Navah Mapping Binge Nearly Done

When we started “The Inheritance” campaign, with Alexios inheriting the Barthold holding of The Pass, I knew I was going to need to know a lot more about the world around them to make the campaign work well. So I went on a mapping binge, mapping all three Duchies that make up Baroness Rode’s domain. This section is one quarter of one duchy, Braedt. Ruthven is to the south, Martabus to the west. There are little glitches to clean up, but the map is now fully done. I mapped out the trade routes, upgraded some of the roads because of that, including an Imperial road cutting across northern Martabus and Braedt. I’m pretty happy with it! Here’s the section the players control — The Pass. Thick red lines mark the edges of Duchies. Thin dotted lines are the fiefdoms. Black lines are roads, dotted black lines are trails.

Map of The Pass

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Warning, Warning Will Robinson! Beware of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (2016)

I just finished watching this movie and was utterly appalled. I cared not a whit for the main characters, nor for the magical Nazis who apparently pass for mages in New York City. The movie has a lot of special effects, none of which I even cared about. It made me nostalgic for the old Harryhausen effects. Yes, they look cheesy now (they were cutting edge back then), but even cheesy they had a personality, a sense of character, that made one care about them. Not these beasts. In this one, there’s a horny rhino that takes up way too much time, a size-changing snake that apparently can’t figure out that teapot has a spout, and a bunch of other critters I cared even less about. I won’t go into all the other stuff that left me cold, in case you actually want to watch this. You shouldn’t, but I know you probably will. And then you’ll understand too. Below are just some of the VERY forgettable characters in this movie. Please note the huge horde of trenchcoated magical Nazis in the background.

The forgettable leads, and their troupe of magical Nazis

The one thing is was worthwhile were Jacob and Queenie, the two support characters. If they had just gotten rid of the stereotypical bad guys, the idiot hero, the pointless heroine, and every other magician in the city (all of whom are apparently heartless bastards), these two could have had a great movie. As it was, I’m obliviating the rest of the movie from my brain as best I can, and trying to remember this movie as a love story between two very sweet characters. Thanks to Dan Fogler and Alison Sudol for playing Jacob Kowalski and Queenie, two very UNforgettable characters.

Queenie & Jacob, two loveable characters

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MERP: Against the Children of the Long Night

The party all achieved 2nd level, and enjoyed putting new points into the characters.

The party relaxed at the Smiling Crocodile after meeting up with Feldenaith again. Feldenaith had met with his employers, the Syndicate, and after a time admitted as much to the party. He did not admit that he had shared much more with the Syndicate than the party had shared with Oldare. In fact, he had told the Syndicate the item being searched for was a palantir. Oldare arrived at the inn as well, and Drogo told the ranger that Feldenaith was with the Syndicate, much to the ranger’s displeasure. Oldare told them that Lomeilinde had been seen in chains sailing northwest with cultists of the Long Night. He also mentioned that a ranger called Meli (Melaniel) had discovered a hidden entrance into the Cult of the Long Night’s headquarters, located south of Narun Kizden in the Uldona Spine. Oldare urges the party to destroy it and says about 50 of the cultists probably protect it. He would do it, but his 80 rangers were busy trying to combat the sirens.

The Cult of the Long Night, he explained, worshipped Kerkkask, an ancient god of the plains, worshipped by the Easterlings. Kerkkask demanded bloody sacrifices, so it was an easy matter for Sauron to take his place and make the cult his slaves. The Syndicate arose in opposition to the Cult, as a way to protect trade, and they were as eager as the Rangers to eliminate the cult.

The current Realm Master of the rangers is Eletaria. The old realm master (Taykus) quit his position to spend time with his family in Shrelkain, but it is well-known that he hates his family and Oldare fears he has been seduced or replaced by a Siren.

The party seeks a commission from the Syndicate to go after the cultists. They talk with Galen first, who offers 10 s. per cultist, and then offers 500 s. for them to slay all of the cultists. Galen seems highly disreputable, so the party seeks someone more reputable among the Syndicate. They talk to Wendell at the Friendly Shellfish, and he offers them 750 s. to wipe out the Children of the Long Night and their High Priest, Morlammen. The party accepts the deal. Along the way, Galen claims that 42 of the rangers moonlight for the Syndicate and that only 30 of them remain loyal to Oldare.

The party renames the Ocean Noise to the SeaDancer, and names the longboats “Tiny Dancer” and “Private Dancer.” Drogo, growing very nervous about the Mendocian brothers, hires another 10 Northron sailors and makes them answerable only to himself. They are:

  1. Krill
  2. Fertil
  3. Ronus
  4. Sprenn
  5. Vicartel
  6. Ged
  7. Kywar
  8. Pliskin
  9. Narro
  10. Jim

The SeaDancer then sails to the headquarters of the cultists.

Meli advises they sail their ship into a narrow dangerous pass, but as it is only 1/2 mile inland, the party instead takes the longboats. The landing party is Delcarnan, Drogo, Grafarlig, Feldenaith, Meli, and the five Mendocian brothers. Elias and the Northrons are left in charge of the ship.

The party kills 3 cultists in rapid succession. None are a match for Grafarlig’s axe. The party leaps a six foot chasm and find a deep pool. Drogo casts Otterlungs and Delcarnon casts light on his dagger. Drogo explores the pool and finds silver and gold coins, a suit of plate mail, and a jet black longsword. The treasure up to that point had been 21 s. and a wooden whistle. Drogo rescues another 37 s. and 4 gp. from the pool. Feldenaith gets the plate mail, and Delcarnon takes the sword, which Drogo believes is worth nothing. Drogo dives one more time to recover a punctured breastplate. The party is exclaiming on the size of the puncture (big enough to fit a fist through), when the DM finally makes the roll that awakens the giant Craben (half crab, half kraken) in the pool where Drogo has been swimming. They flee as the Craben attacks, pinning Clem (one of the Mendocians) to a wall. Delcarnon drives the crab off with an amazing roll for his lightning (298!) and rescues Clem. The party heads deeper into the tunnels.

Next they find an ancient tomb with writing in both Elvish and Black Speech. They cannot read all of it, and the room is rapidly filling up with small crabs, hundreds of them. There is an ornate statue with bowed head with hood and outstretched palm. They enter and try placing things in the palm, but without reaction. Grafarlig opens the casket, and removes a golden circlet, a ring, a bag, and a giant club. The circlet and ring go to Drogo. The circlet allows him to see in the dark, but the ring is cold and frightens him. The coins are ancient gold coins from the 2nd Age, and Drogo stashes those in his backpack. The coins are from the 2nd age, with the closed fist insignia of the Dark Lord. They are heavier and thicker than gold pieces of the 3rd age, and are worth at least 50 gp. each, perhaps double that to a collector. There are 50 of them.

They take the club but no one uses it. They flee the huge number of crabs, and Delcarnon cooks them with a huge fireball. The party returns and gathers up a lovely crab dinner, as the Craben wails in despair in the background. And there we ended for the night.

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Navah: Restwell at Last

The party arrived at Highhold, a walled town, and camped outside, as the town wouldn’t let Josette’s spirits inside. In the morning, Alexios, Brendan, and Ian visited Sir Clevyn, who turn out to be a weak leader surrounded by sycophantic courtiers. The thieves’ guild proved to be the real power in town, and Alexios made contact with the guild, but they rebuffed the offer to move south to Restwell. It was becoming clear that everyone considered Restwell a backwater village at best. However, Josette made contact with a covenant of three friendly shapers and spiritologists and arranged to exchange training with them later.

Moving south into the Pass, the party found huge fields of blueberries and spent the rest of the day gorging themselves. That night they heard strange wolf calls to the south. The next day, they found a series of downed trees and the tracks of a Giant Boar with feet the size of cartwheels.

They continued into the town of Restwell, where Lady Amalika Waystow warned them off, claiming that she was the rightful Lady of the town. She had the backing of Boitumelo Atkynson and three other mercenaries. Alexios called for a battle of champions, with Ian to face Boitumelo. As it turned out, Boitumelo was better, though Ian was stronger. Ian cut her abdomen but she put him down with a critical hit.

And then all hell broke loose. Josette rushed to Ian’s side to protect him. Boitumelo cut her badly, but then succumbed to a Control Person, and Josette and Ian were pulled to safety as the rest of the party and the mercenaries began an all-out brawl. Garrett and Lybias were wounded, while Balau lost a leg. Estecheo’s dog was wounded as well. Ultimately, Lady Amalika was snapped in half by Josette’s Bear Pouka, and Alexios called a halt to the battle. Boitumelo and the other mercenaries went to work for Alexios, and everyone was healed except the dog (which died in surgery) and Balau, who will have to find someone to cast a Restoration for him, eventually.

Alexios was now Lord of Restwell.

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Savage Worlds Greyhawk: Death to the Gnolls, at a bargain price

Bodrie the Gnome invited the party to his home. Kaelix was ecstatic that he was addressed as a “friend” in the invitation. He drank too much at the party, and began to hug everyone. Deathgar, a Ranger from Gnarly Forest, came late in the night and told the party that he wished them to find Asarall, a ranger who went missing for Tarilyn Town. Tran Winsteel, a smith of elven weapons, later also hired the party, having lost two wagons of weapons and their attendant guards. He initially offered 200 gp. for their recovery, but after the party pointed out that their value was 18,000 gp., he raised it to 250 gp. (total) and a weapon of our choosing, and he paid 125 gp. ahead of time. Kaelix and Pirillin seriously considered absconding with the weapons.

When they hit the woods, Deathgar accompanied them (perhaps to keep an eye on them!). The party found first Valira the Giant Owl besieged by 3 gnolls. The party made quick work of them, especially after Kaelix spun his thread and entangled them. They tried to heal the owl, but she was beyond even their great efforts (the DM seemed determined to kill her). Kaelix rescued her egg, despite the fact that the rest of the party tried to take control of it, as they believed he would eat the egg at the first possible moment. Not a bit of it! Kaelix refused to give up control and carefully packed it away in his pack, cushioned by its mother’s down.

The party pressed on and found the gnoll camp, where Asarall’s head was mounted on a pike. Kaelix and Deathgar snuck in, and found Figell (Bodrie’s son) a captive. How he got there before the players was quite a mystery, but nevertheless Kaelix entangled the two gnolls sleeping next to him, and then several others in the tent nearby. As the gnolls attacked, Gertude, Ted, and Deathgar attacked. Pirillin launched a number of fire bolts at the tent, destroying it and killing the trapped gnolls. Finally, a gnoll shaman attacked with a pet wolf, and was also summarily destroyed.

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In which I finally discover Warhammer

I’ve had some Warhammer RPG (1st edition) stuff for a long time, and never really bothered to read it. It was one of those things I bought when I had more money (before children!) and loads of time. I bought it largely because I liked the art. Well, I finally started reading through it, and I like it more than I thought I would. Not so much for the system yet; that looks much like AD&D with the same races, alignments, and most of the stats. Instead of CHA, they have Leadership, Cool, and Fellowship. They use a skill matrix like Basic Role-playing, but one rolls for their skills and skills are more like traits than BRP’s skills. Warhammer also has a variety of character types that are like the classes in Talisman.

I do love their section on Old World buildings, which are quite charming and start on p. 328. I’ve seen that artist’s work before in White Dwarf and elsewhere, so it is great to see more of it.

What I really love about Warhammer is that it has some great writing in their examples of play, and in their modules, and that makes them eminently suited for adaption to my own campaign. Campaigns like Enemy Within and the Doomstones seem well-crafted and usable for thoughtful gamers. I look forward to reading more!

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The Mound of Dead Bards

While writing my preceding post, I came across this image, which I just had to share. If you haven’t watch The Gamers: Dorkness Rising (2008), do yourself a favor and rent it or find it on YouTube.

Hide behind the mount of dead bards

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