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Integrating the Penhaligon Trilogy into your campaignby Larry Davis
Thoughts on the Penhaligon Trilogy seem to run from "I hated it" to "The story was OK, but not relevant to Mystara." True, much of what was in the trilogy doesn't match cannon, however, I did manage to incorporate some of the information into my campaign. Here is what I did. Keep in mind that it's been three years since I read the trilogy, so my memory might be a bit rusty. SPOILERS ARE INCLUDED!!!
First of all, I replaced Guido's Fort with Bywater. Where/what is Guido's Fort? It is the small village that appears in B5 "Horror on the Hill." When that module was reprinted in B1-9, it was placed several days east of Kelvin along the Volaga river. I made it a few hexes upriver from where the Castellan flows into the Volaga.
In my campaign, the party declined the adventure near Guido's Fort, so the village was destroyed by hobgoblins (AC 1000). Then a group of dwarven adventurers came along and defeated the hobgoblins. About a year later, the village of Bywater was built upon the remains of the village.
Why was that particular area resettled? I decided that it is prime farm and grazing land, and that there are rumours of a lost gold mine in the area. (See B10 for details of the mine.) Of course, no one has found it yet, and the locals are tight-lipped about it when strangers come around.
The trilogy calls Lady Penhaligon a Baroness. It also refers to her father as the former Baron. GAZ1 says that she was confirmed in her father's title when he died in AC 996, so he could not have been a Baron. In my campaign, Arteris' father was only a Landed Lord, and she was "promoted" to the noble rank of Baroness in the spring of AC 1000.
The Order of the Three Suns
I use the Order of the Three Suns as a knightly order in Penhaligon. However, instead of knights and squires, I call the members squires and pages so as to avoid confusion between members of the Order and persons knighted by Duke Karameikos. Sir Fain Flinn was not only a Squire in the Order of the Three Suns, but also a Knight of Karameikos, known throughout the land for his brave deeds.
Unfortunately, the Order presents a small problem with adventure B12. Why wouldn't the squires and pages move to assault Ilyana's keep? Well, in my campaign they did. They met my PC's in the mountain pass as the party was returning victoriously after defeating Ilyana and company. It took the Order a few days to mobilise, and that brief window was all that the PC's needed to complete the task themselves.
For their quick thinking and actions, the heroes were rewarded with honorary membership in the Order. Honorary membership gives them access to the Baroness, and free room and board in the town of Penhaligon for brief periods of time (no longer than a few days). It also provides mages to cast the "identify" spell on magic items. The cost of the spell is only the cost of the material components, but any "extra" magic items the PC's may run across in their travels must be surrendered to the Order. Honorary membership in the Order of the Three Suns also provides noble status equivalent to a Court Lord, though it only applies within the Barony of Penhaligon.
IIRC, the Penhaligon Trilogy implies that Armstead is in Karameikos, and that it is inhabited by a large number of retired mages. This doesn't quite match with the Darokin gazetteer. According to that supplement, "the 600 residents of this village are almost entirely descended from Karameikan immigrants. Another 1,000 or so people live in the surrounding countryside within 20 miles of Armstead, mostly raising sheep and cattle, along with some garden-level farming to keep the locals supplied with fresh vegetables." Armstead is known for its blankets, cloaks, and leather goods.
I decided that the 600 residents were mostly Traladarans who fled their country when Stephen Karameikos took over. The people that live in the surrounding countryside include an unusually high number of retired mages (5%), though there are many other people as well.
In my campaign, magic was only drained from Armstead and Penhaligon. Had the villain's plan succeeded, it would have spread throughout all the Known World, and eventually all of Mystara.
The Destruction of Penhaligon
My PCs were travelling abroad when the events of the Trilogy took place, so I wasn't too worried about the hows and whys of what happened. As far as they were concerned, not long after the magic stopped working, an army of creatures that can only be described as beastmen swarmed out of the mountains and destroyed the town (AC 1002). Most of the townspeople and members of the Order of the Three Suns were killed, though the Baroness survived. These creatures continued south, and were finally stopped near the city of Kelvin by three regiments of the Duke's army supplemented by forces from the Barony of Kelvin.
Today (AC 1004) Penhaligon is rebuilding under the direction of the Baroness. She has spent nearly her entire treasury, and the Duke has also provided aid in the form of food and labourers. Dwarven craftsmen from High Forge are working on her castle. The town should be completely rebuilt some time next year.
A side effect of the destruction of Penhaligon is that the Cult of Halav was able say that Halav, a.k.a. Duke Stephen Karameikos, had once again saved his people from a beastman invasion. Over the course of the next two years, the activities of the Cult increased dramatically, and membership doubled. The Church of Traladara has been forced to allow dual membership among the faithful in order to avoid a huge loss of followers. Dual membership in both the Church of Traladara and the Cult of Halav is not tolerated among the clergy, though a few Cult members have secretly infiltrated the ranks of the Church. The Church of Karameikos has tried to fan the flames of conflict between the two, but the Patriarch realises that the Cult of Halav could potentially pose a greater threat than the Church of Traladara.