The Lost Tower

This module, as it was intended, revolved around the search for the lost tower of Losarcum. The underlying premise was that the tower was never really destroyed in the explosion that laid waste to it’s surrounding areas. The tower was actually moved to Taladas by the Arch mage Abi-dalzim, who used ancient magic secure the tower somewhere in Taladas. Abi-dalzim was supposed to be an obscure character, who would remain hidden throughout the storyline. I never intended him to be dead – he was just not there. I took the name from the 2nd edition Player’s Handbook, where the spell Abi-dalzim’s Horrid Wilting was one of my favorite spells. Besides, it’s a cool sounding name. Anyway, the hunt for the lost tower was to be the event everything else revolved around. I even went to so far as to incorporate some of my favorite modules into the storyline, by modifying them to fit the Dragonlance setting. Drums on Fire mountain and Pharaoh were the first ones in what was supposed to be along line of “refurbished” classic modules.

The module was supposed to be an epic quest that would take the characters all over the world. At the same time, I intended to introduce a lot of new fractions and general changes around the world, to give Dragonlance a grittier more mature feel with stronger emphasis on roleplaying. Introducing Taladas was another goal, which was largely inspired by the novels that came out at the time. Chris Pierson’s Taladas trilogy is in my opinion one of the best Dragonlance series ever written. I had high hopes for a Taladas sourcebook as well as a fresh perspective on the Dragonlance setting. As we all know, that did not happen.

 

This module takes place partly on the other Krynn continent: Taladas. Events in this module, however, are closely linked to the continent of Ansalon, which will also function as the starting point of this adventure.

During the age of might, the three moon gods bestowed upon their followers seven magical foundation stones. These stones were imbued with the essence of High Sorcery and were meant to channel the arcane powers into one single powerbase. These stones were used to build the Towers of High Sorcery. The two remaining stones are believed to lost, one destroyed by the dwarves of Thorbardin, the other lost in a battle that took place eons ago. However, as is often the case, history is not an exact science and reality is often subjective. As for the two missing stones their whereabouts are clouded in mystery. Only two of the most unlikely creatures know what happened. A dark mage and a shadow dragon are the only ones who know where to find the missing stones – and they are not telling.

During the conflict with the dwarves of Thorbardin, some of the members of the Conclave felt they needed a backup plan in case things did not go their way. When Greyfen the renegade showed his true colors and his treachery became apparent one of the mages decided to act on his own accord and he teleported into Thorbardin, as the dwarves were about to destroy the stone. The mage used his most potent magic and slew scores upon scores of dwarves in the process of retrieving the stone. Upon claiming the stone the wizard used the corridors of magic to reach safety within the walls of his tower. The wizard was none other that the infamous Abi-dalzim, who was known for his destructive magic as well as his willingness to unleash his full power on his enemies.

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Nightmare the Shadow dragon

The story of Abi-dalzim

Abi-dalzim the arch mage is truly a man of legend. He lived a very long time ago, so not many historical resources exist that pertain to his life. However, it is an established fact that he devised some o the most powerful spells known today. He was a student of destructive magic so many of his spells are used by war wizards and their like.

If the player characters decide to research the history of Abi-dalzim, there is a list below, which indicates some of the available information. Not all information is correct and it is left up to the dungeon master to determine which, if any, is true.

  • Abi-dalzim was born in Khur.
  • He became a powerful wizard of the Black Robes.
  • He was known for his invocation spells.
  • He rose to power as a member of the Conclave of Wizards.
  • He believed in the use of force to ensure the survival of the order of High Sorcery.
  • He decided to claim the stone of three for himself to ensure its survival.
  • He killed scores of dwarves in the process of retrieving the stone.
  • He is believed to have destroyed many members of the Conclave because they wanted to hand over the stone to the dwarves in exchange for peace.
  • He was labeled a traitor and renegade despite seemingly being a favorite of the moon gods.
  • He fled Ansalon and arrived on Taladas, where he planted the foundation stone.
  • The gods of magic raised a tower of High Sorcery in Taladas where he planted the stone.
  • Abi-dalzim was now to have befriended a shadow dragon named Nightmare.
  • Scholars say he was instrumental in the founding of the Aurim Empire in Taladas. The stone of three was used to form the base of the mightiest tower in the capitol. The stone might still be there.
  • Some scholars claim that Maladar the Faceless harnessed the power of the stone in order to boost his own might.
  • Abi-dalzim was the first “Zulkir of Aurim”. He disappeared without a trace and his successor was chosen among the council members as per his written instructions. The successor was Lord Xymian, who was in all actuality Nightmare the dragon in disguise.
  • The stone’s power transformed the nature of the tower underneath which it had been placed. Over the years the tower absorbed the arcane energies and the individual stones melted into a single smooth structure of black stone. The red and white minarets glowed at night and became beacons of the capital of Aurim. Only a very select few knew of the arcane properties of the tower. Most people thought it was enchanted by some mage to show off his or her powers.

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Abi-dalzim the Arch Mage


Power structure of Kuhr

Khur is a place where most of the Ansalonian organizations concentrate their efforts after the War of the Lance. The Hierarchs are currently fighting the Green Dragonarmy as well as the locals for domination. At the same time the Conclave of wizards are trying to regain some of their lost power, by building a new Tower of High Sorcery.

History

This remote location was once home to a great nation known as Khurana. It was ruled by the pharaohs for many generations, but internal war and conflict tore the land to pieces. Since then the land we now know as Khur has been ruled by an uneasy alliance of Zulkirs lead by a Kahn.

Political system

The system now mostly resembles a feudal system with a complex network of vassals and lords. The Kahn Khuri-Tal of the Wastes does not rule because of his abilities a ruler, but rather because he command the biggest army. The ten Zulkirs pay their respects to the Kahn, but only out of intimidation and fear of war. The Zulkirs themselves fight amongst each other to increase their land/power base as well as the oases so vital to the survival in the desert.

The Dragonarmy

After the War of The Lance, the Green Dragonarmy has lost much of its power in this region, mostly due to the lack of support from the green dragons that withdrew in the wake of that conflict. However, the Dragon Highlord still commands a sizeable force that does not hold any real sway over any land, but constantly seeks to ally itself with the different Zulkirs. The green dragon army is theoretically under the command of the Dark Queen, but since her banishment from Krynn there is no real coherence in the orders given.

The fall of Neraka left big gaps in the power structure in the region. Suddenly the oppression of the Green Dragonarmy was pretty much gone, which left the path open for the Hierarchs of Shrentaek to grab some power for themselves. However, instead of a full frontal attack the Hierarchs have opted to bide their time and wait for the warring factions to tire before invading. This means that the Hierarchs are sending spies into the region with the sole purpose to make it as unstable as possible. So far they have not been successful but with the aid of the Trade house Pandra from Palanthas this situation might just change.

The House of Pandra

Being traders by nature, the Pandra House is very interested in war in this region. People in war are always in dire need of supplies and who better to provide them with weapons than the Pandra House. Of course, being devout followers of Hidukkel helps them to achieve their goals. The Pandarians are following a two tier strategy, which means that they are trying to expand their influence in two major places in Ansalon. Firstly, they are involved in the conflicts plaguing Khur; secondly, they are deeply involved in the upcoming assault on Daltigoth. The Pandra House hopes to be able to put people in the right places if they involve themselves in these two conflicts.

The Conclave of Wizards

The Conclave is mostly trying to regain power in the region. Khur has in many ways become a sanctuary for renegades who do not want to adhere to the rules of the Conclave. The Conclave believes that by building a new Tower of High Sorcery they will be able to control the region better and thereby rid them of the renegade menace. Therefore, the Conclave has dispatched a great many spies to the region who mainly try to gather information while trying to locate the site of the old Tower of High Sorcery in Losarcum. Other spies are concerned with the local government and several of these have risen to high ranking positions among the local tribes.

The Taladas connection

With the involvement of the Pandra house, the followers of Hidukkel are very active in the power struggle. Thusly, many assassins from Taladas are roaming the region doing the bidding of their master. Fearing the growing cult of Ionthas the followers of Hidukkel believe that they may find a defense against the Father of All and Nothing among all the desolate sites in the dessert.

The cult of Ionthas

The cultists are not surprisingly trying to free their dark lord from his eternal prison. They are based in the dessert, where they raid caravans and search the lost tombs of the Pharaohs for clues to reach their goal. They have spies in the major cities, and their presence can usually be detected by the macabre murders that seem to follow them.

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The adventure begins.

The players find themselves in Khuri-Kahn, the largest city in the area and home to the ruling council. Normally the weather is hot and dry, but lately the nights have grown colder, and the days seem to be a little less scorching.

The players find themselves in the desert on their way to Khuri-Khan for undisclosed reasons. The journey has been long and hard, and they find their supplies dwindling at an alarming pace. Fortunately, they stumble upon a big camp made out of tents. What the players do not know, is that this is actually a meeting between the leading Zulkirs, who are supposed to elect the next Khan. Unbeknownst to the Zulkirs, the Hierarchs are monitoring their meeting and intend to attack during the meeting itself. This attack is supposed to divide the Zulkirs, allowing the Hierarchs to invade Khur while the Zulkirs are fighting among themselves.

As you walk through the desert you feel the sun beating down on you tired bodies. Water is running low and the thirst is almost unbearable. Suddenly you hear noise like a gathering of people is close by. Is this another mirage or…

As the players climb over the next dune an amazing site meets their tired and dry eyes.

Myriads of tents are stretched out over the desert sand. In the middle there is what appears to be a large oasis, complete with water and palm trees. Armed guards patrol the perimeter while

The inhabitants are going about their business. You are immediately spotted by the nearest guard, who ask you your business.

If the PCs answer truthfully and polite the guard will bring them into the camp, where they will be offered refreshments. It should be apparent that these people are friendly and the PCs should act accordingly.

As the PCs seem to able men and women, they are offered jobs as mercenary guards for Zulkir Haman-Khan, who is present in the camp. The pay is good and the PCs will be allowed to travel to Khuri-Khan as part of the caravan after the end of the meeting.

Enter the Hierarchs

The meeting takes place at night around a huge bonfire. Each Zulkir is allowed to bring five bodyguards so the players have the opportunity to present. The discussions mostly revolve around subjects that the PCs cannot relate to so after a while they may start to lose interest and the guards will probably be down.

From out of nowhere a huge black shadow crashes through the perimeter. This creature is none other than Mathaax, personal enforcer of Xenvelen the highest ranking Hierarch alive. He is followed by a number of human henchmen. The battle is extremely bloody and may result in the death of one or more Zulkirs. The PCs should act to save their Zulkir while battling the attackers. After a ferocious battle the attackers are forced to retreat and the PCs will have made a name for themselves.

All of a sudden you hear the sound of thunder. Everybody jumps to their feet, though too late meet the enormous the shadow that suddenly crashes into the meeting ground. Before you stands a huge minotaur with jet black fur. In his hand he holds a huge gleaming sword which swings at the nearest guard.

The quest

The day after the attack on the Zulkir council another meeting is called. The mood is bad and the Zulkirs accuse each other of staging this attack. However, further bloodshed is avoided on account of the advisor of Zulkir Kreanon. The advisor is none other than Charon Webster, who in disguise is trying to keep the Zulkirs from starting a civil war. As an agent of the Conclave, he is interested in keeping the peace so he can find the location of the ancient Tower of High Sorcery.

He suggests that, as a peace offering and sign of good will, the Zulkirs should try to lift the curse that has plagued the western part of the country. According to Charon Webster, the key to lifting the curse is to be found in the ancient pyramid of Amun-re located four days travel to the west. Amun-re was the last of the ancient pharaohs who used to rule the land now known as Khur.

If the players do not volunteer Zulkir Haman-Khan suggests that they undertake this quest. They will be handsomely rewarded.

Run the “Pharaoh” (I3) scenario by Tracy and Laura Hickman

If the DM does not have access to this module I suggest that he or she make up an alternate quest. However, to continue this module the quest should probably involve an element of restoring the desert to fertile land. Lifting the curse and restoring the oasis will provide resources to the region. Furthermore, accessing the pyramid will leave clues to the players about the cult of Ionthas as well as historical information about the lost empire.

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The life of a hero

Upon completing their quest to lift the curse of Amun-re, the PCs travel to the fabled city of Khuri-Khan. Here they will enjoy the sweet life of semi celebrities for a little while.

In Khuri-Khan the players may spend some of their new found wealth on equipment. Wizards should have few problems locating a Three Moon Shop where to replenish their spell components and maybe even trade magical items within reason.

Thieves may wish to explore or even join the local guild in order to train or trade goods.

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Pirates

Rumors start to fly around the dock area that the sea is filled with pirates. Pirates are not unknown in this part of the world, but these pirates seem better organized than before. Furthermore, the ships that are plundered are never destroyed; the ships are left drifting around without any sign of the crew or the cargo. Nobody knows where the pirates come from, but research into the matter reveals that there is an island called Teki-Nura-Ria. It is believed to be deserted but it is probably the best thing to a base of operations any pirate could find.

Run “Drums on Fire Mountain” (X8) by Grame Morris and Tom Kirby with modifications: KalnaKaa is not a mage but a priest of Ionthas. He is the leader of the cult in the area, and he is looting ships in order to supply his temple with human sacrifices.

Upon returning from the Fire Mountain the characters find a great deal of disturbing events have taken place since they were last here. It appears that despite the defeat of the marauders of Fire Mountain ships are still being attacked. However, this time around there is no clues as to who is behind these attacks.

The mastermind behind these attacks is none other than the Sea witch Sagarassi. She is attempting to divert attention away from the ancient pyramids located in the dessert.

The sea witch is more than the legend parents tell their children to scare them into submission. Although her existence is shrouded in dark mystery knowledge of her has spread through the eastern part of Ansalon. She is the main character in many a scary story although her name rarely the same in each story. However, scholars have established a correlation between these stories. Throughout Ansalon and Taladas, she is known as a powerful mage (wizard 20+) of incredible evil. She is believed to be behind the wars that have so ravaged the underwater kingdoms as well as surrounding areas. Furthermore, some people claim that the witch has lent her aid to several vicious warlords that have caused trouble from Nordmaar to Flotsam.

Nobody seems to know anything tangible about the origins of the sea witch. However, it seems fairly certain that she first surfaced seven or eight centuries ago. She rose to power among the inhabitants in the underwater realms between Ansalon and Taladas, and subsequently launched her devastating attacks against Watermere. She was eventually defeated when her armies fell apart for reasons unknown. When the victors ransacked her dwelling Sagarassi was gone without a trace. The raiders found powerful magical items meant for summoning and conjuration. It was assumed that the witch had called upon the aid of abyssal beings to aid her in her conquest. But for some reason her magic went awry and she was unable to retain control. The invaders decided to destroy the entrance to the caverns of the sea witch along with the remainders of her arcane experiments.

For a very long time Sagarassi was not a factor in the region until a group of adventurers decided to raid her caverns. Apparently they saw things so horrible that they were unable to talk about it. Only one adventurer escaped and before he died he talked about some horror from beyond, which had killed his friends. Since then nobody has sought out the lost caverns of Sagarassi.

Sagarassi is by far one of the mightiest inhabitants of Krynn. Thusly, player characters will most likely never meet her face to face until they reach epic level. However, they may run into ancient references to her, which may allow them to piece together her history and background upon escaping the Abyss.

Sagarassi wasted no time returning to her old lair. Here she managed to regain a large portion of her lost power. Unfortunately she was discovered by a group of adventurers who she promptly slew. One managed to get away and Sagarassi feared that her return to Krynn had been noticed. She decided to seal her caverns again and she departed her underwater kingdom. She shifted her attention towards Khur where she knew of old pyramids dedicated to the dark god Ionthas. She intends to harness the power she believes is hidden within these pyramids. However, the Chaos War and the Cataclysm has changed Ansalon dramatically and so far the sea witch has been unsuccessful in her endeavors. Furthermore, the tombs have been sealed off making it even more difficult to penetrate the ancient temples.

Sagarassi herself has many allies. Her most influential ally is Jiathuli, the demon queen of spiders who lends her aid to Sagarassi. Why the demon queen is interested in the pyramids is an enigma, but ancient texts claim that she was once a prisoner beneath one of these temples. These same texts suggest that the ancient crypts are somehow related to Ionthas and some elemental evil.

It appears as if the sea witch has changed her strategy. Instead of warfare she is now a lot more subtle, which makes her even more dangerous to the people of Taladas and Ansalaon.

The Wind Dukes of Ye’Cind

Opposing Jiathuli and Sagarassi are the four wind dukes of Ye’Cind also known as the four gods of the Dargonesti. These entities function as demigods, although knowledge about them is not wide spread across Krynn. History suggests that the wind dukes were once mortals who were elevated to the status of demigods to combat the influence of Ionthas. The wind dukes are considered champions of creation and preservers of life and balance. They are revered by the snow elves and to a certain extent by the Dargonesti. They do not seem to be too concerned about attracting worshippers although they do have powerful agents on Krynn.v

The Wizard’s war

Yesterday I whined about never finishing the Daltigoth idea. It turns out that I actually had some more work laying around Onedrive – who knew. The following article pertains to events preceding the actual Daltigoth setting. It’s all about the bloody war that enabled Daltigoth to rise from the ashes.

I have left in some preliminary character stats. They are based on the 2nd edition rules, so keep that in mind.

 

The Wizard’s war

The people of Anasalon are experiencing something they have not seen in years: Peace. The Dark forces of Takhisis have been defeated and the remaining forces are huddled up in Sanction trying to regroup. However, there are always people who are scheming and planning. One of these is the wizard Mordread Gemerald and his business partner and friend Richard Baglortin. Having built a strong trading company based in the glorious city state of Palanthas, these two companions have hatched an ambitious plan, which will move Anasalon one step closer to a new war.

Hiding behind the name G&B Trading, Mordread and Richard have amassed huge amounts of wealth with one purpose – to build an army that will attack the ogre city of Daltigoth, and restore the city to its former splendor. The reason why Daltigoth is interesting to the two is the fact that there once stood a Tower of High Sorcery, which was destroyed during the rule of the Kingpriest. However, deep beneath the crater that was left after the explosion of the original tower, rest the fabled Stone of Three, which is the foundation stone of every Tower of High Sorcery ever built. Whoever controls the city will, with the correct preparation, resources and spells, be able to rebuild the once mighty Tower and control large parts of Southern Daltigoth.

The player characters find themselves in the grand city of Palanthas, where they are resting after a long journey. Unlike many of the smaller communities, Palanthas offers anything a weary traveler could possibly want – provided the traveler has a purse full of steel. The city is buzzing with rumors of a trading company hiring mercenaries, workers etc. as well as buying huge quantities of supplies. Furthermore, a lot of ships have been acquired. At the same time, there are a lot of fights going on in the streets at night, keeping the city guards busy and the prisons full. These are fights are rumored to be between the two rival trading houses Pandra and G&B Trading.

Background

Mordread Gemerald and Richard Baglortin are amassing an army in order to conquer the city of Daltigoth. Mordread believes that the Stone of Three is still buried deep beneath the grounds of the old Tower of High Sorcery, which is now a lake of silvery water. He intends to install his friend Richard Baglortin as Lord Mayor, and rebuild the ancient tower. Already, spies have been dispatched to map out the defenses of the ogres currently holding the city.

The alliance

In order to ensure success G&B Trading has forged an alliance with the Kargonesti elves as well as the local dwarves and gnomes. All fractions have been promised advantageous positions in the new city state such as guild masters and members of the ruling oligarchy. The alliance is fairly stable, but could experience serious troubles if the war drags out for too long and the casualties start to accumulate. The Solamnic Knights have signed a peace treaty with G&B Trading, which ensures the non-involvement of the knighthood during the conflict.

The current situation

Currently, the ogres do not suspect anything; however, it would be unthinkable that the army could reach Southern Daltigoth unbeknownst to the Grand Lord Garroth. As for the army itself, it is close to being complete and ready for departure. A taskforce, including high ranking officers, has been assembled and will leave a week prior to the main strike force in order to infiltrate Daltigoth and prepare for the upcoming invasion. This task force will also attempt to assassinate ogre chieftains in order to create chaos and instability. The members of this task force will be rewarded with positions among the ruling oligarchs when the new Daltigoth is created. Furthermore, the members will receive a substantial reward.

The Player Characters

The Player Characters can become members of this task force, join the regular forces or fight the covert war in the streets of Palanthas against the Pandra House. This covert war will most likely move to the streets of Daltigoth upon completion of the campaign.

The Pandra House

The rivals of G&B Trading, the Pandra House, see its position as the leading trading house threatened by G&B Trading possible success of setting up a powerbase in Daltigoth. Consequently, the upper echelons of Pandra have ordered a covert war against their rivals. This has resulted in nightly skirmishes and assassinations of officers and officials. As a last resort, Pandra will warn the ogres of the impending war. Furthermore, Pandra will send high level advisors to aid the ogres fortify their city.

Lady Arianna Pandra

13th level human female priest of Hiddukel (Lawful Evil)

As manager in charge of market development and competition she is the Pandra official charged with obstructing the plans of G&B Trading. She resides in Palanthas from where she directs the covert operations of her house.

Arianna is as cool as they come. She is always on top of things, which makes her a very dangerous foe. She will avoid combat whenever possible, relying on her bodyguards for protection.

She wears the latest fashion but will always dress conservative. She has black hair and dark eyes. She carries no visible weapons.

S: 7 D: 12 C: 9 I: 14 W: 17 Ch: 15

Kalanoth

9th level elf male assassin (Neutral Evil)

Kalanoth is an important member of the Pandra organization. He has infiltrated G&B Trading in order to uncover the inner secrets of the rivals. He usually poses as a mercenary.

Kalanoth acts as a typical mercenary, loud and brash. However, this is only a façade. He is a cool calculating individual who mercilessly carries out his tasks.

He always wears travel clothes when he is not wearing his leather armor. He is recognizable by his big red hat, which he wears when not in combat.

S: 16 D: 17 C: 12 I: 13 W: 12 Ch: 17

Kael Ambreville

17th level human wizard of the Black Robes. (Lawful Evil)

Kael is employed by the Pandra House to fill the vacant position as master mage, which became available when his predecessor was killed by Mordread on Karthay. He is interested in the Daltigoth campaign and may be persuaded to switch sides.

Kael is a quiet contemplative individual who will avoid combat whenever possible.

He wears the black robes of his order, unless he is attending a ceremony in which case he will don black and purple robes. He hails from Khur and resembles the average inhabitant of that region.

S: 6 D: 15 C: 8 I: 17 W: 13 Ch: 12

Other fractions

The Wizards Conclave supports this endeavor primarily because of possibility of building a new Tower of High Sorcery in Daltigoth. The support of the Conclave has not been real “hands on” but the Conclave has provided advise. The Conclave may eventually be persuaded to allow access to war spells etc. This would be the ideal set up for a medium- to high level political campaign in which the characters travel to Wayreth to negotiate with the wizards.

The Knights of Solamnia have a non-involvement agreement with G&B Trading. However, if the knights feel that their other goals of bringing order to Krynn can be achieved by supporting the invaders, they will not hesitate to lend them support. Especially when jockeying for religious and political power in Daltigoth will the Knights of Solamnia let their presence be known.

The Dragonarmy is currently rebuilding its strength in Sanction, so the attention is focused elsewhere, namely Khur, Sanction and Neraka. The white army has a few agents in the area, but they are primarily concerned with gathering information and resources.

The Knights of Takhisis is a powerful group, which is more or less uninvolved in the war of Daltigoth. Southern Ergoth is not a primary target according to the plans of lord Ariakan, however, the knighthood does employ spies, and are aware of what is happening. The Knights of Takhisis will not engage in acts of war under any circumstances.

The ogres are currently occupying the city of Daltigoth. They have been the masters of the city for many decades, ever since the fall of the Ergothian Empire. They are led by the Grand Lord Garroth who is a very atypical ogre because he seems concerned with restoring the glory of the ancient high ogre empire.

Daltigoth City

After the explosion of the Tower of High Sorcery, Daltigoth has been trying to regain its former splendor. However, attempts to rebuild the city have met with a sad demise after the ogres conquered the city. Today, most of the buildings are falling apart due to the neglect of the ogres. Also, the ogres do not possess the ability to build a city like Daltigoth. Despite this neglect there are places in the city where a visitor can admire the remnants of the Ergothian Empire. The Grand Lord dwells in the old empirical palace, or rather, what is left of it. Unlike the rest of the city, the palace is kept in fairly good condition, despite having lost several wings of the original structure.

Even though the explosion caused by the wizards was very powerful, the main force of the power unleashed, was directed downwards. This means that there is a huge crater filled with water, where the tower once stood. The foundation stone is still located deep beneath the site, enabling the construction of a new tower. Evidently, the stone itself is not enough, the correct spells are still required to raise a new tower. The former grove was all but destroyed by the explosion and appears beyond saving, indicating the need for a new one. The area, located in the western part of town is the source of much powerful magic energy, which can be tapped through the right means and rituals. The ogre magi have discovered a way to tap into the energy through arcane rituals, thusly enhancing their spell casting capabilities. This means that the ogres have more magical power at their disposal since their fall from grace eons ago. The Grand Lord believes that the magical powers emanating from the old tower site may contribute to the restoration of the ogre might. The ogres of Daltigoth are unaware of the existence of the nzunta, whose existence, should it ever be known, would have consequences for the local ogres[1].

As mentioned earlier, the city of Daltigoth is in dire need of renovation and rebuilding. It should be possible for any city lord to keep some of the original buildings, but these too will need major repair.

Surrounding areas

Daltigoth is a coastal city, which is dependent on seafaring in order to reach the mainland of Ansalon. Various sea creatures case havoc among the merchant vessels, but since the ogres do not engage in a lot of trade activity, this problem is fairly minor. However, if the invasion proves successful the new lords of Daltigoth will have to address this situation. To the west of Daltigoth the mountains are located. Save for a small dwarf community, these mountains are fairly unexplored. The dwarf enclave is an ally of G&B Trading and will lend any support possible to the campaign.

The Kargonesti Elves

The eleven inhabitants of Southern Ergoth inhabit the southernmost part of the area and are not directly involved in the conflict. However, the elf nation is somewhat worried about the prospects of a strong military presence in Daltigoth, given that the city state decides to expand its territory. Therefore, the elves are playing a waiting game hoping to learn the true intentions of G&B Trading. G&B Trading has dispatched several emissaries to calm the fears of the elves and hopefully persuade them to join the coalition. Undoubtedly, a strong and civilized Daltigoth would be a good ally and trading partner of the elves. Depending on the involvement of the elves, they will receive a place among the ruling oligarchs or at the very least an ambassador present in the city.

Kalthanan, Speaker of the Moons

14th level male elf ranger (Chaotic Good)

S: 16 D: 15 C: 11 I: 12 W: 15 Ch: 11

Major NPCs of Daltigoth

Grand Lord Garroth

15th level ogre fighter (Neutral Evil)

Garroth is mainly interested in restoring the might of the high ogres. He will also attempt to consolidate his power whenever possible. In the future he will seek to conquer the surrounding lands in order to build an ogre empire.

The Grand Lord is unusually calm for an ogre. However, he is capable of extreme cruelty, although he will go to great lengths to appear civilized.

He has long black hair that is well kept. He has filed down his tusks in order to appear more like the ancient high ogres.

S: 18/34 D: 12 C: 17 I: 15 W: 9 Ch: 7/17

Clabbard +3, Chainmail +1

Lord Kromouth

7th/9th level ogre fighter/magi (Neutral Evil with chaotic tendencies)

Kromouth is primarily interested in the Mercury Pool, which he uses to enhance his magical powers. He believes that magic is a vital part in restoring the glory of the high ogres. He dreams of the magical might of his ancestors.

Kromouth is a calculating character. He has a keen sense of survival, which may be exploited by his enemies. Otherwise he will appear quite cultured when dealing with non ogres. He serves the Grand Lord Garroth because they share a common dream, and because his position at the court provides him with access to the Mercury Pool.

Kromouth wears brown and black robes of the finest quality. He is not a wizard of high sorcery and therefore feels no obligation to wear specific colors. His tusks have been filed down to convey a civilized image. His well kept hair is worn in a braided ponytail.

S: 15 D: 14 C: 13 I: 16 W: 8 Ch: 6

Mordred Gemerald

21st level human wizard of the Red Robes (Lawful Neutral)

Mordread is primarily interested in securing the Mercury Lake in order to rebuild the fabled Tower of High Sorcery of Daltigoth. He is willing to wage war to reach his goals and he considers his wealth as a means to an end.

Mordread is sophisticated, charming and cultivated – at least under normal circumstances. When in combat, he will use any force necessary and commit almost any deed to secure his goals are met. He enjoys discussing magic, politics and art. Mordread is also a member of The Cabal.

He usually wears red robes with gold runes; he has a goatee long brown hair and brown eyes. He is tall well-built and looks very fit.

S: 10 D: 17 C: 11 I: 18 W: 15 Ch: 18

Richard Baglortin

15th/3rd level Human fighter-mage

(Lawful Neutral)

Richard Baglortin’s major interest is the establishment of the Free city of Daltigoth with him as the lord mayor. To reach this goal, he has amassed huge amounts of wealth, which he intends to use to rebuild the city of Daltigoth after defeating the ogres.

He is normally an approachable man, who is very forthcoming. He will usually try to treat people with respect since he feels this is the best way to win them over to his cause.

Richard wears his armor when he is leading the Daltigoth campaign. Otherwise he will wear either red or purple robes. The red color symbolizes his allegiance to the Order of High Sorcery.

S: 18/35 D: 12 C: 15 I: 15 W: 11 Ch: 15

Flame tongue sword + 3

Sascha

12th level human female thief (Neutral)

Having experienced the hard life in Sanction, Sascha is currently enjoying the position of being in charge of the intelligence network of G&B Trading. She leads the war against the Pandra House and is personally responsible for numerous assassinations in Palanthas. She is also a member of the Thieves guild in Palanthas and is hoping to head the guild in Daltigoth. She is very loyal to G&B Trading.

She is a schemer, although she maintains a façade of politeness. When dealing with thieves, she will use street lingo.

Sascha has long blonde hair worn in a ponytail. She rarely wears eveningwear, preferring to dress in clothes that will allow her to practice her trade.

S: 10 D: 17 C: 13 I: 12 W: 9 Ch: 16

Gloin

10th level dwarf male fighter (Neutral Good)

Gloin is the head of mining expeditions sent forth to prospect the mountains near Daltigoth. He is a miner extraordinaire, and runs the operation effectively. He hopes to secure a position among the oligarchs and maybe assume leadership of the masonry guild once it is established.

He is usually gruff and very business minded. Gloin can be friendly towards people if they do not waste his time. He enjoys a fruitful friendship with Mordred and Richard.

Normally, he wears work clothes whose brownish color is a contrast to his red beard.

S: 18/48 D: 11 C: 16 I: 14 W: 9 Ch: 7

Adventure hooks for the Daltigoth campaign.

There are numerous aspects of the Daltigoth campaign, which the player characters can get involved in. This section aims to highlight some of these adventure possibilities.

The Minotaur Revolt

The ogres are known for their use of slavelabor. Among the numerous slaves kept in Daltigoth, a group of Minotaurs, who has been taken prisoners and are currently working the mines or building new houses for the ogres. These Minotaurs are yearning for freedom, and would gladly join the impending slaughter of the ogres. A powerful group of adventures might succeed in penetrating Daltigoth and free the slaves. However, due to the cultural differences it might prove more than difficult to integrate the Minotaurs into the invading army. If the player characters convince the slaves that they are people of honor, the slaves will fight in the war. Given the intimate knowledge of Daltigoth they have, the slaves are valuable allies and it is believed that the leader of the Minotaurs will be rewarded with a seat on the ruling council of the oligarchs.

Mael

11th level Minotaur fighter

S: 19 C: 17 D: 13 I: 10 W: 11 CH: 14

The assassination

A major part of campaign relies on the assassination of leading ogre chieftains. The assailants count on destroying numerous war chiefs in order to create as much chaos as possible among the opposing forces as well as lowering moral among the troops. The player characters would have to infiltrate the ogre ranks and seek out the right ogres. If the Minotaur scenario has been completed, the former slaves can provide valuable information about the structure of the ogre power base. The assassination is very risky given the fate of any participants should they be caught by the ogres. Consequently, the rewards should match the risks involved. Possible rewards could be a seat on the ruling council, guild leadership, land or money.

The mercury lake

One of the reasons why the ogres have been so successful in maintaining their dominance over Daltigoth is their ability to harness the magical energies emanating from the lake of mercury. The ogre magi have found a way to enhance their magical powers, which they use to control Daltigoth and to fortify the city’s defences. The ogre magis are now able to cast more complicated and powerful spells than before. This means that they are a major threat to the invading army. Another aspect of this scenario would be the Conclave’s interest in building a new Tower of High Sorcery. The Conclave would support a mission into Daltigoth in order to uncover the secrets of the mercury lake. Furthermore, slaying or preferably catching one of the higher ranking magi in order to learn how they harness the magical powers would be an objective for any conclave sponsored taskforce.

The Nzunta infiltration

Strange things are happening in Daltigoth. Colourful lights can be seen radiating from the city at night, and spies tell of an unusual high number of dead bodies found in dark alleys in the morning. The forces of G&B Trading are reluctant to attack Daltigoth given the unknown things that transpire at night in the city. Even the ogres themselves do not know what is going on in their city, but the Grand Lord Garroth is keen to find put.

The group responsible for the killings is the Nzunta. They are investigating rumours of high ogres being born to degenerated parents. So far they have met with no success, so in order to cover their tracks; they slay the families of potential high ogres. The lights seen at night are the results of arcane rituals, which allow the Nzunta to track down newborns.

Player characters entering Daltigoth in order to investigate can discover the origins of the strange lights and may also start to uncover the ancient secrets of the Nzunta. The Nzunta taskforce has been in Daltigoth for almost a month prior to the invasion. They have been looking for high ogres, supposedly born to normal ogre parents. However, their efforts have met with little success. The Nzunta force consists of five individuals led by Lord Volospin. They usually wear disguise except when they perform their arcane ritual. It is only during this ritual the Nzunta can be unmasked because they are forced to reveal their true nature due to the arcane nature of the ritual.

The Nzunta have discovered the powers of the mercury lake, which might be if use to them. For the time being they are focused on the infants, but may change their objectives once they have found all the high ogres in Daltigoth. In the long run, the Nzunta may decide to try to take Daltigoth for themselves, and establish an empire in Southern Ergoth. Under no circumstances will the Nzunta join the invading forces. A twist to this may be that the Nzunta will join the invaders under false pretences, only to turn on the invaders after the conflict is over.

Evidently, the Nzunta will be disguised in order to conceal their true nature. Despite their inherently evil nature, the Nzunta are becoming increasingly disillusioned with the rigid structure of their society. Notably a growing number of mages are interested in joining the Conclave in order to pursue their arcane studies in peace.

Post war Daltigoth.

Religion in post war Daltigoth.

Given the weakened structure of the deities after the War of Souls, Daltigoth has become a virtual battleground for the various faiths in Krynn. The majority of faiths attempt to establish a foothold in the new city state, much to the dismay of the Lord Mayor. Richard Baglortin is constantly trying to keep the priests at bay, while at the same time trying not to offend any of them. All the major faiths are allowed to have official temples in the city, as long as they are located in the religious quarter of town. The only cult not allowed in Daltigoth, is the cult of Ionthas, which does not have a public place of worship. The cult works covertly, and the members generally keep to themselves. Almost all of the temples are trying to establish a seat among the ruling council of oligarchs. However, the council is resisting pressure to grant a position of Grand Cleric of Daltigoth. Such a position would make one single individual very powerful, and the rulers wish to prevent that. Thusly, the oligarchs ferociously enforce the separation of church and state.


[1] But what consequences?

The Free City of Daltigoth

At one point did I start to write an article about the Free City of Daltigoth. The idea was that Daltigoth had been taken over by a mysterious force that had destroyed the ogres and rebuilt the city. As with every other project I have started over the pas 15 years, this one never got beyond the introduction. I had a lot of ideas for this one, and I do regret never following through with it. It would have been a lot of fun to write. Alas, it was not meant to be. As you can tell from the few lines below I never got around to writing a lot, however, there are a few references around the blog.

 

Introduction

The free city of Daltigoth was founded after a long and bloody struggle, which claimed the lives of many people. Many of these people were mercenaries who were lured to Southern Ergoth by the promises of wealth and freedom. For the survivors of the struggle only a handful found the wealth they dreamed of, but most of them found freedom.

Shortly after the demise of the dragon empire, a group of people initiated the Daltigoth campaign. The chaos and confusion that reigned immediately after the Dark Queen’s defeat left the ogres in Daltigoth without strong allies. The death of Feal-Thas and Lord Toede meant that there was no strong leader to keep the white dragons under control, and their departure from Daltigoth was the main reason why the invaders decided to strike. Seizing the moment, the invaders launched their armada from Palanthas and reached the bay of Morgash within weeks. Before the arrival of the armada, a group of people had infiltrated Daltigoth and set up several magical traps that were designed to go off prior to the attack. Furthermore, the group had carried out several assassinations of ogre leaders while at the same time finding the fabled mercury lake.

Demons in Dragonlance

In my old campaign I intended to experiment with demons. The idea was to create a Call of Cthulu type mood, where the players would face some of the most evil entities in the world. As all my other plans, this one never came to fruition, but I did do a little bit of work on it.

The letter I have posted below, was supposed to be found by the players somehow, and reveal the existence of demons. The letter is written to an hitherto unknown arch mage, who for some reason, is interested in the denizens of the lower planes. The letter contains excerpts from a red robe, who apparently traveled to the lower planes with several other people, only to be butchered. The mage Daliath Vos is the sole survivor. This letter was supposed to be the first in a long line of correspondence between the two mages, although the inquiring mage’s identity would always remain a mystery.

 

Most esteemed Archmagus,

clip_image002 It was not without surprise that I received your request through our mutual friend in Palanthas. Normally I do not share my work with others, even though they belong to the same order as me, but considering your merits and status I feel compelled to respond.

What you are about to read is a short summation of the knowledge I have accumulated over many long years. At great personal risk have I ventured into realms that only a scarce few have been privileged to visit and the price has been high. So has the rewards, because in doing so I have amassed powers that I only dreamed of in my youth.

You will find references to two key researchers of this field: Daliath Vos and Abi-Dalzim. Both of these were great wizards in their own rights, but they have distinguished themselves by the amount of work they have put in to this venture. I would recommend that you search your own library for references to the mages, since they, to the best of my knowledge, are long gone from our part of the world. I am currently gathering information about the two, which I will forward you when ready.

I feel a warning is in its place. This subject is as dangerous as any undertaken by people of our profession. The person venturing in to this realm risks not only his existence but his very soul. Duly warned, I present to you The Demonology of Krynn.

Gil-Galad uth Vakaar

Archmagus of The Black Robes

I first started to take an interest in the lower planes when I accidentally came across a book by the great Archmagus Abi-Dalzim. From what I understand he was a powerful wizard of the Black Robes who hailed from the lands of Kuhr. I have been unable to determine when he was alive, but I have reason to believe that he at some point in time served the Great Fistandantilus as an apprentice. Abi-Dalzim claimed to have devised a spell that allowed him to scry into the Abyss without actually going there physically. I have attempted to copy his method and have met with some success. During this scrying, Abi-Dalzim saw beings, which he had never even heard of, much less seen. Since he was familiar with many of the races of the nether spheres this, needless to say, came as a surprise. Thus, he started the work that I am now continuing.

What I am able to understand from these ancient texts the Abyss is home to a race of beings that, for a lack of a better word, are Demons. It seems that these beings are native to that particular plane, and that they wield great power, power that rival that of many deities. Now, these Demons, or Tanar’ri as they call themselves, are not gods in their own rights, since they are unable to grant power to their followers. I will explore the worship of the creatures later. However, they do seem to at the very least, dominate large portions of the nether planes in a manner that resembles a lordship. So, according to your question I will now turn to the matter of the so-called Lords of the Abyss. I first encountered a reference to the Lord of the Abyss, when I read the work of Daliath Vos. He was a mage of the Red Robes, who along with his compaclip_image004nions actually ventured into the Abyss themselves for undisclosed reasons. Needless to say, this was many eons ago, but after Abi-Dalzim started his work. I have here part of Daliath Vos’ account of what transpired in the Abyss as he later wrote it in the Nethertome:

There is a place where Evil has a face and a body. There is a place where Evil lives and breathes. Within this place of torment they live, the Masters of Hate, Agony and Rage. From the deepest and darkest pits of the Nether World they rule through power so great that mere mortals can do nothing but bow down in homage.

It was to these pits we traveled in search of power and knowledge. Little did we know what fate had in store for us. Sir Gavin the Paladin was the first to fall when his God failed to aid him. What happened to the Holy Daughter Tamera I cannot say, as for the rest they must have been dragged away by the servants of the Lords.

I have come to the conclusion that I was allowed to escape so my tale could be told as a warning to other foolish mortals who want to seek out the Lords of Hate.

-Daliath Vos, Archmagus of the Red Robes

Tower of High Sorcery, Losarcum

clip_image006I believe that this tale provides us with some information concerning the denizens of the nether spheres. Firstly, it appears that there is a hierarchy, which is based on power, meaning that the least powerful creatures serve more powerful entities. I cannot for sure say how many echelons there exist but my guess is around five. There are most likely several different races in each echelon while I suspect the more powerful creatures are unique. As for their relationship with the Gods I can only speculate. Personally, I think some of the hordes do serve the deities of Krynn, although some of them appear to be independent or at least in service of hitherto unknown masters.

Lastly, I feel I should warn you again. Despite your renown and your obvious power, which we witnessed in Neraka, meddling with the affairs of the nether spheres can only bring doom to the unfortunate. However, I will share any information with you at the usual fee if necessary. You can contact me through our Red Robed broker.

G.

Big problems

So, my little conversion project is moving a long steadily, but I seem to have hit a couple of problems here.

My first issue is; if you gain a level as an Alchemist for instance, do you also get a spell level, just like if you gained a wizard level? I am leaning towards a No, since the character will attain a special ability, which is pretty powerful.

The second issue is; when you reach Circle 3, you have access to two abilities. Now, do you get the both of them, or should I split them, and basically add more levels to the prestige class? I am leaning towards a Yes, since it will expand the class in terms of advancement, however, it violates the tradition of the Seven Secrets of Glantri, in the sense that there are all of a sudden more circles than the original five.

What do you guys think?

The Cabal

Many are the organizations that attempt to control the fate of Krynn. Most of these organizations believe that assuming control over the other nations and their inhabitants is the key to power. In doing so the scales of power are constantly moving between good and evil. In the middle of this conflict, the forces of neutrality attempt to maintain the balance of Krynn.

One of the more noteworthy organizations, which work to ensure stability, is a cabal of wizards known as the Cabal. Gil-Galad uth Vakaar of the Black Robes, Mordread Gemerald of the Red Robes and Norrin Furlong of the White Robes make up the core of this organization. These mages work to promote and enhance the strength of arcane magic in Krynn as well as strengthening their own positions of power. All the mages are highly lawful, which ensures the stability in the group. Despite working together on numerous occasions, the three wizards still work to further their own ends. This is illustrated most prominently by Mordread’s involvement in the siege of Daltigoth. Norrin Furlong is involved in the development of the city of Tarsis with special emphasis on the restoration of the grand library. Gil-Galad is more active in the east, where he is researching the location of the Tower of Losarcum. He is also keeping taps on the Minotaur nation of Mithas.

The cabal does not meet on any set times or location but work more on a case by case basis. Their preferred mode of operations of the three mages is to use agents who often do not know who they are working for. On other occasions the group will provide knowledge or funding to a specific group that work toward the same ends as the wizards. Seldom, the wizards will intervene themselves, but only as a last resort. Evidently an intervention by three such powerful mages will attract a lot of attention, which the wizards will seek to avoid since secrecy is one of their more potent weapons.

Enemies

The biggest enemy of the cabal is not surprisingly the Knights of the Thorn. The Grey Robes represent an upset to the Conclave of Wizards by impeding on the domain of the gods of magic. The actively work to disrupt the work of the Thorn Knights by hiring assassins to kill every Grey Robe they can. Ultimately, the cabal aims to assault Storm’s Keep but they lack the power to do so for the time being. The cabal plans to use Daltigoth as a build up place so they may be able to mass a full scale war against the Knights of Takhisis. However, given the secret nature of the Knights of Takhisis, spying is one of the most important aspects of the cabal’s work. Therefore, the cabal employs an extensive network of spies across the continent of Ansalon. Most of the spies do not know who they are working for but the pay is good, and questions are not encouraged. Mot, if not all thieves guilds across Ansalon have one or more members, who report directly to one of the members of the cabal.

As for the ogre nation of Kern, most of the spies are actually ogres themselves. They have been charmed or controlled by magical means and provide valuable information about the activities of the Grand Lord. The cabal is not concerned about any ogre uprising for the time being, but since the ogres are a powerful group with connections to the Dark Knights, they are deemed important enough to keep taps on. As for the ogres in Daltigoth the situation is a bit different. Given the upcoming siege, Mordread has dispatched several agents who report back to him.

The most concerning piece of information uncovered by the cabal, is the cult of Ionthas. Lately, many cults have been uncovered and destroyed, but the cabal suspects that there are many more groups operating around the continent. Further evidence points to the continent of Taladas as a place where the influence of the cult is especially strong. So far, the cabal has not pursued this lead, but an expedition is being assembled.

Norrin Ashe Cahill

Norrin Ashe Cahill was born in the frozen lands of Icereach. He was the son of a middleclass family. The family took an active part in the struggle against the evil Thanoi, which instilled a rebellious spirit in the young man. Norrin entered into an apprenticeship with a local wizard of the White Robes and he eventually left Icereach to take the test of high sorcery.

Upon completing his test, Norrin donned the white robes and went to Tarsis to make a living for himself. Here he met the Red Robe Mordread Generald who took him on as an apprentice. He followed his master to Palanthas where he spent years studying the arcane arts. During his years in Palanthas he partook in many adventures in the areas surrounding the lord city of Palanthas.

Norrin was among the first spies who were sent into Daltigoth to gather information about the ogres and their defences. In spite of many dangers, Norrin managed to survive the hazardous quest and he eventually returned to Palanthas. At this time he had become a powerful wizard in his own right and he decided to strike out on his own. He remained a friend and ally to Mordread Gemerald, which is one of the reasons he eventually became a member of the Cabal.

Norrin returned to Tarsis where he wasted no time buying an old manor, which he completely restored. He set about locating the legendary libraries of Tarsis with the intention of restoring them. At the same time, he became involved in politics, which spurred him to become an advisor and ensuring political backing for his ambitious project. He has purchased a piece of property inside the city walls, which he plans to demolish in order to make room for his own tower as well as a grand library. This is an ambitious project mainly because Norrin insists on building the tower out of white marble. Currently, his associates are scouring Krynn for all the marble they can find and they are close to reaching their goal. Norrin plans to use the combined might of the Cabal to construct his tower.

Norrin has no political ambition, but he may find himself in a position where he has to fill some sort of political position in order to ensure political goodwill for his projects. For this reason, he is looking for a partner who can represent him in the City Council, thus lessening his workload.

Whenever possible, Norrin travels to Icereach to visit his family and relatives. He maintains close relationships with all his contacts in the region in order to keep taps on the Dragonarmy. Norrin has been considering an assault on Icewall Castle with the aim of taking over the building but his duties in Tarsis prevent him from pursuing this goal for the time being. However, he will sponsor groups of adventures who intend to raid the castle.

Norrin Cahill is usually an easygoing person who generally takes whatever time he can spare to talk to anybody who seeks him out. Of course, he is normally very busy, which makes him difficult to approach. He is a skilled mage who takes pleasure in his profession and who is proud of the work he does. The tower/library he intends to build will be the culmination of his life’s ambition.

Residence: Tarsis

Gil-galad uth Vakaar

As a member of the Cabal, Gil-galad is taking an active role in the political situation in Krynn. He is primarily interested in the eastern parts of Krynn around Goodlund. He believes this is place to find clues about the ruins of the lost Tower of High Sorcery of Losarcum. He resides in his black marble tower with golden domes, and is rarely seen outside its walls. He cultivates excellent relationships with the other two members of the Cabal, while maintaining a seat on the Conclave of wizards. Gil-galad is considered one of the leading scholars pertaining to the tower of Losarcum.

Gil-galad has been watching the events that transpire in the region of Khur. He is aware of Sagarassi’s involvement and he has personally investigated the ruins of Amun-Ra’s pyramid after it was raided by adventurers. He believes that the raid is connected to the rise of the Hierarchs in Shrentek but has so far been unable to establish a relationship. Gil-galad has sent his apprentice Gadriel out among the tribes of Khur to gather as much information as possible, but so far the pair has come up short. There has been one unexpected benefit from this strategy though; Gil-galad has built an extensive network of spies throughout the entire region.

Residence: Eastern Ansalon.

Mordread Gemerald

Mordread Gemerald is one of the biggest protagonists in Krynn. He is the mastermind behind G&B Trading as well as one of the most ambitious projects in years – the siege of Daltigoth. Like the other members of the Cabal, Mordread’s primary interest is high sorcery. The reason why he is willing to commit to the Daltigoth campaign is his faith in the conclave’s ability to recreate the Tower of Daltigoth.

He resides in a huge manor in Palanthas built from a rare form of red stone, which he acquired from one of the dwarven clans with which he conducts business. The manor is heavily guarded by magical means in order to keep out intruders and competitors alike. The most noticeable competitor is the Pandra House, who, besides being a trading house, is also a family. The feud between the two trading houses has been long and fierce and has resulted in many casualties. The biggest casualty has undoubtedly been the Pandra house’s loss of their archmage Ariana, who was slain by Mordread and his companions near Winston’s Tower. This marked the escalation of the conflict since the two houses started targeting each other’s leaders in stead of going after henchmen and suppliers.

Mordread spends most of his time preparing for the assault on Daltigoth city. This prevents him from leaving his manor for days at a time except for occasions where his presence is required. When he is not busy preparing for the invasion, he travels around Ansalon between the different allies who form the coalition. He uses diplomacy to ensure that the various fractions are satisfied and willing to fight the ogres.

Residence: Palanthas.

Thieves guilds of Ansalon

Most of the major cities of Ansalon have at least one thing in common – they all have one or more thieves’ guilds. These guilds operate on the wrong side of the law but in spite of this, some of them serve an important purpose when it comes to the every day life in the city.

Unlike other organizations such as the Wizards of High Sorcery, these guilds are independent of each other, meaning that there is no centralized governing body. Some of the guilds maintain some sort of contact with their fellow thieves whereas others jealously guard their territory. History has documented covert battles between rivaling thieves’ guilds and even infighting and power struggles have occurred.

Some of the older guilds practice a strict hierarchical system of government, which appears to ensure a certain measurement of stability. Some guild masters have even assumed legitimate positions of power such as Talbard van Ashen of Daltigoth who is one of the directing oligarchs. In Palanthas the guild is mostly involved in the covert warfare between the merchant houses, always finding rich rewards for a job well done.

In the smaller towns scattered across Ansalon, the guilds are usually very small and fairly insignificant in relation to the power structure. Many thieves residing in these small towns have been banned from the bigger cities for various reasons, thus, they fear for their own safety. Great deals of these thieves are rather paranoid and usually work under a false name.

The Guild of Palanthas

The Palanthas guild is headed by the master Dantrag Nenshen who has been the guild master for almost two decades. During his rule, the guild has experienced prosperity like never before, but at a cost.

When the trade wars started the guild was hired to by both sides as spies and there was work enough for anybody who wanted it. However, as the conflict escalated the jobs became more and more dangerous. The defining moment happened when a group of master thieves were hired to break into the manor of Mordread Gemerald. This was the first time a head of a merchant house was targeted but the operation was deemed fairly safe nevertheless. When the party did not return the guild master assumed that they had fled town with their bounty, however, the next night he found out what had happened to them. The mutilated bodies of the master thieves were found in the inner chambers of the guild with a small note attached to it: “Thus is the fate of ye who are found in forbidden realms”. Since that night, the guild has not officially accepted any contracts directly involving the headquarters of the merchant houses.

The biggest problem for the guild is that Dantrag Nenshen might find himself in a position where he has to pick sides in the trade war. He is reluctant to do this but given the power of the houses he may not have a choice. If Nenshen picks one house over the other, he will certainly incur the wrath of the opposing house and most likely the destruction of the guild. Therefore, he attempts to tread a narrow path of neutrality. He is currently considering denying both of the houses the services of the guild but he fears that this may result in an unending enmity of both houses.

At the same time, Dantrag Nenshen fears for his own safety. Reliable intelligence suggests that one or more of the merchant houses plan on replacing him with someone loyal to their cause. Dantrag has not succumbed to paranoia yet, but he has tightened security and he is never seen in public without armed escorts. He has employed the services of several medium ranked mages to ensure his safety, but he does not feel secure behind their magical wards and protective spells.

Besides being involved in the trade wars, the guild has various operations in Palanthas. The thieves control a large part of the gambling facilities as well as many taverns and inns. They also run contraband, which is dangerous, because the merchants lose money in account of this practice. The guild is also involved in blackmail and prostitution as well as smuggling – a practice greatly appreciated by the local mages. The guild can provide pretty much anything for the right price. Lastly, the thieves’ guild is associated with the assassins’ guild.

The Guild of Daltigoth

The guild in Daltigoth is the second largest in Ansalon. It is also the youngest guild, given that the Free City of Daltigoth, in its present state, has only been around for a few years. Ever since the last bloody battle of Daltigoth, when the ogres were slaughtered, the influence of the guild has slowly but steadily increased.

The reason why the guild has been so successful is due to the acceptance of its existence by the ruling oligarchs. The guild master, Talbard van Ashen, has even managed to merit an invitation to join the directing oligarchs, thus, becoming one of the rulers of the free city. The lords of Daltigoth believe the guild is a necessary part of the city’s structure. This does not mean that the city guard does not try to catch the thieves, but rather that the lords have a use for the rogues.

One thing that limits the power and influence of the guild is the internal power struggle that plagues the organization. Despite being a directing oligarch, Talbard van Ashen is constantly being challenged by ambitious thieves who crave his position of power. Due to his position as a directing oligarch, Talbard will most likely be forced to resign as guild master within a year or so. Since his membership of the guild is a secret he feels the stress is beginning to wear him down and he cannot resist the challengers for the guild leadership forever. Talbard’s own ambition leads him in the direction of the position of the Lord Mayor of Daltigoth. Currently, he is reluctant to challenge Richard Baglortin because he feels he cannot match the backing the Lord Mayor receives from the city’s leading mages, including the arch mage Mordread Gemerald.