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Re: Gazettes in the works?

Posted: Tue May 29, 2018 6:31 pm
by Lorian
UPDATE: Made Occupation Table For NPC's

Roll a D66
11. Watchman
12. Militia
13. Forester
14. Hunter
15. Courier
16. Labourer
21. Servents
22. Outlaw
23. Smuggler
24. Circus Performer (See Table)
25. Fisherman
26. Cook
31. Tradesman Apprentice
32. Monster Hunter
33. Farmer
34. Wine Maker
35. Miller
36. Crossbow Maker
41. Whittler
42. Miner
43. Charcoal Maker
44. Trapper
45. Boatsman
46. Rat Catcher
51. Herdsman
52. Houndmaster
53. Beastmaster (Note: Barrak and Arc etc)
54. Falconeer
55. Horseman
56. Surgeon
61: Herbalist
62: Witch/Necromancer's Apprentice
63: Initiate Priest
64: Navigator
65: Undertaker
66: Special

Circus Performer Sub Table
Roll a D3

3: Escape Artist
4: Fire Breather
5: Knife Thrower
6: Acrobat
7: Juggler
8: Strongman
9: Jester
10: Fortune Teller
11: Sword Swallower
12: Ventriloquist
13: Trained Animal
14: Foreign Race (Etc. Goblins)
15: Stilt Walker
16: Contortionist
17: Hypnotist
18: Creature of Curiosity (Etc. Snakeman)

Re: Gazettes in the works?

Posted: Tue May 29, 2018 7:19 pm
by shintokamikaze
vault of the vampire has a map of a Mortvania

Re: Gazettes in the works?

Posted: Tue May 29, 2018 9:58 pm
by Robb 1
Im still working on a Norse campaign around Frostholm but its going VERY slowly Ive some hand written notes on a Town called Harvangr some rough notes on Rune Magic berzerkers and giant lore and rough workings for 1/2 Troll Pcs and flora and fauna (love the herbal guide)Also ideas for lost civilisations in the mountains (Think Island at the top of the world in reverse) and the spring wappentake where it all will start eventually .Oh and some notes on Ragnarok but it will probably be Ragnarok for real before i get round to completing it :(

Re: Gazettes in the works?

Posted: Wed May 30, 2018 2:05 am
by gloccus
Thanks Ruffnut and Lorian. I've updated my previous post with an extremely brief summary of roughly where you are with your gazetteers.

I find it interesting how different our approaches are. I've gone for a very Titan—the Fighting Fantasy World-esque in-universe perspective, whilst you seem to be favouring a Beyond the Pit style, including rules and statistics. Since we don't have any official gazetteers yet, we don't know which way they will lean, but I think your type of material is more likely.
Ruffnut wrote:
Tue May 29, 2018 8:26 am
Named all the islands based on what their purpose is (some in Latin)
And I intend to make super detailed maps using campaign cartographer
I don't suppose one of them is called Kelados and has a population of Amazons, by any chance? I've been trying to work out where the character Syrena from the unpublished FF The Keeper of the Seven Keys originates and since Beyond the Pit says that Amazon settlements are kept secret from the outside world, I thought Kelados was most likely an island (not necessarily one of the Arrowhead Islands, though).

And now for some more history:

The Perils of Magic
Due to the dedication needed to master the mystical arts, most practitioners of magic tend to be of relatively advanced age and hence few survived the First Battle and the release of Time. Most of those who did were Elves, whose lives are naturally longer, or evil mages who used dark magic to steal life and preserve their youth. Today, wizards have perfected techniques to extend their lives without causing harm to others or to the balance of nature, but in those early days the only solution was a type of diabolic vampirism. As a result, the thaumaturgical skills taught by the gods during the Godtime were mostly lost and had to be relearned in communion with the appropriate deities, particularly Hamaskis.
The first of these new wizards were very crude and basic compared with the Elven mages, who refused to give up their secrets to lesser races. However, on 21st Locking 421OT, whilst exploring the Anvils of the Gods, the legendary spellcaster Zergoul Whitelightning came to the aid of a Gold Dragon called Kynnitaranika who had been attacked by Frost Wyrms whilst incubating her eggs. Exactly how much help a mere human could give to an adult Gold Dragon is debatable, but she was sufficiently impressed to let slip a few secrets of high magic. Within just a few decades, Zergoul had expanded his knowledge through practice and experimentation and begun to pass it on to gifted witches and hedge-wizards, although they were of course far behind the Elves. The most ingenious and advanced of the human wizards were eventually drawn to Atlantis, where they could research and develop their skills in safe and luxurious surroundings paid for by the crown. By 700OT, fully-fledged wizards had begun to return to Irritaria, settling in leading cities such as Aranath in Granat, Maxona in Alumet and Tieha in Mizokane.
Epic Tales and Sagas
Many of the accounts of this period have come down to us in the form of stories or poems passed orally from generation to generation, before finally being written down by scholars or sages. We must be aware, therefore, that these narratives may have become distorted over time, either deliberately, in order to tell a particular message or advance a certain viewpoint, or accidentally, out of a desire to make the events more thrilling or entertaining to the story-teller's audience. In many cases, these changes served simply to aggrandize the listeners' ancestors and belittle their enemies, but sometimes they could be used to illustrate a moral fable or teach values or skills in a subtle and engaging manner.
One such example, where historical accuracy must take second place to pedagogic necessity, will be familiar to every schoolchild in Ruddlestone or Analand, along with many from as far afield as Allansia and the Isles of the Dawn. The Adventures of Goldhawk are a series of educational allegories in which the audience takes on the rôle of a young Prince of Karazan, making decisions about how he should deal with evil sorcerers, Orc invasions and undead terrors. The narrator then varies the tale according to the choices of his listeners, to teach lessons as diverse as the value of money and not judging others by their appearance alone. Allowing the children to affect the story gives the exercise more weight and imparts greater relevance, or so the theory goes. Four of the most famous and oft-repeated adventures may be found in the form of lavishly illuminated manuscripts in libraries of Arkleton and Chalanabrad, although due to the limitations of the written format, they have been truncated somewhat, as the traditional collection of tales takes a whole season for an experienced story-teller to relate.
When the famous nomad chiefs Rerek and Myzar Halfhand found their way through the Anvil Pass and fought their way northwards along the fertile western coast, crossing the Kasbled River on 8th Fire 766OT, they were accompanied by many skilled wizards and warlocks. It did not take long for the Halfhands' descendants to forsake their nomadic ways for the benefits of agriculture and trade, but they never lost the martial prowess that allowed them to conquer the land they now held, leaving many flourishing settlements behind them which in time formed some of the greatest nations in the world. By about 900OT, the whole western seaboard (with the exception of the part covered by the One Forest) was settled by humans and the Goblins and other races who had lived there previously had been forced into hiding in the mountains, deserts and swamps.
Magic was not universally accepted, however. South-west of Alumet and Affen Forest was a large saltwater lake, upon whose shore a highly religious civilization had arisen. These honest and peaceable people were clever and inventive, soon realizing that it was quicker and more efficient to sail across the lake rather than walk or ride around it. As their dependence on the water for trade and communication increased, ships became an indicator of status and royal burials often took place in specially constructed longships. The country's priests were well versed in the movements of the sun, moon and stars, calling upon astrology to guide every major decision. When wizardry came to nearby principalities, they were suspicious and even hostile to it, an attitude which seemed to be vindicated when a stretch of the shoreline fell under a curse, leading to enormous serpentine monsters called Flesh-Eaters inhabiting the area. The stargazers declared war on what they saw as the evil magicians infecting neighbouring lands and in the ensuing sorcerous battle, the whole region was blasted with mystical energy that shattered the civilization and turned the lake into a mist-shrouded swamp. The whole region later became known as Deathmoor, due to its inhospitability and infestation by wraiths. Most of the survivors fled to join other kingdoms or the bands of nomads living further west. The few who remained were transformed into the beings known as Flintskins, some of whom live in the area still, although they retain almost nothing of their ancestors' learning or sophistication.
Elsewhere, mastery of high magic gave much needed security to the human nations, which quickly pushed into the territory previously held by chaotics. With the threat from Orcs and their ilk in abeyance, the countries of Irritaria turned their military attentions on each other and there followed a slew of invasions, rebellions and attempted conquests as each ruler sought to expand his or her domain at the expense of its neighbours. No province entirely escaped these struggles, but by far the most common target was the incomparably wealthy Atlantis, which was accustomed to the situation as it had been attacked at least once every few years since its foundation. The island nation had always been able to afford the best mercenaries and weapons, but now it also had the advantage of the largest and most innovative schools of magic outside the arboreal cities of the Elves. With the danger of invasion entirely lifted and slaves captured from their enemies to do all the physical work, the Atlanteans became increasingly decadent and complaisant. In this atmosphere, few curbs were placed on the activities of the wizards, who were soon advancing their studies in directions that were decidedly sinister, if not outright evil.
Warlocks and mages experimented with necromancy and vivisection, producing ever more monstrous mutations and communing with all manner of supernatural beings and demons. It was Atlantean wizards who devised the ritual to create the black pearls which are still found throughout the seas and oceans of Titan. The enchantment upon these pearls allows even a non-magic-user to create an army of Skeleton Warriors by means of a simple incantation. Incredibly, the enchantment is not drained by the defeat of the Skeletons in combat, allowing their master to summon them afresh as many times as necessary to prevail. It is perhaps fortunate that the ritual to create such dangerous items was lost in the destruction of Atlantis, as surely no mortal should wield such power.
Initially, the attempts to fashion new species to serve the people of Atlantis were less than successful. The creatures either died as a result of their mutations or were inferior to the donors of the constituent parts from which they had been manufactured, but on 19th Forests Golden 782OT, the cabal known as the Lifters of the Crimson Veil produced a spell, which they called Logaan's Secret. Where they obtained the knowledge to do so is unknown, but the forbidden magic allowed them to instil the spark of life within entirely new beings. From Fish Men and Manticores in the Cloudcap Mountains to Snout-Wolves and Dragonmen in the Potamos delta, within a century, misguided conjurers were manipulating nature across face of the world.
Desperate for any advantage over their neighbours, some rulers welcomed these unscrupulous magicians, or even went further and gave their blessing to the summoning of demons or raising of undead. In the ancient country of Djarat, Akharis began to promote worship of Sithera (the Demon Prince Sith) over the other Djaratian gods, whilst the kingdom of Alumet was beset by the noxious armies of God-King Pyra-Caltor. In Tieha, the Tower of the King's Guard was swallowed up by a magical ritual gone wrong, along with all the Knights of the Golden Company who were within at the time and in the great leper colony of the Scythera Desert, reckless individuals made demonic pacts to save their own lives at the cost of spreading disease and despair throughout the civilized world. It was as if all common sense and morality had been abandoned in favour of expediency.
The Staffs of Power
The Netherworld Sorcerers observed the waxing toleration of execrable conduct in Atlantis and sought to alter the path of history by gifting a magical artefact of great potency to King Faramos XXI. Made of ash wood bound with gold and silver, ensorcelled with arcane runes and topped by a golden dragon's skull with ruby eyes, the Staff of Foresight was intended to allow the holder to calculate the consequences of any action (or inaction) on their part with great accuracy. Perhaps it would have been better for Logaan's servants to have used the Staff themselves before presenting it to the King, but we cannot know what this would have revealed or indeed whether the charms placed upon the item made it even possible. What we do know is that, far from persuading Faramos XXI to suppress the abominable cults operating within his domain, the Staff showed the zealous ruler how Atlantean prestige could be augmented yet more.
He gave the Staff of Foresight to his archmages with instructions to master the enchantments used in its creation. After many years of study, they succeeded and the first of the Staffs of Wisdom was produced. This both magnified the power of any wizard holding it and gave insight into the mystical arts far beyond what any mortal had previously experienced. The yew wood Staff of Wisdom bearing a silver vulture's skull was followed by a Staff of Harmony, fashioned from rosewood and mounted with the bronze skull of a canine. This was useful to Atlantean ambassadors, as it granted its owner the gift of persuasion engendering goodwill and amity in all who beheld it.
The final type of rod was the ebony Staff of Rulership, shod in silver and bronze, whose fanged human skull was sculpted in black iron with bloodstone eyes. Perhaps the most powerful of all the Staffs of Power, the Staffs of Rulership gave the power to command the loyalty and obedience of followers and also to control the raw energies of chaos magic itself. However, as the ensorcelled batons strayed further from the archetype created by the Netherworld Sorcerers, they began to exhibit warping effects upon their bearers' minds and bodies. The greatest harm was caused by the Staffs of Rulership, which instilled a pridefulness bordering on megalomania.
By the time of Atlantis's eventual fall, five Staffs of Wisdom, three each of Rulership and Harmony and two of Foresight were in existence. These were lost for many years, but some have since resurfaced, including a Staff of Rulership held by the Great Wizard of Analand and a Staff of Harmony safely ensconced within the Temple of Arn in Shoudu. There is no known way to destroy a Staff of Power, although some unconventional sages claim that they can be reforged into less dangerous artefacts by means of long and difficult rituals. They even suggest that the Crown of Kings may owe its origin to the combination of several different Staffs, but if this is the case then the Netherworld Sorcerers thankfully seem to have found a way to remove the warping effects of these perilous items.
The events which would lead to the destruction of Atlantis began on 3rd Heaven's Weeping 982OT, when King Faramos XXII died without issue after an 81 year reign and it took four years to track down his lawful heir. During the interregnum, several nations decided to test the defences of the leaderless island, but they all found that the lack of a King did nothing to blunt its warriors' effectiveness in combat. On 1st Sun's Hiding 986OT, the sixteen-year-old heir was crowned and took the name Faramos XXIII; at the time, nobody—not even the gods—knew that he was really the Demon Prince Myurr in disguise. On 11th Land's Awakening 987OT, he declared war on Taralak, the merchant-governed democracy north of Scorpion Swamp which had been the last country to attempt an invasion of Atlantis. Just three weeks later, the Atlantean forces swept on from the conquered nation, bolstered by all the Ogres, Trolls and worse which had been driven out of human lands over the past two centuries. Many principalities and clans joined the Atlanteans without a fight, swearing fealty to Faramos either to avoid destruction or from a desire for power.
The Elves and Dwarfs remained firm, however, and the other races of good took refuge within the One Forest or the fortified underground cities. In the area now known as the Mountains of Grief, Troglodytes burrowed into the great Dwarf kingdom of Eagles' Ridge (called Targûl by its inhabitants) from below, giving access to the Garks and Doragar shock troops. The surprise attack overwhelmed the defenders, who were forced to abandon the lower levels of their ancient home, fighting a desperate rearguard action to give the civilians time to escape and retreat to the citadel and the cathedral of Kerillîm in the southern city of Silver Peak. Normally, the Dwarfs' experience of underground excavations would have enabled them to detect any attempt to bore into their workings, but they were beset on all sides by the Atlantean armies, which had brought a vast horde of mercenaries to besiege Eagles' Ridge on the surface. Now that the rôles were reversed, the humans who had taken refuge with the Dwarfs did not fail their comrades, calling upon the aid of their war gods Tereb, Tir, Oiden and Orial, along with the wizards whose skills had been learned from the very Atlantean schools of magic which now supplied the spellcasters that assailed them.
The underground attack was repulsed, but the Troglodytes, reinforced by a number of Gremlin tribes, were too well entrenched for the depleted Dwarfs to dislodge completely and on the surface, the enemy were reinforced by foul mutations and monstrous constructs manufactured by the Atlantean archmages. Indeed, the Dwarfish capital was only spared due to the timely arrival of an army from the far north, which had made the perilous journey as a result of a prophecy from the Netherworld Sorcerers. These mysterious magicians also supplied its leader with a wondrous weapon, a magical trident with the power to smite hellspawn, forged of a strange blue metal, such as the world had never seen before and will never see again, for the unique magicks used in its construction could never be repeated. After the continents were divided, the remnants of this army intermarried with the local populace and the trident was passed down to the greatest warrior of each generation.
As the Atlantean armies besieged the Dwarfs' excavations and systematically began to burn the Elves out of their homes, the gods realized that they finally had to act. At dusk on 12th Corn Ripening, the entire island of Atlantis was sunk beneath the waves by the combined efforts of Titan, Hydana, Sukh, Throff and Lorodil. A massive tidal wave hundreds of metres high rushed across the ocean in all directions to strike the continent, devastating the coastal regions and penetrating far inland down the Vorelyn estuary and over the low-lying terrain between the Anvils of the Gods and the hills around Affen Forest. The flood inundated most of the savannah that made up the heart of Irritaria, carving the Old World away from the rest of the land mass and striking what would become Khul with such force that it turned the whole north-eastern peninsular through almost ninety degrees, in the process raising it far above sea level to form an elevated plateau surrounded by towering cliffs. The narrow but mountainous strip of land between Allansia and Khul was not submerged instantly, but over the next century or so, as Khul drifted southwards to its current position, it was pulled apart to form strings of islands, many of which have since been consigned to the depths by the battering of the eponymous tempests that wracked this newly-formed ocean.

Illustration Suggestion: Feast your eyes upon David Gallagher's depiction of the Staff of Rulership found throughout FF41: Master of Chaos as incidental artwork, in particular on page 12.

Re: Gazettes in the works?

Posted: Wed May 30, 2018 10:28 am
by HedgeWizard
Just a note, my gazetteer will be in the form of a series of illustrated letters sent from an In-universe perspective.

Re: Gazettes in the works?

Posted: Wed May 30, 2018 4:57 pm
by Lorian

Re: Gazettes in the works?

Posted: Thu May 31, 2018 1:31 am
by gloccus
Isn't it great what everyone's doing?

The Rise of Civilization
The cataclysmic damage caused by the sinking of Atlantis affected the southern continent even more drastically than the others. As well as completely reshaping the north-eastern peninsular, it filled the Inland Sea with saltwater and shattered the entire southern isthmus into disparate archipelagos scattered across the ocean. The once-powerful coastal states were utterly ruined by the floods and even the horse nomads of the steppes suffered terrible casualties and an almost total loss of any centralized authority. It took the terrified peoples of Khul generations to dare approach the shoreline again and generations longer before they felt safe enough to abandon an itinerant lifestyle and settle down to work the land once more.
The perpetual storms of the Ocean of Tempests and the sharp, unbroken cliff face of the eastern coast ensured that there was no contact from the other continents for centuries, leaving the people of Khul to fend for themselves. The nomads eking out an existence on the grassland and moors of the interior slowly organized themselves into clans, whilst small villages started to spring up along rivers and in sheltered valleys. It was from one such hamlet called Amarkisk, nestled between Sarren Forest and Pikestaff Plain, that the forward-thinking half-Dwarf wayfarer Piporn Handung hailed. On 26th Corn Ripening 1203OT, he was crossing the plain with a view to finding potential trading partners for his home, when a sudden landslide dumped him into a churning rill. Casting about in desperation to escape the choking depths, his hand alighted upon a rod of metal, which he instinctively grasped before kicking towards the surface. For a moment, the waters cleared and he saw before him a regal figure seated on a throne, with a fabulous crown upon its head. He did not know it at the time, but he had discovered the Crown of Alumet. After dragging himself out of the river, Piporn examined his find, which turned out to be a sceptre that had no doubt been dislodged from the dead king's hand by the same forces that had deposited him on a river bed.
The proud explorer returned to his village with the sceptre as proof of his discovery and tried to organize an expedition to recover the priceless coronet. However, his friends and neighbours needed grain and livestock, not treasure, and the superstitious rustics feared that the ancient sovereign's crown jewels might be cursed. Piporn took the sceptre away with him and was killed a few weeks later by a pack of Mordidas, which confirmed the truth of the curse as far as the people of Amarkisk were concerned. Many years later, the sceptre was found by another traveller and passed through several hands before ending up as part of the royal regalia of the monarchs of Arion. The story of Piporn Handung was lost for centuries, until Lord Falashti of Arion hired a soothsayer in an effort to locate the Crown of Alumet, which he hoped to offer to King Jonthane and Queen Elegana to secure the hand of Princess Telessa in marriage. The seer revealed the sad tale of Piporn Handung, but the location of the crown remains elusive.
Lorodil's Chosen
Not all civilization was lost when the continents were divided. In the far south-west of Irritaria, a small portion of the Halfhand Chiefs' rampaging horde had explored the region formerly occupied by the defunct Kingdom of Karazan, torn apart by internal strife around 750OT. Searching for a bounteous and secure location to put down roots, the weary travellers eventually settled in the Stonefinger Hills (now the Truffle Heights) on the fertile lower slopes of a five-peaked active volcano! Unsurprisingly, the worship of Lorodil became popular and a monastery was founded to intercede on behalf of the farmers and traders to protect their properties from destruction. So effective were the acolytes' prayers at guiding the periodic eruptions away from settled areas that the monastery grew in both size and wealth, until it was the largest concentration of priests of Lorodil (called Wazarri in the local tongue) in the world. So devout were the ascetics that it was even rumoured that Lorodil had entrusted them with his true name, an unprecedented act of trust that would, it true, have given the mortals immense power over their patron.
When the gods planned to drown the island of Atlantis, they swore each other to secrecy, in case the Atlanteans, if forewarned, could concoct some defence. However, Lorodil could not abandon his faithful supplicants and appeared before them in a vision on the morning of the upheaval to warn them of their approaching doom and promise them protection as long as they remained within the precincts of the monastery. There was immediate disagreement as to what action should be taken. Some wished to bar the gates and ensure that only the devout would survive, but the prevailing decision was to warn the people outside and allow any who wished, to take refuge with the Wazarri. In the event, most did not believe the seriousness of the imminent disaster, but enough took advantage of the offer that the temple and cloisters were packed to overflowing when the skies turned dark and the ground shook with divine anger. Hours of lamentation followed as those who were saved bewailed the fate of those left behind. The great volcano erupted and its lava flow reshaped the topography to give greater protection against the tsunamis that deluged the surrounding landscape.
When the environment stabilized, the survivors emerged from the monastery to a scene of unremitting devastation. Of their previous homes, there was no sign, destroyed either by lava or by flood. The very shoreline was nearly a hundred miles closer than it had been and the eruption had stripped the mountainside of trees and vegetation. Nonetheless, the people set to work to rebuild, using stone due to the scarcity of wood and turning to hunting and river fishing to provide sustenance until the crops from the monastery garden could be propagated in sufficient quantities to feed the populace. For the better part of three hundred years, this community was the only substantial permanent settlement in the whole continent. The Wazarri continued to perform their esoteric rituals and the laymen, thankful for their miraculous escape, revered Lorodil before all other gods, giving his monks the greatest respect and support. On account of their out of the way location, the locals were rarely bothered by Goblins or other forces of chaos, but on the few occasions when danger did threaten, a timely eruption of the volcano put paid to any attempt at invasion. Due to a combination of its shape and its role as a protector, the mount was named the Fangs of Fury and became indistinguishable from the god himself in the minds of the Wazarri.
This all changed in 1587OT, when explorers from the northern kingdom of Klarash crossed the River Swordflow and encountered the isolated community, bringing their gods with them. The peasants soon realized the advantages of an alliance with such a powerful neighbour, but there was division amongst the Wazarri. Most saw an opportunity to help their fellow man and a chance to extol the glory of their god to a wider audience, but a small core of dissenters felt that interlopers should not be tolerated or allowed to set foot upon the holy mountain unless they agreed to worship the volcano god above all others. This dissatisfaction festered and grew through the generations until it came to a head in 1643OT when the circle of lawful wizards called the Mage Order came to the Wazarri and sought permission to build their citadel in the nearby river delta. Recognizing a force for good with the potential to outstrip their own, the Wazarri elders not only agreed, but offered to use the eternal flame at the centre of the Fangs of Fury to protect the fortress.
This was too great a desecration for many and a civil war of sorts erupted between the factions. The once-serene monks learned the arts of battle and fought for control of the sacred sites and for the moral authority over the people they had protected and guided for centuries. Eventually, the superior numbers of those who supported the elders prevailed and rather than admit that they were in error, the protesters retreated into natural caverns within the Truffle Heights, excavating a network of tunnels down into the deep chasms with the same industriousness they applied to their religious activity. Calling themselves Gaddon (which translates as something like The Pure in the local language), the separatists burrowed deep into the mountains to create the Caves of Minosaddur, giving them access to the Heartflame of the Fangs of Fury. At the same time, the Wazarri, Mage Order and whole troupes of artisans from Zagoula and Kelther were using magic and sheer physical labour to construct the Chamber of the Furnace at ground level, obliterating the Iron Hills in the process.
Within a few generations, the Gaddon began to give birth to blind babies, but this did not stop them continuing to attack their former brethren. The Gaddon developed a technique of blindfighting using their other senses, which had become greatly enhanced in compensation for their lack of sight. In order to defend against the Gaddon Knights, whose mastery of night-fighting was (and is) unsurpassed, the Wazarri trained their warriors to fight in complete and almost eerie silence. These Silent Knights continued to skirmish with the Gaddon Sensewarriors periodically until the Great War against Evil united all the forces of good in their desperate struggle for survival. Today, an uneasy peace exists between the formerly sworn enemies.

Illustration Suggestion: What about Russ Nicholson's picture of the Heartsfires opposite §61 of FF30: Chasms of Malice?

Re: Gazettes in the works?

Posted: Thu May 31, 2018 7:55 am
by Lorian
I love all the fan dedication in this forum! This is the main reason I love AFF! (Apart from my childhood of FF and this is the only game system my heroes can remotely understand)

Re: Gazettes in the works?

Posted: Thu May 31, 2018 1:39 pm
by HedgeWizard
Lorian wrote:
Thu May 31, 2018 7:55 am
I love all the fan dedication in this forum! This is the main reason I love AFF! (Apart from my childhood of FF and this is the only game system my heroes can remotely understand)

Re: Gazettes in the works?

Posted: Thu May 31, 2018 4:41 pm
by Ruffnut
HedgeWizard wrote:
Thu May 31, 2018 1:39 pm
Lorian wrote:
Thu May 31, 2018 7:55 am
I love all the fan dedication in this forum! This is the main reason I love AFF! (Apart from my childhood of FF and this is the only game system my heroes can remotely understand)

Re: Gazettes in the works?

Posted: Thu May 31, 2018 5:21 pm
by Lorian
Ruffnut wrote:
Thu May 31, 2018 4:41 pm
HedgeWizard wrote:
Thu May 31, 2018 1:39 pm
Lorian wrote:
Thu May 31, 2018 7:55 am
I love all the fan dedication in this forum! This is the main reason I love AFF! (Apart from my childhood of FF and this is the only game system my heroes can remotely understand)
Is it Shiny?

Re: Gazettes in the works?

Posted: Fri Jun 01, 2018 5:11 am
by gloccus
Faerie Magic
In the north-east, there was no monastery on the slopes of a volcano to protect the people and when the continent was reshaped by the staggering power of the gods, the disturbance of the ground demolished every structure not built into the side of a mountain. For many years, the people of this region lived a wretched and primitive hand-to-mouth existence, Men competing against Kobolds and Tuskers for scarce resources of food and shelter. Even the few Dwarfs who called the nearby hills home did not escape, with rockfalls and seismic shifts shattering their tunnel complexes. Occasionally a particularly strong or ruthless warrior would manage to gather a small band of followers to dominate a petty fiefdom until they were overwhelmed by the next gang of bullies to arise, but for the most part, there was no collective authority at work.
One of these warlords revelled in the soubriquet Ossil the Harmful. He led his troupe of desperadoes across the sparse grassland north of the Scamder River until the evening of 17th Birds Chatter 1322OT, when they made camp in a forest, as they had many times before. There was nothing to identify the clearing they chose as different from any other, but as the moon rose, Ossil and his companions beheld a wondrous sight: Faeries dancing and cavorting in the silvery radiance, completely unmindful of their awestruck audience. Then, too quickly for anyone to react, a party of Black Fairies leapt from the surrounding trees, lashing out with weapons and magic to attack the Faerie Queen, snatching from her head the garland which was the source of her magic. Bereft of their mystical defences, the Faeries were helpless to prevent several of their number being thrown into gossamer sacks and carried off into captivity. As the dastardly attackers fled into the woods, a great lamentation arose amongst the queen's surviving subjects. Having more bravery than brains, Ossil swaggered into the glade and swore to rescue the prisoners or die in the attempt. At first, the Faeries were unimpressed by these brutish and crude humans, but with no warriors of their own, they agreed to guide Ossil to the Black Fairies' lair.
Ossil's henchmen were reluctant to confront the magical foe, until their fierce leader reminded them that his jagged broadsword was more fearsome than any unearthly fay. As the unlikely allies travelled towards their goal, the Faeries gathered the materials necessary to fashion a new garland for their queen. Together, the magic of the Faeries and the cold steel of the humans overwhelmed the Black Fairies and Ossil himself struck the lock from the enchanted cage in which the captives were being held, rescuing them from a fate which it is probably best not to contemplate. As he led the freed victims to safety, Ossil was struck by the ethereal beauty of one elfin maiden, who (according to the story handed down by their descendants, at least) was likewise intoxicated by his rugged barbarity. Emerging from the darkness of the lair into the dappled light of dawn breaking over the forest, the triumphant comrades celebrated in euphoric excess. For thirteen days and nights, the Faeries feasted and fêted their saviours, the revelry culminating in a wedding between Ossil the Harmful and his infatuation.
Ossil and his marauders crossed the Scamder and travelled until they reached a spring of clear water, which his wife declared was a propitious place to settle. There, using faerie magic and human industry, they constructed the boundaries of a city and the first of the buildings within. The promise of protection drew people from many miles around and within a decade, Ossil was the de-facto ruler of a burgeoning city-state, which he named Gundobad after his eldest son, Gunderbock. In due course, Ossil was proclaimed king and for his coronation, he had an enormous crown forged of iron. What it says about his marriage that he ordered his crown to be made of a material which is anathema to the fay, we would prefer not to speculate, but his Faerie wife provided him with a coronation gift of one thousand blue gems which she had stolen from the Plane of Ice in the Third Hell. Ossil set these jewels in his crown, but his wife's greater gift was the knowledge of faerie magic.
As Men and Dwarfs and Halflings and a dozen other races flocked to the city, the security provided by greater numbers allowed some to pursue intellectual goals in a way that would have previously been impossible. One of the most enticing possibilities was the study of magic. High magic had been almost entirely lost in the splitting of the lands, with only a few races such as the Elves and Faeries retaining the knowledge they had accrued over the centuries. In Gundobad, wise-women and mystics were able to learn secrets that had always been denied to humans and combine them with their own naïve skills to produce a new form of wizardry, vigorous and dynamic.
The coronation took place on 19th Nature's Curling 1361OT, but no sooner had the iron crown been placed upon Ossil's age-worn head than an unnatural chill descended upon the throne room. A horde of Ice Demons tore through a rift from the Plane of Ice, drawn by the scintillating power of the gems in the king's crown, to besiege the city. The battle lasted but a day before the stupendous energies released scattered the gems and the city's inhabitants to the four winds. Ossil the Harmful was never heard from again. For years, the demons resided in Gundobad, sustained by the magic of the lost gems, whilst the people fled, taking refuge wherever they could find it.
Many of the survivors travelled north, to the coast near the edge of the Northern Wastes, where Ossil's younger son Pellam founded a city of his own, which he called Dar. Soon, the primitive people living nearby came under the influence of the city and this new province eventually expanded as far as the edge of Pikestaff Plain and the central steppes, although it gave the city-state of Gundobad a wide berth. Other refugees migrated further afield, reaching the young villages of Arion, Corda, and Arkand in the east, along with Ashkyos to the west and, eventually, Djiretta and the lands which would later fall under the sway of the Shakista dynasty. In this way, the faerie magic of Gundobad was spread throughout most of Khul and became the most common flavour of wizardry practised in the continent.
Prince Gunderbock and his mother were forced to flee the city along with the rest of its inhabitants, but they were not content merely to escape with their lives, spending years wandering in the wilderness, searching for the stolen gems which had been flung far and wide. It was not until 22nd Land's Awakening 1383OT that Gunderbock (longer lived than most humans due to his parentage) discovered the first of the glittering jewels in a Dwarf treasure house beneath the hills between Ashkyos and Gundobad. His Faerie mother used the innate magic of the blue stone to force the Demons back to the Plane of Ice, reclaiming the city for her son and his descendants. Due to the need for this spell to be renewed every few decades, the Trial of Kingship was instituted and has continued to the present day, unaltered and immutable, despite the rise and fall of nations on all sides.

IIllustration Suggestion: Not one but two, today: John Blanche's pictures of Lothar and Clovis opposite §1 in each of the Clash of the Princes books.

Re: Gazettes in the works?

Posted: Fri Jun 01, 2018 11:07 pm
by shintokamikaze
Lorian wrote:
Thu May 31, 2018 7:55 am
I love all the fan dedication in this forum! This is the main reason I love AFF! (Apart from my childhood of FF and this is the only game system my heroes can remotely understand)
lol, well said

Re: Gazettes in the works?

Posted: Sat Jun 02, 2018 12:41 am
by gloccus
The Masks of Mayhem
When the first exiles from Gundobad made it across Pikestaff Plain, they discovered the small fishing village of Arion, founded about fifty years earlier and rapidly growing in population as it was the only location on that stretch of coast with access to the sea. The influx of people from around about was leading to lawlessness and discontent, which the village headmen were ill-equipped to handle. Having experienced strong and decisive rule in their homeland, the Gundobadians saw that it would be advantageous for Arion to have a leader to restore order. As the locals would be unlikely to accept a recent arrival, they searched for a suitable candidate from nearby and eventually settled on a forester, who seemed to possess the required virtues of physical prowess, level-headedness and good relations with his neighbours. With the help of the Gundobad refugees, Angus assembled a group of like-minded vigilantes and embarked on a campaign to eradicate the criminal element.
Although it was obviously impossible to eliminate crime entirely, the summary justice Angus handed out (earning him the name Bloodaxe) was popular with the law-abiding citizens and the Gundobadians carefully orchestrated a campaign to name him as ruler of the town. The fate of King Ossil's iron crown persuaded the former inhabitants of Gundobad to use a different symbol of rulership and several of the wizards who were amongst their number enchanted a simple warrior's helmet, which became the most sacred of Arion's crown jewels.
The descendants of Angus Bloodaxe continued to rule Arion fairly and, for the most part, efficiently. The wizards from Gundobad began to pass on their mastery of the magical arts and formed the first Council of Elders, which claimed authority over all magicians from Corda to the Isle of Orcmoot. The leader of the council became court wizard to the ruler of Arion and over time, as magic became more widespread, the influence of this position increased until it was the equal of the ruler, with each relying on the other for the governing of the land. Arion continued to grow, turning from a fishing village to a substantial town with outlying farms and even a few mines producing iron ore and silver. A wall was built around the nascent city to protect its wealth and the ruler's castle was the most imposing fortress for a thousand miles. The people of Arion were not particularly well travelled (and why would they be, when their home provided everything they could possibly need?), but they were kept informed of the wider world by traders arriving overland from Fallow Dale and by sea from Corda and even further afield.
On 30th Days Lengthen 1534OT, the renegade Gallantarian sorcerer Werpeth Faller arrived on one of the few merchant vessels which braved the Ocean of Serpents in those days. The Council of Elders was not receptive to the alien magic he brought to Khul and he was forced to abandon Arion to avoid censure. Travelling north and keeping on the move to avoid the Council's agents, Werpeth soon attracted a coven of witches and warlocks eager to learn about his exotic skills. One of these was the wizardress Morgana, formerly an apprentice to a kindly but trusting wizard from the kingdom of Dar, who taught her everything he knew before realizing that she was irredeemably wicked. Morgana was an extremely talented and astute student, who was able to combine her knowledge of the different schools of magic to become the most powerful spellcaster in the continent. Eventually, the Council of Elders caught up with Werpeth (possibly having been tipped off by the treacherous Morgana) and his coterie of sorcerers fled west, carrying their expertise to the nomads of the plains and eventually as far as the newly-formed kingdom of Klarash.
Morgana continued her quest for knowledge, seeking out records of the civilizations which preceded the division of the continents. She was aware that Arion had been built upon the ruins of the great city of Maxona but, unwilling to risk a confrontation with the Council of Elders so soon, she turned her attention to Krill Garnash, a five-peaked mountain in the northern range, rumoured to contain the remains of an ancient fortress built by a formidable enemy of the kingdom of Alumet. Nobody knows what secrets she uncovered beneath those icy slopes, but over the next two hundred and fifty years (her life unnaturally extended by potent enchantments) little was heard of Morgana, except by the tribesmen who, impressed by her sorcery, swore fealty to the fell sorceress of Krill Garnash.
Morgana eventually began to exert her malign influence over Pikestaff Plain, recruiting Pygmy Orcs, Blackhearts and other evil creatures to oppress the local people. At the same time, the city of Arion was suffering a decline; some of its mines had been worked out and abandoned, Lake Nekros had not been crossed in living memory, hampering trade with Fallow Dale to the north, and the harbour was too small and shallow for the larger size of merchant ships which were becoming increasingly popular. In 1791OT, the court wizard of Arion, Ifor Tynin, informed his ruler that Morgana planned to create masks imbued with the very essence of mayhem and mark them with the twelve sigils which hold the keys to power over all things. Knowledge of these sigils came from the faerie magic of Gundobad, but Morgana could never have harnessed them for evil without her grasp of sorcery. The descendant of Angus Bloodaxe set out for Krill Garnash and eventually defeated the fell sorceress and her allies.
This event seems to have sparked a change in Arion's fortunes and its attitude to its neighbours. No longer were Arion's rulers content to look inwards and govern their small fiefdom in isolation, but instead sought to expand the city-state's influence through diplomacy, marriage and, where necessary, military force. Over the next two hundred years, the army was vastly increased in size, the harbour was turned into a deep water port, facilitating the construction of a small navy, old mines were re-opened and new ones sunk, including the gold mines which have since given Arion much of its wealth, and trade routes were established with cities as far away as Kelther in Klarash and Gummport in the Old World. One further change was that the old Council of Elders, made up of wizards, was disbanded and replaced by the Noble Council of Elders, consisting of leading citizens from Arion and nearby settlements, awarded the title of Baron and given responsibility for furthering Arion's interests and advising the crown. The reason for this change was not recorded officially, but it has long been speculated that the inability of the Council of Elders to neutralize Morgana may have been a factor.
As trade began to flow between different parts of Khul, small villages sprang up along the routes to supply the merchant caravans and lone traders. Some of these grew into towns and a few, situated in advantageous terrain replete with natural resources and fruitful pastures, developed into cities to rival those between which the merchants were travelling in the first place. One such city was Faleha, in the far north-east on the trade route between Kalamdar and Fallow Dale. Faleha was a fair and prosperous city, with happy and honest citizens, and claimed fealty from all the villages on the northern part of Pikestaff Plain. Merchants from Ashkyos and Kabesh found it easier to pass through Faleha on their way to Arion, rather than risk skirting the edges of Deathmoor, then as now a volatile place of unseen danger. By 1900OT, Faleha rivalled Corda and Rahasta in size and was more influential than either.
This all changed when the cunning villain Arachnos employed subtle and intricate schemes to take control over Faleha's trade, piece by piece. Arachnos apparently came from humble beginnings, although his origins are shrouded in mystery, but he eventually rose to become master of all the city's revenue. Monetary gain was not his purpose, however, for he was a disciple of Chaos and was compelled to spread evil as others are to breathe. He used his economic domination to recruit a veritable army of servants, soldiers, necromancers and minions, with which he gradually destroyed the city from within, gaining him the epithet the Life Stealer.
He has been called a sorcerer or warlock, but there is no evidence that he personally possessed any magical powers whatsoever. He certainly was not a formidable fighter, but his great talent was surrounding himself with the right people, who combined a complete lack of morality with skills valuable to an evil mastermind. After despoiling Faleha and watching the whole region fall into instability and ruin, Arachnos turned his attention to the giant empire of Kabesh, worming his way into the confidence of its leaders. How much influence he had on Khan Gyorgir's acceptance of chaotic populations within his borders and nefarious magic-users in his capital, we shall never know, for Arachnos seemed to disappear when the armies of Chaos were defeated in the Great War against Evil.
He was assumed dead until 281AC, when he was identified as being responsible for the kidnapping of Princess Telessa in a plan to seize control of Arion's gold mines and use the income to finance a massive army of both humans and inhumans, which he would use to conquer the whole of north-eastern Khul and then perhaps the whole continent. Fortunately, he was defeated and killed by an adventurer from Chalannabrad, although the army he had begun to assemble fell under the domination of the Demon Prince Ishtra and remained a threat until scattered by the Elves of Affen Forest.
Illustration Suggestion: I can't do better than Ross Nicholson's picture of Morgana opposite §295 of FF23: Masks of Mayhem.

Re: Gazettes in the works?

Posted: Sat Jun 02, 2018 10:58 pm
by Lorian
A WIP adventure for my Gazteer:

It is done on a 10 x 10 grid although you can change the size and layout.

The heroes can move one square per action and each action changes the daylight cycle:
In Morning all Undead have -1 attack strength but at night they have +1.

You can roll for one legendary undead to place on the map.
Skull Beast
Skeleton King
Baobhan Sith
Earth Demon
Death Skull
Legendary Undead can move one tile per action. (The skeleton king can move two).

You can roll for two Rare Undead to put on the map.
Death Knight

You can roll for six Common Undead to put onto the map.
Night Stalker
Demon Steed

If the heroes travel at night there is a 3/6 chance they will meet a random encounter (unless they move on to an occupied square).

They can camp out the night but will have a ⅙ chance of meeting a random encounter. They must each eat one provision a day or starve.

You have two gnarled oaks to place. A sorcerer can cast the PIT/OAK spell to trap a tile.

You also can place the necromancer on the map. The heroes cannot see the map and can only tell you what direction they move in. If they set up camp for the night mark it on the map.

You can also place one Villager on the map:

On this tile there is a lumberjack in his house. It will be shut at night and the heroes cannot enter. He will be wary of the heroes but will quickly warm up to them. He will give them three provisions and will let him stay with him for one night. He will turn hostile if attacked.

On the Return Journey he will Volunteer to join the heroes on their Return Journey but if they refuse he will give them his Axe. He will also give them 5 provisions.

Skill: 6
+1 Axe
Stamina: 16
Leather Hauberk
Talents: Survivor, Strongarm
Special Skills:
Axes 2
Armour 1

The Wiseman lives in a solitary shack in the woods. He will be able to tell the heroes the rough compass direction of the Legendary Undead if it is still alive. If asked about the location of the Necromancer he will say he could try to Scry for his location but it might kill him. If they insist he will give the rough Compass Location of the Necromancer but when they next return he will be found dead, sprawled on the floor.

On the Return Journey he will give them six healing herbs and 4 provisions. He will also bless them giving them +1 damage to Minor Undead until the end of the adventure.

Need help making more villager and not sure if it is understandable.