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A Gazetteer of Limn part 1by Hausman Santos and Alexandre de Luna from Threshold Magazine issue 11
A Gazetteer of Limn
Lining up the maps, Part 1
By Hausman Santos and Alexandre de Luna
This article presents and compares versions of Limn maps published in the Mystaran Almanac (AC 1018) with those developed by Bruce Heard on his blog1 circa AC 1000/AY 2000 with a brief general description (with the first part focusing on the north) and proposes an alternative to unite the unusual passages in each version of the maps in order to put them together. This article also makes extensive use of the material previously developed by Geoff Gander2 in his descriptions of the region.
The situation of Limn attracts the curious from all over the Empire: sages, anthropologists, historians, archaeologists, scholars in zoology, students of monstrology and magicians in general. However, most of these just give up early and abandon the idea of living in Limn when they realize the magnitude of hostile environment, the social frictions and the ever present violence. A multitude of races and groups live in this newly formed kingdom (circa AY 1900). Despite being a very small kingdom, by Alphatian standards, Limn is indeed a very special one and during the centuries the Alphatian Empire allowed many unusual and monstrous races to dwell in this stretch of land. The northern region of Limn experienced constant conflict between Antalian tribes, goblinoids and occasional monsters from the region and those coming from the mountains.
TRACES OF NORTH HISTORY
"While Østheim was still in its infancy, other realms were being founded by other Ystmarhavners, further south. Some 150 years after Haakon achieved his first victory against the Yanifey, Ylsa of the Sharpened Blade conquered the citadel of Terkyn, and renamed it Grønborg. Her dominion, also named Grønborg, occupied much of what is now coastal Trollhattan, while her own fortress was centered on what is now Torpes."
(Part of a lecture on Antalian history at the University of Wendar)
Much of the history of northern Limn has its beginnings when Ylsa conquered the citadel of Terkyn, and renamed the area along the Spear of Bith-Xul and the actual Bay of Torpes, Grønborg.
In BC 650/AY 350, Ylsa founded the realm of Grønborg, which, though it was sparsely populated, more than made up for this weakness through the ferocity of its warriors. The soldiers of Grønborg did not sell their services to others, and they did not seek to expand beyond what could be easily held.
The jarldoms of Gronborg and Markland frequently clashed over territory. Markland, which was centered on the port of Taraldsstad and extended as far east as the Kerothar Mountains, is little more than ruins in modern times. There were also some goblinoid tribes that dominated the foothills of the mountains and occasionally did settle the hills of Ankh-Kahru (between Bay of Eanna and sound of Ishme) when they would impose their will on local tribes and take control of the iron mines for crafting weapons, until finally being driven back to the passes in Sheb-Talai.
This reasonably stable situation changed when an Alphatian invasion occurred in BC 116/AY 884, which saw all but the city of Grønborg itself fall to the invaders (besides the problems with the Trollhattan pit to the south preventing colonization in that area, which will be discussed later), though the Alphatians lost over 10,000 men in their efforts. Imagine an impressive defensive wall along the neck of the peninsula, some of which may still stand today, though modern Torpes is built upon the ruins of Grønborg city. Between BC 109/AY 891 and BC 72/AY 928, Alphatia was actually forced into pulling back several miles from the city, so ferocious were the counterattacks by the Ystmarhavners.
After its seizure, the region remained unsettled by Alphatians for years.
RISE OF TORPES
Roughly 200 years after the fall of Grønborg, and while the Alphatians were still concentrated east of the Kerothar Mountains, a few battered vessels sailed in from the southwest. A small group of Traldar, who had left their homeland, washed up among the ruins of Grønborg where they sheltered. Eventually, after the Alphatians learned of the displaced Tarpanadeans' history, they offered to the Traldar the possibility of establishing a local colony in exchange for fealty to the Empire. The Tarpanadeans accepted, on the condition that they were allowed to govern themselves as they saw fit. The Alphatians agreed, so long as taxes were paid, finding this reasonable under the circumstances.
During that period, the town's name slowly changed, as newcomers mispronounced it, and as some of the old lore of the original settlers faded. Today, it is now known as "Torpes", a contraction of its old name, though the name "Tarpanades" still appears on official documents and proclamations from the town council. About a few years before the formation of Limn, to help represent imperial interests on site, an Alphatian economist, Xandaram, was designated to administer an embassy in the city as well as represent the voice of Alphatia on the city council.
Some Traldar families have gained prominence in the region including Tarpanades, the original surviving clan, Dracor and Mitrestu, besides other smaller houses. Other families, such as the Marthedren, Hundraal and Thorberg, have Antalian blood.
PLACES OF THE NORTH
Bruce’s Map of Limn
Caption: Map from Bruce Heard’s blog: http://bruce-heard.blogspot.it/2012/05/alphatian-province-of-trollhattan.html
Mystara Almanac 1018 Map of Limn
Caption: Map from Mystara Almanac 1018: http://pandius.com/limn2.html
[Image 5: Bruce’s Map of Limn Population Density]
Caption: Map from Bruce Heard’s blog: http://bruce-heard.blogspot.it/2012/05/alphatian-province-of-trollhattan.html
Ruled by Hanna Marthedren, the Iron Lady, the village's economy revolves around fishing and refining of iron ore extracted from the hills near Remina. A guild of Per-Atúr dwarves provides services to the Marthedren clan with iron refining, with the refined iron then transported to Remina and sent by ferry to Ishme. One member of the "Iron Guild", Master Dulnor, is actually an agent of the Librarians3 investigating the traffic of banned substances from Frisland to Limn and the widespread use of these drugs among goblinoids working in Remina.
Tharmug (an acteon druid) has sent Grabulg (another actaeon) and his foresters (not to be confused with the forester class in Thyatis) to investigate numerous sightings of a strange creature in the hills and forests. Reports of the beast claim it is more than 5 meters tall and has 4 arms, its body covered with thick black fur and having a huge wolf's head4. Sightings are always followed by the brutal deaths of travelers or entire families of farmers. Cattle mutilations have also been recorded. The druid suspects that some beast from Frisland crossed the mountain border and is loose in the field, but attempts to track the beast down, mundane or magical, have proven fruitless. Grabulg has recently sent a request for help to the druid circle and a letter with his concerns to queen Mellora.
Ruled by Svart Thorberg, the village controls the mining of iron in the hills and is a haven for gangs and criminals who provide various services to the miners, from food and drinks to gambling and prostitution. The Thorberg receive a large percentage of all transactions conducted in the city, except those related to iron ore itself, since these are strictly supervised by the Marthedren in Baenil. A small militia led by the Thors, the half-breed bastards of Hafthor-Old Crow (Leader of the Thorberg clan) keeps things under control in the city and mines. Those stupid enough to violate the "laws" (failure to pay the Thorberg) are fed to Svart pet dogs in the village square, an event which is always eagerly awaited by the residents.
Around the city there are numerous goblinoid camps housing the miners that work in the hills. These camps have always been a haven for drug dealers, however, a couple of years ago a new drug emerged and spread like wildfire in the camps, the Kala; a mixture of herbs coming from Frisland. Users of the drug have an almost supernatural resilience, they do not need to eat, rest or sleep, they feel a huge euphoria and work whilst hallucinating greatly increases their mining quota, which generates more money, which is in turn used to buy more and more drugs. After some time, users begin to have a strange behavior that the miners call “the wither". Afflicted miners start to hear voices and wander aimlessly and many disappear in the hills, but as ore production has risen sharply, the clans do not give importance to these disappearances.
Elendra Dracor has sent agents to find out more about the Kala and other herbs used by Thorberg to break the domination of the Count over the clan. She plans to use them to break the bond of blood that binds her to Lord Mizilikazi (Leader of House Dracor), however, she has not had much success so far, and one of her agents disappeared recently near the old abandoned salt mine south of Remina.
Hills of Akh-Kharu
Old tales always permeate these forested hills which abound with mystery and suspicion. The place long ago ceased to house sylvan creatures5 when the old conflicts between goblinoids and Antalians intensified with the wars involving Grønborg and Markland. They say a last resistance was made here against Alphatian invaders. A magical effect was triggered by witches and old wise women with fairy assistance (Alphatian scholars suspect some ancient witchcraft from Grønborg witches and perhaps some of the old fairy winter court of Frisland). As a result, the forest became inhospitable with haunting tales: people wandering lost in the mists and fog, sounds of screaming and crying, people who disappear and, recently, monsters that appear and disappear next to corpses and dead people. Many of the forest beings now live in the southern regions of Zerantha, Alal-Xul and Maskin-Xul forest.
Recently Tarmugh sent his friend Grabulg (see above) along with some allies from Zerantha to investigate the reports of such creatures.
Sheb-Talai (Winterfall Hills)
Lord Bussnox6 rules this castle and the Akh-Kharu Hills. The niece of the Count, Elendra Dracor, also assists in monitoring the extraction of iron ore in the hills. Bussnox is more insular and reserved, preferring to remain isolated within their little castle and out of their fields. The borderlands north of Sheb, Talai, are patrolled and manned by fomorian giants and giant bats, besides regular troops in the Castle from King Drushiye.
Migul & Ishme
Migul is an outpost keep north of Torpes, guarding the coast and the passage of ships in the region.
Ishme is a port / cargo crossing point which ferries people and ships goods along the shores on the Sound of Ishme. A tribe of several smaller goblinoid clans help the Antalians in local shops (including some evaluators and dwarven guild members from Remina and Baenil).
The keep oversees the activities of obsidian mines where slaves do the extraction.
Murtagh Dracor inspects the mine's activities together with men of the Marthedren clan.
Harpies from the mountains and giants (hill and mountain) hunt any fugitives. Corpses of slaves and conscripts are brought up to the domains of the castles of Dracor and Mitrestu.
The Tower of Marthedren is the main clan holding east of Torpes and lies along the only travel route between Ishme and the Bay of Torpes. There is a large hall where the clan leaders and representatives of minor houses and families gather to discuss the political and economic cases and to manage the clan's actions in Torpes and daily trade affairs in Ishme.
Dracor retains the loyalty of smaller houses by Charming the young inheritors of these houses when they are taken to the castle to serve as pages and squires, in order to learn the arts of politics and war. Repeated use of Charm, over the many years of service, ensures an unwavering and unconscious loyalty, but it also has a terrible side effect - the subconscious struggling to free itself from mental domination generates aberrant personality traits that manifest themselves in many different ways.
Count Mzilikazi (Lord) (CN male human vampire 9HD)
Likely location: Castle Dracor
Political alignment: favors the Marthedren and Mitrestu
Duties: Oversees the Bay of Torpes and Kerothar Mountains
Personality: Lord Mzilikazi7 (usually known as "the Count") has family kinship with the Mitrestu8. His story begins with the expansion of Traldar families for the exploitation of mining in the Kerothar Mountains. The Mitrestu have magical abilities, especially within the arts of necromancy. Centuries ago Lord Mzilikazi helped in the capture of a local vampire for magical experiments by the Mitrestu involving necromancy and longevity spells. The event attracted the notice of an ancient nosferatu in his crypt (a likely elder vampire from some lost culture or unknown civilization) who quickly turned him into a vampire, and still controls him (see The Elder Vampire Sleeper in the DM Plot informations section below). As count, Lord Mzilikazi has some freedom to rule his domains, he also enjoys clan support of the old houses and clans and now also an alliance with king Drushiye. The alliance with the Mitrestu and Marthedren has lasted a long time making the political forces in the north relatively stable. An order of avenger knights led by the Count (Order of Dracor) form an organized military structure allied with the Antalians, especially with the Marthedren.
Lord Bussnox (CE male human nosferatu/W11)
Likely Location: Sheb-Talai (Castle Winterfall)
Political alignment: He favors the Thorberg
Duties: Administration of the hills of Ahk-Kharu;Oversees the Bay of Eanna and Ishme
Personality: The "elder cousin" of the Count is a cautious and cunning man, used to courtly games and the arts of politics. He leaves Elendra, his younger “daughter”, to take care of the provincial administration, as he considers such mundane activities beneath him. He despises Murtagh, his younger nephew, seeing him as an inept thug and unworthy of Dracor’s name. Elendra, on the other hand, he considers a useful tool, but one that needs to be closely watched. A refined man and somewhat eccentric, he always dresses with the finest spider silk and brags about his "special collection", a group of young people with serious congenital malformations or victims of freak accidents, a veritable circus of horrors, which he uses as servants and occasionally as food.
Recently, Bussnox managed to break its bond with the vampire Count Mizilikazi when, with the help of the Dark Avengers of Alphaks, he became a nosferatu9 who now secretly plots the fall of his cousin, only awaiting the right opportunity. In the Winterfall hills near Sheb-Talai, Bussnox houses Vraakhys, an agent of the Dark Avengers who has taught the Lord various spells to deal with planar monsters and to capture fomorian giants. Currently he has an ironclad (a submersible) at his service.
Elendra Dracor (CN female human vampire 9HD)
Likely Location: Sheb-Talai (Castle Winterfall)
Political alignment: Favors the Marthedren
Duties: Directors of the iron mines in Baenil and the hills of Ahk-Kharu
Personality: Elendra is a dangerous woman who is hungry for power. She strives to destroy those who stand between her and her goals. She was adopted as second daughter for her merits by Count Mizilikazi, but was originally the nephew of Bussnox. She hates her uncle Bussnox and aims to take his place in the Dracor house hierarchy, secretly plotting to overthrow the Lord. In this dangerous game, she has two cards up her sleeve: Murtagh, her foolish "brother" who nurtures a sick passion for her, and knowledge about the fact that House Thorberg had secretly broken the mind domination of the Count with the use of extracts from Frisland herbs.
Murtagh Dracor (CE male human vampire 7HD)
Probable location: Dagan
Political alignment: Favors the Dracor and Marthedren
Duties: Supervision of obsidian mine
Personality: Murtagh is a skilled warrior and a competent military commander, being known as "the sword of Dracor". He has a temper, a very bad one, and is feared by his subordinates and peasants of the valleys. The young Dracor nurtures an obsessive passion for Elendra and hates Bussnox, who spares no efforts to humiliate him. He unloads his frustrations over the prisoners in the mines he oversees, subjecting them to sadistic games and disproportionate punishments for their "faults".
The House of Marthedren is an Antalian warrior clan strongly linked to house Dracor that acts as enforcers of the Count’s will. They struggle to maintaining the status quo, because the more power the Earl and the Count have, the better it is for the clan.
Hafthorr Marthedren (LN male human F9)
Likely Location: Marthedren
Personality flaw: Paranoid
Duties: Oversees the Bay of Ishmer and iron trade through the port of Torpes
Personality: The guardian of the ancient Antalian ways has a hobby: the collection of tales of old Grønborg: their stories, legacies and relics. Over the years paranoia has manifested itself in his behavior as some sort of inner drive to fully demonstrate the efficiency and strength of his house and clan. He believes Marthedren should always demonstrate its ability and competence on the coast domain of Torpes or be swept from local policy by the Traldar families. He hopes that the local strength of his house ensures the support of king Drushiye beyond the alliances with Mitrestu and Dracor. Yet the rudeness and chaotic nature of Thorberg, and miscegenation over the years with goblinoids, has generated frictions that make a firm and reliable alliance with the king impossible.
Hafthorr keeps his eyes in various places (southern Trollhattan at the court of the king, the council town in Torpes, the mines in Baenil and around Dracor) hoping to maintain his position (a kind of game for the maintenance of the power of his house). He makes use of minions to spy and report on his behalf.
The old Marthedren has a secret collection of relics of the old Grønborg: ancient totem stones and marker stones with old runes in addition to weapons and armor. He studies these with the help of an elder from the Sage´s League of Torpes, Hogni, a Ravenfolk10, hoping to find old magical secrets.
Hanna Marthedren (CN female human T9)
Probable location: Baenil
Personality flaw: Xenophobia (elves)
Duties: Administration of the city of Baenil
Personality: The First-Born of Marthedren clan is a fascinating woman, her fragile beauty and deep green eyes hide a determination and relentless spirit that earned her the nickname "Iron Lady". Hanna is a born leader and inspires unswerving loyalty in her subordinates. The mental influence of the Count generated a fanatical loyalty, leading her to see king Drushiye as a usurper, making her believe that her sole purpose is to restore the old days when the Marthedren clan responded only to the old Earls (like Ylsa). She believes that the elven invaders must be expelled from the north (she has already partially achieved this).
In fact in recent years, there have been many disappearances of elves near Baenil and the border with Frisland, however, the events seem to have no connection with one another and the stray beasts from Frisland woods are always blamed.
Svein Marthedren (LE male human avenger 12)
Likely Location: Castle Dracor
Personality flaw: Obsessive compulsive
Duties: Member of the Count’s personal guard
Personality: The young Marthedren is one of the most implacable avengers in Dracor’s service (the Order of Dracor) and is greatly feared in the north for his skill with the sword and the habit of launching deadly challenges to those who inadvertently cross his path. Vain and debauched, he collects the swords of the men he defeats in those duels, hanging them in an old oak tree on the side of the road to the castle Dracor. Svein is obsessed with fame and wants to be recognized as the greatest swordsman of Limn.
A lesser Antalian Clan, they migrated from Frisland a long time ago. Servants of House Dracor, they resent their vassal position. Having secretly broken the mental influence of the Count using Frisland herbs, they plot the downfall of Dracor and the destruction of the Marthedren.
Asmund Thorberg (CE male human F9 lv)
Probable location: Ishme
Personality flaw: Sexual disorder (“Goblinoidphilia”)
Duties: Administration of the city of Ishme
Personality: The Thorberg clan patriarch is a cynical and unscrupulous man, who has lived more than 90 winters, but presents an unusual health and disposition. The "Old Crow" has a strange fetish for goblinoids, having generated numerous half-breed bastards, the “Thors” as they are collectively known, who act as foremen in the mines. About five years ago, on a business trip in Haroth, Asmund was contacted by a group of traders interested in a large amount of iron ore. During a dinner at the home of one of these traders, he was presented to the "spiritual guide" of his host, Gork nine fingers. Asmund doesn’t have many memories of that night, only the bitter taste of the drink served to him and a strange dream in which he walked among the stars, but he knew that something had changed; he now can see the invisible chains the Count imposed on his clan and has resented them ever since.
Svart Thorberg (CE male human F11)
Probable location: Remina
Personality flaw: Obsessive compulsive disorder (hunting)
Duties: Administration of the city of Remina
Personality: The Hunter, as he is better known, is fascinated by hunting, especially of large prey, which earned him the hatred of the druids, especially Tharmug, the acteon druid responsible for the Forest of Alal-Xul and Zerantha to the South. Svart commands the foremen of the iron mines of Remina, his crossbreed half-brothers, the Thors, and has a pack of modified dogs, much larger and stronger than normal, which he uses in his hunts and to intimidate and punish workers in the mines. Svart maintains a secret relationship with Elendra Dracor and it was through him that she found out about Gork, the herbs of Frisland, and the breaking of the Count’s influence over the Thorberg clan.
Gork Nine Fingers (CE male human Shaman 10)
Probable location: Unknown
Personality: Gork took a bold mission: one that cannot be completed. Coming from the ancient art of Ogam he was taken to Limn with the help of “Old Crow” Asmund Thorberg during a visit in Haroth. Since then he has established several refuges and gathered information on a very specific location: the ancient Ogam ritual table (a stone altar) of Ahk-Kharu, the current status of which is unknown. This site was inaccessible and lost after a failed ritual that triggered a chaotic magical state known as Anchorhead11. Gork has relied upon the help of some expendable goblinoids whom he sends into the forest to search for Anchorhead. The use of the Kala drug (from Frisland) has helped in controlling the goblinoids.
One of the current biggest problems for Gork in the quest for Ahk-Kharu is the strange demonic creature that has made him back off and has destroyed his various minions.
Gork is a nickname12 and he has presented himself to Thorberg as an old hermit herbalist that is more than happy to break Thorberg’s mental chain, imposed by Count Dracor, with mixtures of the Kala drug. This information was indirectly passed on to Elendra and has caused the female vampire to start a personal crusade of freedom from the influence of the Count. Unfortunately she has not yet been able to find or locate Gork, having already lost some of her spies in the attempt.
The most recent progress of Gork was to discover that the strange creature likes human and humanoid sacrifices, and this has allowed him a first approach. He has tried to understand if the creature (which sometimes seems to be more than one) is connected to the plane of his dark lords (the Outer Beings13) but still without too much success. If this is the case, then the ancient ritual in the past had partial success, but it is still too early to know.
Sgt Uldris (CN female brute 4HD) - Uldris is a Thors (one of the half-breed bastard children of Asmund) who oversees with her local militiamen (Antalians and goblinoids) commercial activities in Baenil and the actions of goblinoid guilds and the trade of iron ore. She is rude and stout, Uldris tries to impose respect by using her barbarian ways and menacing appearance, and enjoys frightening the weak. She believes that her behavior will bring respect to Thorberg and give her dreaded fame. She tries to collaborate with Elendra when possible and keeps a suspicious eye on Hanna's actions.
Hagarath (CN male human avenger 9) - Delegate responsible for the garrison in Baenil and security of the coast. Hagarath is a bit paranoid with the exercise of his duty and believes in possible incursions of Alphaks’ followers along the coast of Eanna. Local goblinoids keep him busy with various disputes between the tribes and local guilds and that makes him more irritable and intolerant of others. The occasional presence of Elendra (when inspecting Baenil) brings him some comfort and the impression of support from Lord Bussnoxx.
Master Dulgard (N male dwarf 4) - Member of the Iron Guild administered by Lady Hanna. The Iron Guild trade in Baenil started when his clan sent him from Per-Atúr to make the purchase and evaluation of ore from the mines and his efficiency has attracted the attention of Hanna and Marthedren, who soon gave him a steady job in the guild. Practical and very focused on business he has a small group of dwarves to help with the services (currently four friends who call their little group the Circle of Ore) of evaluation, purchase, sale and trade with Remina and also Per-Atúr. Dulnor (his cousin) remains mostly in transit between Baenil and Remina and makes few regular trips to Per-Atúr.
Master Dulnor (N male dwarf 6) - Quiet and observant, Dulnor belongs to the Librarians and was sent to Limn a long time ago because he has a cousin working in this region. He is investigating the traffic and use of the strange herb, Kala, coming from Frisland (which has been brought by Eanna bay with permission of Elendra and Thorberg).
Their investigations thus far have only led to the conclusion of the effects of Kala on addicts and the occasional disappearance of some goblinoids between Remina and Baenil. Legends about the forested hills of Akh-Kharu may have some suspected link with ancient Ogam magic but their freedom of investigation in the region is still very limited and the hostility of goblinoid forces nearby has convinced Dulnor to stay closer to guild activities. Currently he has shown interest in the League of Sages and may be acquainted with Hogni, the old man who can usually be seen between Torpes and Marthedren Tower.
Ghrokul (CN male orc 4 + 1 HD) - Proud and vain, a leading chieftain of his tribe and an Iron Guild merchant in Baenil. He has several families of orcs, goblins and hobgoblins as mercenaries, stevedores and caravan guards at his service. He tries to demonstrate prestige and wealth in his clothes and says Limn brought evolution and modernity to his people who before lived in caves. It is still a little early, but he wants the power and influence of the largest guilds in Torpes and maybe one day Trollhattan.
Rutgarth (N male human F3) - Sly and friendly, Rutgarth arrived a few years ago in Baenil and has a trade on the docks transporting spices and plants. He has provided Kala herbs coming from Obdaa in Frisland (he usually does not reveal the source of the product) and transports them with the help of mercenaries and guards of Ghrokul to the Thorberg in Remina. His product still has not been challenged or banned in Limn. Remina leaders certify that the herb consumption is linked to increased productivity in the mines. Rutgarth knows very little about Gork but was advised by his patrons in Frisland to help him in any way possible.
Grabulg (NG male actaeon 11HD) - Serious and dedicated in behavior, Grabulg is part of a small sylvan council that administers the city of Zerantha, an urban refuge for sylvan beings in the kingdom. At the request of Tarmugh he went to Akh-Kharu with a few allies to investigate the strange reports of some mysterious monster prowling the forest. He has still not had any results beyond a brief encounter in the night wrapped in mist. This occasion resulted in the loss of two of his friends (one was killed by the creature and another disappeared screaming in the forest). The case seemed more serious and Grabulg has taken a more cautious stance on research preferring to wait for a response from Tarmugh on what to do before alerting Queen Mellora in Trollhattan. Another setback at this moment is also the local influence of goblinoids and Thorberg, who are somewhat intolerant of sylvan beings.
Ulmud (NE male human brute 3HD) - Ulmud is one of the Thors, who still feels like a minor minion of Asmund his father. Ulmud has been put in charge of the smaller tasks between Remina and Baenil. He works well with goblinoids and sometimes resents the strong-willed Svart. The situation has taught him to be strong and show how well he fulfills his services to make him important ... someday.
"Captain” Brombargh (CN male orc 7HD) - This experienced and charismatic orc is the leader of a vast tribe of mercenaries and workers in the mines in Remina. Transportation to Ishme, by ferry boat and other means, and supervision of the local market, has been entrusted to him by Thorberg. Brombargh is a self-styled "Corsair Merry man" (or orc) and he loves to tell stories of the tribe’s bravery and exploits (even if it is true or not), preferably with many spectators and drink. He can be seen regularly with Ulmud around Remina.
Cathratya (CN female harpy 5HD) - Free-spirited of nature and passionate, Cathratya leads her clan in the mountains near Dagan. A few years ago she discovered the advantage of working with Dracor and Mitrestu watching the passes in the mountains, hunting fugitives and intruders, gathering local information and investigating the borders with Stoutfellow. Recently she has established contact with the mountain giants in Kerothar and receives help from some gargoyles in the most dangerous missions involving Dracor.
Martoth (NE male mountain giant 20HD) - with the support of the nobles of Dracor and Mitrestu, this giant and his clan has dominated the passages between the mountains and captured all the unwanted visitors that pass (always expecting some reward by the Dracor who supervise the mines in Dagan). Maroth received weapons and armor for him and his band (which includes hill giants, ogres and even trolls). Occasionally he pays visits to Nergath to get goods and food. He has behaved very well since he thought he had enough power to challenge everyone in Limn but was overwhelmed by the forces of Count Mizilikazi.
Zakład (N male human wizard / necromancer 10) - This ambitious Mitrestu has provided service to Lord Bussnox in Sheb-Talai as his court magist. He has shown great interest in the research developed there and this inevitably led him to Vraakhys. Since then he decided to investigate the nature of this deviant host of Bussnox. Inevitably, the use of undead and spirits to discover Vraakhys’ nature will be the destruction of this necromancer who will have his freedom stolen by the forces of Alphaks ... but the case is still in process.
Vraakhys (CE male human C14 of Alphaks) - Taciturn and sly, he has been chosen from the Dark Avengers to prepare the ground in the north of Limn and strengthen Bussnox to generate an insurrection in the coming years and thus a beachhead for more agents sent from Alphaks Island. Yet it is still very early and there are forces to be built.
Dragadan (CN male human avenger 10) - Dragadan recently replaced Captain Derfliye after an "accident" in the mountains (he was an elf loyal to Drushiye) and has rearranged the local troops to show more strength in the borders and the mountains. As an avenger of the Order of Dracor, he has attracted the interest of Vraakhys who wants to recruit him as one of his minions.
Hogni (N male human 3+1HD) – Hogni is a Ravensfolk, a member of a race of soothsayers, seers, and tellers of portents who speak in riddles. Hogni came some years ago to study old legends about fey, Antalians and the Akh-Kharu forested hills curse. He joined the League of Sages and since then he has investigated the Ogam presence in Limn.
DM PLOT INFORMATION
This site was created when an Ogam ritual was unsuccessful during the time of the Alphatian invasion, when Antalians collaborated with the ritual in a desperate measure of defense, but the expected help of the Outer Beings did not come. An Entropy effect has spread across the hilly region generating an ethereal pocket where the Ogam stone altar currently is. If found, the ritual could be resumed and theoretically a gate could be opened between the material plane and the Outer Being’s dimension. The current structure of the Anchorhead in the Akh-Kharu Hills is a sudden transition of planes through invisible and hidden gates. Walking through the woods is like getting lost among the planes (the DM can generate a random table of planeshift and what conditions should be met for it to return, but it should be something very difficult, as a maze).
Despite the fact that the site is renowned for encounters with planar beings attracted by the gates, the creature who has caused concern recently is a demon from the Pit (At the DM’s discretion, this is a Howling Fiend14 or a Glabrezu15). He was attracted by the great power and manifestation of Entropy that has happened here, however the confusing structure of this semi maze has prevented him from leaving the forest. Gork Nine Fingers has actually tried to contact him offering sacrifices of goblinoids numbed by Kala in the hope that he may be one of the real Outer Beings trapped in the forest (which is a mistake).
The Elder Vampire Sleeper
In fact, the oldest of this small circle dates back from the lost Taymoran civilization (which was preserved in the Hollow World as the Bahlor Empire16). During the Mitrestu exploration for lost Taymoran magical research on longevity and necromancy, an ancient crypt was found near the ruins of Dag-Atur in the Kerothar Mountains.
Only one of the vampires was captured and magically imprisoned for Mitrestu research. The Elder decided to turn Mizilikazi into his vampire minion to secretly rule the region in his name until he returns (or until the Count’s death which would be a very easy end for Mizilikazi). As a very old vampire, this Elder does not have the condition of a common vampire but instead is a nosferatu (and a very powerful one at that). However, he decided not to pass on this condition to Mizilikaki and, through some old secret magic of his ancient civilization, he made the Count only a vampire. He also released a dragon in the mountains to protect him (Large Red Dragon) and from his grave has used his bond with the land and the animals to monitor the development and safety of the mountains where his old crypt is. Its location is unknown to everyone and he prefers for it to remain so.
Bruce Heard,“The Alphatian Province of Limn” from About Bruce Heard and New Stories, 2012.
Geoff Gander, “Torpes”, from the Vaults of Pandius, originally from the Mystara Mailing List 30 January, 1999.
Geoff Gander, “Antalians of the East”, from the Vaults of Pandius, originally from the Mystara Message Board, 1998.
The Almanac Team, “Mystaran Almanac” AC1018-1019, from the Vaults of Pandius.
Bruce Heard, “The Alphatian Province of Frisland” on About Bruce Heard and New Stories, 2013.
1More info see topic “The Alphatian Province of Limn” on Bruce Heard blog: http://bruce-heard.blogspot.it/2012/05/alphatian-province-of-trollhattan.html
3See about Librarians on the Grand Duchy of Frisia on Bruce Heard blog: http://bruce-heard.blogspot.it/2013/06/Fris02.html
4The beast is actually a Howling Fiend, see Wrath of the Immortals page 108 or a Glabrezu, see here for AD&D statistics: http://www.lomion.de/cmm/tanatgla.php or here for d20 stats: http://www.d20pfsrd.com/bestiary/monster-listings/outsiders/demon/glabrezu
5About wee folk see TSR module “PC1 Tall Tales of the Wee Folk” for more info.
6This character was presented originally on Mystaran Almanac AC1019.
7Known as “The Count” this character was presented on Mystaran Almanac AC1019.
8Castle Mitrestu was presented as seen in Limn map in Mystaran Almanac AC1018.
9The Nosferatu was initially presented on GAZ1 The Grand Duchy of Karameikos.
10These mysterious seers are in fact kin of the ancient Fey, and thus remain bitter opponents of the Ogam as related on Bruce Heard Blog: Foresthome: Burwyn, Orfeander, & Rathmore: http://bruce-heard.blogspot.it/2012/11/Foresthome03.html
11See further at topic DM Plot Information.
12Gorkh-all-Guhlsh is from very old Ogam terminology linked to the Outer Beings.
13The Outer Beings was extensively developed by Geoff Gander on the Vaults of Pandius, Frisland Articles and Threshold Magazine issue 2.
14See Howling Fiend on Wrath of the Immortals pag.108 or Glabrezu on AD&D stats.
15Glabrezu is an AD&D version from original stats of Howling Fiend on Wrath of the Immortals.
16More about this civilization can be found in article “The Empire of Bahlor” on Pandius.