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Ardelphia to Corunglain

by Robin

Ardelphia (Darokin)

The City of Ardelphia 5220'altitude
Abandoned ruined city, Most farms nearby ruined. 
Along Ardelphian River. Along Fletcher-Runnels-Corunglain Trail
Old Trail to Shoester, Northern Mines, Tommer, Luzanc
The city was probably highly trade-oriented and artistic, but its proximity to the Broken Lands would have required a strong military presence. It is also mentioned as having been a competitor to Corunglain.
The city once had a legendary temple to Asterius that boasted 336 bells - one was rung for each day of the year. After the city fell the golden bells were of course looted, and remnants of the House that founded the city have sworn an oath to recover as many of them as they can. The Temple is the central one on the Map.
The other tower structure is a former mage tower. He had several students. The city had underwent a few stages in development, the central part, with its concentric redirigated water canals and simple wooden walls were the first city borders and defense. The City of Ardelphia later became a great metropolis of multiculturalism compared to the mud hole of Braejr, and as thus expanded greatly. New canals, defenseworks (sort of earthen forts) and city walls (earthen walls on the outside of strurdy stone walls.) were added. 
The Mage tower came to be. The other important buildings (bleuroofed in the map, were a cloister (East), Military school (South West), Merchant Chambers (somewhat like the great Darokin Halls) are South East, On the Market, the small stone structure was city Hall, Nothwest was a well known Tavern, larger than many current taverns., North was something Glantri was angered about, a Public Library...how denigrating, to let commoners enable to learn, study or even read. The small templelike stucture was a building know as "Shrine to any" here shrines to many good immortals could be found, and it was this that enabled Ardelphia to become a cultural melting pot. If you behaved, paid your taxes, did your dues, you were welcome. Vagrants, beggars were however sent outside the city walls.
846 AC: Orc horde from the Broken Lands loots Ardelphia, utterly destroying the city.” (GAZ11 DM’s Guide page 6) Trouble with the orcs was at a minimum during this time, with one notable exception. The northern town of Ardelphia was looted and leveled by a huge army of orcs crossing the border from the Broken Iands. Fortunately, the orcs quickly fell to bickering among themselves over the booty, and the army disbanded and returned home without causing any more damage. 
With the fall of the city and its military, the nation fell too, many fled to other locations, and left the place for the few who dared to remain behind.
Today 1014 AC Ardelphia is a ruined city, the stone buildings still exist, but are greatly damaged due weather effects. the wooden and half-timbered houses are the worst, less than 25% is still standing.
Nearby Gomers farm active

Quote Geoff Gander

There would definitely be more ruins nearby. Drawing on the old lore (Daelbar et al), Ardelphia did exist as a petty state for a time before being re-absorbed into Darokin, and then ultimately being destroyed. These states didn't always co-exist peacefully, so it would be logical to assume that there were fortified border posts (towers) and the like. There would have been such a post between Corunglain and Ardelphia, and one with Daelbar - so there are two ruins for you to add. I could see one of those old border forts now being occupied by highwaymen/brigands. 

Surviving villages (there would be a few) would be self-sufficient, or would trade amongst themselves. There might be an apple orchard or two, but probably not vinyards (although there may be a forgotten estate whose vines have now grown wild). Vines would have been cut down and replaced by root vegetables, or wheat - anything with solid food value. Herding - sheep or pigs, probably, would be common. Goats would be common, too, because they can eat anything.

The people in this region are survivors - their city was destroyed, and they were basically left to fend for themselves. They are probably very close-knit, and keep close tabs on their neighbours, but strangers who act in a remotely threatening way are probably killed.
there would have been some mining activity around Ardelphia - enough to ensure artisans didn't buy all their precious metals from Glantri, and quite likely there would have been mining of base metals like tin, lead, or copper. Some of the mines would still exist in the mountain spur to the south, and there would be at least a trail (or part of one) running from those to the ruins. I think it's also quite likely that there would have been a hamlet or small village in the long valley south of Ardelphia, right where the three rivers meet. Carts laden with ore would have traversed the rivers at that point, so there would have been a bridge, and the hamlet would have grown up around it. Some artisans might have set up shop down there to get first pick of whatever came out of the mines, too. It's possible this village could have survived the destruction of Ardelphia, but without the city to serve as a market a lot of people would have left. Now there would probably be an inn for the odd traveller, a market for the farmers who live in the valley, plus a smithy and a few basic amenities. Plus a lot of abandoned and crumbling buildings.
On the topic of megadungeons, It has potential to be a megadungeon, or at least the center of a megadungeon sort of campaign. On the first level, you've got the ruins of the city up above, which would populated by all sorts of humanoids, monsters, and bandits. Beneath that, you could have the city's old sewer/drainage systems, possibly even some former areas of the city that had been built over during the centuries of Ardelphia's growth. Beneath that, you'd have caverns linking to the Broken Lands and Glantri, populated by humanoids, and even further, you'd have the Shadow Elf caverns.

I've long thought that a "reclaiming Ardelphia" sort of campaign or mini-campaign would be cool (and even alluded to it in one of the Almanacs). Given what is now known about Ardelphia, specifically that it was overrun from below, any reclamation would have to take steps to accomodate that possibility this time around- which would require anything from clearing out and setting up permanent underground strongholds at strategic cavern points, to possibly allying with shadow elves (who are in a strange "enemy or ally?" status post-WotI and their "reveal" to the world) to keep out humanoid incursions. Or else getting dwarvish allies to set up below, etc.

Ruins of Ardelhia
The site of the 13 Witch Knights of Ogremoor
This site was the magical location were 13 Erewan Elven mage knights turned to use witchcraft in the age of Ardelphia. Experienced enough to be a knight in some unknown forgotten obscure order. These elves were more interested in power and witchcraft than in righteousness. In effect they all behaved like Avengers but without a religious base. They did however create the Bladed Cathedral,with magic and workers, but even today rumors speak of the horrors the humanoid and human workers had to forcefully endure to create it. Even the Ogremoor Ogres disdain this place.
And though the local populace was devastated by the humanoid attacks in 843 AC, these “knights” did nothing to help them. Instead they went to battle the humanoids, and acquire treasures, but all for themselves, not to help the poor. They even commanded the complaining people to be hung. Many of the Ardelphians fled south into Darokin, while others went to the Bladed cathedral, hiding in fear, where these knights should have helped them. They never did, and never came, and one by one waiting for help, the refugees of Ardelphia died, and it is these souls which torment the knight to this day. Haunting their dreams, tormenting their thoughts, harassing their feelings wherever they went. 
Every year they reconvened here to find a solution for their “problem”, at the same camp location they did before; where the complaining commoners were hung. 
In 1010AC they discovered that their former camp was actually a magical location like the ones in Alfheim. Though not as powerful, their thought was it might be a resolution to get rid of the troubling souls. As they did create a Witch circle, they released a powerful surge of magic, directed at the old Bladed Cathedral. Where many of the dead they caused were laying around, the magic drew the Knights within. Unbeknownst what they summoned, the power they hungered still with their greed, they entered the Bladed Cathedral, they themselves erected in those days of bygone time. How experienced they were, they one by one died by the horrors they unleashed. In Limbo their souls were stripped to shreds by the souls of the dead who waited for them to come. And with each death a taunted now evil soul reawakened the old thoughts and entered the dead body of the witch Knights, restored them to a sort of unlife, a vampire. Capable of using weapons and magic, these elves turned evil and became vampire witch knight. Their thoughts were still not calmed, and it needs a group of new heroes to bring them rest or more people will be hurt.
DM Info do not read if you are no DM using this!!; (see below under 1)

Bladed Cathedral 6750'(actually in Ogremoor territory)
A single large underground temple-like structure. almost used like a city, with inside a huge sarcophagus. This is based on the Dark Souls game. The following maps are very usable, but best is to add your own undead content together with the 13 witch knight vampires. 
DM Info do not read if you are no DM using this!!; (read below under 3)

The Necropolis of Soot, the city of the dead, 4050' (Actually In Ogremoor territory)
This is an old area known before the Ardelphian era, and was used to inter the dead. The last dead interred here were several hundred victims of the war on Ardelphia in 843 AC. The great geological changes in the area, however, made sure no floor is level, and damages are great. Several restless incorporeal undead reside within, but great treasures of bygone times may be found. It is here where weapons are stored which could be of great use against the Vampire Knights of the Bladed Cathedral. 

The small shrine of Brother Tredamay 3685' (Actually In Ogremoor territory)
Tredamay is a Cleric/Loremaster, an albino with long white hair and red eyes. A party seeking help from Tredamay mistook him for a vampire, and broke brother Tredamay’s concentration during a vampire exorcism upon one of the Vampire knights of the Bladed Cathedral , which led to an attack by the vampire. The vampire escaped after tuning invisible. Brother Tredamay told the party of the Shoggoth Stone which is the source of chaotic energy that twists the laws of nature. The Shoggoth stone is able to place the region in eternal darkness ( a Continual Darkness of 50 miles diameter, unable to dispel in any known way), enabling the undead to rule there and then. When the stone is removed with the aid of the Staff of Rightful the eclipse will be lifted. The staff is located in a tower which as not been identified by Tredamay, and heroes must find other ways to locae it.. 
DM Info do not read if you are no DM using this!!; (See below under 2)

Detwillon;Functional Mining/forestry village,6390'
Along Detwillon Stream South and West of the Silver Sierras 
Along Good Trail To Fort Fletcher, and simple trail to silver, Electrum, and Steel Mines.
Nearby Northern simple Trail Through Detwillon Pass.
Cumar Creek, Streba Creek, Orthas Creek Detwillon Creek, Sasha Creek, Boron Creek, Ardelphian Creek Fletcher Creek and Shalander Creek convene together into the Ardelpian River.

Streba Creek Crystal location; These crystals disable Summoning and Conjuration magic in the area, but increase Illusion spells to make them almost real in any aspect, these can't be disbelieved. An illusionary house of an illussionary witch was once summoned by a witch within the fork of the Cumar and Streba Creek, as a copy to prevent the humans from hunting her, and it still exist today. this illusionary witch even thinks she is real, but when ever leaving the area she will be dispelled as normal, never to return, just like any creature ever created this way. Imaginary tools thus can be used, to dissapear outside the area, but not the effects created within the area. for example an illusionary axe kills an oponent. he dies by the wound, outside the area he will no longer have the wound, but is still dead. a Real wound is stitched by Illusionary tools. Outside the area the wound is closed, but the stichings are gone.

Shoester;Abandoned village. Ruined 5880' Former inhabitants 255
Along Ardelpian River 
Along Old Trail to Geriathor,(north) Ardelpian gate(west), Ardelphia (East)
Nearby Gate Creek, Corner Creek, Shoester Creek

Ghiarathor; Functional Forestry Village Inhabitants 815 6455'altitude
Along Ford Fletcher Trail over Nearby Salander Creek and Bridge to Ardelphia
Along Ghiarathor Creek South of the tip of The Yak Spur mountains

Fort Fletcher 6325'altitude

Ardelphian Gate 6400' abandoned
(DM!! use following changes; Dwarven gate=Ardelphian gate, Areas 1 and 2 are ALWAYS open. all rooms are abandoned area to opens to natural pass after 100 feet)
Unused and open from the Ardelphian era before 846 AC. Holds trail through Bronsdale Pass
Along Gate Creek, Along simple Trail to Bronsdale and Fort Fletcher
The crystals growing in the pass are large bush aloe like shapes which only shed a soft green or purple light 30' radius, illumination great sections of the pass. The light of a broken off "leaf" stops after 3 Turns, the source itself is continuous.

The Tempus Field
This magical field influences affected time(aging) dangerously. You feel uncomfortable directly, with an itch you can't stop,There is a 50% chance after spending at least 24 hours within the area, your corporeal time (age) will be doubled and another 50% it will be halved. (roll once per person per day visited; 1d100 even = Doubled, uneven = Halved). Elves, Fairy, Dragons, Undead and most animals are immune (not wolves, cats, dogs,etc). Each effect works only once on each individual, but the opposing effect can only be subjected on the individual after a minimum of 10 Years, and if touching the crystals. If one person is already subjected to any effect, he/she will only feel the itch when the opposing effect comes into effect. If there is an itch and the person takes to long to reach and/or locate the crystals, and the itch dissapears, he must wait another year before his body restores the temporal storage backlash (no other effects). If there was no itch to begin, he must wait until it comes(check every day at sunrise). If he touches the crystals without an itch, nothing will happen and he must wait a year. Author;This is Nasty !!
The mines is this area date from Ardelphian era and were abandoned soon when the effects of the Tempus field became known.

Luzanc 5560' Abandoned Mining/Forestry Village former residents 520
Along Luzanc Creek
Along old Ardelphian Trail
Iron Mines nearby

Tommer Very Active village 4000' 550 residents
important Market. Birdge over Ardelphian river
Along Ardelphian River
Along Old Trail to Ardelphia (partly used by Farmers from Esti and Julian Farms

The Hill Giants of Bihiya Creek about 400!! in different caves. non aggressive (as of yet), neither territorial, but hunt/forage in the whole area. 

Unnamed Ruin 5235'
This was some sort of tower, from the Ardelphian era. Its use forgotten and not to be known from the ruins.

Caldenhill 2065'
Functional farmer/Forestry/hunter/Fishing village
Former Ardelhian Village with mining interests too
Along Calden Stream, known for its only bridge crossing calden stream
Along simple Caldenhill trail to simple Ardelphian trail Ford Fletcher and Simple trail to Garron Keep
Along Old Trail to mines
Nearby Lower and Upper Caldenhilllake. Used for breeding and fishing large carp

Sythia 2460' Abandoned/ruined Town of Ardelphia former residents 1250 formely hunters/trappers/foresters/miners was known for crystal sale
Along Upper Caldenhilllake and Calden Stream
Along old Sythia trail To Ardelhian Trail

Nearby Crystal location; these very fine snowflake-like crystals were used in creation of magical weapons and armors in powdered form. the area has grown after centuries of non harvesting, and is now nearly a half a mile across. It has NO magical aura or other effects. 

Erdubar 3550'Gellubar 5125', Gombar 6000'Former residents 150, 350, 500 All abandoned dwarven mining villages. Also hired as architects by Ardelphia.
All allong the Dwarven Creek
All along the Old trail to Caldenhill to the Dwarven Mines (gold) and the Bladed Cathedral (build with Dwarven Architecture)

Delmar 2475' This ruined unknown structure could have been an Ardelphian fort, castle, or village. It was too large for a single tower. As according Darokinian Files there has been a fortress/city in line of defence against Corunglain. There are some reports of minor skirmishes, but nothing which could lead to becoming a ruin. Another explanation could be the Glantrian Plague which did also spread here.Some Shadows are regularly sighted in this region.

Ardelphian Keeps (south at trail to Rondeth 6150', SE near Calden hill 3000')
Both are still in use, now being occupied by highwaymen/brigands in the one near Roneth and regularly vistited at Caldenhill.
Since the unification of the several minor nations into Darokin, these actually lost the use, except in the case of humanoid attacks.

The Ruined Fort near Bronsdale in the mountains is a very old memory of Ardelphia holding even this area under control. It was also used to defend this side of the Bronsdale Pass.
The region NW of Detwillon is actually contested; Glantri Claims its ownership (and thus laws, But Actually Darokin controlls it. It will be logical that the Glantrian border will eventually corrected to From Fort Fletcher towards Mount Adruzzo over the mountain ridge in between. this will make Detwillon Pass Pure Darokin, and Glantri actually has no interest in this region (why they have it in the first place as canonnically on the maps is a riddle to me.The pass is not used often (the Bronsdale pass is better), there is only one simple Iron mine, and the region is infested wth Goblins (Tarvuran Tribe holds 24 caves with family based groups, not really warlikem, but an annoying pest with regularly raids to Haggash, Detwillon, Helmsley, Mitmar, and sometimes even Fort Fletcher)

Geyser Alley
This region is superheated by the small downstreaming middle magma tunnel in Lower Broken Lands.
When the Shadow Elves eventually Rise Aengmor, this magma tunnel will be closed to enable magma to rise. This will stop the geysers, changing them into mud pools. This mud will later be proven to have great healing properties and can be used in Ointments of healing (needed together with Aloe to recreate the old recipy of Nithian Keoghtom's ointment. Jar, contains 1d4 + 1 doses of a thick mixture that smells faintly of aloe. As an action, one dose of the ointment applied to the skin. The creature that receives it regains 2d8 + 2 hit points at the rate of 1 hp/round, and after that also ceases to be poisoned (ANY poison), and is cured of any disease (except curse disease/poison). Both are drawn from the body by sweating it out. valued at 40+120 GP/use. special crystal jar 5 cn +1cn/use

Drake Brown's Illusion 7300'(Actually in Ogremoor territory)
adjusted from Source author; Gecko. Here Drake Brown battled the Ogres with illusions.

Fort Runnels 2700'
Use canon information in Gazetteer Darokin.
Along Ardelphian Trail to Fort Fletcher and Corunglain
South of Lake Runnels, 

The Hellish Hound of the Highlands. Its existence in the West of Ardelphia is surely a restraint in its development. What it actually is no one knows for sure.
When looking upon the Art, it seems to resemble a Leucrotta, which was also used in earlier D&D pc games(in the time AD&D2 did exist just recently--I have the game somwwhere but forgot its name...its ancient, but was fun; Leucrotta's, Ettins, Faerie Fire, in a region surrounded by Mountains, and some names were used then and later became Darokin names) , or indeed a giant doglike monster (or even a pet from the Cloud Giants living on the Silver Sierras West of Ardelphia.
Whatever the creature indeed is, it lives mainly in the corner between Ardelphia River/Creek, Gate Creek, and the mountains. There are high up the mountain several caves where these creatures may reside in, and hunt in the lower hilllands.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

if you are a player STOP SCROLLING DOWN FURTHER..... DO NOT READ FURTHER, or you'll spoil your game fun!!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1     Now they are under control of Demogorgon, an entropic evil immortal, rarely heard of in D&D current times, but in history its name pops up regularly.
2     The Staff of the Rightful is actually hidden in Dovestone Tower in Fenhold in one of its secreted rooms (see my Alfheim Map)
Why??? Because these Half-elves of Fenhold were very Righteous but treated wrongly. The use of the staff and return to the Fenfolk will clearly help them in developing their own voice and identity, so long denied. The secret Immortal responsible for creating this artifact (which in effect can create a single burts of Continual Light 50 mile radius, together with a Bless effect to the Righteous, and blight undead within the area of effect), specifically did so for working against Demogorgon.
3      These 13 vampires start roaming the area to accomplish their goal. activating the Shoggoth Stone. This stone is deap within the Cathedral, inside the large sarcophagus. Guarded by not only the well experienced elven vampiric witch knights [level 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, all 12 HD vampire, with each two weapons at mastery level, and all witch spells, and skills(including casting unmemorized spells from a cauldron or book, as often as desired--normal casting times do apply)}, but also by other undead, minor vampires (recent victims), charmed Ogres, and constructs controlled by the demonic force responsible for creating the Shoggoth Stone in the first Place. 
     1 Cathedral of the Deep Part 1
     2 Cathedral of the Deep Part 2
     3 Cathedral of the Deep Part 3
     4 Cathedral of the Deep Part 4
4     To be able to return to your reality, you may not change anything, only look. Minor changes (footsteps, eating, talking to someone without giving ideas, personal magic, buying items were more exist, etc).will not affect your reality. DM take care.
A great adventure through time could be that the mages must be retrieved in time, where the request comes from a young boy and his teacher, this boy could be anybody; a younger mage gotten older in the Tempus field or the teacher could be the same individual, travelled to an earlier time...imagine your own twists. together with the happenings in Ardelphia, the Tempus Field and the temporal gate could lead to a nice series of adventures.