Thursday, May 29, 2014

How to Guide to the Gift of the Gods

A central theme of my stories is the using of a powerful artifact, the Gift of the Gods.  The Gift of the Gods is actually four parts, (two gems, a staff and a circlet), but a strong magic user has to use the magic to make it work.  Though presented to the High King, who did learn magic to use the staff, a very strong magic user must use the Gift.  The only people to use the Gift was Amber Blackwolf and in my High King's Sword, Duncan.  Both were very gifted magic users and could take the surge of magic running through them to call upon the Gods themselves.

The staff originally called eight dragons to open the gate, but these dragons came from the Chosen, breaking a part of their souls off to create them.  Only Flash was the only flesh and blood dragon to be dragged into the mess.  The second time the Gift was used, the dragons created by the Gift were used once more.

To use the Gift, the mage must be in the Temple of the Gods chanting the incantation which is in Ancient Elven, his hand around the staff, the circlet upon his head.  The power surging through the user most likely will kill them, unless the Gods intervene and find the person worthy.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

The Hole

This inn is a very unusual stop over for those traveling from Merryweather to Varanath.  From the outside, there appears to only be a door and a small building, with a another door into the mountainside nearby.  But this small looking building is actually quite huge.  Beyond the door and greeting area, which is used to shed weapons and wet clothing, is a huge tavern in the mountain itself.  Beyond that are stairs leading downward to the three floors of rooms and storage.  The original owner of The Hole lost his original inn to an ogre attack and didn't want to rebuild again so made a strong hold.  The current owner keeps enough supplies on hand for the whole inn for several weeks, or his family for quite a long time.  He also has weapons and armor, just in case.  The second door leads to a secure stable large enough to hold two dozen horses with fodder to feed them all for several weeks. There is a tunnel between the inn and stables, as well.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Military Service on Martapa

Depending on where a person lives, a person may or may not be required to serve in the military.  In Tridon, peasants are not required to serve in the military, but can sign on willingly.  The nobles and merchants try hard to have a child or children as Knights or Knight Captains, since it is very prestige to be tied to one or the other.  A lot of second son peasants who will not inherit the farm from their parents join the local militia or the army of the House they live by.

In Ariella it varies.  If the person lives in the Empire, then a male of 18 years of age must serve 2 years in the military.  Women may join, but few do and they are not required to.  After the service time is up they may return to their homes, though if they are good enough the legions will try to entice them to stay.

Akicitia in Ariella do not have a standing army, but every adult, male or female, are trained to defend themselves and protect the village.

Elves on either continent do not have a standing military, but usually families, whether rich or poor, like to send one child to be trained in the martial arts so as to help with defense if need be.

Dwarves have a five year mandatory service for both men and women, though they engage very rarely.  The military practices their skills by protecting the stoneholds from ogres and the like, which bothers them often.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Spring Activities

In most villages as spring approaches the village spring into action.  Schooling of any sort winds down and everyone helps.  Fields have to be cleared and plowed, fences have to be mended, and orchard trees need to be tended.  Most of the field work and sheering is done by the men, though in smaller villages everyone able to lift a tool helps.  The woman begin the audacious chore of cleaning out a winter's worth of clutter and plant their herb gardens.  They also go into any nearby woods or wild areas and looks for berries and root items that will see them through until the fall.  Boys usually go and hunt small animals to add to the food supply.  Merchants will travel through the villages and the villagers will trade the crafts they made during the winter for those items they just can't make.

Monday, May 19, 2014

A Typical Small Village of Tridon

Villages are very small places that house anywhere from 10 to 50 people.  There is normally one small house per family, sometimes the houses are shared by several generations.  Depending on the area the houses can be made of wood or stone, with thatch, wood, or clay tile roofs.  Most villages, if they aren't too small, have a small gathering building, whether it is an inn, a communal building, or just the biggest house in the village.  Most have wells near the village or in the center, unless they depend on a river or creek for their water.  Most villagers help each other out, but all have the own small garden plots, even if it's not a farming village.  Depending on the village, the demographics can vary.  Lumber villages and trapping villages will have more men then women and few children, while farming and ranching villages will have more children then adults and an equal number of men and women.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Tunnels of Carown Part XII

The small house in the middle of the lake is rustic.  The walls, while stone, are roughly hewn and the roof seems to be put together from random logs and rushes. There are two windows, one on either side of the door, and the glass is mostly intact.  The door is slightly open and is wooden.  The hinges are rusted, but do move.  Once inside, though, things change.

The building is only an anchor point for what ever "magical house/refuge/extra dimensional space" your campaign has.  The house is actually quite large inside.  There is a large kitchen and pantry area, a dinning room, three bedrooms and a study inside along with a greeting room which has a nice fire place.  (There is a fire place in the kitchen, as well.)  Everything is perfectly preserved from books to furniture. It looks as if the owner just left.

Treasure in here consists of normal household goods, a small magical library, (your players can find d12 +5 new spells and notes on what ever you want to throw in), and a small stash of gems and jewelry. There is magically preserved food, lanterns and oil, and some camping supplies in a small storage room.

This was the retreat for a mage who needed time away from his family to study.  He died several centuries back, and his heirs had no idea this small home was in the tunnels.  He has maps of all over Martapa, (or your campaign world), though some are a little out of date.  The biggest change is the fact that a demon scholar has taken up residence in here and is a large reason no one makes it out of the tunnels alive.  Make this demon appropriate to the party level and ability.

His treasure will be book treasure, plus a little extra from all the adventurers he's had to kill that have disrupted his studies.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Tunnels of Carown Part XI

The left tunnel from the entrance winds down ward toward the north, spiraling, going straight, jogging back toward the entrance.  It's wide enough for two abreast in some areas, while a tight squeeze for one person in others.  No caverns open up for quite some time and nothing looks worked by human hands.  There is no light and not even the sounds of bats can be heard.  Water dripping can be heard on occasion, but otherwise it is very silent. 

This tunnel will run in its winding way for nearly a mile before it opens up into a cavern with a small lake.  The cavern itself is huge, the ceiling lost to any lamp light in the darkness.  The lake, though small, spans a good acre and 1/2, maybe two.  In the center is a small island with a building upon it.  From the shore it looks like a small hut, meant to house a couple or a very small family.  It actually looks in descent repair, considering where it is, but is quiet at the moment.

Tomorrow, the cottage.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Tunnels of Carown Part X

The cavern this last tunnel leads to is huge.  With a torch there is no way to see all the way across the cavern.  The walls are worked in areas of this almost round room.  In other areas, it is just a natural cavern.  The floor has mosaic tile here and there, but a lot of it's broken and no where near any other.  There appears to be writing on the tiles, but in an ancient language and there are hardly two words strung together. (This should be some ancient language in your campaign with a hard DC and very rare that anyone knows it.  This is a good place to fill in the history of the tunnels or to throw in a bone for your next adventure.)   The walls have alcoves here and there, with reliefs of warriors and dragons and other mystical creatures carved right into the walls.  The sounds of bats can be heard along with a raspy breathing, as if the whole cavern is breathing.  There are racks of weapons and chests of equipment here and there.

This room was the sparing room and meeting room for an ancient sect of warriors who fought demons.  In this room the party should find a demon appropriate for their level and his peons, (if appropriate for your campaign).  There are also a lot of dead adventurers in this room, so this is a place for good treasure placement.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Tunnels of Carown Part IX

The right tunnel from the mosaic room spirals downward, narrowing to about five feet wide at spots, the floor is smooth, (requiring a Dex checks in areas), and becomes smoother the further in a person goes.  About three hundred feet down the tunnel there is a break in the floor, with a rock fall to one side.  Characters need to make a Dex check to keep  from falling into the pit.  There are not only rocks at the bottom, but spikes as well.  Because of the rock fall there is only a 50% chance of hitting  a spike and it is an easy climb out of the pit.  There are two dead adventurers as the bottom of the pit and have a small amount of treasure on them.  (Make it level treasure for your characters for each of the dead adventurers.)

The tunnel continues on to a large cavern which is finished in places, but natural in others.