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Interesting Locations in the Broken Landsby Robin
As you might expect, this is where the Hobgoblin tribes live. These are the tribes that formerly allied with Ethengar, and consequently they have a culture influenced by the Mongols ruled by a Khan.
Fortress Ul'Guzud is surrounded by remains of the Pine forest that once grew here but perished by the volcanic rain and ash. This barroer makes it very hard to attack this fortress.
The large “Plateau” Akkila's throne is actually on average ground level with the Ethengar region on the other side of the former Grondheim/Anur Lake. Contrary to the belief of many, the Western side is going UP instead down like real Plateaux (on the 8 mile canon hex maps this is wrongly applied as being a true plateau). It was on that side originally the foothills of the section of Colossus Mountains did exist, before they collapsed and eroded away in the eras after 1700 BC. Most eroded debris (sand) is still in the area, or flooded the southern part of Glantri. Some of it is packed together forming the Western edge of Hobgobland, often broken up to broken lands by the many earthquakes caused by the nearby volcano Kalazyrd.
The whole region is still reflecting the fact that it was once a vast pine forest. Trunks and root heaps are found regularly, if not plundered for burning wood. Many weak pines grow since a few decades on the hills, seeking a niche in the by Kalazyrd poisoned ground. image
The weakest Hobgoblin hordes live on the lower areas; the more powerful hordes live on the “Plateaux”. Entrances down to the underground caves are either on the shores of the muddy swamp or by the multitude of caves on the slopes of the Plateaux.
The Western part of the Mucks
The river Dol Anur is together with the Streel River the reason that the Mucks are still wet. Currently the emptying of the region’s water is still greater than the filling of it, and as thus the Mucks will continue to dry up, becoming a vast muddy plain, and eventually grasslands like Ethengar. Until the draining of the region is stopped this corner of Ethengar will eventually become a very dry, almost desert-like region, with a small fertile area along the rivers. The ground has clung into itself, when Lake Grondheim expanded centuries ago, and many regions are lower than their original altitudes.
As The Mucks are not actually a region owned by any Humanoid race as theirs, many other species can be found here. The official border between Hobgobland is set at the region between wet and dry, but most Hobgoblins go much deeper into the swampy area, and several tunnels to the lower caves are found here (created in ancient times by water going down). The actual border used is the curving Dol Anur River through the Mucks. It is too wide (several hundred yards) for Hobgoblins from crossing, as they mostly don’t know how to swim.
Other races known to exist here are the miniature lizardmen race of Caymen, who have simple clay/mud settlements as they always have.
There is an ancient ruined town here from the Blackmoor era, its name forgotten in time, marked with a orange dot. The high buildings are still somehow intact, probably this has something to do that they are made of stone, steel and an unknown compound feeling soft and warm to the touch. Most of the area has long been plundered of anything valuable, but there is a 5% chance a Blackmoorian object can be found, of which 90% are common tools, or writings, and only 10% were magical/technical (DM; the chance of still active is near to nil, but as DM you have the possibility to relay a single item with some power left to the characters [use DDA3 City of gods for which item could be found]. No heavy weapons were used here, and these can’t be found).
The spookiest here are the large globes hanging between the buildings that sometimes still glow, or shed lightning into the area weeks after thunderstorms. It is as if these globes somehow catch the lightning, storing it and irregularly releasing it later. These former energy batteries were used to bring light to this settlement, and were created similar to the batteries of the RCC reactor. They store nature’s electrical energy, and relay it to where needed. However, as most cables are destroyed, the energy is stored and slowly released back into the environment. Every hour (and if touched) small lightning charges are released, functioning like a Shocking Grasp spell; it develops a powerful electrical charge that gives a jolt to the creature touched or in a 10’ radius from the sphere or cable endings. The electrical effect remains in effect for one round or as long as the cables or Sphere is touched. It delivers 1d8+1 point per round damage to the victim. There is no saving throw to reduce damage, but beings immune to electricity are also immune to this effect and beings resistant to heat receive only half damage (round up).
Ruined village of Khumsta
There is another ruined settlement nearby. This is the ruined village of Khumsta in the acrid sands. This was an attempt of Gnolls to make a foothold in this region, thus making it easier to attack the Hobgoblins. The succeeded to erect large stone structures, but eventually they all perished by the acidity of the air in this region. The acrid sands are a barren area where acidic rain from the far northern volcano in the Colossus Mountains came down. Nature is slowly gaining terrain, but until then, anybody within this area that is not immune to acid suffers 1 point of damage each day. And this does not regenerate NOR heal as long the victim is in the area.
Ruined village of Gorff
The last Ruin named Gorff is an Orcish fisher-village from 2300 BC on the edge of where Lake Grondheim lay. It is fully abandoned, destroyed by nature, and overgrown. Only the large stone harbor can be recognized as such, Only the nearby Caymen come here to plunder and forage (large areas are overgrown with Brambles here) and as result these Caymen may have weapons of steel.
The Fairy Stones
This peculiar area is rarely noticed, and those who do, almost never venture forth. The area is under powerful fairy magic, emanating from within the rocky swampy area. Within this region non-destructive Witch, Druidic, Elven Treekeeper, and Shaman magic are double in effect OR duration (random), all other magic is halved in effect AND duration and/or may have a weird rarely harmful side effect (DM use your Imagination, keep it fun, a bit ridiculous. Example; Magic missiles turn to paint ball projectiles; a Lightning bolt makes the caster extremely electrostatic, hard to concentrate/sleep/eat, or touching others while generating these tiny sparks). Only those able to see invisible can detect the hexagonal stepping stones leading deep within the area, to the magical portal. This magical location is a portal to the Fairy Realm, and many Fairies of different kind enter or leave the region from here, by using these magical stones, mostly in invisible form. Races friendly to the fairies (like Hsiao, Treant, some individual Hin, Elf or even Human) often know this location too, but refrain from abusing its power for fairy magic seems to have its counter effects. They only use this location as a conduit to other Fairy locations (Alfheim, Isle of Dread, etc.).
Raised square pyramid-roofed leather and wood housing, adorned with shields, tusks, or tusk shaped trees
Name |Occupants |Tier | Dominant Horde|Information Kabilla |Unknown |4th |Night Crawlers |Unknown Kahn-Terir | Unknown| 5th| |Unknown Nankoweap |Unknown | 3rd| Night Stalkers|May trade with passing Merchants Cave Dzubokai | Unknown| 3rd| Night Stalkers|Large cave undeep with wide spread entrances -volcanic origin Cave Dzulagazai | Unknown| 3rd| Night Stalkers|Large undeep cave-volcanic origin Cave Dzuunbulag | Unknown| 3rd| Night Stalkers|Large undeep cave-volcanic origin Gunjiz |Unknown |6th| foreign Horde | Ogre/Troll, May trade with passing Merchants Xigaze | Unknown|5th | Unknown|Trolls/Ogres Ulgarai | Unknown| 4th| Night Crawlers|Unknown Kai’Bataar | Unknown| 5th| |Unknown Jigme |Unknown | 4th| Shadow Blades|Local Shaman/Wicca often secretly make use of the Nearby Hakomon site for experiments/creation of items
Wooden tent shaped housing, often reed-roofed, interior decorated like Yurts
Name |Occupants |Tier | Dominant Horde|Information Pasha-Dir |Unknown |5th| |Ogres Torto |Unknown |5th| |Unknown Omilla |Unknown |2nd| Akilla's Horde |Unknown Esthi |Unknown |2nd| Akilla's Horde |Unknown Varsha |Unknown | 2nd| Akilla's Horde|Unknown
Stone and wooden Fortress mimicking Dwarven Style
Name |Occupants |Tier | Dominant Horde|Information Fortress Ul-Guzud |Unknown |1st| Akilla's Horde Night Bringers |Minor Hordes; Raiders, Brewers Oldozin |Unknown|4th| Shadow Blades | History of Battling Ethengarians and invasive Gnolls
Most 6th tier Hordes live in the smaller caves, and don't even have villages, houses or tools.As thus they are very possessive of what they can obtain.
Dung/Muck reet houses
Name Settlement| Occupants| Number| Tier| Dominant Horde| Information Reaping |?? |2nd | ?? |?? Ursain|?? |?? |3rd | ?? |?? Nighriz| ??|?? |2nd | ?? |? Dogtash| ??|?? |3rd| ?? |May trade with passing Merchants Barbial| ??|?? |4th |?? |?? Kudiagk|??|?? |3rd |?? |May trade with passing Merchants Palavegh|??|?? |4th |?? |?? Arctogh|??|?? |3rd | ?? |??
Stone structures connected with caves
Name Settlement| Occupants| Number| Tier| Dominant Horde| Information [u]Bargazhi[/u]|Bugbears |?? | 1st| Yellow Eyes|Leading Tribe [u]Trammelant[/u]| Undead| 250-260| none| none| Magically enclosed
Tribes in Lower Bugburbia
Name Settlement| Occupants| Number| Tier| Dominant Horde| Information ?? |?? | ? | 1st | Yellow Eyes|Leading Tribe ?? |?? | ? | 2nd | ??|?? ?? |?? | ? | 2nd | ??|?? ?? |?? | ? | 3rd | ??|?? ?? |?? |? | 4th| ??|?? ?? |?? | mixed| 5th| numerous|??
The weather of Bugburbia is similar to that of Glantri, temperate, which is similar to current Germany. Some more precipitation falls down on the higher hills and mountains. This has to do with the natural inclination of moisture rising in the air when blocked by mountains and cooing down and thus falling. It may also have to do with the overall dust from Mount Kalazyrd. Though most of it falls in the Ashen Plain of Death in High Gobliny still a high amount falls elsewhere or swirls in the air. As thus the air feels a bit drier than usual.
This also reflects in the vegetation which is sparse except where water is streaming.
The dominant wind is coming from the North west.
The volcanic toxicity in the air may cause irritation on the airways; especially wood elves are vulnerable to this. They feel the air as almost suffocating with a brine stench. Creatures have a 15% chance to be vulnerable (wood elves 30%), and the effect is a reduced constitution of -1 in cases where breathing rolls are applied (holding breath, running, the amount of combat rounds in a run before fatigue sets in, etc)..Humanoids, Shadow Elves, Elemental creatures and most animals or monsters are immune, but draft animals like horses, oxen and such are not.
Typical Bugbear village
Regular Bugbear villages are very simple. Where-ever they do not live in caves, they follow this simple design. A 20 to 30 foot circle of sticks is rammed into the ground touching each other; thread, rope and twine (from vines) are fletched to make them into a semi-solid surface. Then both sides (inner and outer) are covered with a mixture of dung, mud, hair (Bugbear and animals; longhaired sheep for example) and powdered gypsum. This is repeated several times until the structure is about a foot in thickness. Then large branches are laid on top of it , to form a 20 to 30 foot high round pointed roofed simple house. This branch roof is covered in thick layers of grass or reed and covered in the same muck mixture (sometimes covered with mosses and plants as camouflage). Doors are cut out (or by a clever Bugbear were kept open in the making) as are one or two windows.
Outside this simple house, a coral of branches is made where their favoured long-haired sheep reside. A secondary roof with half a wall and a few poles is their stable. A trench made of muck-baked bricks plastered with the muck is used for water storage. Food is held dry inside the house or “stable”. Several of these two-fold structures are set up near each other, one for each adult family. Young are either kept in Lower Bugburbia or in the Valley of Furr. Bugbears elsewhere do keep their young with them however. If the Bugbears have acquired metal tubes (often pieces of arm/leg armor wrenched over each other to form a tube) they use this to make a sort of chimney. If they do not have this luxury, then the heart is made under a window so the smoke can easily draft out. Windows and doors are mostly closed with boards made from any material (including flattened armor-with sometimes the bones of the owner still within) or plunder from caravans. Each family has 3 to 10 sheep, taken care for by the weakest family member, who thus has a great responsibility and knows this. These sheep are herded out at sunrise to dawn each day on nearby fields, bushes or forests. The milk is used to make Bugbear fermented milk brews, cheese, and yoghurt. These products mixed together with meat (any) and herbs makes their favourite dish; Melach. (4 alcohol points per meal).
Bargazhi and Trammelant
This is the one location that almost could be called a town. It is the Bugbears main settlement, almost their capital. This is the only structure the Bugbears currently use that is made of architectural designed structures.
It lies in the green cleft of a creek gulley, and is build upon a few levels and the structures are actually erected upon a cave complex. This is done in such a way, that each building goes down into the rocky hillside and meets into a central chamber. It is this chamber that has a tunnel leading down to Lower Bugburbia.
Many say the structure is too complicated and as thus is not a work of the Bugbears themselves, but either are copies of an older structure made by some other race (either Goblins, or Gnolls are assumed), or are actual ancient structures.
The primitive but delicate design (and especially the slim doorways and high windows give to think that this could well be a village of the Elves who had a small nation named Aengmor far before the Broken Lands came to be. As thus speculations run amok, as to why and which elves desired to go underground. As thus most assume this could be an ancient village/town of the direct ancestors of the Shadowelves. Then there would possibly be trace information to be found that explains why the elves went underground instead of easier and faster walking away, through nature, which the elves always liked. There must be a legit reason for thus atypical ancient elf behaviour, as even current Shadowelves have a desire to live amongst the trees. Whatever the truth, it is no near impossible to access with all the Bugbears wandering around.
The nearby ruined village of Trammelant is a similar structure like Bargazhi, but this is fully abandoned.(Trammelant = a dutch word for troubles...nice hidden touch)
The village was used by the Bugbears until about 500 years ago. One mage named Dorrat the Chaotic, (Source; DM Survival guide) a mighty half human, half Orc wizard had re-entered the region and took control of the humanoids in the village. At first the humanoids did not really bother, as their lives did not change very much. But then Dorrat became a hideously powerful Lich. Dorrat (he or she, which is unknown) wore the Radiant Eye. A powerful magical amethyst that gives the owner the powers of a Gem of Seeing and the ability to employ a Detect Lie or Detect Magic spell at will. It also bestowed 60’ Infravision and immunity to all gaze attacks. The item is said to enable the user if it is a mage to draw upon the Radiance and learn ALL Radiance spells directly, as it is somehow connected to the Radiance and all Crystals of users. The Immortal Rad noticed this and desired retaliation. It was only 200 years ago when the Lich was destroyed by a lone unnamed Glantrian wizard that is said by the Ambreville family to be a scion of Ettiene d'Ambreville. The Eye is now lost, and could be located anywhere, but there are rumours that Dorrat’s terrible spirit lurks within the eye, gradually taking over the current owner, return him to the Broken Lands, and transforming him/her into a slave.
The village, however, did not fare well in the ordeal. Not only were many humanoids killed in the battle, many others were used as energy source for the Lich’s magic, like all local animals and even humanoids.
They all became undead. There bodies now animated by the very magic drained from them, and many spirits were unable to reach Limbo, became Wraiths, Spectres or Ghosts. As such the area of 1 mile radius is haunted and abandoned. From below the caves are tore down and collapsed, making this area locked out to Lower Bugburbia. This life draining continues to this day; any creature foolish enough to sleep or otherwise becoming unconscious, will inevitably perish, and follow the same fate. The one good thing is that the magic which creates these undead, also prevents them from venturing beyond the area. It is still a weird sight to see a afolescent Bugbear testing himself by taunting a vile undead on the border of the magic field. They have marked the area with of rim of small cubes cut from, wood, stone or hardened gypsum a few feet before this border, as a warning.
The Cutting Creek
This creek is interesting in two ways. Erosion and where it leads to.
Erosion-wise this creek is interesting as it creates typical roundish holes in the sandstone bedrock. As the amount of freed sediment is low, and very small, it can’t be the sediment swirling that causes this, so the water motion must do the trick. It falls down, makes a swirling round motion and swoops over the lowest edge, and thus deepens the ‘bowls” and the edges. The typical erosion causes different sounds for each “bowl” and as thus the Bugbears know where they are. It is almost a musical effect where it not noisy. The bugbears love the sound, and their musical instruments are mostly flutes and horns mimicking these sounds. They also like birdsongs.
The Creek itself extends for 8 miles and originates in the roughly 1 mile wide 8 mile long Valley of Furr.
The Valley of Furr
This enclosed valley is very important for Bugbears as they prefer to raise their infants. The valley can be reached only by the air, or through two secret tunnels from lower Bugburbia. Here until they can lift a weapon or tool. As thus the area is full of nature, birds and other peaceful stuff. Then imagine a lot of cute teddy-bear like creatures wandering and playing around. It is the one sole period in life the Bugbears know peace and harmony. Male Bugbears are found rarely here as they have other duties, mothers (and grandmothers) are however either living or often coming here. The mothers that life here temporally or permanent, take care of the first feeding, training and education of the Bugbear children. These mothers are all armed with bow or crossbow in an attempt to defend themselves and he children against flying invaders. Do not underestimate a female Bugbear, she is as vile and mean as a male, and is averagely a foot higher than he males, and mostly stronger. They however seam to lack leadership skills and tendencies.
At the age of 11 all these children are forced out and take their place in bugbear culture and society. The sending away forcefully is a way to strengthen them to become true Bugbears. It also makes all of them having a desire for rest, and resentment for those that have what they have not (or never more will). In effect it makes the adult Bugbears creatures to fear,
The secluded area seems almost impossible to reach and raiding humanoids or other creatures never find the area as the Bugbear Immortal has placed a special ward on it that steers walkers (including Bugbears) away from it. Flyers (like Rocs) however sometimes come in and even steal children, but the Bugbears procreation is thus prolific it is balanced out.
This prominent mountain in the Eastern Half of the Broken Lands was never detailed or even named on any of the canon maps, nor was its accurate heights given. This had to be assumed by deduction of written data and the effects in the region. As most of the Mountains in the Broken Lands range aboit 10.000 feet, this was the first guideline. Secondly, it had to be higher than the areas around it (including the Plateaux of Zyrd…as it is described as in the shadow of the western Mountain). Using the angles of average mountains, I could triangulate its height. As the canon version had a permanent snow/ice cap, it must indeed have been above 10.000 feet.
To bring this back to the geomorphological data, this mountain must have risen due a central lower force. Similar like a volcano, lower magma must have pushed it up rapidly, making it the single high mountain of the Eastern half of the Broken Lands.
To make it a bit more interesting I decided to give it a broken cap, or in other words, the top has collapsed, tumbled down long ago, but giving it a more or less even area with a central higher top, and some high topped corners.
The “even area” is covered by Ice and snow and Frostdrakes (originating through the gate at the Fairy Stones) make e residence up here. These two small family groups are no larger than 10 each in total. Sometimes a single individual is caught by goblins, bugbears or Red Orcs, but thus far the humanoids have been unable (and unwilling) to venture up the steep rock walls. The Frostdrakes know of the Valley of Khyr and sometimes trade with the Demihumans living there. Mostly, however, they venture south to Alfheim’s Canolbarth Forest or Glantri in a Human shape.
Almost no humanoids ever venture high up the mountain, and none go beyond the rim of ice and snow. Too many deaths have caused them to take heed, and don’t ever try again.
Temperatures are always at arctic levels here as is the chance to find water, plants or food.
In winter the frigid cold of the mountain often “rolls” down covering Bugburbia in a very cold fog, with frozen underground, leaves and after a while even hair and fur. Bugbears do not like winter in this region and prefer to stay near their housing or go down to Lower Bugburbia for the season.
As thus winter may seem the safest time to investigate Bugburbia, but beware, no more than one third of the Bugbears go down, and these are mostly the elders. All the settlements, and foraging areas are still guarded and patrolled (also foraging at the same time).
A roughly 46 square mile large area created by a 10 to 30 feet thick layer of accumulated clinging ash from the earlier eruptions of the volcano Kalazyrd. A harder dust or even hardened lava layer of 4 to 7 feet was deposited on top of this ash. Erosion by water and later wind created pillar like constructions, with a harder top, resembling stone mushrooms.
This area is a sort of a maze, as not only are most pillars still conjoined to other pillars (following the various streams of water cutting through it), but also the material does not create clear differences to locate the current location. Even the local Bugbears, who know this spot best, often get lost in this miles large area. For others it is even worse, as Bugbears will surely hunt those within the area. Flying or climbing and jumping on top of the pillars are the only known ways to escape, but even then it maybe more difficult than expected. Bugbears often shoot flying adventurers down with their missiles, and nets.
The chance to get lost is 5% cumulative for each 3 Turns wandering in this region (Local Humanoids only 2%). When lost, the chance of finding food is decreased to 5% normal (insects/rodents and a few roots /herbs maybe at best, and finding usable water is only possible near the streams or in Rain. The volcanic dust however turns most water in muddy lightly poisonous gunk. If consumed take 1d8 - constitution adjustment damage and NO restoration of water deprivation. A Character with Constitution of 17 =+2 adjustment, will thus suffer 1d8-2 damage and a Constitution of 3= - 3 gives 1d8+3 damage
I have been pondering about the three volcanoes in the Broken Lands.
Digging through various D&D en AD&D1+2 stuff (the old survival guides for example), I only found difficult rules thick stuff.
I tried to compile these into a simpler form.
Which I present here. Especially the tables(see links) are now easy to use by a DM. And are different for a few types of volcanoes (in this case a Mystaran Ash type (only on Mystara found) and a Strombolian type.
Blue text is game info like statistics and effects
Please give your opinions;
Major volcanic locations.
Western of the Twin Volcanoes.
Height; 5705’ above sea level, height from surface about 2700’
Epicentral Area; 5 miles radius.
Eruption 50% chance each month; Plume 6d100 meters high, Gentle Flow, Eruptive volume, 353.000+ cubic feet.
Eastern of the Twin Volcanoes
Height; 5725’ above sea level, height from surface about 2700’
Epicentral Area; 6 miles radius.
Eruption 50% chance each month; Plume 6d100 meters high, Gentle Flow, Eruptive volume, 353.000+ cubic feet.
The Twin Volcanoes are of the Stromboli type, but in a weaker but more active version. Strombolian eruptions are a type of volcanic eruption, which has been erupting continuously for centuries. Strombolian eruptions are driven by the bursting of gas bubbles within the magma. These gas bubbles within the magma accumulate and coalesce into large bubbles, called gas slugs. These grow large enough to rise through the lava column. Upon reaching the surface, the difference in air pressure causes the bubble to burst with a loud pop, throwing magma in the air in a way similar to a soap bubble. Because of the high gas pressures associated with the lavas, continued activity is generally in the form of episodic explosive eruptions accompanied by the distinctive loud blasts. During eruptions, these blasts occur as often as every few minutes.
These eruptions last 1d8 hours, are preceded by 1d4 hours of medium tremors, and 1 Turn heavy tremors, and are characterized by short-lived and explosive eruptions of lavas with intermediate viscosity, often ejected high into the air.
The fiery columns can measure hundreds of meters in height. The lavas formed by Strombolian eruptions are a form of relatively viscous basaltic lava. The relative passivity of Strombolian eruptions, and its non-damaging nature to its source vent allow Strombolian eruptions to continue unabated for thousands of years, and also makes it one of the least dangerous eruptive types Strombolian eruptions eject volcanic bombs and lapilli fragments that travel in parabolic paths before landing around their source vent (5% chance to be hit per round or suffer 2d6 impact and 1d8 heat damage). The steady accumulation of small fragments builds cinder cones composed completely of basaltic pyroclasts. Strombolian eruptions are very noisy, produce no sustained eruptive columns, and do produce fewer molten lava flows (although the eruptive material does tend to form small rivulets)
People inside structures will suffer 1d6 damage for partial structural damage, 2d6 for severe structural damage, and 4d6 for collapsed structures, knocked out if they fail a save vs. Death Ray, and a 25%%+10% for Severe, and +20% for Collapsed damage to become entrapped by the debris.
Tremors last as long as an eruption or only 1d10 minutes at most without an eruption. And cannot take effect or be sensed beyond their range.
Most Northern and Highest volcano of the Broken Lands
Height; 8855’ above sea level, height from surface about 6345’
Epicentral Area; 13 miles radius.
Eruption 50% chance each month, lasting 6+1d10 days; Plume 3 to 6 miles high, if then only Gentle Flow, Eruptive volume, 35.300.000 cubic feet.
Probably the oldest volcano in the region, but at least the most active and largest.
Kalazyrd eruptions are a specific Mystara type of volcanic eruption, in which highly viscous but bubbly magma within the volcano make it difficult for gases to escape. This leads to the build up of high gas pressure, eventually popping the porous cap holding the magma down and resulting in an explosive ash (flakes) eruption. This volcano is more active than their Twin volcano counterparts, with eruptive columns often reaching between 3 and 6 miles high. Initial Kalazyrd’s activity is characterized by a series of short-lived explosions, lasting a few minutes to a few hours and typified by the ejection of volcanic ashes, bombs and blocks (15% each round in the Epicentral area to suffer 2d6 points of damage in addition to each Turn in these storms any creature (except Earth Elemental Creatures or those under Survival spell influence) will suffer 1d8 points of damage, and must succeed a saving throw vs. Turn to Stone at half normal chance or suffocate by inhaled ashes. (Wet cloth enables these saves to be made as normal). These eruptions wear down the lava dome holding the magma down, and it disintegrates, leading to much more quiet and continuous eruptions of ash. Rarely is magma flow produced, but if it is slow and hardens mostly before reaching the base of the volcano. Eruptions may last for 3d100 hours.
Ash deposits may and will occur up to 3 times the Epicentral radius. Shortly after 1700 BC most was deposited in the North West, which later became the Bugburbian Pillars through erosion by wind, and water. The last centuries 90% is deposited in the South East due to the dominant wind (probably caused by the creating of the Canolbarth Forest, and thus influencing weather patterns), thus creating the Ashen Plain of Death. 10% is deposited in the North East in High Goblinia, further decreasing the vegetation there.
People inside structures will suffer 1d6 damage for partial structural damage, 2d6 for severe structural damage, and 4d6 for collapsed structures, knocked out if they fail a save vs. Death Ray, and a 25%%+10% for Severe, and +20% for Collapsed damage to become entrapped by the debris.
Tremors last as long as an eruption or only 1d10 minutes at most without an eruption. And cannot take effect or be sensed beyond their range.
If a wind of stronger than strength 8 passes over the volcano while erupting ash, or over the Ashen Plain of Death area, it will cause all areas up to 10 miles per strength of wind more than 6 away to suffer from dusty air or a coating of thin ashen muck if there is also rain. This means if there is a storm passing by with a strength of 10, up to 40 miles in the wind direction creatures may suffer from the volcanic toxicity in the air. This may cause irritation on the airways; especially wood elves are vulnerable to this. They feel the air as almost suffocating with a brine stench. Creatures have a 20% chance to be vulnerable (wood elves 40%), and the effect is a reduced constitution of -1 in cases where breathing rolls are applied (holding breath, running, the amount of combat rounds in a run before fatigue sets in, etc)..Humanoids, Shadow Elves, Elemental creatures and most animals or monsters are immune, but draft animals like horses, oxen and such are not.
If it was a Thunderstorm it would only cause a grey coating of ashen muck, spoiling harvests, and killing crops. Luckily Kalazyrd and the Plain of Death are far from civilized agriculture, so damages remain limited.
Plateaux of Zyrd
This is a flat area, where according to Goblins’ memory, the Rock of Oenkmar used to be, today it holds a vast forest of petrified trees and large cracks.
The area is the result of the geological forces from below that pushed the whole area up. The plateau is a large singular slab of stone, of about a mile in thickness. Mergrath the Earth Elementalist had researched the geomorphology of the region in his research of the history of the Broken Lands. Here he learned that the Plateaux already existed in the centuries before the Great Rain of Fire. Actually, it was the summit of a mountainous region which rose upwards when the Ice sheets after the Great Rain of Fire melted away. Being first a singular mountain west of Lake Anur, with in the Northeast and Southeast far away other mountains, after the ice melted they became a chain of mountains, as can be seen in the 2300BC maps. The area was again greatly altered by the 1700BC event. The mountains were not very high, and the plateau in 2300BC estimated at a height of roughly 4800’ to 5200’ according to sources of that era, significantly lower than its current height (±6000’).
It is since 1700BC that the whole region is affected by an upward push in varying intensity and effect during the centuries which created the surrounding mountains. This pushed up the hilly area west thus high it became Mount Barbia at 15.355’ current height. This push may even still continue, especially since the Shadow Elves changed the lower areas thus that the Magma filled the magma chambers enabling Aengmor to be lifted back up. It can be certain that the Broken Lands region will continue to rise.
As in its ancient times this area was the flat top of a mountain, of which sprang even a river flowing into lake Anur, this river’s origin was much lower and further away in 2300BC. But it can even be assumed that the area was originally even lower than that, as it encompasses the remains of a vast and ancient petrified forest. This forest is thus old that the trees have petrified by being submerged for aeons. Geology lifted the area up, erosion revealed the trees, and with the uplift through the ages, the forest reached a height it never attained.
Only shamans are allowed here, as it is assumed to be haunted. Several Air Elemental creatures often roam on this area, but these only explain the physical effects of this haunted rumour. What the real reason might be is unknown, but the stone between the petrified tree logs often hold primitive drawings, and often faint whispers are heard. And some of these seem to tell stories.
From an intoxicated Orc Shaman in Glantri, the following hints were retrieved…Ya wanna know ‘bout Zyrd…ya say??....awrighty…ya bought me alotta booze..sssso…ya áve earned ta know morrre.
B’tween the sstony logs we’ve found artsy drrrawwwings ..hips…Some olde shaman threw translate magic..ick..hips…upon it. It spoke storiesss…orrr. Better…ssens tenses..ass most was incompllets…glugluglugulp..
What sais stones ya say?...I gets there…I am proud warrior ss…hips ss-haman…ok.. stony wordzz; “we were created to growzz, to reatsch to the sssky”, “Maggickk of Godzzz Urrdhanaa gave strengthzzz.. and we gavvve…we gave its to ground”….fools aint they? Givin’ magic to groundzz, isss lozing powerrr…”we reched for sky evry birth, and on deth we waited”, “Waitinn until we retch the door in ssky”…a door...a doorz in zky..noww I telja…aint ded weirdz. Esspezzially lassst words…hips…”henss we cammme, henss wee go, wwe comme to meetz”….weirrrdzz aintzit..barffff…brougarghhh…
He however did not survive his talkative binge and died by alcohol poisoning.
There are, however, strange plants in this region, and examples shown to Treants results them saying these are trees, within it the power of Life is great. These plants seem to be as ancient as the plateau.
The area is adorned with three extremely huge drawings. Set on the map as Statues only due their size.
The first is Little Shaman as called by the Humanoid Shaman. This “little” man is a simple design, a large roughly rectangle with inside a humanoid figure with a waving arm and an owlish shaped face, and large clawlike feet, the figure is however long and slender. The total size of this picture is 800 yards from head to toe, and about 185 yards in width. The picture is chiselled out in the bedrock by using granite boulders; these worn-out remnants of primitive tools are found at the feet of the picture which is made on a slightly slanted region facing southwest.
The Humanoids are completely unaware who made these pictures, and why of this incredible size. It must be a gift to the Immortals, for only in flight (which a few goblin Shaman-Wokani did) you can really see what the strange lines in the rock envision. As thus the Shaman decided to protect and take care of these pieces of rock art, for whatever Immortal might be up there, keeping them at the friendly side may be best.
The Second piece of hammered rock art in the granite rock is even larger. It almost completely covers the whole side of a mile long slanted hill on the Plateau. It is (at least to Humanoids) difficult to detail the picture, but it seems to resemble a large headed humanoid with a larger still high hat. From this hat flies a winged birdlike creature also with a hat. The humanoid seems to hold a staff, as thus it must be a mage (at least as far as the humanoid shaman agrees). There also seem to be some line directed from the figure’s hat down, but if this is a cloak or magic rays is unknown. The picture is slightly damaged as the 1700BC disaster caused a few cracks in the stone which eroded some of the picture away. These cracks go up and down the picture. The Goblin shaman tried to restore this by hammering the eroded cracks flat, but actually made the damage even worse (unknown to them though).
The humanoid Shaman, call this picture Great Shaman, and to them it is a location to communicate by their primitive rituals with the Immortals they themselves follow, fear and respect
The third and last picture is the first picture the Goblin shaman became aware of. When the first humanoids entered the plateau for so long ago to make it a functional use to them, they eventually came upon this art. This is the largest piece of the three and is also created on a slightly slanted rock directed to the Southeast. It measures about 1.5 miles in width and several hundred yards in height.
The picture shows several creatures, to the humanoid shaman these are from left to right; A crooked legged longhaired female figure, a huge shining head on two short solid legs and a single solid arm, two loose heads on a rope, again a female figure with long hair, then another longhaired figure that seems to be afraid as the eyes are wide open in fright, and finally about 200 yards to the right and a 250 yards up a small figure with a large head and a helmet upon it. Its body is solid, but its legs seem bend and weak. This picture has suffered the same erosion/crack damage as the Great Shaman picture, and as thus is attempted to repair.
The humanoids think it is the women which stay behind with the Immortal (sun) while the men are away and only one returns. To the humanoids clearly the sign of a warrior race, and the one hero coming home. The one feared woman, afraid her partner does not return, the sun god smiling like the second woman as it is the hero that returns, and the crooked legged woman, must be his mother, a bit sad but proud. Thus far the Humanoids opinion on these huge pieces of art.
A few towers on the edges of the Plateaux of Zyrd were build to protect the Plateaux in the time Aengmor/Oenkmar was indeed near the surface. Yet, as the Shadow Elves made clear recently, Aengmor/Oenkmar was much further to the South East in Gnollistan. What this area did hold, and why the Humanoids—especially the Goblinoids and Red Orcs—keep thinking that Oenkmar was here, is completely unknown.
Only one of the towers survived the ages, and it is several hundred years of age (proofed by the type of cement used in that time), so it certainly could have existed in that era. This is the tower on the North-eastern corner of the Plateaux.
The other ones are ruins. The simple brickwork, collapsed, with only a few remains standing. The ruins in the South west still harbor several rooms and tunnels dug into the rock slab of the plateau itself. But like the artsy pictures in the rock surface, these are hammered out with just stones.
The rumour of haunting on the Plateaux began here. When scouts tried to enter these recently discovered tunnels, they heard strange noises, but when the approached, the tunnels were empty.
And the weirdest of all; if you walk into a tunnel, continuing straightforward, you automatically walk out the same way you came in.
Persistent humanoids suffered nightmares when they slept, or better said tried to sleep. These nightmares were thus bad, they never got relaxation, and finally became thus tired, they all died in accidents or could not properly defend themselves in hunt or combat. All in all a good reason for Humanoids to deem the area haunted, and let the Shamans discover why, how and what to do, or not to do.
The most common thought is that the plateaux had a great military use by the Humanoids which was literally forgotten in the centuries following the sinking of Oenkmar.
The structures are clearly humanoid design, and architecture (weak and unstable), and it is a wonder how even ruins or one tower survived. One thing is clear. The tunnels spoken of did not exist in the days of Oenkmar and are more recent to a few centuries old at most.
The Plateaux lies in the shade of the higher ice-topped mountain Barbia to the West, and harsh winds blow around.
Why and how the Humanoids made it into a religious location only for shamans accessible is also a great question. This practice began about 400 years ago, the towers could all also have been a sort of stellar constellation map or observatory, as when the solstice of summer approaches, a bright star is seen exactly above each ruin on the third day before this happens. Why this is not the solstice itself, and the towers been placed on other locations is unknown.
The Observatory of Mount Glace in Glantri assumes that the changed tilt of Mystara in 3000 BC had something to do with it, making the location much, much older than the Humanoids. Maybe there was something earlier and the primitive Shamans and Wicca of the humanoids deemed it important to covet, and harvest its powers. As thus they constructed towers or fortress-like structures upon these locations. They must have failed, and maybe it is the power which destroyed the structures erected upon it.
To the Barleycorn Monastery is prominently displayed in the Night Wail adventure (TSR09303 - HWA1-3. The Blood Brethren Trilogy=Nightwail/Nightrage/Nightstorm). Depending on arrival in Time Nightwail is assumed to happen somewhere after the meteor fell. The Monastery is destroyed a generation ago by Goblins (somewhere around 975AC thus).
The adventure has some flaws though; Keep in mind that the Route suggested in Nightwail can not be done due to the river; use the “Kane Trail” instead. This begins just before the first Ford crossing the Vesubian River. The Monastery is also more central and NOT on the edge of the Plateau.
Barleycorn Monastery consists of five stone buildings in a “beehive” style, within a simple palisade wall. Each structure is a small circular dome, about 25’ with a thatched roof that rises and tapers to a point. One small windmill, stands apart from the rest. The mill‘s grindstone lies in the dirt; only one wall of the windmill stands. There is nothing of interest here except a few animals. The other four buildings stand together in a broad Alpine meadow surrounded by fields of barley. One building holds the ovens where the monks baked ground barley into bred; the other two were living quarters, now home to a few (immobile and non-magical) skeletons. What’s left of the sole standing building, once the monks’ place of worship, hides the entrance to an underground cell complex. The Barleycorn monks dug the complex to imprison and guard the Brethren.
The entrance to the underground complex is concealed with a trapdoor.--so well that the goblin raiders missed it when they destroyed the monastery a generation ago.
Further detailed description can be derived from Nightwail. Remember, the lower sections are not to be discovered until in the adventure Irila Kaze opens the way in.
The purpose of the monastery was an attempt to teach humanoids to cultivate plants, thus to reduce humanoid atacks on the more civilized world. The attempt failed, due climate, environment,sociocultural differences and unknown causes.
Orken Keep, Trollhattan
It was in 991 AC when King Thar decided to make things better for Trolls. His initial intent was to incorporate more Trolls within the Army and then raid Darokin and Glantri. Within a few months he build a simple Stone keep, just inside the Trollhattan valley, accessible through a system of stairs and ladders. The tower was successfully finished, and he send a group of Orc chieftains to inspect, settle and prepare building a new army; A troll Army. His idea, may have been clever, where it not for one tiny (or not so tiny) thing he absolutely underestimated; Trolls eat ANYTHING!!. His chieftains returned that they could not reach the new keep, for the ladders were gone. He sent them back, with extra ladders. They again returned. “What’s da Problem.” he bellowed agitated. The wooden floors had disappeared, the chieftains complained. Angrily he pushed them aside and ordered them to follow towards the keep. The travel was tense, and Thar had not been thus angry for thus long. When they finally reached the tower, climbed down the stairs viewing the keep, the ladders were gone…again. Rope ladders were thrown down, and Thar investigated the keep. Indeed, all wood was gone, torn from the building; the floors, windows, furniture, ceiling, doors, all gone. Furious he stormed out of the now useless building, and stumbled upon a 12’ tall overweight Troll, named Hummel, looking sheepishly at Thar; “Hi”…while munching down the rope ladders. Thar had to traverse through the Trolls tunnels, through lower Trollhattan to return to his own section of the Broken Lands. All the while he was furious. He forced Haa’k Hordar to attend, but all she could say was,; “If the Troll was hungry, all a Troll can do is eat”. Since then the Orcs, never tried again, “Never underestimate the diet of a Troll!” The Keep, or what remains of it, stands bare, overgrown within the valley, occupied by the same Troll Hummel. (The Dutch word “Hummel” is often used for gullible and small toddlers, doing some mischief).
Another set of interesting locations found. this time in Gnollistan.
Mud, salt, iron stains, halophile algae and hot spring activity produce a colourful but dangerous landscape. A continuous flow of super saline hydrothermal water feeds the colourful lakes and alters the original eruption site
Several times during the formation of the Broken Lands, water has overtopped, flooding the Red Orc Land basin with salt water. Thick evaporate sequences were deposited in the basin as the salt water eventually evaporated in the hot dry climate. Some of these evaporate deposits were formed by evaporating runoff water and evaporating hydrothermal brines.
Much of the floor of the region North East of Red Orclands, (known by the Local Goblins as “The Mountain that Died”, is covered by salt flats. Other areas are covered by basalt flows, shield volcanoes and cinder cones. Several craters up to a mile across can be seen on the salt flats. These are thought to be maars formed by phreatic eruptions.
The explosions that form a maar are known as phreatic explosions. They are driven in part by the enormous and instantaneous volume change that occurs when water flashes into steam.
When suddenly heated, one cubic meter of water converts into 1600 cubic meters of steam. If this happens below Earth's surface, the result can be a vertical eruption of steam, water, ash, volcanic bombs and rock debris. The volcanic cones produced by these eruptions are made up mostly of ejecta and are usually of very low relief - only a few tens of meters.
In the past centuries, volcanic areas in the area around the Twin Volcanoes have been frequently visited by Caravans. These excursions can be risky because of the severe climate, the remote location and repeated attacks on Caravans by Humanoids. Armed guards accompany many of the Caravans for this reason alone.
Poisonous and Noxious Gases in the Broken Lands
Poisonous Gases present an unseen but real menace to all creatures that must rely on oxygen for life. These gases can be of natural origin, such as the sulphur dioxide commonly created around areas of volcanic activity, or can be of magical or manufactured origin. Obviously, the use of poison gas as a weapon of war is greatly enhanced in the constricted conditions of the underearth.
Volcanic activity can create deadly emissions of sulphuric gas that are every bit as poisonous as the bite of a venomous creature, or can generate noxious gases such as methane whose smells are so overpowering that characters have a difficult time breathing them. The occurrence of such gases is primarily a campaign function to be handled by a DM at the appropriate time. As in most situations involving poison, poisonous gases generally require characters to make saving throws vs. poison. Noxious gases should force characters to make Constitution Checks every round; failure results in a general lowering of ability scores by three, with a similar penalty applied to attack rolls. The modern example of tear gas falls into this category. Characters can be rendered quite helpless by the effects of noxious gases (when all ability scores are reduced to 0), but they are not killed because there is no loss of hit points (when constitution falls on 0 the character is unconscious until removed). Ability scores are raised at the rate of 3 per turn when the character has a chance to breathe fresh air again. Modifiers to the saving throw or Constitution Check can be applied as the DM sees fit, to account for exceptionally lethal or mild poisons or to simulate degrees of noxiousness.
Certain types of gases, such as natural gas, are either odourless or possess such a mild odor that the characters may not be aware that the gas is present until they start making checks or saving throws. Other types of gases, such as sulphur, carry such a strong odor that the characters might have a chance to hold their breath before the full force of the gas can take effect.
Natural gas, often encountered in regions where coal and oil are common, has the additional hazard of being explosive. If characters encounter natural gas and are carrying a torch, candle, lantern or any other source of open flame, the natural gas has a base 20% chance per round of exploding. Such an explosion causes 1d6 points of damage to all characters and creatures in the area with the gas. Characters entering a region containing natural gas in such quantities might be allowed to make Wisdom Checks if they are moving slowly and investigating their surroundings carefully.
More heavily concentrated natural gas, or other types of explosive gases, are possible. The DM can modify the gas’s chance of exploding and damage inflicted upward as follows: each 10% increase in the chance of explosion adds another 1d6 to the damage inflicted to the characters. Higher concentrations should also increase the characters’ Wisdom scores by 1 per 10% potency increase, for purposes of this Wisdom Check only. Note that if a gas is completely odor-free, no Wisdom Check should be allowed, since the check represents the character’s awareness of the gas’s odor and an odourless gas gives no opportunity for a check.
Any gas, whether poisonous, noxious, or harmless, can cause problems to characters by replacing the oxygen in a given area. In this case, the effects should be treated as if part or all of the oxygen in a location has been used up. Certain creatures, most notably small birds, are more sensitive to poisonous gases than humans and other character races are. A small bird becoming exposed to a gradually increasing amount of poisonous gas (not including noxious gases), the DM should make a saving throw vs. poison for the bird one turn before the characters must save. The bird saves as a normal human-2, and if the saving throw fails, the bird dies. Note that this procedure is of little help if gas is suddenly introduced to an area in high concentration. The party must encounter a gradually increasing amount of gas in order for a bird to provide any early warning.
The Toxic Lake and Toxic Puddle
The Side streams feeding the Streel River here already did exist before most of the broken Land was formed as it is today. The oldest correct map (not one with the same basic flow flaws like the canon maps have) was that of 2300 BC. Here you can clearly see a single river springing north-west from the Twin Volcanoes, flowing North-East towards Anur Lake/Lake Grondheim. It is assumed the other creaks did exist in those days too or where “born” later. This early river Flowed down an area of hills, into a grassy plain.
With the rising of the Gnollistan Plateaux since 1700 BC, this river was broken of. Its course can still be discovered on the Gnollistan Plateaux, where the eastern section of the river old bed fed by Sun’s Anil’s creaks now flows partially as it did earlier North-east emptying into Bloodspray Falls. The Midsection is still dry, but the western section , also fed by small streams from Sun’s Anvil streams back along the old bed down into the Nankoweap region and the Streel River.
But there was a time (1550 BC) when the river could not flow away. The water flowed together and slowly formed a lake in an shallow forested depression formed north of the Twin Volcanoes.
In the following centuries the area suffered many eruptions of both the Twin Volcanoes and Kalazyrd. Sulphur and other nasty chemicals were expunged by these monsters and together with rain and streams mixed with the water of the new lake. The noxious gasses, the toxic acidic water, the layers of ash, the raising of the area, all these contributed to a major ecological change. The forest died and much of it still can be seen on the area. As the toxic air also killed off most vermin and bacterial life, all the tree logs were somehow preserved. Even those which were below the water of the rising acidic toxic lake were not affected by rot or decay. They slowly fell apart by the acid, but the logs remained.
In 1420 BC the water-acid mixture was thus high it started to flow down into Grondheim Lake, forming the Nankoweap region. It even seeped into the porous rock creating many of the upper caves today. And finally, together with the Volcano Thanos Breath in the Colossus Mountains it killed all life in and around Grondheim Lake.
Somewhere before 500 BC the great change came, and the water of Grondheim Lake started flowing uphill, between the Twin volcanoes, thus forming the current Streel River. This caused also the Toxic lake to deplete, and slowly but steadily it disappeared, until a few years before the Crowning of Thyatis Emperor it was fully gone. Up to today only a small 1 mile by 1.5 mile area still contains toxic water, as this was broken off the Streel Flow earlier. The water is deadly to consume. The smell is acrid, but mages and sages and even students of creatures would desire this fluid, as it preserves the decomposition of matter. It still works as a preservative. It is done about once a year, but there are Gnolls willing to sell this water for tools, weapons or Gold. This is done before the Natron Creek is reached when going north. Each quart of this water is valued at 50 Silver to the Gnolls but could be sold for triple to ten times that value in Glantri, Darokin, Corunglain
Beware…Ethengar, does always think the water is used to poison the Plains or wells of Ethengar, do not go there with barrels filled with this special water…it would be your last day.
One also could desire to get the water your self, but the local humanoids and other vermin, would be a great hindrance, not counting the dangers of the nearby Twin Volcanoes would make the risk and cost much higher than the profit would bring.
The Old and New Necropolis
The Old Necropolis the Nithians erected was not even on the Plateaux, but north of it, only 3 miles from the village Olech. As this region has had less earthquakes in the whole history of this area, they decided this must be the safest place. Within the Broken lands each family got a tomb. All members of the family were interred within, no lower ranks outside. Each tomb resembles a small pyramid and tomb in one. The dead were interred in their own burial chamber underneath the structure, in a 30-40’ vertical shaft (so when they arise, they can’t get out), and a consecrated chapel above. The minor detailing, courtyard and wall scriptures reflect the importance and rank of each family and the names interred.
The Gnolls later copied their Old Nithian masters in many ways. One of these was their belief in the afterlife and how to deal with that. As their Nithian masters made cities for their dead and erected massive tombs for their kings, so did the Gnolls. When the Gnolls arrived in the Broken Lands, they soon returned to collect their fallen comrades and give them a chance of their perceived afterlife. Near the Sun’s Anvil Mountain on the Plateau, seven miles from the village Minthi, along a small mountain creek with a natural rock resembling a pyramid in the middle, they erected their first (new) Necropolis.
It soon became a vast chaotic city of simple tombs and houses for the dead. With the centuries passing more dead were interred, and with each tomb the city grew. Until it became a true maze of tombs, connecting to or even build over other tombs, Time, erosion, and many earthquakes devastated many of these structures thus the city became a settlement of ruins with only a few structures still resembling something of their earlier virtue and meaning. Then in 800 AC the Orc Wars came after brutal attacks by the Darokinians and Ethengars. With these invaders came a disease; the Plague. And as the Glantrians suspected the Dwarves, so do many Humanoids even up to today. The many Gnollistan corpses were interred in the Necropolis. But then something did happen; many of the dead, earlier and more recent were reawakened, and started to wander. Humanoid Desert Zombies, Mummies, Ghouls, Wights and Wraiths and even human vampires, started to prowl and search for victims. The Gnolls reacted simple; Beat the undead to pulp and wall up the Necropolis. They continued to inter their dead, but always closed the doors after. The solution seemed to work, but since the meteor slammed into the west, many sections of the walls were destroyed in the massive earthquakes, and many Undead started to wander about. Not in their great numbers as before, but still; since then it can be that aforementioned undead can be found wandering around on the Plateaux. It is rumoured that a powerful Gnoll lich or vampire lord rules them all. But these are human rumours. The Gnolls know there was never a shaman powerful enough to become a lich,…but a greater mummy…that could very well be, they even have a suspect; “Temptypot”. Originally a Shaman Gnoll in 233 BC, follower of the Dark god of the Dead, was murdered by one of his own follower shaman. And interred by his loyal followers, no others were allowed to witness the scene. It is he they suspect bringing all the harm.
To know more see my Monster Manual Compilation Book chapter Undead, Desert Zombie page 1163, Greater Mummy page 1254
Elfbones and K’blam
Both these ruined settlements are ancient and predate the Broken Lands. Both were settlements of the former Elven Nation Aengmor, like with Trammelant and Bargazhi in Bugburbia. Like there, the names were corrupted, simplified. Current K’blam was originally Kabla-ám; Ka= Cause, Bla=A lie, Am=going Up, Translation; “Because a Lie goes up”, meaning; A lie will be revealed. Why this peculiar name is unknown, but the Orcs discovered many Detect Lie scrolls and items, they sold to greedy merchants. Likewise the source of the settlement can’t be discerned anymore; It is unknown if it was a temple (what is suggested by explorers), a cloister-like village, or a normal settlement. The orcs who discovered this location earned a great amount of money, weapons and food by selling what they found here. Much of it seems to be now in the hands of the Great School of Magic in Glantri and various mages all over the Known World. It is rumoured that many underground locations are still intact and could hide Elven valuables, knowledge or magic.
Elfbones, originally called Saimartha; Sain=New, Marta= Chance, Translation; “New Chance”. This strange location was even at first sight, clearly an Elven village, the plant-like design can be found everywhere, tree branch patterned roadways, decorative pillars, stairs, ledges and what not. Everything is made of the nearby mountains in those days, and not like the K’blam, Bargazhi, and Trammelant, created from cut stones in the region itself. Hence it has a darker and sturdier feel. Traces of paint reveal however, that everything was coated in a silvery-white color, with green and gold plant-like patterns, all long gone after centuries of decay and erosion. It were however NOT the Humanoids who discovered this place, it was a small group of Erewan Elves, and they decided to settle here in 770 AC. Soon other Elves set up simple wooden settlements between the ruins of their ancestors. They discovered its ancient name Saimartha, and named their new village as thus, stating to investigate, clean and restore the old stone structures.
Near Lake Dromm Orcs had already settled, and they greatly dislike the presence of Elves on this side of the River. Karrwux, a powerful and rare literate Orc Shaman, investigated several scrolls, book and other scriptures, plundered from Glantrian mages. He discovered knowledge he saw as a direct mean to get rid of these pointy-eared pests. He started the rituals he saw needed, and soon the power of the incantations did indeed summon something. It was a tall, very tall, absolutely dark black giant; A Nightwalker. It is unknown what happened next and in which order, but both the orcs and the elves were destroyed, many flattened corpses were lying around. The Orcs, who succeeded to flee, soon returned and created the keep Rakittor, upon the casting circle, burned all the books and discarded all the flattened corpses in Lake Dromm (which greatly increased the population of Coldwater piranhas). Within a few hundred years all was forgotten, until an Orc patrol discovered the Elven ruins. They saw Elven bones everywhere, and where eventually chased away by Elven ghosts or Banshees (they don’t know the difference). Since then the area is kept under control and named Elven Bones. No humanoid dares to enter the ruins at night, but during the day, the recovered all that is and was usable to them. No traces of the Erewan settlers were visible, except their flat broken bones, lying in the midst of the ancient ruins.
The Hills have Eyes
Upon this 350 or so high ridge are several caves. From far away visible, but not what lurks within. This sandstone layer is a remnant of the past, when the ancient Vesubian River, or Spring Thawing Ice sheets further north, caused floods millennia ago, far, far before the era of Blackmoor. When the area was slowly raised by the 1700 BC disaster water coming from the new and higher mountains seeped in the rock and eroded passages, together these passages became pillared caves. Now that the area is thus high, not much water will pass anymore, but it gives those within a very nice vantage point on the lower areas, which includes the Trintan-Corunglain Pass through the Broken Lands, up to several miles before they need to cross the Vesubian River. Mirror signals will be sent to lower troops and an attack on the passing caravan will be imminent. The orcs are not clever enough that when they see the signals, someone else could too, often the caravans are warned when seeing flashes of light coming from the “Hills have eyes”.
This strange valley not only has two crystal areas which decrease the temperature to 40 degrees lower than normal, the cold did caused Wokani to delve deep into this magical source. They studied hard, and learned 1st level Frost magic spells(nature magic=unaffected by Day of Dread, but the orcs are unaware of this); Coldskin (Equal to Shield), Cold Slumber (Equal to sleep but by cold), Endure Cold (Equal to Resist Cold), Freeze Portal (Equal to Hold Portal), Protection by Cold (Equal to Protection from Evil due extreme cold aura), Resist Climate (Equal to Darokin merchant Spell with same name), Slip (Equal to AD&D2 Slip spell but with ice effect), Snow Blindness (Equal to Clerical Cause Blindness), and;…
Freezing Hands (Frost Fingers)(variation on Burning Hands)
1st level Evocation spell
Area of Effect: The Caster
Saving Throw: Halves Damage
Casters cast Freezing Hands on their outstretched fingertips to make them shoot forth 5-foot-long frosts blasts in a 120-degree arc in front of them. Any creatures caught in the blast suffer damage: 1d3+1 hp per level of the caster. Successful saving throws mean the spell inflicted only half damage. Liquids will be mostly destroyed, frozen objects are more fragile (saving throws at -1). Beings resistant against cold take only ½ damage (always round fractions up) and save for none. For normal beings can the damage be reduced to zero if the successful save was accompanied by a protection from cold (or alike) spell.
Icicle (variation on Magic Missile)
1st level Evocation spell
Range: 150’/or special
Duration; 1 round/level
Effect: Creates 1+ thin ice shards floating in mid air
Saving Throw: None Partially prevented by Protection form evil/good/cold spell
Level of Experience;|1|6|11|16|21|26|31|36 Missiles Charged:|1|3|5|7|9|11|13|15
An Icicle a thin foot long sharp shard of ice created and shot by Magic, which inflicts 1d6+1 points of damage to any creature it strikes. After the spell is cast the Icicles will appear next to the Spellcaster and hovers there until the Magic-User causes it to shoot. When shot it will automatically hit any visible target. The missile will has a solid form when shot or thrown and therefore can be touched, but this person will contract all damage without being able to lessen this damage by armor value, in effect any armoured glove will be pierced by the ice even if solid material (iron, steel, stone, etc.). An Icicle never misses its target and the target only gets a save if protected by an active Protection Spell. It will move with the Spellcaster until shot or the duration ends. For every 5 levels of the caster, 2 more Icicles are created by the same spell Thus a 6th level Magic user may create 3 icicles. The Icicles may be shot at different Targets. See table. The damaged will be lowered with ½ the Armor Value under normal circumstances (minimum damage per missile 1). Each icicle will leave 10 oz. of water when melted; this water is 100% pure and therefore can’t be used to drink without the same risk of being poisoned as drinking salt water. The effect will be: more thirst and severe dehydration, no natural, nor Magical healing will be possible until this poisoning will be removed or healed. A bit of sand or even minute amounts of salt can make this water drinkable.
Ice Light (variation on Light spell)
1st level Evocation spell
Duration: Depending on local temperature: use table
Area of Effect: light to 30’ diameter , underwater: range x ½
Saving Throw: prevents Blindness
Temp. Fahrenheit|Duration Below Freezing| Ice permanent, light 24+1 hr/lvl 30° to 35°| 6+1 Turn / level 35° to 40°| 5+1 Turn / level 40° to 50°| 4+1 Turn / 2 levels (round up) 50° to 60°| 1 Turn / 2 levels (round up) 60° to 70° | 1 round / level 70° or higher | 1 round / 2 levels (round up)
This spell creates a pillar or block of ice radiating a cold blueish light 30’ in diameter. If the spell can’t be cast on an object such as a coin, Ice Light will cancel a Darkness Spell if cast within range of it (But will itself be cancelled by a Darkness Spell). This spell can’t be used offensively, but when created in Darkness suddenly it can cause blindness when the saving throw fails, until cancelled, or until the duration ends. A blinded creature attacks with a penalty of -6 on attack rolls, a -4 on all saving throws and a + 4 penalty to his Armor Class for the duration of the blindness. His movement will be reduced to one third normal if unguided, if guided to two third normal. This Ice pillar is 1 inch per level of the catere in diameter and has a height of 9 feet always. The ice block is measured 1 inch on each side per level of the caster. The ice has a weight of 6 +1 cn per level of the caster and can easily be carried away; this ice acts as normal ice in all circumstances. When the spell is ended, or negated the ice will be evaporated. No residue will remain. The ice is solid and can also be used as step, also will this ice float as any normal ice on water and could be used as a life raft for the shipwrecked. In fact this spell is changed a little bit when encased in a scroll or item enchantment. This way it will create a ring, instead of a Pillar, of 9 feet circumference. The light can be seen in the dark from up to 1 mile distance. The ice will be destroyed rapidly if coming in direct contact with fire or heat (as Lava, Fire spells etc.), without causing steam.
2nd level Conjuration spell
Range: 1 feet
Duration; Permanent until dispelled or thawed
Effect: creates a dagger made of ice
Saving Throw: None
Components; A piece ice or snow
This spell creates out of coldness a small slender dagger made of ice with the Strength of steel. The handle will be covered with fur from some unknown cold based creature (possible a White Fang) so that the caster can hold the weapon without sustaining any cold damage. The dagger will be as a normal dagger in all respects, except that it will bring an extra cold damage to the creatures with liquids inside them(like blood), except when they are immune against cold. The dagger will slowly cease to exists if exposed to temperatures over 40 degrees Fahrenheit, and any fire (including a Fireball spell) will instantly destroy it. This spell will give no extra damage to any Undead or Frost based creatures.
The Great Orcish Fortress Udhgar, located at a strange rock outcropping was originally an Aengmor Elven city which name has not been recovered, which was originally settled a 10 miles away from the Old Vesubian river. When the mountains rose, they also uplifted this section of the city, destroying the rest around it. Centuries of erosion and plunder removed almost all Elven traces.
This fortress has basically 4 levels; “The Roof”; training settlements and battlements on top, here orcs train daily in rapid assaults on settlement. Thar, as being extremely intelligent for an Orc, learned this technique in his slave time in Thyatis. Discovering the old Aengmor Elven ruins he found a great use for it. Not only are the remains sturdy battlements, but also a great area of exercise. Almost any Orcish attack form can be practised here. There are archery ranges, assault areas, multi-level arena grounds, trap testing areas, etc.
A roughly 500 to 800 feet lower level with carved and cut rock caves accessible by a small walkway and a stairway from below. It is called “The Middle”. Deep inside are stairways leading up and down. This seemingly luxury area, has doors and windows, but no corner is straight and no opening the same, one is an arch the other a house, and this level is actually roughly four subdivided into four levels of 5-10 feet in height.
Then the Third level is at 5925’ (ground level). Here goes the single outside stairway up to the Middle. Large side caves with huge dwarven styled (or stolen??) doors hold the great warmachines of Thar. Deep within there are several arches and stairways and tunnels leading up and down. The area itself are six roughly 200’diameter half dome caves (the floor has been very long ago been flooded with debris, and now rock hard, giving a perfect floor. The caves are workplace too, and the sometimes visiting (or hired) Dragon resides here. There are wooden walkways all along the ceilings, connecting the various caves by tunnels and walkway. It is name “The Entry”.
The fourth and lowest level is “The Base” where most soldiers live if not working or training elsewhere in the compound, it gives easy access to Lower Orcus Rex, and there are some stairways leading up. This area is actually three long tunnels with caves dug out on all sides. Walkways, ropes, bridges connect either side or the floor. The area is alive and vivid, and any kind of humanoid can be found here.
Waterpass and the other Canyons
The region of Orcus Rex is the one region you could truly call THE Broken Lands. The Sandstone and Limestone underground, pushed up by the geological forces from below, broken up, and torn apart by the shifting powers. Connecting layers were broken, twisted, and altered in height to the area beside it. Then erosion and vegetation, continued to alter the region. Rain and snow accumulated in the mountains collected together in small rivulets of water, combining into brooks, creaks, streams and finally into the River that returned(which on itself is the Old Vesubian River, changing direction of flow due the changing altitudes).
All this water functioned like a sharp knife. Slowly steadily cutting into the cracks between all the areas of broken land, crawling forward, then freezing in winter, expanding the crack a wee bit more with each frost, and with each thaw, crawling a bit further. Slowly the sand- and lime-stone gave way. Crevices became cracks, very deep cracks, and these cracks became gulleys, and with the continued erosion these gulleys became canyons or small ravines. Several hundreds of feet in altitude difference between the surface and the bottom of the canyon, affected the direction of travel in this region. The area is so difficult to traverse; no straight line can be made, and the amount of distance to cover going from A to B is mostly twice as much as a bird does. At the same time, the Orcs (and other Humanoids too) take advantage of the area. As the top of the areas are rarely accessed by foreigners (the mostly follow the easier river paths), attacking from above with missile weapons, or rapidly retreating after each attack. The orcs know this area thus well, they can traverse it as normal Broken Lands (instead double the time for equal distance than foreigners would do). No area for a foreigner to be found in.
The Waterpass is a deep gulley (canyon to become) dug into the ground by two creeks north if Nyarhtor. It has a width of 2 to 4 feet at most and twists and turns every 10 yards or so. At the same time a steady flow of water covers the floor making it very muddy and slippery. Very difficult to find on the surface (as there are more cracks), this one opens up on the River that Returns, but this goes so unnoticed, as the tall grass hides the incoming water and the rough rock hides the crevice. Only when water is abundant (after a Thunderstorm or heavy rain, mostly spring or autumn) the water comes in violently and quickly. Every Orc Knows that it is deadly to remain in a crack when the rain starts to fall and more rain comes from the mountains. The water can come thus quickly, it comes in a wave (10 Turns –intensity roll rain) after the rain started. This wave will cause 1d8 impact, then pull any non-attached object or person in the wave, giving it 1d8-AV impact damage each round, and the victim must make drowning checks as if exerting, if he fails he dies, and is often located dead somewhere else in the gulley or in front of it, up to 1 mile further downstream for each hour the rain lasted.
The same damages are in the canyons, but the wave is less powerful due the width of the canyon. It only floods and thus damages those in the creek or stream or its direct vicinity, which triples in depth and width. (Normal creaks and streams are 1d4 x 10 feet wide and 1d6 x 3 feet deep). As being unhindered by rock sides, flown bodies or objects will be flushed 4 miles for each hour the rain lasted, downstream. Floating objects double these numbers, and thus mostly become lost, until an Orc finds it and decides in using/owning it.
Another interesting area (source; Fanware) in the Crooked Hills of Kol.
Crooked Hill features
The Crooked Hills, as the region of Kol is geologically named, has several large volcanic clumps, or bombs when the great volcano of Oenkmar exploded and violently bombarded the area for decades since 1700 BC, until it died out. All these features eroded in time, and a few of these irregular shaped rocks have now specific features and/or were used specifically in the ages following.
The first has an almost divine nature; Mother and a Basket. And some unknown Immortal responded to the given reactions. The erosion shaped a peculiar rock formation. The largest resemble vaguely a humanoid figure; with a large head and a somewhat sloughing body. There are even corners visible what could be seen as shoulders. The other, smaller one is roundish and has a depression on top (often filled with rain water unless that has been evaporated); this is called “The Basket”. Pregnant kobolds go here with the guidance of Kobold Shaman/midwife, to enable a good birth later. Any pregnant creature fulfilling the ritual (bathing in the water of the basket) is granted a special spell by the Immortal to be cast at will by the pregnant creature if pregnancy begins (the Green spell).
The shamans, Druids, Shamani, Healers and clerics of any race, or faith all gain the three other spells if memorizing spells within 500 feet distance, extra to the normal spells chosen/capable of casting by Immortal agreement. Attacking a midwife, or mother in labor is not accepted by any, and your Immortal will dislike it, the "Mother"Immortal even more, and may act upon it. All over Mystara there are more of these magical mystical symbols of Motherhood and Pregnancy, all with the same effect. If specifically requesting any of these spells, within the area of effect, they are always granted.
Assist Labor & Birth 1
Level | 1| 1 (Reversible)| 2 30 miles
Range:| Touch baby belly| Touch| Touch none
Duration:| 1 round/level| 6 turns/level| none 1
Casting Time:| 1| 1| 2 1 creature
Area of Effect:| 1 creature| 1 creature| 1 creature None
Save: | None| None| None None
Components| None| None| boiling hot water and towels This spell will call the nearest midwife of any race. The midwife will get the summons. She is under no obligation to respond to the summons, but very few midwifes will ignore it unless unfortunate circumstances prevail, and they will help regardless of race, faith or other sociological barriers. As any race has midwives, there is always one nearby, who will come walking/horse/magic ASAP. She will know which stage of labor the women is in.
Description|This spell enables the caster to detect pregnancy in any creature. The caster will also know the day of conception, stage of pregnancy, estimated day of birth, and gender of child.| This spell will prevent the woman from getting nausea for the duration of the spell. The reverse of this spell will cause nausea to the victim, male or female. |This spell has multiple functions to assist the mother in labor and birth: Epidural - Produces a numbing of the lower back and pelvis to reduce stress on the mother during labor. Push - Assists mother in pushing the child out. Will cut the time of labor by 1d4 hours. Turn Baby - Will position the child correctly during labor for proper birth.
The second is even weirder. It resembles a stone half arch of 5-6’thick, 15’ wide and somewhat over 30 feet long, ending mid air. This object bears various names and stories how it came to be. To one it is the gargantuan claw of an Earth Elemental slain or petrified on the moment it was doing a violent strike upon a heroic figure (Kobolds), or it is the magical sculpture of a great sorcerer (Hill Giants), or---and this one has the best merits—is the bridge.(Gnolls) But actually neither prevents the other from being true too. Whatever the origin, or cause, the structure has a great magical power to be released only on the night of the Full Moon, if the Moon is visible and 1 pint of blood is sacrificed on to of the structure, and a Wizard or Wokani uses the secret ritual verbal and somatic components. If all these circumstances are met, a portal will open on the dead end of the arch enabling those desiring to pass to go where they desire (Only on Mystara, in this Plane, Time and Reality). It is a Teleport Spell that functions like a gate (actually it is both; a spell gone wrong during experimenting, of which the final stage can be repeated if the right circumstances are met—the original caster perished when creating this spell). A wizard viewing and knowing either one or both of these spells will recognize the verbal and somatic components. The vortex gate remains open for 1d6 Turns, and then flickers for 1d6 rounds until it collapses fully on both sides. The gate vortex can be accessed on both ends as long as open. Kobolds use this to loot and plunder far far away. The handicap is that the caster must have at least once physically been at the intended location. Unlike teleport you do not materialize on the other end, you pass through like stepping through a window.
Keep in mind DM to check weather, and time the Full Moon is up during casting.