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Legend and Lore

by Alex Benson

The people of Randel have but a few real superstitions. Given their wizardly intellect and military practicality, they do not dwell on such things. This being Alphatia, all manner of terrorising creatures can be found. Instead of worrying over them, the men of Randel analyse the situation and send forces against it.

The Walker: This legend is based on a person from Old Alphatia. According to legend, he was a brave warrior mage fighting for the Followers of the Air. However, when the war was completed, he denounced the Immortals for allowing the destruction of the Old Homeworld and so many lives over such a trivial matter. For his blasphemy, he was cursed to walk the face of Mystara as a never dying warrior. Legend says he still continues in that role, walking Mystara as an undying and unaging man. His travels are to continue until he recognises and makes compensation for his folly. Another tale is that he must continue his wanderings until a severe emergency occurs in the Empire. Yet another tale has him wandering until Argomoddan, where he will be called upon to fight once more for the Air Mages.

DM Notes: The Walker is based on a fact. There is in fact a never aging, never dying person walking Mystara. Born on the Old Homeworld, Verogon (F/M18) grew to prominence during the Civil War as a fighting magist for the Air Wizards. Verogon and his curse will be further detailed in a later addendum. For now consider him a dual class wizard mage. He can be hit and killed by normal weapons. At the point of death (0 hp) he does not die. He goes into a deathlike trance and begins regenerating hps at a rate of 3 per round. After regaining half of his hp total, he becomes alive acting.

The Crusade: This idea is popular among the military. Essentially, it entails a reoccurring of the events leading up to the Alphatian Civil War. However, the events and causes will differ from the Great Debate between the Air Mages and Fire Mages. Most believe that these threatening force will be the Grand Council trying to oust the Emperor. One variant holds that General Zarthurastram would return and gather his people to wage this war. With his backing, they are destined to prove triumphant and claim their rightful share of the Empire.

DM Notes: This is the Randel way of insuring that another Alphatian Civil War does not manifest itself again. Since opinion has the Grand Council as the possible instigator, a wary eye is kept on the Council mages that display an aptitude for added political power or act against the Imperial Throne.

Sword and the Shield: This lore is based upon the champion nature of the Randel Armed Forces to the Emperor. Not only do they provide a first strike capability for the Imperial Throne; they also act as a guardian. Randel lore foresees a concerted attempt against the Imperial Throne. It is the mission of the people of Randel to maintain the status of the Emperor. It is told that during the Civil War Zarthurastram vowed that his forces would not only act as the sword for the Followers of the Air, but also acts shield.

DM Notes: This lore was born from the relationship between Randel and the Imperial Throne. The legend has grown to validate the relationship. It adds a predestined demeanour to the maintaining of the Randel Forces and its role to the Imperial Court. The people of Randel take it quite seriously and a visitor making fun of or denouncing the legend is bound for trouble.

Old Garrash: This legend pertains to a creature found in the Grey Mountains. Reports of this creature can be found throughout the northern parts of the kingdom and some are spoken of in Bettellyn and Theranderol. The description of this creature varies from tale to tale. Whatever it is, it is powerful and cunning as no one has managed to find it.

DM Notes: Old Garrash is very well known to the Dyurkans and other folk living in the Grey Mountains. He, or more appropriately, they are a band of six dragons (DM's choice of type) living there. These reports are not always the dragons. Mostly these are the acts of summoned creatures and other wizardly projects let loose. Garrash has become the general explanation for such disturbances.

The dragons are actually well behaved and isolationists. Sometimes they venture out into the populated areas, but always in the guise of a human or elf. Their attacks are focused against various animals for food. Ideally, they prefer the wild goats and rams of the mountains, but have been known to snatch livestock every now and then. These hunts do not strictly remain in Randel, often spilling over into neighbouring kingdoms.

Argomoddan: This is the worse case scenario for the Empire. It involves the end of the empire on this world. Interpretations include fierce battles waged against both Alphatians and invading foreigners. Dead heroes will return to aid the living people of Randel in this war. Even the Alphatian Immortals will manifest themselves to wage this war. In the end, most of the Alphatians are dead. Only the people of Randel stand as testament to Alphatian resolve.

DM Notes: Argomoddan is the Alphatian equivalent of Armageddon, the "mother of all wars". The survival of the Empire rests on the war's outcome. As one of the Empire's main fighting arms, Randel plays an important part in the war. In their minds, they play the most vital part in this scenario. Most citizens view this legend with mixed feelings. Some favour it as it justifies their being as well as their ultimate role to the empire. Others fear the repercussions and ultimate costs.

The Great Migration: This tale involves a visitation from Alphatians from the Old Alphatian Plane. They will lead the people of Randel back to the Old Plane where they will live like they did in the "old days". This tale is popular but not really taken seriously.

DM Notes: This legend is nothing more than lore. It is known by most mages that there are still Alphatians still living among the wrecked Alphatian system. However, few believe that such a migration is possible nor likely. The premise continues to survive despite the irrational nature of it. One factor that keeps it alive are the reliable reports of folk speaking in the old Alphatian dialect with a fluency not taught in any scholarly institute.

The Reckoning: This legend tells of the return of hostilities with those forces loyal to Alphaks. Usually, the Flaems are included, usually depicted as pawns. Alphaks main forces being composed of other barbarian peoples and creatures such as fiends. Realistic folk see it as a war against the Flaems of Glantri with the forces of Randel leading the venture.

DM Notes: This tale is just one of a war against the Flaem and putting an end to the Alphaks menace. Such a war is expected to occur some day. The legend is just a subtle reminder that the Randel folk should be ever ready.