Yeah, somewhere in between all my other projects (rpg and otherwise) I’m still cranking away on Western Venatia, which will be the centerpiece of NOD #6, the free (pdf) holiday issue that will publish in December. On to the weirdness …
1414. The small farming village of Gormen rests here on the outskirts of Blackpoort’s domain. The folk of Gormen are hard-working an industrious and have a very low opinion of adventurers, merchants and the rascals that populate Blackpoort. Still, their militia consists of a mere 15 men in piecemeal armor and wielding farm implements (1d4 damage) and slings, so the regular patrols by Blackpoorts soldiers and tax collectors are hard to resist. The village is ruled by a selectman named Eblith, a heavily weathered and creased old man with bushy white eyebrows and hooked nose. Eblith is a brewer by trade, and his brews are renowned throughout this corner of Nod.
1435. The Skrink kobolds live in extensive silver mines that were abandoned by the gnomes many decades ago. The mines consist of five different levels, each level consisting of anywhere from 3 to 6 galleries and one or two shafts leading down to the next level. The kobolds number 150 warriors, 20 females and 60 young and are led by a Niknit and his 20 closest relatives, all 1 HD kobolds.
Treasure: The Skrink’s entire treasure consists of 60 gp worth of silver nuggets, each nugget being carried on a separate kobold to avoid losing the entire treasure to plunderers.
| Niknit, Thief Lvl 3: HP 13; AC 2 ; Save 12; CL/XP 3/60; Special: Backstab for double damage, decipher writing, thievery.
1450. A particularly dangerous sea serpent that goes by the name of Illweather dwells under the waves here in the wreck of a sleek greatship that was once the pride of Tremayne’s navy. The Golden Ark was lost many years ago after receiving an illicit cargo from a galley that originated in the port of Ophir. The cargo was a silvery sphere that, when held, glows in a swirl of turquoise and taupe and causes the hair on one’s body to stand on end. The holder of this relic of the ophidians gains the power to control wind and weather in an 9 mile radius (i.e. 3 hexes in diameter). The sea serpent has learned of this power and uses it to raise storms in the hopes of sinking an easy meal.
| Illweather, Fanged Sea Serpent: HD 8 (40 hp); AC 0 ; Atk 1 bite (1d10 + poison); Move 12; Save 8; CL/XP 9/1100; Special: Poison.
1537. The steaming carcass of an ogre lies here covered by maggots. There are no tracks (not even the ogres) in the immediate area, and no apparent cause of death.
1606. Several days ago a barge was tossed ashore by an errant wave (or perhaps an ill tempered water elemental). Whatever the cause, the barge’s cargo of exotic musks was spilled all over the forested shore and the crew were forced to seek shelter in the boughs of the trees from the parliament of great horned owlbears that have come to investigate the aroma. The five surviving crewmen are exhausted, hungry and completely miserable.
| Great Horned Owlbear: HD 7+1 (40, 31, 22 hp); AC 5 ; Atk 2 claws (1d6), bite (2d6); Move 12; Save 12; CL/XP 5/240; Special: Hug for additional 2d8 damage if to-hit roll is 18+.
1611. Some 200 feet from the shore of Blackmere Lake a crag rises from the dark waters. Atop this crag the wizard Delorian chose to build his manse. It is here that he observes the stars, records his thoughts, putters about in his laboratory and does all the other things one expects of wizards.
Delorian is one of the the most powerful mages in the Motherlands. He is capable of rending the very fabric of reality with his incantations and imposing his will on nature by dint of superior intellect; naturally, this means his tower is subject to almost weekly raids by robbers and adventurers and so is well defended by magical tricks and traps. Deep beneath the surface of Blackmere, the crag is honeycombed by caves that serve as the lair of a family of three mist dragons, allies of the wizard.
Visitors can reach the castle by a small dingy tied to a post on the shore. Upon reaching the crag, one must climb a ladder that leads to a small antechamber. At this point the image of the wizard appears before them, questions them and does his best to discern their true motives. If they do not seem to be a threat, he invites them in (the doors are wizard locked). If they do present a threat, all of the items in the antechamber animate and attack, including a richly woven rug, three tapestries, a chest-of-drawers and two suits of armor.
Groups that try alternate means of entry are attacked by a flock of twelve gargoyles. Delorian monitors all such battles and summons the mist dragons if the gargoyles seem to be outmatched. If necessary, he involves himself in the combat.
Within the confines of his modest home there is a small kitchen, a plush living room, a library closet with a secret door to a laboratory and observatory, and several guest chambers tended by automatons of polished steel with owl faces and sepia tunics bearing the three-handed glyph of Delorian.
Delorian is a very lawful man, though he is no prude or stick in the mud. He barely tolerates the presence of the “city of thieves” so close to his tower, and has thought seriously about moving it.
Treasure: Delorian’s treasure is kept in a sealed vault located 20 feet below his home. It can only be reached via teleportation and contains several beams that increase the liklihood of materializing within solid stone. The treasure is 11,700 gp and a bronze statue of a portly woman wearing a viking helmet worth 115 gp. Delorian’s grand grimoire contains the following high level spells: Contact Other Plane, Extension II, Teleport, Wall of Stone, Control Weather, Disintegrate, Legend Lore, Limited Wish & Phase Door.
| Delorian, Magic-User Lvl 15: HP 30; AC 4 ; Save 5; CL/XP 18/3800; Special: Spells (7th). White robe, staff of wizardry, ornate titanium dagger, three silver darts, potion of healing, bracers of AC 4 .
| Small Animated Object: HD 1; AC 5 ; Atk 1 slam (1d4); Move 15; Save 17; CL/XP 1/15.
| Medium Animated Object: HD 2; AC 5 ; Atk 1 slam (1d6); Move 12; Save 16; CL/XP 2/30.
| Large Animated Object: HD 4; AC 5 ; Atk 1 slam (1d8); Move 9; Save 13; CL/XP 4/120.
| Gargoyles: HD 4; AC 5 ; Atk 2 claws (1d3), bite (1d4), horn (1d6); Move 9 (Fly 15); Save 13; CL/XP 6/400; Special: Fly.
| Mist Dragon: HD 10 (40 hp); AC 0 ; Atk 2 claws (1d6) and 1 bite (4d6); Move 9 (Fly 30); Save 5; CL/XP 17/3500; Special: Gaseous form, breath weapon, spells.