return, a master, and follow in his father’s footsteps. This he did ten years after first arriving in Mor Aldenn.

He quickly became a master of transmutation, but was destined to archieve an even greater honor. It took him only five years to become the Archwizard of Transmutation, but at this time he had proven himself worthy time upon time.

Master Ardamiron has lots of friends in the city of mages, and not all of them mages. He often dine with Sir Valthor, preferably at the Wizard’s Staff, but has also been known to frequent the Ugly Harpy at times. The wizard has a great curiosity and believes that magic should be studied in its natural surroundings and not in a small dark room filled with bottles, herbs and strange runes.

Art by Justin Hernandez (www.glowingraptor.com)

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Finally…the map!

April 6, 2009
Mor Aldenn, the City of Mages!

Mor Aldenn, the City of Mages!

William MacAusland just delivered the map…absolutely wondrous and amazing! I’ve stared at the map for hours now, and I just seem to find new things that I hadn’t seen before, and for christ sake… I created the original map!

I wont post a map in a real size yet, but it will come, just have to develop the city a little more… however, I will show you a few details… lets start with the overall map!

You can see a slightly better version here; http://s24.photobucket.com/albums/c11/brekkil/?action=view&current=mor_aldenn_wm-1.jpg

 

 Cartography by William McAusland

(www.mcauslandstudios.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)

The Barrowdelve

March 10, 2009

Ghouls in the streets

Ghouls in the streets

Yes, the gates into the Barrowdelve used to be open to all, but these days, the ancestral halls may be the least safe place to be, especially at night! They say that the vile night hag of the Spindlewood Marshes has cast a deadly curse upon Mor Aldenn, waking the undead at night… but if you ask me, its those necromancers of the Shadow Tower causing all this nightly chaos!

 

– Caldrim, fisherman on the Tassalin river.

A long time ago, the inhabitants of Mor Aldenn decided that they would use the mound in the middle of the isle as a sort of necropolis. The first chambers were dug almost 300 years ago, but since then it has grown a little each year. The moraldenns are very proud of this dungeon, which they name their ancestral halls, and see it as a monument to their history and especially, to their ancestors. The wealthy have entire sections of the necroplois devoted to them. bought and paid for of course, while most others have their bones or ashes displayed in the impressive Hall of Bones.

The heroes of Mor Aldenn is an entirely different matter, as are the mages vaults. Heroes are often mummified and displayed in sarcophaguses in the Inner Sanctuary, while lesser known adventurers have their bones gilded and displayed in the hallways, along with the recollections of their valorous deeds.

The mages vault is perhaps the most secure part of the Barrowdelve, sealed behind arcane wards and doors, protected by magical guardians. The vault is not only home of the dead, but also a place where the mages store some of their worst secrets. Also, its not all mages that have their remains locked away in the vault, in fact, if you are allowed to sleep your eternal rest in the Vaults is up to the masters of the Mage Guild.

Recently, the dead have risen, causing havoc in the streets, killing innocents and mages. The mages were quick to react, especially the necromancers of the Shadow Tower. The gates were sealed using powerful magic, and now, only the mages can open them. You would think that this removed the threat to Mor Aldenn, but alas, it did not. There are still shadows, ghosts and other undead that care little for stone and magic. The strange thing is, the undead only arrive in the night.

The mages have their studies to tend to, which means that they have hired adventurers to watch the streets at night. The commoners mark their doors with sacred runes, lock their doors and hope for the best, but while the threat has not been removed, it has diminished, at least for now!

Art by Gary Dupuis (www.gdupuis.com)

Introducing Mor Aldenn

March 9, 2009

A city of magic? Well, Mor Aldenn may not be as wondrous as all that, however, you will find strange things, see powerful wizards, charismatic sorcerers and even experience wondrous events that other cities certainly lack. To call Mor Aldenn a large city, or even an old city,  would be to exaggerate, but with each passing day, Mor Aldenn grows bigger and more wondrous. If you’ve come to study the arcane arts, you’ve definitely come to the right place!

A City of Magic and Mages

Located inside the amazing forest realm of Ossindrillon, Mor Aldenn is home to humans, elves and half-elves, as well as centaurs, halflings, gnomes and even a small clan of kobolds. The largest part of the city is located on the island that was once inhabited by a powerful green dragon, but you’ll find other, minor, islands inhabited as well, connected by beautiful elven bridges. Two rivers converge around Mor Aldenn, and the main island is only connected to the main land on the eastern bank, a wide bridge overseen by an old watch tower. You’ll find lots of fields and small hamlets surrounding the city, but also a few fishing villages. The rivers are an important part of Mor Aldenn and even the mages know this fact.

Mage towers are spread all across the city, like the Tower of Divination; a small tower located on a small island south of the main city, not far from where the mayor lives in his mansion, and the Tower of Abjuration on the Tower Hill, a powerful and wondrous tower. In fact, in Mor Aldenn you’ll find a mage tower devoted to each of the arcane schools. You’ll find the Tower of Illusion on an invisible island north of Mor Aldenn and anyone will tell you that the Tower of Conjuration was abandoned long ago, after the upper part was destroyed by a powerful demon that escaped its summoning circle, yet is still trapped within the walls of the tower.

MOR ALDENN
Small City
; conventional (mayor); AL Neutral Good
GP Limit 15,000gp; Assets 6,591,750gp

[DEMOGRAPHICS]

Population 7,789
Type integrated (35% humans, 33% elves and half-elves, 15% halflings, 7% centaurs, 10% other races)

[AUTHORITY FIGURES]

Mayor Oswin Theodorick (male human, commoner6); Master Ardamiron (male half-elf, wizard11); Lord Balsadarus (male human, wizard3); Lady Selyssa Fadhyra (female elf, sorcerer4); Orregil Silvermane (male centaur, fighter5/ranger5).

[IMPORTANT PERSONS]

Prince Valthor of Calathia (male human aristocrat3/fighter7); Yargus Tem (male human, rogue9); Jordrick Runsen (male human, exp3/wiz4).

A few thoughts about Mor Aldenn

March 8, 2009

Let me tell you a bit about the city I’m working on. Hopefully by answering the following questions, you’ll get an idea of what this setting will be like, but remember, everything could easily change.

Why is Mor Aldenn called the City of Mages?

Its quite simple actually. The first people to pass through these lands were elven wizards from Ossindil. They were looking for the old kingdoms in the west, but found a wild realm that wanted to stop them in their explorations. It was also wizards, humans and elves, who fought and killed the green dragon that used to inhabit the island. The first building of what was to become Mor Aldenn, was actually, the Tower of All-Magic. They feel a special connection to this land and with the rise of the Mage Guild, have claimed the city as their own, and so far, there have been no contenders to this claim.

Who rules Mor Aldenn?

Most moraldenns would claim that the city is actually ruled by the mages, even though the city is ruled by the mayor. The mages choose the mayor and they have the power to remove him from the office as well. The mayor lives at one of the southern isles, in a mansion that was build more than hundred years ago by the mages. He has lots of servants, guards and the mages shower him with gifts that keep him entertained. There is a small prison below his mansion, but it is rarely in use. The current mayor, Oswin Theodorick, has two important mage advisors, Master Balsadarus and the Lady Salyssa Fadhyra. The mayor has some power, and is sometimes asked to make rulings as the city’s judge, but most often, people come to the mages with their complaints.

Are there any thieves in Mor Aldenn?

Yes, of course. This is a prosperous city at the center of the realm. Lots of caravans pass through here, which means that lots of coins pass through here as well. Granted, its a small and young city, but of course you’ll find a small Thieves’ Guild here, often referred to as the Guild. They are careful and stay far away from the business of the mages, which is probably why they can still be found in Mor Aldenn. The guildmaster is also the proprietor of the Ugly Harpy, a fat human called Yargus Tem (male human, rogue9).

What races can be found in the city?

There is, of course, most humans and elves, which means that there are half-elves as well. You’ll find halflings, centaurs, gnomes and even a small tribe of kobolds here as well. The moraldenns are not very prejudistic, which means that you’ll sometimes meet goblins, orcs, lizardfolk and even giants here as well, but so far none have made the city their own.

The houses of Mor Aldenn?

The elves of Ossindrillon have build most of the house in the city, with the help of the humans of course. This means that most houses in Mor Aldenn are small works of art, with lots of unique details. Its also uncommon to find a single story house in the city, most houses have two or even three storeys, with beautiful balconies. Most houses have glass windows and a small garden, either in front of the house, or behind. Shopowners live above their shops and six inns cater to the travellers that come to visit Mor Aldenn.

Why did the mages abandon the Tower of Conjuration?

A demon inhabits the Tower of Conjuration, and has done so for the last 57 years. In the beginning, the mages tried to kill the demon, but that seemed an impossible task and so they abandoned the cause. The summoners had tried to summon a powerful demon, which they did, but unfortunately for them, their protective circles were not powerful enough to hold the demon. They were all killed, brutally, and its believed to this day that their bones litter the great Summoning Hall. Fortunately for the city, the protective runes that grace the outer and inner walls of the tower, were strong enough to keep the demon locked away inside. Moraldenns also call this tower Demonhome or even the Fallen Tower.

Who is Grey the Diviner?

The Tower of Divination is without a doubt the smallest of the mage towers. It is located on one of the southern isles, atop a steep hill. It is also called the Lonely Tower because of its single inhabitant, the diviner, Grey. He is a hermit of sorts, though sometimes people come to visit him, asking for his advice. They all return with the feeling that this man must be mad, and rarely does any of them think that what Grey told them, could be true.

Where can I find the centaurs?

The centaurs actually have their own lands inside the city, also called the Horse Downs. This is, basically, an open part of the city, located near the Tower Hill, where the centaurs live in their large colorful tents. They are also allowed to keep bonfires here, which they do every night. The centaurs have a chosen leader among them, a fighter named Orregil Silvermane (male centaur, fighter5/ranger5).