Atlas Rules Resources Adventures Stories FAQ Search Links
The Broken Lands detailedby Robin from Threshold Magazine issue 14
The Broken Lands detailed
From the 1 mile per hex map to the future of the land
The Broken Lands
With my intense research in the Broken Lands for the creation of the 1 mile hex map, I had a lot input from the few of you willing and able to inform me. Slowly the work became as alive as it happened for the Canolbarth map. Yet here, it encompassed another dimension; Time. Unlike the Canolbarth were I started from a finished map, and only brought detail (greatly needed), the Broken Lands had a history. Canonical and by fans, The Orcs of Thar Gazetteer brought great detail, the Poor Wizard’s Almanacs (Canon and Fanmade) and the Wrath of the Immortals Set brought great change. Together with the Geomorphological History of the Broken Lands1, geology, ecology, cultural sociology and politics I poured these together, for the Broken Lands were too variant to simply enlarge the scale and put in more details. Many flaws in the maps and the region which had crept in canon, had to be resolved, explained or restored. Slowly this year I succeeded in this. As can be all followed in my post on Piazza about 1 mile Hex mapping.;
Now as the final details are placed, and I can enter the map in my mind and wander about, being amazed of the wonders and actual beauty of the region, and weave the threads of the past into the Future of the Broken Lands. And as I followed these, it is these I reveal to you here. Two maps (readjusted Lower Broken Lands 1012-1020 AC and a surface map 1100 AC of the Broken Lands both in 8 mile hexes) will make some changes in the future clear at first sight, but even here history explains much more. The Broken Lands are almost alive; Coming to be from a simple mountain chain, radically altered and growing in the 1700 BC disaster, brutally wounded by the impact of a meteor, and infested with all kinds of sentient (and non-sentient) creatures all with a desire to keep these lands as their own, and attempting to alter it. Some of these alterations succeeded, greatly altering the appearance and use of the land. All these chaotic acts and happenings make the Broken Lands what we know it to be; a place to adventure and discover.
The Eastern Half of the 1 mile Hex map of the Broken Lands;
Have Fun. Robin
As the Gazetteers are written for 1000 AC, and Wrath of the Immortals depict the next 10 years, here some major changes in this region happening in the further future.
Before the Great War the Broken Lands, probably the most desolate and inhospitable land in all Brun, were home to thousands of goblinoid, orcs and other humanoids. Forgotten by Immortals, humans and dwarves too (not to mention elves) these rugged lands were probably the most dangerous area in all the Old World. But things changed dramatically in AC 1006. A meteor crashed in the Kurrish Massif creating the Great Crater. Life was never the same in the Broken Lands. The feared orcish leader Thar and King Kol IV of the kobolds moved their hordes to the Great Crater (Western Broken Lands) to better raid on Glantri as well as Darokin. Only a few tribes remained in the Eastern Broken Lands.
After the fall of the King Thar and the creation of the Great Crater in the Wrath of the Immortals (1004-1009 AC) King Kol took over the crater with his kobolds, and abandoned the republic of Kol (now overrun by other humanoids), proved his magic might to the Glantrian magic-Princes and with the help of Princess Dolores Hillsbury the crater became a new province of Glantri called Kolland, with King Kol himself as its magic-prince. Throughout 1010 AC and 1011 AC, tribes and Clans of Humanoids from surrounding areas poured into the Eastern Broken Lands, taking advantage of the departure of Thar’s Legions, and even re-inhabited the now mostly empty caves. It is as expected that High Gobliny stayed High Gobliny, Red Orcland stayed Red Orcland and so on, with mostly new inhabitants of the same races that originally lived there, together with the much smaller amounts that didn’t leave towards the Great Crater.
In AC 1010 brave dwarf scouts found the lost City of Aengmor floating on a lava lake in the caves beneath the Eastern Broken Lands. The mighty dwarvish army left Rockhome to defeat the hated orcs and conquer the fabled city In Flaurmont AC 1012, after many bloody skirmishes, the humanoids surrendered to the dwarves, but their joy was to last for a very short time, because shadow elves attacked the city. In the following months Aengmor was conquered and lost many times by dwarves, shadow elves and humanoids with heavy losses on all fronts. The dwarves abandoned the city in Felmont, Alebane's ogres then ransacked the city in Ambyrmont just a few days before the shadow elves' final attack.
The Water Comes
After the fall of King Thar, some Red Orclanders moved towards the Great Crater, or were chased away (to the Great Crater) by the shadow elf invasion of 1014 AC, settling west and south along the border to the mountains. However, most remained within Upper Red Orcland and controlled the region. The shadow (dark) elves of Atzanteotl’s Aengmor could not adapt to the blinding heat and sunlight in this region and their losses were too great. They soon refrained from any attempts at controlling the surface. Lower sections of Red Orcland are now empty of Humanoids. But the area is so vast and diverse, and these dark elves are so few in comparison to before they decided to split of the shadow elven folk, that it will not take long before humanoids will return (prolific and opportunistic as they are). And the individualistic dark elves can do no other than accept the situation. They will, however, take on a role of advisors, sometimes leaders, of separate humanoid clans.
Some Red Orc tribes desire to try to return to the Lands of Atruaghin, but are afraid of what they will find upon their arrival. Not only the welcome they may receive from local inhabitants, but even if the place is still existing as they were told for centuries in tales. They don’t know that a gigantic plateau (the Plateau of Atruaghin) will make it virtually impossible.
They also don’t know that many human Atruaghin’s Children are located here in several Tribes. Yet if and when they will follow Atruaghin again, maybe the Immortal will allow them a place to live in relative peace (perhaps as a buffer between the evil Tiger Clan to the south, and the remaining Clan’s west and north).
Since the meteor fell, water of the Red River flows within the crater, and precipitation adds to this volume. The whole floor of the crater is a solid molten mass, with no tunnels, rips, or cracks. As thus the water accumulates, and slowly rises, a large morass of muck, and rapidly fungal forests will cover it all.
A small lake was formed by the Red River now flowing into the crater, the still warm ground evaporates much of this water, causing a moist “blanket” to cover the crater enabling fungi to grow rapidly. Unknown to almost anybody, the meteor has released thin amounts of powder dust, which stayed behind in the atmosphere. This will cause a significant increase in precipitation for the upcoming two centuries, for the whole area of the Known World (including Wendar, Eastern Sind, Adri Varma, Heldann and Northern Wildlands).2 Due to the Meteor impact the magic gate to the Elemental Plane of Water, being the major feed of the Red River, tore further open and releases much more elemental water onto the Prime Plane than before.
The humanoids are forced by shadow elves to leave the lower caves. Loses are great on both sides, too great for the shadow elves to do the same on all the surface lands, especially since their weakness for the sun. Heldannic Knights and Vestlanders rode into the Eastern Broken Lands and attempted to clear the surface areas of humanoids in an attempt of increasing their popularity in the Known World. Many of the remaining humanoids retreat into the western region. Though successful in Yellow Orkia and Kol, resistance was too great for the Knights in Gnollistan, High Gobliny and Red Orc lands. The other humanoid nations they were not even able to visit. All in all the costs and losses were too high. They soon returned to Heldann.
Hobgobland; With the Fall of Thar, and the move of Kol to the Crater about 25% of the Hobgoblanders moved to Kol. The rest stayed behind. Remaining true to their heritage, ancestry and land. With the displacement of the Yellow Orkians by the shadow elves their enemies changed, and thus their offenses and defenses. These elven followers of Atzanteotl closed several tunnels
The luck the goblinoids have is that the rock which shapes their caves contain lead-ore, and this prevents all magic from working, including rock altering magic (a feature shadow elves know and hate.) The goblinoids quickly learned this feature in the many battles with the shadow elves trying to enter their caves. They could not hold them in the beginning when they closed of all open sections to the Great Magma chamber, and were not interested in why and how. At this time the shadow elves made only several skirmish attacks to defend their works. and this defence was needed because the few stoneshapers decreased in number rapidly, as humanoids attacked them often.
Ogremoor is hardly affected by the invasion and as thus only those ogres in former Thar’s legion and Lower Ogremoor have settled in the Great Crater. The others living in Ogremoor still live here. However, they fully lost control of Lower Ogremoor, and they must rebuild forces to retake this region. Any Aengmorian shadow elves have decided the region is too vast for their lower number to control, especially as they lost their shaman powers, and their Tunnel shapers3, as most either stayed with the deep shadow elves, or perished in the wars. Only a few Tunnel shapers survive (less than 12) and are needed badly near Aengmor city .
Upper Trollhattan is unchanged. The region was actually never discovered by others. Lower Trollhattan was cleared by the shadow (dark) elves, but recently trolls start to appear in the region again. The have not officially retaken the region, but many shadow elf patrols did never return.
Orcus Rex is fully abandoned, upper and lower, and this removes much tension in the region of Erewan, and the region East of the Great Crater. Thus enabling the humans to reinstall new settlements and restore older ones.
The demi-human-oids of the Valley of Khyr (Orcus Rex/Ogremoor) and Mount Barbia (Bugburbia) are unaffected by the invasions as they were not discovered yet. The faenare, giants and drakes do notice what is happening below, but do not interfere and therefore appear not to be there.
At this stage, many Shadow Elves in former Alfheim return to their underground world. They are ashamed of failures on the surface, thwarted by their very own magic. Others travel to the legendary city of Aengmor, beneath the Broken Lands were plentiful water supplies exist, soon realizing they have more freedom to do as they wish. Worship of Rafiel is rapidly dwindling in this region, replaced by the idolization of Atzanteotl. Rafiel is aware of this development, but is unable to act directly against Atzanteotl, yet for all his efforts nothing seems to change. Trying to subversively return his followers to the fold, many instead rejected Rafiel’s teachings holding him responsible, and continue to worship Atzanteotl. The familiar purple marks of the shadow elf shaman slowly fade on those turning away from Rafiel, as with their shaman abilities. From these shamans, new clerics of Atzanteotl arise, (starting from the first level) . The Aengmor elves start their plans in bringing Aengmor closer to the surface. The elves closed off West Lava Lake, North Orcus Rex, NE Trollhattan, Bugburbian passage to lava flow, Southern(mid) lava flow, Bugburbia Kundar passage to Lava Flow, Red Orcland North to Lava Flow, the whole North of Lower Kol, east of Akrass, South of Lake Morkia, and any minor passages in between leading to the lava, thus closing off the lava chamber, then temporarily closed off the main western flow partially, causing the magma to rise (increasing the temperatures in the nearby caves).4
While closing off all access to the Great Magma Chamber and Channels, most Aengmor elves Tunnel shapers were killed by the local humanoids. Thus slowly losing most terrain altering skills and magic, the Aengmor elves live as humanoids once did in the area. They still harbor great animosity toward all surface dwellers, yet consciously begin to accept the companionship of evil races. Even monsters, such as Xrathpack the beholder, come to dwell in their midst; of course under Aengmor elven rule.
Hobgobland; Attacked so severely by Ethengar warriors and Heldannic knights the hobgoblins retreated underground and took what land was nearest and no longer under others rule. Their numbers have grown and dwindled and remains thus on about 2400 humanoids.
Bugburbia and High Gobliny, those humanoids remaining behind when the brunt of the population moved to the crater earlier, feel the increase of temperature, moisture, and fear moving to the surface. Many tunnels are opened, creating a vented warm, moist cavern system below.
Many Red Orcs were killed or chased away (to the Great Crater) by the shadow elf invasion of 1010 AC. Some tribes want to try to return to Atruaghin lands, but are afraid of their arrival there, as explained above. Those that stay in Red Orcland become more proud and use the sun and heat against their invaders. The surface is theirs and will remain thus.
The attacks of the humanoids did not stop the progress of the elves' work, and by late 1013 the caves were closed off. The humanoids were unaware of the Aengmor elves’ plans to raise Aengmor.
Lower Gnollistan; The elves first battled the gnolls underground. The current might of the elves was too much for the gnolls and 25% died in the conflict, another 35% fled to Kol, and the remaining 40% went to the surface.
Upper Gnollistan is still owned and controlled by the gnolls, but they lost the lower Gnollistan caves. The shadow elves closed off most entrances to the lower realm, but the gnolls soon established some mutual agreements through Aengmor, and this is the main conduit of contact. The gnolls also conquered (or better took over) former Yellow Orkia. Some have reached Lake Morkia and act as a buffer between the goblinoids and the Aengmor elves. Here they often work together with these darker elves. The situation is strenuous with the hobgoblins on the other side of the lake, due their old hatred for each other.
Throughout the last years, tribes and clans of humanoids from surrounding areas poured into the Eastern Broken Lands, taking advantage of the departure of Thar’s Legions, trying to also re-inhabit the now mostly empty caves. The Aengmor elves of Atzanteotl must continue their battle for defending their hard won grounds and stop their conquest for new grounds. Their number of soldiers is simply too low.
Kolland is retaken by a variety of humanoids, some yellow orcs, but also foreign orcs from the Dwarfgate Mountains, Glantri, Darokin, Ethengar, Alfheim where they have an excess of orcs, and troll problems. But also local hill giants and foreign kobolds found this an excellent place to settle. They have not retaken the lower caves, where they are repelled by the Aengmor elves, and these slowly are taken over by giant spiders.
The Mucks are of no interest to shadow elves, humans and most humanoids, and several Trollhattan refugee trolls decided to settle there.
Broken Lands; Hool receives visions from Wogar to hunt Xilochtli, the orcish shaman of Oenkmar, as he stole the sacred blue knife. He starts a new Great Migration. Only Nizam Pasha (after a vision from Ranivorus) and the gnolls join. The total army is 3000 strong, and has to traverse along the Sindhi/Darokin border. The shadow elven military immediately gets to work at purging them from the area. Many flee to the Great Crater and join Kol’s forces, while other head to the Makkres Mountains where Thar is rumoured to be forming a new kingdom (or so say his messengers). Some stay behind. Still, despite their best efforts, the shadow elves cannot possibly hope to clear the entire Broken Lands. They settle for keeping a good 50 miles radius around their city as clear as possible. The new Great Migration moves with 3000 humanoids around Darokin to attack the Tiger Clan (Atzanteotl followers) in Atruaghin. Many red orcs and gnolls remain behind.
The Hill Giants of the Careanna region moved north and took over the Southern section of Yellow Orkia, naming it Yorkia (one of their Shaman named York suggested this as a pun to the Yellow Orcs). The Orkian settlements near the Mucks became abandoned, or were used by the sparse humanoids staying behind combining into a single meagre horde of old, sick, female or weaklings; they renamed this clan; Ol’d’ax. (Encompassing the villages Khampaa, Norbor, Kai Kailaar). This new horde no longer preys upon the passing caravans but instead trades with the caravans as they pass by, slowly becoming more powerful as their young become adolescent. The waste lands between the Mucks and Yorkia became abandoned, although not safe. As the giant insects, formerly hunted by the Yellow Orkians, now had no predators, they almost exploded in number and activity. Several giant ant, and Giant wasp lairs are found on the Ethengar border, and giant sand lions, originally a nuisance, now have become a real threat.5 Other giant insects have their egg and larval form in the Mucks, but in adult form prey in Yorkia. It is rumoured that the village of Ohrimm is taken over by sentient insects called hivebrood (using any race they capture; dark elves, Ethengerians, remaining Orkians, merchants, and adventurers. It recently discovered entries leading down, to the fungal bounties there. The Atzanteotl Shadow (dark) elves of Aengmor will not like this, but can’t do much against it.6
Table: Aengmor and Broken lands populations7
Aengmor; Atzanteotl’s power grows. Tensions between other shadow elves, Alfheim elves and Aengmor citizens grows. The cult of Atzanteotl was introduced by the various artifacts/religious icons left behind by the humanoids. Also, the old items seem to indicate that the shadow elves once worshipped Atzanteotl, and the members of the cult spread propaganda claiming that Atzanteotl was the golden age of the shadow elves, at the time of ancient Aengmor. Many of the shadow elves believe the story since they are losing faith in Rafiel, and are slowing converting to the new way of life. Half the wanderers do so too, the other half is bound by Rafiel’s Law. Kanafasti and the Wanderers believe to have found a way to stay in Aengmor while maintaining the Way of Rafiel; they intend to raise the city of Aengmor to the surface world, where they will claim a New Way of Rafiel shall be born. The idea was secretly brought to them by the cult of Atzanteotl. The cult of Atzanteotl has grown as powerful as it dares with the shamans of Rafiel in Aengmor. They intend to destroy the shamans’ power by raising the city to the surface, where their soul crystals will be destroyed by the sunlight, and hence they will lose all spellcasting abilities. If that were to happen, the cult of Atzanteotl is sure they can take over Aengmor. Soon the tension spreads to the Shadowlands and the Nation of Aengmor.
Fyrmont 2 Aengmor Earthquakes shake northern Darokin and southern Glantri, as well as western Ethengar and the city sees (through the volcanic shaft) sunlight. Princess Tanadaleyo of Rafielton announces that the ruler of the city will be General Garafaele Galeifel, ruling in the name of King Telemon of the City of Stars. No longer will wanderers and deformed elves be abandoned. The whole idea itself sprang up from none other than Xatapechtli. Using his friendship with Kanafasti, he managed to convince the mage that it would be a good thing to do for the shadow elves and especially the Wanderers. Kanafasti has no idea that he is also helping spread the plans of Atzanteotl. Soon the Shadow Wars start; Shadow elves against each other. The Hollow World Schattenalfen hear of the lost city of Aengmor and enter the fray.
The few humanoid shamans of Atzanteotl still alive in the Eastern Broken Lands rally the scattered humanoids in the area encouraging them to wilfully join the shadow elves of Aengmor with the promise of a higher ranking within the new humanoid hierarchy under shadow elf control.
Old Hutai Khan and his horde are among the recruited ones. The elves of Aengmor, led by Xatapechtli, welcome the humanoids and use them as cheap slave work or fodder for the army. The Shadow War is finally won by the deep shadow elves, caused a break with the Aengmorian (dark) elves and defeat of the Schattenalfen. Many elves on either sides lost their lives, and this loss will have great impact upon their controlled domain. Others relocate, and Aengmor loses thus most if not all its Rafiel followers.
Synn; Having started to feel the loss of power she once had in Glantri, Synn decides to try and cause trouble elsewhere in the Known World, while diverting all attention away from her and her dragon alias. She sends a powerful lich called Deimos8 under her control to harass Darokin to the south. Using her connections, Synn sends several humanoid forces with Deimos to the Broken Lands. She also sends one of her shadow elf agents to act as Deimos’ general of the goblinoids.
Once in the Broken Lands, the lich Deimos uses his magic to create a tower to act as his headquarters while his humanoids roam the area, gathering all the humanoids still alive and hiding from the shadow elves. These goblinoids, still afraid of the shadow elves, are eager to join what appears to be a powerful horde in the making. Deimos calls his base Sable Tower.
Synn herself occasionally visits the Dead Place in Ylaruam to see if her agents there have discovered anything new. She uses one of her powerful magical items and “charms” a powerful red dragon also named Synn from beyond the Adri Varma9 with a female blond human alter ego also named Synn10. Behind the scenes Dolores (aka the real Synn, Night Dragon) keeps pulling the string by using the charm spell. With the loss of Jaggar, Synn is losing her political pull as Dolores Hillsbury in Glantri. Since she just has to cause chaos, she has decided to send some of her forces elsewhere to inflict chaos in other lands. Darokin has now become one of her targets. The shadow elves sent with Deimos will help keep the shadow elves of the city of Aengmor away from the tower, hiding the humanoid forces there from the elves. The civil war brewing in Aengmor also helps. These shadow elf agents were originally spies on Glantri, but came to love the power, magic, and cutthroat politics of the human nation and decided to stay in Glantri rather than return to the City of Stars. Dolores Hillsbury learned of them and hired most of them to work for her. The spies, having been trained by Xatapechtli, were already evil since they are assassins without any compassion for their enemies. They got along rather well with Synn the Red Dragon. Dolores controls everything from behind the screens.
Having now amassed a large enough horde of humanoids under his command, Deimos has given the order for them to invade Darokin. With Darokin’s forces occupied both in Atruaghin and in Selenica (both because of the raids at Fort Hobart and the fear of invasion from the now hostile Ylaruam), the timing could not be better. Several bands of a dozen humanoids pop up throughout the city of Corunglain, raiding and pillaging everything they can get their hands on. By the time the city defenders get organized and begin closing in on the intruders, the humanoids quickly duck back into the sewer system from which they came. When forced back from an attack on Darokin City adventurers manage to destroy important targets and successfully defeat Deimos within the Sable Tower.
The Aengmor Elves meddled in these affairs, and it is now that some of them have gained a darker appearance than before, with lighter hair. These are the first notices that the Aengmor elves are really physically changing. Dolores Hillsbury, secretly a Night Dragon, musters all she can to survive this political ordeal, and her secret is almost uncovered, but in the end she succeeds to be her “charming” self. However, she lost her control over the Great Crater and the neighbouring Glantrian regions. Blackhill, Erewan, Soth-Kabree, Caurenze are retaken by the former owners of the region. Dolores also lost control over Jaggar von Drachenfels.
Several Darokin locations, amongst other Corunglain, and a few years later Trintan and even Glantri were under attack of several groups of humanoids (in fact stirred up by Synn the red dragon). Both humanoid groups were defeated by adventurers.
Darokin; After many setbacks (including weather, shortage of supplies, plus an increase in Goblinoid raids to prevent the wall from being built, the 20’ high, 125 miles long Great Wall of Darokin (from Fort Fletcher to Corunglain City, following the southern edge of the Broken Lands) is finally completed.
In AC 1014 Wicked, renegade shadow elves, who live side by side with orcs, serving the evil cult of Atzanteotl, trying to spread chaos in the western Old World and beyond. After the recent Shadow War about a thousand of Schattenalfen found shelter in the City of Aengmor. Rumours say that even some human brigands moved to the evil city. After the shadow elves' civil war two years ago, rebel followers of Atzanteotl selected Aengmor as their stronghold rallying the few scattered humanoids in the area and using them as slaves. The survivors from the disastrous Schattenalfen assault on the City of the Stars took refuge in the city of Aengmor in AC 1015.
Goblins in the Great Crater are severely irritated by the Kobolds behaviour and feel as though they are ranked second. When they discover that many goblins remained successfully in East Broken Lands, they leave the crater within a single week. The Hobgoblanders happily accept the new influx of humanoids to stave off the Aengmor elves. The closing of any access to the magma chambers and channels now starts to become a benefit to the humanoids. Not only causes this to increase the fog and water in the caves, causing fungi to rapidly take root anywhere, the Aengmor elves can only attack from Lake Morkia, and they have no water skills. Battle after battle commences, losses on both sides are great, but with the influx of new humanoids, the Aengmor elves decided to count their wounds and accept their loss of conquest. The goblinoids have retaken the Lower Caves of these regions. Tensions will remain in this area though. The whole lake area becomes a buffer zone between both races, as the shadow (dark) elf territory now borders the east coast of Lake Morkia. All of Lower Broken Lands caves have become more living (fertile for vegetation/insects) as the surrounding rock has become warmer. The average temperature originally 4-10 degrees Celsius is now a staggering 20 to 25. Water damp is prevalent, and thus the growth of fungi.
Red Orcland is re-established as Red Orcland and now again populated by red orcs staying behind, or returning, and some other orcs from Yellow Orkia and Orcus Rex.
Shadowlands; The completion of the Chamber of Spheres enables deep shadow elves to cast a variant source of magic on Day of Dread and use crystals in the sun. The Schattenalfen who have been captured are proposed to integrate into the shadow elf society; most of them refuse and are executed. The others, including those who helped against the Schattenalfen, are viewed with suspicion but allowed to settle in the Enclave according to the Verse of the Other People. Others escape to the city of Aengmor.11
The bugbears of Bugburbia, the local goblins and hobgoblins convene and become a new humanoid nation, a nation which existed in earlier times, a nation of goblinoids; Gobbleton is reborn. And nobody can do anything against it, not even the disabled Aengmorian elves. Soon the goblinoids discover an old forgotten thin tunnel south of Fort Kundar underneath the Magma channel leading to the other side, where the Former Red Orclands and Ogremoor lands are empty.
Gobbleton is occupied by goblins, hobgoblins and bugbears, that each forms nations like High Gobliny, Hobgobland and Bugburbia, that became separate provinces of this new nation.
Lower Broken Lands future map
Lower Ogremoor is slowly retaken by the ogres of Upper Ogremoor. Lower Kol has turned into a vast fungal spider jungle.
The Aengmor elves take advantage of the Kol’s fungal jungle and take full control of the kobolds former underground lands. Former Orcus rex is now a loose bundle of renegade humanoids from anywhere. Astimahl a (black looking, but blue) dragon of Hobgobland succeeds becoming a large dragon, and with that magic is released affecting the region. As he is Neutral-Good in alignment, this affects the effects of the transformation magic.12 This increases the radical changes the whole region undergoes, which will become clearly visible in the upcoming decades.
1022 AC From this year on the week of no magic has returned, centred again on the original Day of Dread, as in 1010 AC. Glantri increases in population, and magic users willing to learn the awesome magic able to learn here. It became more and more difficult to keep the Radiance secret, with no Immortal controlling it, and more students using it, thus causing a rapid increase in the Brethren of Rad.
The increased yield of fungal and insect food in the Lower Broken Lands decreases the need for attacks on Glantri and Ethengar by Gobbleton Residents, and dark Aengmor elves. It also causes the red orc tribes to slowly retake their lower caves, but not in such a way to settle them …yet.
The Great Crater lake’s surface has quadrupled and now covers almost the whole bottom of the crater. There is no life within the expanded lake other than insect larva. Its depth is roughly 150 feet.
Ethengar adventurers discover the secret of the Streel River and remove it, much to discontent of the Darokinians13. With this simple act, the whole region succumbs to a dramatic ecological change. Water no longer flows up between the Twin Volcanoes, but starts to accumulate again in the basin of the Mucks and former Yellow Orkia. The Streel River towards Darokin decreases in volume of water by 80%, now only fed by local streams in the Broken Lands. Darokin is bereft of much of its waters, but the Darokinians are fully unable to restore the earlier conditions, as being fully unaware of the reasons. Though careful and bitter, they decide not to war against the Ethengars, and see what the future will bring in this changing social climate.
The humanoids of the Northwestern Dwarfgate Mountains combine and form an independent humanoid nation called Org-grukk. The different racial sentiments make the region fragmented, and still passable for caravans (though plunder is running rampant.) Due the volcanic changes caused by the Aengmorian elves earlier, more volcanic activity becomes part of the nature in this area. Increased temperature, Geysers, hot springs, and more tremors (not quakes) become a normal part of life within this region. The reason is the large Eastern Lava lake pouring down into the deep, but due pressure increases the minor tremors, heats up water in the region coming from the surface, and increases local ambient temperature14.
The trolls normally being oblivious of any changes, suddenly notice that the island in their Trollhattan Lake is always flooded, Trees die, while rooted below the water. To their faint memories, this was not the case, why it happens they do not know. Glantrian geomages traversing the Trintan-Corunglain Trail later suggest that the centuries coagulation of biological debris, sediments from the Vesubian, and other minor rivers entering the Trollhattan region, have finally clogged the small channels leading down in such a way that water levels rise, thus increasing pressure further hardening the thick layers of clay-like material. This is the beginning of the end for Trollhattan. The dragon Astimahl partners up with his half-sister Belladraag and at the end of the year three eggs are laid, of which only two hatch; Kurkumon (Male) and Bardishar (Female).
The water levels in the Mucks have risen sufficiently to begin increasing the mucks surface area, and the fertility of the former Yellow Orkia wastelands. The region of Clan Ol’d’Ax becomes wet and muddy; plants and fungi start to grow rapidly and abundantly. The Humanoids of Clan Ol’d’Ax relocate to the Hills between Ethengar and the wet wastelands. Fairies start pouring in the region north of the Mucks, bringing with them millions of seeds of trees and other plants. Ethengar fully agrees to this as water is growth and growth is might. Several Erewan elves under duress of the Belcadiz elves in Glantri decide to leave Erewan and settle here. This is the beginning of a new region of prosperity, prophesied by the soothsayers of the Khan. The dragon Belladraag is killed by Aengmorian shadow (dark) elves. And this infuriates her mate Astimahl, shadow (dark) elves are no longer safe on the surface. Kurkumon and Bardishar, their children, leave the nest and settle elsewhere (probably in Ethengar). They have formed alternate identities; Kurkumon as an Ethengar warrior (though horses do not like his smell), and Bardishar as a human merchant. Both seem to keep in touch with each other, but are abandoned by their father.
Water starts to accumulate on the salty plain of Yorkia. Plants from the Mucks spread out and infest the region altering it permanently.The Hill giants keep the southern hills, but lose any interest in the wet wastelands. Humanoids thrive in the hills, fed by the many insects. They have no need for combat, as food is abundant. Many insects perish others prosper but many have to relocate. The hivebrood resettle against the Sun’s Anvil Plateaux. Water also starts to increase on the Ethengar borders, and the Hakomon of the nearby sites notice changes in their magic.
Org-grukk becomes more stable as rumors tell Thar returned (this might also be a son of Thar). Caravans now have to circumvent the whole Broken Lands, using the Old Trail to Lake Unur and then North through the Fairy woods.
In the Great Crater Lake large creatures are found. The remnants of meteorite magical ores, and its chemicals caused the insects to evolve, and greatly increase in size. A new ecosystem is born, where they start to feed on the mushrooms and other vegetation, and each other.15
The hills of Trollhattan slowly become wet due the continuously rising water. In itself no problem for the trolls, but they need ground to live. Due to some unforeseen cause16, some trolls seem to succumb to a rapid evolution, and are suddenly able to breath underwater. If this is due the trolls natural unstable, but very adaptable genetic structure or that very structure being affected by continuous radiation from below and a changing environment is unknown. The life for the other trolls becomes harsh, their caves dug in clay or sandstone either fill completely, or collapse, and many trolls leave the region and either traverse North to Glantri or South to Darokin. Both nations try to prevent this, but they can’t really stop this move, as the Trolls are doing this individually and not group wise. The Scrags main underwater settlement are the almost intact ruins of Orken Keep,17but many live either in shore caves or the surviving underwater caves.
The water of Crater Lake starts to enter the side caves to Trollburg. The lake is now 1300 feet deep and Kolland has a great view over the lake. The humanoids have learned (from the Glantrians) to make and use simple straw or wood vessels. The Old Jaggar von Drachenfels starts creature investigations and sends adventurers under water using a magical submersible. The dragon Astimahl is increasing his pyramid of power and subdues the dragons Erronya (Green), Gurmarmirmiar (Red) and Gjullgaraah (Black).
The continuous drain of the Radiance now begins showing its effects. Twice a year there is a week of no-magic. A 16+ Intelligence will be needed to study radiance based magic, or to advance further in levels. The number of Wizards decreases drastically in the world.
More and more Witches, Elementalists, Necromancers, Druids would start to study the few sources of magic NOT affected by the Radiance, and as thus whole new and very variable streams of magic very slowly become known.
Magical beings decrease in number also (this includes dragons, elves, fairy, etc.) affected by Radiance deprivation, their bodies were unknowingly used too. Many also do recover and adapt rapidly to the natural source of magic, but indeed many others perish or move away. The number of Brethren of Rad would rise to about 220 and then slowly but steadily sink as the number of Radiance using wizards goes down too.
As the water in the Crater Lake starts pouring in, more and more humanoids leave the area, as less and less living space is available. Abandoned Goblinia and Orcus Dominicus rapidly fill with water from the lowest levels. The water gullet in the north can’t take the rapid increase of water (which by the way flows further down to the Shadowlands, increasing the water there). Soon humanoid inhabitants of Lower Kolland and Trollburg have to move. The trolls and orcs move up into Ogremoor, but many become very discontent with the crowded space, and leave. The Orcs resettle in former Orcus Rex. Ogres turn to Ogremoor, where more of their kind still live. The final battle between the returning ogres and the orcs in the tunnel between Orcus Rex and Orcus Dominicus causes the tunnel to collapse. Hundreds of orcs die when the ceiling of the tunnel caves in upon them. The connection between the East and West Lower Broken Lands is now truly severed. This forces of the ogres go up against the inflow of water, out to the surface and the Great Crater and over the devastated lands to finally reach Ogremoor. Many ogres perish or become wounded in this ordeal. Relations between ogres and orcs will be strenuous from this moment on, each blaming the other for the cause and losses. The new insect ecosystem starts to feed on all the humanoids left behind (including the many drowned Humanoids). Many insect species perish, many other relocate to the lake's border region, and a few just adapt to the water, but the true water insects now prosper. Mostly they are beetles, but there are also sightings of giant (real giant!!) centipede like creatures hunting bugs, birds and humanoids. Algea forests take over the bottom rapidly, and some new water plants are introduced due seeds/specimen dropped by birds from nearby Lake Amsorak. Most fungi perish, but some are able to surivive below water and these are a few molds (Brown and Yellow).18
Glantri’s Red River increases its yield as many creeks and brooks fed by underground channels of the Great Crater, add to their amount of flowing water, into the Vesubian River. Darokin is pleased as this water will eventually flow into the Darokinian Streel River. The Darokin water amounts normalize as before, but the sources are changed.
Upper Broken Lands and surrounding region future map
Crater Lake; The lower caves under the crater are now fully filled with water, the increased pressure caused some cave-ins, but all areas below become forever inundated. The upper Cave of the Ogrelords also starts to fill, causing them to relocate further into the Silver Sierra Mountains or regroup within Ogremoor. The same happens with the lower sections of Upper Kolland, forcing the kobolds to take the surface and live more like the humans.
The Upper caves are still in use, remaining above the level of the water, but are a crowded lot. Hundreds of humanoids start to settle on the surface around the lake, living of the many large insects found here.
The lands of former Yellow Orkia are no more. Together with the Mucks they became the new Anur Lake. What remains of the Mucks moved up north and now lies on the western coast against Gobbleton’s province Hobgobland and the Northern Coast. Only the coast against Ethengar (Taijits Woods) is used for fishing, but only simple reed vessels are used by the Ethengarians. The influx of fish in the Ethengar diet increases their physical health and social standing. But also brought some obesity to the lazy rulers. The fairies have control over the new forests of the region, where also many Erewan elves live. Two magic locations became inaccessible to the Hakomon, and are now used by the fairies, elves or humanoids. The Southern Hills along the Coast (Yorkia) and the Hills of Careanna are populated by several Humanoids, while the Collapsed Mountains are under firm control of stone giants and other silicon based life forms. The Lake finally has retaken its original size. The Ethengar section of the Streel River is renamed Anur River when it became on level with the Anur Lake and thus changed its direction of flow towards Bargdha, enabling simple reed vessels to traverse along the slow flowing river. The water will finally enter the depression of the Sea of Flowers, making it into another lake. Water continues to flow down through tunnels and cave systems below the Sea of Flowers towards the Shadowlands, increasing the yield of water there. The small river from the Twin volcanoes is named “the Streel”, abandoning the “River “adjective. The Streel River now comes forth in the Red Orclands by a combination of local creeks and streams there and from the Crooked Hills of Kol, follows its original (but greatly reduced) tract into Darokin. The Hivebrood of Ohrimm have relocated to the north and settled in the Lawensa Depression of the Wendarian Ranges. Their voyage took many lives, but also added some new Glantrian/Ethengarian broodlings.19
The Darokin/Ethengar Trail had to be changed. Up to Lake Anur, the trail is similar as before, though with a much decreased Streel River, but then the trail goes through Hobgobland, along Anur Lake, until it convenes with the Alexander Glantri Trail going up to Bramyra. This village becomes a melting-pot town, with greater merchant capabilities like warehouses, and a market. Visited by the new Erewan elves, Ethengarians and sometimes even a “friendly” goblinoid from Gobbleton. New town laws prevent conflict (or try to). Some smaller settlements increase and the Erewan elves have created within the new woods a few villages. The elves are allowed by the current Ethengar Kahn to settle in the Tajits woods, but when contacting Ethengarians, Ethengar Law prevails, further they may follow their own law. Even Ethengar is changed, now having access to more wood, more permanent structures in settlements are created, especially Barha which becomes a mix of a camp and a town. Though the locals fear the large black dragon (the blue dragon Astimahl), they are never attacked unless provoked. It is regularly seen flying above Anur Lake before disappearing from sight. its lair is suspected in the new Mucks or within Anur Lake itself.
Many shadow elves have earlier travelled beneath the Broken Lands were plentiful water supplies exist. Here they have converted to a more chaotic lifestyle under the doctrines of their new Immortal. Formerly followers of Rafiel, they became greatly disillusioned with the failures of the Canolbarth, and Rafiel’s seemingly strict doctrines. Interaction between shadow elves factions is emerging along three paths. Some bonds are broken; others strained or altered, while others remain firmly in place. Whether by divisions of clan, family or holding; shadow elves revering Rafiel come to associate with one another, while those worshiping Atzanteotl drift farther away and become more individualistic. Ties between Darokinians and returning Alfheim elves is stronger than anticipated with shadow elves followers of Rafiel. Despite Immortal affiliation three groups of Shadow Elves arise.
The first group consists of the few shadow elves who remain on the surface. Living in the darker regions of the Old Canolbarth; they continue having problems adapting. (110.000, this is about 20% of the total shadow elf population). They call themselves fair elves.
The larger second group is comprised of the majority of shadow elves returning to the subterranean realms. Calling themselves; deep elves to further distinguish them from the dark shadow elves and fair elves. This faction preserves the traditions practiced over the last centuries. Their numbers; however, are greatly diminished. About ten percent (55.000) having died in the wars and its aftermath, while nearly twenty percent (110.000) relocated to the surface; and finally, roughly thirty-five percent (192.500) travelled to the Aengmor region, taking up the beliefs of the temple of Atzanteotl. The original shadow elf Clans remain in the Shadow Lands’ locations, although lower in number (220.000=40%). This group holds most tunnel shapers, and keeps their ground altering magic.
With the return of humanoids in the surface lands of the Broken Lands, and even in some of the underground Realms, the dark elves suffered some more losses. The individualistic egotistical trait these dark elves taught themselves becomes more and more a trait of their culture.
Atzanteotl, became to regret his choice of letting these elves within his power again, and withdrew while letting a local elf finding immortality under his ruling take over20. The reason Atzanteotl abandoned the shadow elves in the past;--their lack of rapid procreation—is their handicap still (1 or 2 children per generation per family). As most of these elves (65%) are male, fewer relations can be made. Their birth-rate is too low to replenish their lost numbers from war, age and disease, and while the humanoids have become a balanced nation due their high reproduction, the dark elves decreased greatly in number. Their genetic structure is also affected by magic (not only their appearance), and these elves can only procreate with their own kind, and no longer with other elves. This was an attempt of Atzanteotl to create a higher rate of offspring, but he forgot the elves nature of having only one or two relations generating offspring in a lifetime. Being originally 192,500 (35%) of the original shadow elves, they lost more than half their number (126,250) in the many battles with the shadow elves, humanoids, dwarves and other intruders. A total of 64,000 survivors have settled in New Aengmor, and the lower Gnollistan Caves. Their military power greatly diminished, as their number of soldiers decreased to about 5,000. About 2,250 survivors have settled elsewhere individually, some even returned into the fold of the deep elves, regretfully. About 80% of Lower Broken Lands is now retaken by humanoids, but these are now fully separate nations and no longer under the rule of one king (like King Thar). Gobbleton, Ogremoor, Red Orcland, Orcus Rex (including lower Trollhattan) are now the ruling nations in the underworld. On the Surface you find the same but also Gnollistan, and Careanna (the Hills between Dwarfgate Mountains and the Broken Lands). The hills of Kol have no ruling power, the hill giants, kobolds, gnolls, and orcs living there are all independent family tribes, battling each other, and looting Darokin, and Alfheim. They are often in conflict with Red Orcland, which now controls the whole region along the Streel River up to the Tar Pits. They regularly enter Lower Kol (now New Aengmor) and are mostly repelled by the dark elves.
The dark elves hate the deep elves more than they hate Alfheim elves, but their culture of hate and distrust has caused them to become a loosely tied clutch of small groups within the caves of the Old Broken Lands. They seem to cooperate with spiders and monsters like beholders, and many humanoids which returned to the Eastern Broken Lands, although often still ruled by the dark elves. The number of dark elves decreased another 15% of the original number, due battles, disease, desertion (mostly wanderers) and some rare of old age, stabilizing at 34,125 dark elves with a 3,400 military.
Gobbleton is strong and although not really dependant on raids, still do so now and then.The Bugbur river flows from NW to South Akrass, sinks down into tunnels underneath magma tunnels, reappearing East of Kol-Edgegate, flowing east underneath Gnollistan/Aengmor to the Great Water Whirl, here it flows down to Shadow deep.
Some water of the Streel and Anur Lake flows down into lower Gnollistan/Aengmor, diving down ancient lava tunnels to the magma chamber of the Twin Volcanoes, set under pressure and released through micro vent into geysers along the Streel, and in the Lower Broken Lands.
All this water together with the heat makes Lower Gobbleton a perfect environment for fungi, insects and other underground vermin. The whole Lower Broken Lands, now mostly lacking long foraging by humanoids for decades, becomes a fungal insect haven. Many spiders find new niches, and even spill out onto the surface of former Kol. The dark elves see these creatures as holy.
Red Orcland was conquered by Gobbleton a few times, but since more Red Orcs openly started to honour Atruaghin, their shaman got different powers and thus allowed the Red Orcs to take more and more of their former lands back. They recently even succeeded in taking control of some of the former lands of Kol on the other side of the Streel River.
Yorkia in the Hills of Careanna, ruled by the hill giants, is stable. Though they do not use the nearby Anur Lake, they prosper better, as the vegetation increased, bringing more animals to feed upon.Though they still lack any real society, their family structure keeps them together.
Org-grukk is now a balanced state and a pain in the neck to Ethengar. The nearby silicon humanoids (stone giants, rockmen, geonids and other) however seem to balance everything out in that region, but have no desires to rule.
The deep elves finally begin to recover from all the ordeal they went through in the last 200 years. With new magic, new water, and a new more free social structure they begin a new era of their own. The water coming from above finally entered the circle of water. Flow down, warming up, geologically or by tunnels go to the surface, combine with the weather patterns, become precipitation, melt or flow down and the circle is round.
And then in 1251 AC Astimahl succeeds in becoming a huge dragon21, and the North eastern side of Akkila’s Throne increases the yield of magic available to the goblinoids. The nearby magic location becomes stronger, and even the area of the Comeback Inn is affected. Astimahl visited Barga and Bramyra, clearly revealing that its intent is to leave these settlers alone, ...unless provoked of course. It enforced a tax of 1 gp a wheel and foot passing along the New Darokin-Ethengar Trail, taken in by some humanoids. The settles accept, as this seems a fair price and agreement.
What will these uncertainties, effects, and changes bring...or take…??
Main Source List
Mainly TSR 9241 - GAZ10 - The Orcs of Thar
But also; TSR 9223 - GAZ5 - The Elves of Alfheim
TSR 9227 - GAZ6 - The Dwarves of Rockhome
TSR 9246 - GAZ12 - The Golden Khan of Ethengar
TSR 9287- GAZ13 - The Shadow Elves
HWA1 – Nightwail
Thorfinn Tait Broken Lands; http://mystara.thorfmaps.com/broken-lands-8/,
TSR 9208 - GAZ3 - The Principalities of Glantri
TSR 2511 - AD&D2 - Mystara-Glantri Kingdom of Magic
Agathokles interactive atlas; http://digilander.libero.it/agathokles/glantri.htm,
TSR 9211 - AC10 - Bestiary of Dragons and Giants (Trouble in Tall Stone Pass)
TSR 9250 - GAZ11- The Republic Of Darokin
TSR 1071 - The D&D Rules Cyclopedia
TSR 1082; 1901+1902-D&D-Wrath of the Immortals boxed set
TSR 9403 - TM1 - The Western Countries-Trail Map
TSR 9372 - A1 - D&D – Mystara 1010AC - Poor Wizard's Almanac I
TSR 9441 - A2 - D&D – Mystara 1011AC - Poor Wizard's Almanac II
TSR 2506 - A3 - AD&D2 – Mystara 1012AC - Poor Wizards Almanac III
TSR 2517 - A4 - AD&D2 – Mystara - 1013AC - Joshuan's Almanac
Fan Almanacs http://pandius.com/pwa1018a.html http://pandius.com/pwa1017.html http://pandius.com/pwa1016.html http://pandius.com/pwa1015.html http://pandius.com/pwa1014.html
TSR 9246- GAZ12-D&D-Mystara-The Golden Khan of Ethengar
TSR 2020 - AD&D1 - Wilderness Survival Guide
TSR 2019 – AD&D1 - Dungeoneers Survival Guide
The Tower of Doom PC game; http://www.arcadequartermaster.com/capcom/ddtod_bosses.html
The Storm over Mystara PC Game; http://www.arcadequartermaster.com/ddsom_bosses.html
The Mystara Timeline http://www.pandius.com/timeline.html
2DM’s using the TM1-TSR9403-D&D-The Western Countries-Trail Map weather system add 5% on the Precipitation chance and +1 on the intensity rolls to all affected regions for the 1006-1216 AC. For precise effects decrease Precipitation by 1% each decade from 1170 AC and lose intensity to normal in 1050 AC. From this moment on all values are normal...as per Trail Map.
3Tunnel shapers are shadow elves specialized in these spells; 5th Dissolve/Harden, Passwall, Turn Rock to Mud, Wall of Stone, Rock Door.6th Rock to lava,Move Earth 7th Lower Lava, Turn Rock. 4th Stone Door, and reverse versions these and other (Due their specialization they have +50% range, duration, and size affected area)
4All pink marks on the Lower Broken Lands map. In my maps pink is the color of magic.
7Explanation of colors used in the Table; Pink= Shadow Elven Rule Aengmor, Orangebrow=Humanoids rule over Oenkmar/Aengmor. Where both colors are in a row there will be many disputes, Red Text/data= major disputes.
8Source; Tower of Doom game 1014 AC
9Source; Storm over Mystara 1017 AC
10This slightly different backstory was chosen by the author as the dragon which appears in the videogame is red, and her human identity is blonde, quite different from the dark appearance of Synn and her human identity Dolores in Mystara’s paper canon products.
11This is a return of the Deep Shadow Elves to a natural source of magic, instead directly or indirectly using Radiance, like it is done globally. This is one of the new (actually original and very old; predating Blackmoor) sources of magic.
12As per Bruce Heard Dragon circle transformations (Dragon Magazine 170)
Phenomena caused by the transformation of neutral Dragons are totally unlike that of lawful or chaotic nature. These occurrences, although limited to the domain of alterations, may be more subtle yet more drastic than with other Dragons. Druidical gatherings in the affected area (if appropriate) will be much more common than usual prior to an occurrence, where druids might share their concern about upcoming changes and their mystical meanings.
A small neutral Dragon becoming large effects minor natural changes. For example, some wildlife or vegetation may become progressively extinct in the region, while other new life becomes more predominant. A water spring might dry up while another starts elsewhere. A small forest might progressively die out while a poorer region becomes more fertile. A strange lack of wildlife and winds might affect one region, while another becomes a new cauldron of activity (some minor wealth is discovered there). A change might affect the local climate, and so on.
14+1d3x5 degrees as per Trail map weather chart for all seasons in this region only, lasting until magma in the great chamber is lowered ever again.
16This may be Immortal Influence of Bagni Gullymaw, in an attempt to save her race. In effect Scrags, AD&D aquatic trolls, are created.
21A large neutral dragon becoming huge causes more radical changes, affecting especially the realms of magic and time. This includes the creation of an anti-magic area of variable intensity, an aura that slows or accelerates the passage of time, or a region in which spell-casting is altered (certain spells are blocked, enhanced, or totally changed), or a place where the laws of physics and magic are constantly shifting. These places are a heaven for wizards and creatures that are magical in nature, and such regions often include magical gates, ores with strange properties, and unexplainable phenomena. This region is likely to be guarded by the new, huge dragon.