Thu Aug 02, 2018 3:04 am
White Box: Fantastic Medieval Adventure Game rules located at: http://www.rpgnow.com/product/190631/White-Box
This is a new system to me, and we may make some tweaks here and there, but for the start, we'll stick pretty closely to the rules. That doesn't mean we can't make a new house rule or add/change something - If anyone feels strongly about something or has a suggestion, let me know, I'm open to changes!
House rules: Updated 9 AUG 2018IF IT ISN'T ADDRESSED HERE, ASSUME WE ARE FOLLOWING THE PUBLISHED RULES
Character Creation: Roll 3d6, 7 times. Arrange six rolls as you wish for stats, toss one roll.
Hit Points: Max HP for 1st level, roll normally afterward (reroll 1's)
Background: I thought this was super cool, so I'm shamelessly stealing this compliments of John. The One Sentence Background. In his words: In a nutshell, players write a one sentence background to help flesh out the character's background and motivation. This idea keeps it simple just as all character creation should be in games like White Box. It gives players an idea about their motivation and also gives the DM some guidance on how to rule on PC actions.
Details HERE: http://halflingsluck.blogspot.com/2017/08/the-white-box-one-sentence-background.html
I want to keep this simple, yet allow for some flavor and character development. I think this is perfect for what I had in mind. Thanks, John...
Elves: We will be using the variant class as detailed in the rules.
Dwarves: Dwarves may use battle axes one or two handed, but cannot use two handed swords or long bows.
Clerics: If a cleric has a WIS of 15+, they may start with a bonus first level spell.
Wizards: Wizards start with ALL level one spells in their spellbook.
Thieves: Yes, we will use the thief class.
Shields Shall Be Splintered: You all know this one. If your character is hit in combat, you can choose to sacrifice your shield instead of taking the blow/damage. It'll trash your normal shield, and if it's magic, I'll roll a save for it - if it fails, it loses +1 in enchantment.
Magic Stuff and Exceptional Items: I don't intend for this to be a low-magic campaign, nor do I anticipate everyone showered in magical items. With that in mind, you may find/purchase/come across exceptional items that convey a non-magical bonus (EX. a fine long sword that confers a +1 to hit due to good balance and quality construction, etc.) You may also find non-magical items (such as healing draughts/poultices, etc) that are beneficial yet non-magical.
Spears and Polearms: These can fight from second rank, and if set to receive a charge (and it hits) damage is doubled
Per the rules, fighters can attack 1x per level when fighting enemies of 1HD or less
Bows: Longbows cannot be fired from horseback.
Critical Hits/Fumbles: A natural 20 is a critical hit, I'll be using an old Dragon magazine table to determine the result. A natural 1 is a fumble - and yup, I'll use the same Dragon table for those too...
Non Magical Healing: Characters recover HP at the rate of 1HP per day assuming rest. Characters can take one turn to bind wounds for 1d4 HP immediately following a battle. This may only be done ONCE per day PER character.
Death: When a character reaches zero HP, they are unconscious. If they are reduced to less than zero, they are slipping toward death, and unless attended to, they will be DEAD at -5HP.
Deities: The list of gods, demons and saints is in this thread, so you are free to choose one of these to worship, but in the spirit of keeping this simple, there is plenty of room for improv and creativity. If you don't wish to worship one of the "big gods" you can create a saint to worship (subject to approval by me, of course) The northern reaches of this sandbox are basically rural and lawless, and aside from the church of Irnoch, the populace tend to worship and pray to saints that closely mirror their professions, beliefs and generally hardscrabble life they lead. Also, worshipers of the gods don't tend to split on racial lines (for instance, X'ander, an elven god of Nature, has worshipers of all races, not just elves.
To the south in the Barony, the saints tend to be a bit more culturally diverse. And as mentioned in the Deities section, there are those who believe that the greater gods are too busy to intercede on behalf of mankind, whereas Saints tend to be more in tune with their worshipers (and they tend to be the eyes and ears on the ground for the greater gods they serve. In short - Irnoch has a large following, and it's structured and well-regarded in both north and south. Worship Irnoch if you wish, or you can get creative and create something. I've got some ideas for saints that I'll periodically post and update, but if you don't see it, go for it.
Thu Aug 09, 2018 9:25 pm
For more details on Clerics and deities, see the main house rules
Thousands of years ago the sky split open and Irnoch arrived on the back of a mighty flaming phoenix. He came in the form of a man, but was obviously so much more. He brought with him incomprehensible magics, and taught the good races wondrous wisdoms and knowledge. When his time was done, Irnoch left the world never to return. To this day he is the patron deity of the land and his worshipers are most numerous of the gods of the civil lands. Irnoch's gospels were that the strong must protect the weak, respect your brothers, and always be honorable. Irnoch fortold the coming of Vulcoo, and told that his demon hordes would eventually come to wipe out all that is good - he even told the exact time and hour, but this information seems to have been lost to time. The symbol of Irnoch is the flaming eye
Also known as the demon god, he is the embodiment of all that is evil. He appears as a gigantic snake with clawed arms and 4 dragon-like heads. His demonic servants have been known to manifest themselves to tempt and destroy the good. Evil humans and humanoids worship him or one of his many demons. Public worship of Vulcoo is a sure way to invite the ire (and face possible execution!) by followers of Irnoch, and the champions of good - Ernoch's templars. Worship of Vulcoo is usually done in the dark and secret recesses of society or wildlands.
X'ander is an elven god of nature and harvests. His symbol is an ancient oak tree.
Syrene is the goddess of luck, and has a unique following among adventurers and merchants. It has been said that she wanders the realms in the form of a tomboyish yet attractive red haired halfling. The church of Irnoch (which is generally welcoming toward all gods of good) tends to take a dim view of Syrene, and followers of hers will tend to get a cold shoulder from Irnoch's followers and priests. However, the general populace tends to regard Syrene with mirth, and outside of the most devout of Irnoch, the mention of Syrene will usually elicit a smile at the very least. There is no tangible "church" of Syrene, and no hierarchy of leadership, rather her priests tend to be nomadic or adventurers. There my be a small shrine occasionally found, but by and large, the worship of Syrene is an individual thing. Her symbol is the rising sun.
There are dozens of Saints. Some particularly holy and faithful mortals are granted the status of "saint" by the church of Irnoch after their deaths. These beings are worshiped along with the gods they serve in the afterlife. Patron saints are common in smaller communities who believe the gods have more important things to do while a saint is more likely to hear their prayers.
There are hundreds of demons of various powers that receive worship (usually from evil humanoids and monsters) these demons are the servants of their master, Vulcoo, and by causing as much evil in the world, they believe that they can facilitate the return of their master to the material world.
More on the Church of Irnoch:
There is no more powerful organization in the civilized lands than the church. The Archbishop Horace preaches and rules the churches of the known lands from his Grand Temple in the Divine of Suneria (in the Phoenix Barony) Major civilized towns in the Barony have a church dedicated to Irnoch or a patron saint, while even the smallest village has at least a simple shrine.
These are the elite warriors of the church. These elite and religious order of fighters are totally dedicated to the law and gospel of Irnoch, the Baron and the Archbishop. They wander and patrol the lands doing good wherever needed. They generally travel alone, save for a loyal squire.
Wed Aug 15, 2018 2:49 am
The Phoenix Barony
The Phoenix Barony is set in an ancient world. Civilizations are built on the ruins of ancient fallen civilizations that have been built on similar past civilizations. History is changed, rewritten, or lost with each age, generation, or faction that comes into power. Legends become history while myth and fiction becomes accepted truth.
The coming of Irnoch is technically the beginning of recorded time, referred to from this point on as the Age of the Phoenix (or AP), in the Phoenix Barony. However, most historically accurate documents from the area can only be traced back about 500 years or so. Before that most stories are myths, legends, and folklore told by word of mouth, and only later recorded.
Most records in the recent recorded history concern the line of true kings of Eagris. This mostly includes political treaties, wars between the other kingdoms, civil wars, and the laws and customs that have shaped the kingdom and its society. The land that would later become the Phoenix Barony fits little into this history, being a selfish land of
clan wars, adventurers, and rogues. It wasn’t until Sir Marshall was granted the Barony, and awarded the title of Baron, that the Phoenix Barony became a truly unified holding. The most important history shaping event was the usurpation of power in the area by Geltrod, the Vermin Lord, 140 years ago. Geltrod was eventually overthrown (by a group of do-good adventurers) and tied to the bottom of the Skeeter Fen to be gnawed on by creatures that crawl in the slime. This turned out to be a mistake as Geltrod defied death, returning 100 years later. His body appears ruined, but he is more powerful than ever as a result of selling his soul to the demon Vulcoo and his studies of the Black arts. Geltrod withdrew into the Black Mountains and through evil magic expanded the Skeeter Fen as an effective barrier. There he built the dark fortress Geltsberg. Powerful undead, goblin clans, and all manner of evil creatures converged under Geltrods banner. The cursed land of Geltrod’s has remained a blight on the Phoenix Barony ever since. Geltrods plans are a mystery, but his land is near impenetrable and small battles between his forces and that of the Phoenix Barony rage constantly. In the last 50 years Baron Marshall has cleaned up the land. Towns are thriving with trade contracts both within the barony and without. Laws are in place, and modest taxes provide a certain amount of security to the land. Still, it is a wild land, sparsely inhabited and dangerous. But, under Baron Marshall’s wise rule the Barony has been gaining status and power.
The Phoenix Barony is rather sparsely populated. The four main races are prevalent throughout. Humans are the most populace and adaptable. Dwarves, Elves, and Halflings are roughly equal to each other in population. Together their number is equal to the total Human population. The Dwarves, Elves, and Halflings each have one major community. These contain few visitors, and even fewer residents of other races. Most “human cities” are peppered with members of the other 3 races, both visiting and living there. Tathor is the only city that is a true melting pot of all the races in relatively equal parts.
Travel in the Phoenix Barony can be very dangerous. The Barony is rather sparsely populated. There are often roads or paths between settlements, but these offer little protection. Travel between towns, villages, or even lone homesteads can take days without any sign of a friendly face, with the key word being “friendly”. There are a few main trade routes, both by land and water, which provide a bit more protection. They are frequented more often and there is power in numbers. These trade routes are also patrolled by the Baron’s road wardens. There is an awful lot of road to guard though and on occasion the wardens become bigger bullies than the highwaymen they are supposed to be protecting the citizens from.
Leader: Lady Nessa Bordane
Bordane is a lakeside town built primarily of timber and uncut stones. The practial architecture somehow manages to be beutifull, and is well maintained and the streets are clean. Bordane acts as a central point for trade between the north and the south of the Barony while its location on the Goblin River makes it invaluable to trade outside the Barony. The Lady Nessa Bordane keeps very good relations with the Lady Gloral of Deledon. The Rangers of Bordane are known for their excellent horsemanship. They are tasked by the Baron and the Lady Nessa with patrolling the land west of the Haven Forest. They also patrol the shores of the Goblin River, but rarely enter the foreboding Gloomwood. The Rangers show no mercy to any evil humanoids or monsters they find roaming those lands.
Leader: Lady Gloral
In the Lush Haven Forest you will find the Elven city of Deledon. There is not a more enchanting place in all of the Phoenix Barony. The city is made entirely of
natural living materials. The color of the city actually changes from green to golden in the autumn. The city lies both in the trees and on the ground with splendid walkways joining the two. In the center of the city is a huge and ancient oak tree and its branches form the castle of the Lady Gloral of Deledon. It is said that her beauty is
surpassed by nothing and any who see her believe it to be true. Beauty aside she is wise and an excellent ruler.While the citizens of Deledon would do anything for
the lady, she hates to send her subjects beyond the borders of the Haven Forest. When she has a mission that requires travel beyond her realm she often summons noble adventurers from the “outside”.
Leader: Sheriff Podo Bombag
Frunder’s Rest is located in the Frunder Hills just north of the Skeeter Fen. It is named after Frunder Fizwag, a Halfling hero of myth and legend. Assembling this many Halflings in one area is no small feat! And if you say that in Frunder’s Rest you’ll probably get punched in the knee by a Halfling who has had it down to here with short jokes!
But seriously, Frunder’s Rest is the largest Halfling community in the Phoenix Barony. The land is lush, dotted with pleasant little forests, streams, fields, farms, and villages. Frunder’s Rest itself is a quaint little bustling town with wood and stone houses, comfortable burrows, and extravagant tree houses. Festivities, fairs, and celebrations are almost as common as meals, and most strangers are welcomed warmly. One shouldn’t judge Frunder’s Rest by its docile appearance. Being this close to Geltsberg the Halflings have to be ever cautious. They boast one of the most organized militia, bolstered by the famous Frunder’s Riders.
Leader: Lord Boloff Goldenshield
In the far northwestern corner of the barony high in the Black Mountains can be found the Dwarven realm of Kragagor. This is certainly the place to go if you want to purchase the finest weapons and armor in the entire Barony with the famed smith Grimbrax making his home here. The walled city itself sits at the foot of the great mountain Kragagor. The Dwarven architecture boasts impressive stonework inlayed with precious metals and stones. After entering the towering gate, lined with armored dwarves, you can pass through the city and enter the side of the great mountain Kragagor. This is where the true marvel awaits! The massive underground complex is a sight to behold.
The rest of the city lies in a vast cavern while smaller villages, mining complexes, and ornate halls are attached by miles and miles of finely sculpted tunnels. The Dwarves do not keep a standing army. This is only because each and every dwarf (male, female, and child) is already a formidable fighting machine. They do however provide some of their most elite fighters to the Barons Border Guard. This group is known as the Kragagor Tunnel Fighters. They mainly patrol the border of the Black Mountains from their
northern realm all the way down to Frunder’s Rest (where they are sure to stop and drink a few gallons of fine Halfling ale). Unfortunately, the dwarves share the mountains with less noble creatures. Where the refined Dwarven tunnels give up to rough hewn passages one finds the dangers of the Black Mountains. The evil humanoid races here wage an eternal war for both riches and living space. Battles in the tunnels are an everyday occurrence in the life of the denizens of Kragagor.
Leader: Baron Marshall
The capital city of the Phoenix Barony, Sunderia is located on the southern shores, where the barony gives way to Irnoch’s Bay and the Great Southern Sea. In this grand city the Baron makes his home. The history of Sunderia goes back thousands of years. Legend has it that when the great Phoenix of Irnoch first arrived in the land. The giant flaming bird
came swooping down on Sunderia passing judgment on its entire peoples. The evil half of the city was destroyed and sank into the sea taking the unbelievers with it. There must be at least a grain of truth to these legends, for below the great cliff face that Sunderia is built upon a graveyard of ruins can be seen jutting from the waters. The city proper is walled and well defended, being the Baronies foremost defense against attack by sea. The city is clean and well kept up boasting an impressive sewer system. While the city isn’t without crime and its seedier parts, the city watch is capable and keeps crime to an acceptable minimum. The city itself is built upon a great cliff face. However, to facilitate trade and travel, the trading caves were constructed below the city. This massive cave allows the entry of trade boats and their goods. There is an active community thriving in the cave itself and it can almost be said that it is a separate city, containing about a fourth of Sunderia’s population. The Baron’s castle on the cliffs crest is another
impressive structure in Sunderia. While not fancy or artistic it is possibly the most soundly defended and well fortified structure in the entire Kingdom of Eagris. The large courtyard and underground storage is designed as the last retreat for Sunderias population in the event of a fateful attack. The grand temple of the Divine is also located in
Sunderia. This massive and gaudy structure is a testimony to the power, and wealth, of the church. The ground the temple is built upon is said to be the place where Irnoch dismounted the phoenix. In Sunderia you will also find the sprawling spires of the Order of Sunderia’s College of Magic. In these towers the Baronies greatest wizards practice their trade and train the next generation of spell casters.
Leader: Lord Arbottom
Tathor is known throughout the Barony as “the adventurer’s town”. It is a melting pot of all types of races and professions. One can even find the occasional Gnome, Ogre, or decidedly clean Goblin outcast in the city. It is a popular base town for the more adventurous types in the Barony and the town is set up to accommodate this. Since so many “interesting” items come through Tathor, the Nimble Fingers Thieves Guild has set up its main “secret” base here. While they don’t challenge Lord Arbottom’s rule, they do
share a certain amount of power, since Tathor’s economy relies on the fortunes of adventurers. Tathor’s only official defense is their admittedly inept city watch. They prefer to rely on the protection of the town’s plethora of adventurers who are always just looking for a just cause to fight for.
Leader: Geltrod, the Vermin Lord
If there is a place that radiates pure evil it is Geltsberg. Built upon a great plateau, it is more of a fortress than a city, and it is from this fearsome abode that Geltrod rules his depraved domain. While the wasteland around the fortress is the home of many evil humanoids there are also several enslaved villages populated by oppressed humans, elves, dwarves, and halfling. Escape seems futile, since the land around Geltsberg is so hostile and fortresses guard the only feasible escape routs. The roads leading to this loathsome place are adorned with the victims of those unfortunate enough to have felt Geltrod’s wrath. Cages on iron poles filled with prisoners or their decomposed remains, serve as beacons leading to the gates of doom. In the distance one can behold bodies skewered on long spikes or crucified on rusty iron crosses while others sway gently on the end of a noose tied to gnarled trees. Geltsberg itself is surrounded with 200 foot tall Iron walls covered with bolts, spikes, the webs of giant spiders, and the skeletal remains of victims chained to the exterior. Thousands of torches and glowing evil eyes light the battlement. Behind the wall twisting stairs and towers reach relentlessly to the sky
while dark smoke belches forth from long chimneys bathing the entire area in an acrid sooty darkness. There are only two ways to enter Geltsberg. The first is the winding road that leads directly to the heavily fortified and guarded iron gates. The second is through miles and miles of monster infested tunnels that burrow through the entire plateau itself and into the city’s vast dungeons. One can only gamble which path will lead to a quicker death. For those who like to live on the edge, Geltsberg and the surrounding area is a literal haven of adventure. Humanoid lairs and ancient ruins dot the borders of the Black Mountains, while the Skeeter Fen hides the secrets of lost cities. For the noble
hero there are unfortunate villagers that need to be rescued.
Many travelers have gone to great lengths to traverse around the enchanted Feywood. The forest drips with magic. Not only are beasts and monsters to be feared but the pixies, gnomes, and other fairy creatures hold court here and love nothing more than to cause travelers all types of misfortunes. Perhaps the most feared creatures are the rumored
evil elves that call the Feywood their realm. These reclusive elves shun the outside world preferring the company of their own kind and that of forest dwellers to the civilizations of man. The elves of Haven deny the very existence of these dark relatives.
The massive sprawl of Gloomwood is an unpleasant place. The wood is ancient and some say even the vegetation is evil. The ground is squishy and in some places swampy. The whole place smells of rot and decay. Creatures that dwell here are horrendous and vile, but fortunately, stay within the borders of the wood itself. The Gloomwood is literally crawling with giant spiders of the creepiest sort. This is probably the single most common reason that sane people avoid the place. Despite its reputation, adventurers still enter the Gloomwood on numerous occasions. There are many rumors of ruins and treasures from ages past, before the land was consumed by the wood and
swamp. Some say a hostile race of Treants live in the Gloomwood. Whether they are evil, or simply protecting their homes, is unknown.
The Haven Forest is the realm of the elves under the direct protection of the Lady Gloral of Deledon. If one is in the good graces of the elves and has permission to pass through this land they will never find a safer more beautiful place. Enemies of the elves will surely find a swift fate. Other than Deledon one can find small elf villages and outposts throughout the Haven Forest, all loyal to the lady. Wandering druids and rangers also make the forest their home. It is said that the wildlife of the Haven Forest work with the elves to retain balance and it is told that many of the elves can communicate with these animals.
The Black Mountains
This massive mountain range borders the entire western wild lands as if daring any to cross. It is mostly uncharted and speculation as to what can be found in its depths is a popular topic of discussion in adventurer taverns. Surely there is no shortage of evil humanoids and monsters but there are also many ruins and lost kingdoms from past ages.
Considering the vastness of the Black Mountains one wouldn’t be surprised to find entire self sufficient civilizations living in their center. Needless to say, adventurers can find more adventure in the Black Mountains than they can shake a sword at. If nothing else, any cartographer would pay handsomely for accurate maps of any portion of the range.
The Troll Mountains
The Troll Mountains are a broken and hostile range of peaks jutting eastward from the Black Mountains and extending south to the Goblin Head Lake. Like the Black Mountains the Troll Mountains are host to all sorts of evil humanoids and monsters, especially their namesake…trolls! The Troll Mountains aren’t totally impregnable and the dwarves have discovered many passes through them. These are used as dangerous trade routes to Tathor and Pellenon. The Troll Mountains are riddled with ancient ruins, tunnel complexes, and fortresses which are manned by various factions, abandoned, haunted, or worse. The Troll Mountains are a veritable haven for adventurers seeking action. Recently, an evil and (wouldn’t you know it) insane wizard named Nindoo has taken up residence in the Troll Mountains. This wizard is making the southeastern Troll Mountains his home and has been rallying a formidable army of kobolds, goblins, and hobgoblins to his banner. His intentions remain unknown. Speculation is that he is either in league with Geltrod or in direct competition with him.
Rivers, Bodies of Water and Islands
The Ale River
The Ale River runs slowly out of Black Mts. And through the hills around Frunder’s Rest. It weaves lazily through hills, grasslands, and woods until emptying into the Goblin Head Lake. The Ale River gets its name from the Halfling riverside village of Aleton located a day northwest of Frunder’s Rest. Aleton, as you can guess, is known for its fine ale breweries. This ale is packed in barrels which are tossed into the river to make the journey to Bordain, Sunderia, and outside the Phoenix
Barony. These barrels, along with the brave barrelriding ale shepherds, are a common sight along the Ale River. The journey has its dangers but the ale shepherds are formidable fighters (when sober).
The Goblin Head Lake
The Goblin Head Lake is a huge body of fresh water in the rough shape of a Goblins head (hence the name). Fishing is great here and there are several fishing villages on its shore. Unfortunately there are also a lot of swampy areas around the lake that attract all kinds of undesirables like Lizardfolk and Troglodytes. Fishermen are cautious not to go too far out into the lake due to choppy waters, horrifying creatures that dwell in the depths, and the mist. Even on the windiest of days the northern Goblin Head Lake is bathed in a thick mist that makes navigation difficult. If the mist is too thick the fishermen stay off the lake altogether. When the mist creeps into the village itself the locals do everything they can to stay indoors until it passes. While there is no particular superstition explaining the mist, it is thought of as evil. Anyone who is caught in its damp cold touch feels much the same.
The Goblin River
The wild and choppy Goblin River pours rapidly out of the Goblin Head Lake heading east. This is the chief water trade route for dealing outside of the Phoenix Barony as the river runs straight through 30 miles of the Gloomwood into the Duchy of Pellenon. The way is rough and only the most skilled boatmen even attempt the journey guiding the sturdiest riverboats. Even then many meet their fate on the hateful rapids and in the ice cold waters. The river mellows a bit as it enters the Gloomwood but the perils that come from that quarter are often worse than mere nature. While it is totally possible to have an uneventful journey it is more likely to run into hostile humanoids, monsters from the murky depths of the river, giant spiders that drop from the trees above, and longboats manned by legions of Undead Pirates.
The Great Southern Sea
Irnoch’s Bay opens up to a vast ocean designated as The Great Southern Sea. The east coast leads to the fairer shores of Eagris and the 10 Kingdoms beyond. The west coast follows the rising cliffs of the Black Mountains to the end of the world. Whoever travels in that direction signs their own death warrant, being dashed against the massive razor
sharp reefs, swallowed by whirlpools or monsters, or they simply disappear as if they never were. Some 50 miles to the south are the Island Kingdoms.
This inlet to The Great Southern Sea is ideal, defensively, because it is filled with reefs, sandbars, and the ruins of sunken Sunderia. Thus a nautical assault on the barony is all but impossible. Smaller craft can be easily repelled by the Barons modest navy and shoreline defenses. Trade ships from the tropical Island Kingdoms, and other lands, anchor their ships well outside of the bay. They then send smaller longboats, skiffs, or rafts carrying their goods to the caves below Sunderia.
There is still a lot of open water in the bay, and piracy is a constant danger, as well as the mundane hazards of navigation, weather, and giant monsters that can swallow boats in one gulp.
Isle of Mists
In the thickest mists of the Goblin Head Lake lies the Isle of Mists. Few travel to this cursed Isle although the myth of why it is “cursed” has been lost in ages past. On rare occasions a boat passes close on a day when the wind has thinned the mist. The men on these boats report, with awe, the sight of great ruined buildings of unnerving design. Needless to say, many a foolish adventurer has set out to explore and plunder the isle. If any have ever returned they tell no tale of what they have found.
The Kings River flows northeast out of the Goblin Head Lake. Longboats and riverboats carrying trade goods use this route to take goods from Sunderia or Bordain to Pellenon.
The Kings River isn’t as dangerous as the Goblin River, but in exchange for its safety one must endure the many toll points and locks. These toll houses also offer lodging and protection. Over the years, the families that control the toll points have become hostile toward each other and several “house wars” have broken out on the Kings River.
The Phoenix River
According to legend, when Irnoch came to the land he rode atop the back of the Phoenix, a mighty flaming bird. As this bird approached the mortal world it wreaked havoc in its wake. The greatest scar left on the land from the Phoenix is the mighty Phoenix River. This river collected all the waters of the Black Mountains and spilled them into the valley,
flooding the land and creating the Goblin Head Lake. It is guessed that the river runs clear through the Black Mountains to the untamed western landsbeyond but the river is too rapid to traverse so this remains unproven. The Phoenix River is massive being up to 5 miles wide at some points. Fishing villages are scattered along
the coast as one travels away from the lake. Further toward the Black Mountains the river has spots that are said to contain gold dust supposedly carried from the underground realms below Kragagor. Some are brave enough to prospect and pan for this gold dust but the proximity to the Black Mountains make it extremely dangerous. As one moves further into the Black Mountains there are numerous goblin tribes that make their camps along the Phoenix River. These tribes sometimes trade with the human villages along the river…sometimes they just kill and eat them instead.
The Trog River
Running along the eastern border of Skeeter Fen is the murky Trog River. This slow running mucky river weaves past many dilapidated villages and husks of
ancient ruins before passing the fortress of Geltsberg and eventually emptying into the Skeeter Fen. Carrion birds glare down at the river, and many speculate these are spies for Geltrod. Several years ago a group of dwarf Tunnel Fighters got it in their heads to use this river to launch a surprise attack on Geltrod. They traversed the Black Mountains carrying several lightweight riverboats upon their backs till they came to the Trog River. They had barely paddled into the cursed land before a horde of troglodytes rose from the muck to kill them all (or so the tale goes).
If there was ever a more foul and unfriendly place than the Skeeter Fen, it has yet to be discovered. It is a sprawling fetid humid swamp filled with bogs and rotting vegetation. The air is thick with gnats and mosquitoes that make a feast of travelers. Sinkholes, quicksand, and belching toxic fumes make each step treacherous. The swamp is the home to all sorts of hungry creatures. Giant leaches, scorpions, spiders, and worse hunt the Fen. If all of natures hazards don’t kill you, patrols of kobolds and goblins surely will. If you
are somehow fortunate enough to survive all that, you must still face off against the necromancer’s undead minions, known to rise through the scum encrusted surface of the swamp and lumber its vastness looking for intruders.
The Eastern Reaches
The Eastern Reaches are literally the edges of civilization. There are no large settlements in the area, rather it's dotted with numerous farm settlements, small fortified steadings, and other hardscrabble places eking out an existence among the harsh wilderness. The area is rich in resources - both the land and the minerals in the land have lured many settlers and adventurers with the promise of quick and easy fortunes. Those who live in the reaches are a hardy lot, and since the Barony is stretched so thin, they take it upon theselves to organize a loose militia, and the settlements are unusually tight knit when it comes to mutual defense and assistance.
There are countless tombs, ruins and areas of interest in the Eastern Reaches, and it is an area rife with adventure and possibilities.