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What is the D&D(r) Game? 2
The Known World 5
Heroes and Villains 15
The Future of the Known World 20
World Events and Timeline 22
The D&D(r) Game Now & Tomorrow 30
The prophet poured himself a cup of the black beverage. "Fate, you see, is the result of Immortal will. And who would I be to meddle with the wishes of Immortals? I was indeed blessed with the power of true sight, but it is wise not to use it inconsiderately. Would you want to incur the Wrath of the Immortals? My own destiny is already written in the Annals of Yav, and so is yours, Haldemar. Our fate was to meet. Here or in Jaibul, what difference does this make? You did come. And you did safely return me here, didn't you?"
He knew it all, from the beginning. Although I admired the Great Prophet's style, I could neither share his incredible fatalism nor his blind respect for the Immortals. I am a gambler. If I can't win, I make it so that I don't lose either. I make my own destiny - and to heck with what Immortals think! With a power like his, I could do amazing things.
The prophet chuckled softly, "Tsk, tsk. Such amusing thoughts! You'll learn, however, at your own time and place. But until then, please listen to my advice and heed your vision. Great powers are growing in the dark and you, my friend, have a place in their future. As you so eloquently pondered, you will indeed weave your own destiny. But then, you've yet to discover it."
So what is the D&D(r) Game?
Imagine that you and your friends are the heroes of a fantastic and magical world. You make it your business to battle terrible monsters, explore their ancient dungeons, and recover the lost treasures of forgotten kings.
The DUNGEONS & DRAGONS(r) Game is a role- playing game set in this kind of world. In the game you pretend to be a character. You might be a proud warrior, a shrewd wizard, a nimble elf, or a boisterous dwarf. You use the rules to play out a story. Along the way, you can earn fame, treasure, and power for your character. You and your friends work together against common foes instead of against each other.
But who wins the game then? You win or lose as a team. Each game session challenges you and your friends to finish a tough task. It might be chasing an evil wizard out of town, overpowering a fierce dragon, or escaping a deep, dark dungeon. If you and your friends complete the task, you all win! Game after game, if your characters survive, they acquire experience which makes them tougher, better at combat, or gives them more spells.
An arbitrator runs the game. He or she is the Dungeon Master, a cross between a referee and a story- teller. He interprets the game rules and plays the roles of all the other people - and monsters - the players' characters meet during the game. The Dungeon Master never takes sides. He makes sure that all the players are treated fairly and enjoy themselves.
The D&D(r) game is not a single product. It consists of a set of rules and commercial adventure booklets that the Dungeon Master uses to create the game and entertain the players. There are many adventures available today, as well as accessories expanding various aspects of the game. What you will find the in D&D Game line is explained a bit later.
About this Reference Guide
Hopefully by now, you should have a general idea what role-playing is about! This reference guide explains how the product line is structured, what basic types of products exist in a role-playing game and their function, and what it is that makes up the world of D&D. This guide will take you on journey into the Known World where you will discover fascinating kingdoms and empires. Their more savoury and unsavoury critters are described next, along with their ties with the imminent Great War. A timeline gives you a feel for what has been happening in the Known World, as well as what is to come next. Our products are designed to fit this historical background. Finally, a more complete tour showing which major products are available so far and those to yet come, will help you find your way around the D&D Game. Product Structure
The D&D(r) Game breaks into two main blocks:
- The Entry Level Game
- The Champion Level Game
The Entry Level Game includes all those products connected to the D&D(r) boxed set. It deals with the task of teaching new gamers the basics of role-playing. The material in that category is very simple, quick to play, easy to understand, and non-world specific. It is also intentionally limited to the first five levels of game play. This product line is described separately, in the DUNGEON & DRAGONS(r) Entry Level Game Reference Guide.
The Champion Level Game is what this Reference Guide is all about. The Champion category involves the products connected with the D&D(r) Game Cyclopaedia. This version of the game includes all the rules taught by the DUNGEONS & DRAGONS(r) boxed set, as well as all the material needed to play the complete D&D Game. The products in this category are designed for a specific game world, either the Known World or the Hollow World. The next chapter of this Reference Guide details these two game settings (also called campaign settings).
Champion Level products are designed to fit either the Known World or the Hollow World. They form the two main sublines in the D&D(r) Game. Each subline breaks down into a number of different product types. The two most obvious are the adventure modules and the game accessories.
Modules: These are adventures, usually booklets, that a Dungeon Master can use to run a game. They explain who the major players' friends and foes are and describe areas where the players' characters can have adventures. They are called modules because they can often be played separately.
Accessories: (also called supplements) This is a very broad category of products that develop a particular aspect of the game. Although very popular, accessories are optional to the game. Accessories describe fantasy kingdoms where adventures can take place, provide extra game rules, 3D cardboard foldups to create dioramas, new monsters to throw at the players' characters, new equipment or spells, etc. Accessories come in a variety of packaging (booklets, boxed sets, folders, etc).
There are many other types of products that can relate to role-playing games, such as novels, computer games, comic books, toy miniatures, etc. Modules and accessories in the D&D(r) Game, regardless of the game setting, revolve around the use of D&D(r) Game Cyclopaedia - a single book providing all the rules on characters, monsters, spells, and treasures, as well as a general description of the D&D Game settings. Most modules and accessories are written for one game setting or another, such as:
- The Known World: All of the older D&D Game Products (prior to 1990) are set in the Known World. They include all of the B, X, CM, M, and DDa adventure modules. Also in this game line belong the Gazetteers and the Creature Crucibles.
The Gazetteers are important in that they describe each nation of the Known World, their geography, history, culture and secrets. The Creature Crucibles develop the unusual use of various monsters as player characters in the Known World.
- The Hollow World: It was created in 1990. So far, this product line includes a boxed set describing the Hollow World and a trilogy of adventure modules introducing this new game setting. Coming soon is a series of accessories similar in style to the Known World's Gazetteers, describing the lands of the Hollow World in greater detail. All the information you'll need on this setting comes separately in the Hollow World Reference Guide.
- And then some! There are a few products that are non world-specific, such as Player Character Sheets and the Dungeon Master Screen. These can be used with any of the game settings.
What about the AD&D(r) Game?
Advanced Dungeons & Dragons(r) 2nd Edition Game is a different product line. It is designed for the ultimate hobby player. The goal of the D&D Game, in general, is to bring new players into the role-playing field (with the Entry Level line) and then offer them a game system that is relatively simple as far as role- playing games generally go, yet complete enough to really get the feel of a full-fledged role-playing game - all this in a single, neat package. That's what the Champion Level line does.
The goal of the D&D Game is to give a customer a general idea on how to play, without developing a long list of very specific rules to remember. The D&D Game is addressed to both younger players who prefer a "faster, looser" system, and also to more mature players who no longer feel the need for ultra-complete and complex rules to have fun! Finally, the D&D Game Cyclopaedia explains to potential AD&D Game players the differences between the two games, and how to convert from one to the other.
The big strength of the AD&D(r) Game relies in the fact it has virtually a rule for everything! Many other players enjoy this type of gaming, which requires great experience and skill. The AD&D Game is a huge and popular product line that offers gamers many gaming options, world alternatives, and fascinating detail on many topics. The AD&D Game compares with the D&D Game like big league hardball would with softball in many respects. Yet, softball has its own merits, and so does D&D.
The Known World
Most fantasy games are set in a universe, an imaginary world shared by common people and heroes, destitutes and kings. Dungeons, cities, kingdoms, and even whole planets are invented and detailed, offering locations where adventures could take place. The intent of a game world is to provide a familiar background to the players that encourages them to interact with the game's imaginary personalities played by the Dungeon Master. These ties help the Dungeon Master develop plausible adventures in a tangible environment - just like in a movie. This allows players to better relate to their game characters, which makes the game more fun and attractive to the players. In the D&D(r) Game, there is the Known World. It is a small region on the World of Mystara, where most adventures take place. D&D players are familiar with this setting, because it was introduced in the core rules system - the D&D(r) Game Cyclopaedia. It is called the Known World because for centuries little was known about what lay beyond its shores. With great explorers and invasions however, the Known World slowly grew to include other lands.
Mystara is a strange world. It was shaped by ultra-powerful beings called The Immortals. They are the ones who created this world, and then brought it life. Some advocated human cultures, others fostered the civilisations of dwarves, elves, halflings, and even the monstrous kingdoms of the orcs and of the dragons. For the Immortals, a reason exists for all life on Mystara. Mystara has three main continents, Brun, Skothar, and Davania, and several large islands such as the Isle of Dawn, Alphatia, and Bellissaria. Nowadays, the Known World mostly covers the territories of two rival empires, Thyatis and Alphatia, and neighbouring kingdoms located in the northern hemisphere, between Skothar and Brun.
The best known, most detailed region remains in a very small area of the southeastern corner of Brun. There, in a territory no more than 1,700 miles across, lie over fifteen sovereign kingdoms. Like a mosaic, they offer a wide variety of background flavours, ranging from the sun-baked dunes of Ylaruam to the gentle hills of the Five Shires. All theses nations were fully developed in a collection of supplements called the Gazetteers, one of the best selling Dungeons & Dragons(r) game products. All of these nations show up on the two D&D(r) Trail Maps, along with useful information for travellers!
The Known World is a setting whose cultures and level of technological development resemble the Europe of our Earth around the 15th century. The Known World hasn't yet developed gunpowder or the printing press, but in many other ways the two worlds are similar. In many regions, the more powerful people rely heavily on magic, perhaps a bit more so than is customary in other fantasy worlds.
What makes the Known World so popular is its consistency, its coherence, and its refreshing blend of cultures. Great attention was paid to historical backgrounds, civilisations and philosophies, the people and their leaders, and intricate geographical features of their lands. Relative to its size, the Known World is the most detailed and varied game setting in our field. After the World of Greyhawk(tm) Setting, developed for the AD&D(r) Game, the Known World is the oldest game setting and still registers sustained sales in the industry.
Even today, the Known World is the object of further expansion. It is described initially in the D&D Game Cyclopaedia, and further detailed by a series of accessories (the Gazetteers). Most game worlds are initially described in an accessory product that is separate from the game rules - as is the case with the Hollow World in the D&D Game and all of the AD&D Game worlds. Here are a few of the nations that make the Known World:
The Grand Duchy of Karameikos Where it all starts.
This nation of the Known World has been the starting point of many of our Entry Level adventures (most B-series modules, for example, were set in Karameikos, as were computer games).
This heavily-forested region used to be known as Traladara, a "nation" that was really a loose confederation of independent baronies. Thirty years ago, Stefan Karameikos, an ambitious nobleman of the nearby Empire of Thyatis, traded his ancestral lands to the Thyatian emperor for Thyatian recognition of Karameikos' right to independent rule of Traladara. Spending all his family fortunes on mercenary armies, Stefan Karameikos invaded Traladara, quickly conquering the nation's largest sea-port, Marilenev, and settling garrisons in all the region's larger communities.
He renamed the nation after himself: It became the Grand Duchy of Karameikos. The Thyatian rulers, though they control the nation's economic and military might, don't have complete control of the nation. Karameikos is a land where thousands of square miles of dark forests are populated only by animals, by hermit-like loggers and foresters, by forest folk such as elves and centaurs, even by monsters - the Traladaran forests are an ancient home to vampires, werewolves and other dark creatures of legend. Secret Traladaran popular movements oppose the Thyatians, occasionally sabotaging the plans and activities of their rulers.
Karameikos is a divided land, its majority Traladaran population ruled by the invader Thyatian population. The Traladarans are a very free-spirited, spiritual people with clothing and names similar to inhabitants of our Earth's Eastern Europe. The Thyatians are a pragmatic and self-cantered people, with the conquering instincts of Earth's ancient Romans (with their tastes in entertainment, too). Naturally, the two population elements tend to dislike one another greatly.
Ref. GAZ 1 - The Grand Duchy of Karameikos
The Empire of Thyatis The Warrior Empire
Thyatis is a seaside empire infamous for its violent history, the cunning and treachery of its leaders throughout the millennia, the decadence of its entertainments, and the might of its army. In many ways, it resembles Earth's Roman and Byzantine Empires during the periods when their armies were achieving their greatest victories and their courts were well on their sliding way into decline. Thyatis is the nemesis of Alphatia, its eastern neighbour. They have been at war many times with Alphatia, and the current truce is but a fragile peace that may easily cede to yet another great war - the stakes: control of the Known World seas and the rich colonies on Skothar and Davania.
The people of Thyatis admire fighting ability above all else. They tend to be very clever traders. Their politicians, merchants, and ambitious military officers tend to be none too trustworthy, but adventurers don't have to have this personality trait.
The capital and perhaps the greatest city of the Known World, the City of Thyatis is justly renowned for the magnificence of its marble architecture and the sophistication and decadence of its noble ruling class. The City of Thyatis is the empire's greatest seaport, with an enclosed and defended harbour, and is the seat of the empire's trade and naval fleets. Like ancient Rome at the height of the Roman Empire, it is a vibrant, teeming city whose population is so great that it strains against the very walls, whose people are enthralled by gladiatorial spectacle (the Colosseum seats nearly one-tenth of the city population at a time), and whose Senate is virtually a school for intrigue and deception.
Ref.: Dawn of the Emperors Boxed Set
The Empire of Alphatia The Magical Empire
Master of Magic, Alphatia is a mighty power to the east of the Thyatian Empire, ruling the Islands of Alphatia and Bellissaria, the northeastern coast of Brun, and many other small nations.
The original Alphatians are not native to this dimension. Their original very magical home, far away in another plane, was destroyed in a philosophical war of magic. The Alphatians came to the Known World and settled, building a new empire based on magic.
There are two kinds of Alphatians: Common and Pure. Common Alphatians have coppery skin and brown (sometimes red) hair; Pure Alphatians, a distinct minority, have very pale white skin and dark hair. Neither race has a cultural advantage in the empire.
Unlike the Principalities of Glantri (see later in this Chapter), all people using clerical or wizard spells - spellcasters - are considered nobles; non-spellcasters have few rights. Spellcasters and non-spellcasters live under different sets of laws, laws which (naturally) favour the spellcasters. Prejudice in Alphatia isn't based on skin colour, culture, or mystical philosophies; it is based on magical ability or its lack. The imperial capital of Alphatia lies in the southwestern region of the continent. As the capital of a magical empire, it is heavily decorated by and protected by magic spells, and is often called the "city built by magic." It is also the port of call for the awesome Alphatian skyships.
Ref.: Dawn of the Emperors Boxed Set
The Emirates of Ylaruam The Arabian Desert
This is a desert land, all blazing sun, rolling dunes, and widely-separated oases, similar in appearance and the culture of its people to the medieval-era Arabian peninsula of our Earth. In recent centuries, the Thyatians to the south and Alphatians to the far east have come to Ylaruam to conquer; they moved in, the Thyatians from the south and the Alphatians from the north, and fought in the centre, their wars going on for decades until the Ylari people threw them out.
The Alasiyan culture which is dominant in Ylaruam is as harsh as the desert that spawned it. The Ylari greatly admire the desert warrior, the turbaned hero with his flashing scimitar and noble desert steed. Magic use is forbidden here; magic-users and elves are hunted down, tried and executed when their presence becomes known. On the other hand, clerics are venerated in this land.
The Ylari follow the philosophies of al-Kalim, a warrior and teacher who embarked on a Path to Immortality a century ago. His dream was of the Desert Garden, all the desert lands of Ylaruam transformed by work and cooperation into the greenest and fairest of lands; when the Ylari need something to unite them, they use the words of al-Kalim.
Though the clans and tribes of Ylaruam often war with one another, they willingly forget their differences to band against foreign invaders... and then just as willingly renew their internal struggles once the invasion is thrown back.
Ref.: GAZ 2 - The Emirates of Ylaruam.
The Principalities of Glantri The Eccentric Wizards
This mountainous northern land is a magocracy, a land ruled by magic-users. In this country, clerics are outlawed (they're sentenced to death when found). Glantri is divided into many principalities, each of which has its own ruler, and laws.
Aalban is famous for the machines and devices its craftsmen make. Belcadiz is home to elves who are famous for their metalworks and their fine black lace; the elves in this nation live more like humans than elves, dwelling in fine houses and cities rather than woodland communities. Bergdhoven is famous for its flowers (and the dyes and perfumes which come from them), its cheeses, and its jewellery and gemcutters. Blackhill is best-known for the quantity of its fruits and vegetables, and for the coal mined here. Boldavia is a major supplier of salt (mined by convicts and slaves) and ice (shipped hastily to Glantri City and other places). Caurenze is best known for its graceful marble architecture, its gold mines and fine weaponry. Erewan is a land of more traditional sylvan elves, who are fine bowyers, woodworkers, and artists. Klantyre is a major supplier of wool and mutton, lumber and heavy woodwork. Krondahar is a producer of silk and leather goods, fine beef and yoghurt. New Averoigne is best-known for its wines and the culinary arts.
The population is a blend of many ancient cultures, including very urban elves, sylvan elves, descendants of Alphatians, Thyatian colonists, Traladarans, and even races from other dimensions.
Ref.: GAZ 3 - The Principalities of Glantri
The Islands of Ierendi A Tropical Adventurers' Paradise
It is a very peculiar kingdom - the Known World's capital for adventurers, and a vacation spot for retired dungeoneers! Even the King and Queen are chosen among the best adventurers, and get to rule over some of the richest people ever, as well as the true native Ierendians, the very kind Makai tribes.
Ierendi consists mostly of a large tropical island in the Sea of Dread, just south of Brun. The kingdom includes such colourful places as Safari Island where mock-up dungeons and monster hunts are available for would-be adventurers among the common folk! Depending on how much a customer is willing to pay for entertainment, treasures can be just as fake as the monsters. Other places nearby also include Fletcher Island, a place for medieval tourists seeking peace and tranquillity under a coconut tree, Alcove Island, a nest for buccaneers and pirates, or Aloysius Island further to the south which is a harsh penal colony, as well as a heaven for gold miners and lizard men.
Come to Ierendi, again and again!
Ref.: GAZ 4 - The Kingdom of Ierendi
The Forest of Alfheim The Faerie Woods
This is the homeland of sylvan elves. Once a featureless plain, it was magically transformed into a deep, dark forest - one that is ominous to humans and other races but cheerful to elves. This is a land of enormous trees, of elven cities made up of tree-houses hundreds of feet in the air and connected by wooden catwalks. It's a place where few non-elves come unless they are invited... or invading.
The people of Alfheim are all elves - except residents of Alfheim Town (10,000 humans, 300 dwarves, 800 halflings, and a few others). The elves here are much as they are in other parts of the world: Lithe and mysterious, magical and merry, they are followers of nature and growing things. They are no friends of the dwarves in Rockhome or the humanoids in the Broken Lands. Alfheim is located entirely within the Republic of Darokin, with whom they maintain cordial ties. Their worst foes are the Shadow Elves whose realm lies deep underground. Their gloomy caverns can reach the heart of Alfheim (see Shadow Elves later in this section).
Ref.: GAZ 5 - The Elves of Alfheim
The Mountains of Rockhome The Dwarven Citadel
This is a land of fertile valleys surrounded by high, treacherous mountains. Rockhome is the land of the world's dwarves, and its thick ring of mountains is well-suited to them both defensively and aesthetically.
The dwarves build their communities of strong stone; they're famous for their engineering skills. Many of Rockhome towns and villages are either partially or completely built underground, particularly in the large natural caverns which riddle this territory. This potent combination of surrounding mountains, defensive stone fortifications, and underground communities makes Rockhome difficult to invade.
Almost all residents of Rockhome are dwarves. The dwarves of Rockhome seem aloof, surly and suspicious to outsiders, but they are merry and friendly when among their own kind.
Ref.: GAZ 6 - The Dwarves of Rockhome
Soderfjord, Vestland, and Ostland Three Flavours of Norsemen
These three nations, living in chilly northern seaside lands, are all similar to Earth's ancient Viking cultures at various eras. The Soderfjord Jarldoms is a poor nation full of contentious jarls (earls) and plagued by humanoid invaders. Vestland is a mainland country with a history of military achievement. Ostland is an island nation with a great tradition of seamanship and piracy. The men and women of Soderfjord, Vestland, and Ostland are a tall, fair, rugged breed. Shaped by their environment and their histories of warfare and noble adventure, they're a very aggressive lot.
Ref.: GAZ 7 - The Northern Reaches
The Five Shires The Halfling Lands
This seaside nation north of Ierendi is the homeland of the halflings ("hin"). Though the hin here have been three times ruled by outsiders (twice by orcs, once by dwarves), the Five Shires are now ruled entirely by hin, and constitute a strong, independent nation with a strong army and navy.
The Five Shires region is a broad, deeply-forested piece of rolling land. The land is very fertile and hin farmers can get two or three harvests per year; the Five Shires export a lot of grain to Darokin, Glantri and Karameikos.
The Five Shires really is a nation divided into five regions, called shires, each of which is semi- independent and ruled by a sheriff. The Shires include Seashire, Highshire, Eastshire, Heartshire, and Southshire.
The great majority of residents of the Five Shires are halflings. But, while most humans think that halflings are peace-loving and harmless, there are many halfling adventurers and buccaneers in this region.
Ref.: GAZ 8 - The Five Shires
The Minrothad Islands The Sea Merchants
They are located east of Ierendi, next to the Empire of Thyatis. Also called the Minrothad Guilds, they are notorious for their naval power and great wealth. It is a nation run by Merchant Princes, literal barons of the Sea of Dread and life line for many of the coastal cities on the Sea of Dread. A large proportion of the people are elves who developed an attraction for things of the sea. On Traders Island, the population is evenly divided among humans and elves, but on the next largest island of the Guilds, Alfeisle, the vast majority consists of elves. These are a peaceful people who acquired great knowledge of the sea, navigation, ship building, and commerce. They benefit from a friendly relationship with their great neighbour, the Empire of Thyatis, and are rumoured to have ties with many other distant realms such as Alphatia, mysterious kingdoms in Davania, and the Great Hule far to the west of the Known World. The Minrothad Guilds keep their navigation rutters very secret. They are the naval counterpart of the land-based Republic of Darokin (see later in this Reference Guide).
Ref.: GAZ 9 - The Guilds of Minrothad
The Broken Lands The Unhuman Tribes
This is a wasteland of rugged hills and mountains, infertile valleys and canyons, and blasted plains and deserts. Long ago, it was a rich land, but it was smashed by a techno-magical disaster which changed the very face of the world. Since then, it has been an ugly and useless land shunned by humans and demi- humans. Because none of these races want the Broken Lands, this region has become home to the humanoids - the orcs, kobolds, goblins, hobgoblins, ogres, trolls, and other races who resemble humans but hate them and cannot seem to compete with them.
The humanoids of the Broken Lands are divided into countless numbers of loosely-allied tribes. They are united only in that they obey King Thar and mass together under his decree to raid surrounding nations for food, slaves and wealth. A vast network of caverns and tunnels exists underneath the Broken Lands. Occasionally, humanoids venture into galleries that lead them far into the heart of neighbouring countries, especially Rockhome, Alfheim, and Darokin. Some go deep enough to even reach the dark lands of the Shadow Elves (see later in this Reference Guide). Earthquakes regularly wreak havoc on these tunnels, sometimes obliterating entire migrating tribes.
Ref.: GAZ 10 - The Broken Lands
The Republic of Darokin The Caravan Empire
It is the third largest nation of the Known World, after the Empires of Thyatis and Alphatia. This republic is one of the greater economic and diplomatic powers in the region because it maintains common borders with ten other nations. Darokinians are the wheelers and dealers of the Known World. For them, all is fine as long as business is good. Darokinians are known as the Trail Builders. They are the ones who mount expeditions into wildlands to open new routes to distant kingdoms. The Darokinians are fond of creating enterprises that will seek new wealth far beyond the common trails. They own many of the caravans that travel the Known World, from Norwold to the Great Hule.
The worst foe of Darokin lies on the northern border: The Orcs of King Thar. These non-human creatures constantly raid the caravans travelling between Glantri and Darokin. The orcs also sacked the city of Corunglain several times in history.
Ref.: GAZ 11 - The Republic of Darokin
The Ethengar Khanates The Golden Hordes of the Steppes
These are northern steppes: Broad, flat, windswept grasslands where nomadic riders rule. Moglai, the Golden Khan, is the ruler of a confederacy of khanates. A mighty fighter, widely travelled and very intelligent, he lets his friendly manner and cheerful demeanour conceal his shrewd mind and cunning heart.
His goal is to hold the scattered and contentious khanates together in a single, powerful horde. Ethengarians are steppes riders very similar to our Mongols. Oriental in coloration, clothing, and manner, they are a spiritual people, seeking (and receiving) guidance and power from the spirit world. They are very warlike, and when they choose to stay organized they are a great danger to nations all around them.
Ref.: GAZ 12 - The Golden Khan of Ethengar
The Caverns of the Shadow Elves The Underground Elven Kingdom
These are enormous series of caverns deep, deep in the earth beneath the Broken Lands. Grey and cheerless, they are home to a sub-species of elf known as the Shadow Elves.
Long ago, descendants of elvish survivors of the disaster which created the Broken Lands fell under the sway of the evil Immortal Atzanteotl. He bade them build an underground city to his glory, and showed them how to do so. But when it was done, he sealed it off from the rest of the world with a lava flow (see "The Broken Lands," above). The survivors of this disaster descended into the earth, finding deeper and deeper series of caverns to shelter them. Ultimately they fell under the protection of a more kindly Immortal by the name of Rafiel, who showed them how better to survive their environment.
The shadow elves are very pale and frail; outer-world elves are comparatively robust. Their society is very community-oriented and very insular; they fear and distrust representatives of outside races. The Shadow Elves know ways that lead just about anywhere to the surface of the Known World, including to the deep elven forests of Alphatia, and also as far downward as the Hollow World.
Ref.: GAZ 13 - The Shadow Elves
The Atruaghin Clans The People of the Totem
This is a nation inspired by the Amerindians. They live atop a giant plateau, southwest of Darokin. There are many different tribes with colourful names such as the Children of the Bear, or the Children of the Tiger. These free-spirited people follow the way shown by their natural leaders, the shamani, and respect the magical totems that represent spirits of nature. These reclusive people remain isolated from the Known World, except for a few who trade with Darokin. To the south grows a deep, dark forest that is magical. There, hidden in old ruins exists a powerful artifact, Atruaghin's Mystical Conveyor. It is a magical elevator that links the Hollow World to the Known World. Beware, it is guarded by a fearsome people!
Ref.: GAZ 14 - The Atruaghin Clans
The Heldannic Knights The Iron Fist
This powerful order of knights is located in the Heldann Freeholds. Before the knights' arrival, Heldanner were essentially farmers and fishers who migrated from Vestland - very similar in style to our Icelanders. The knights were pariahs expelled from Thyatis, brutal and cruel warriors who eventually conquered the Heldann Freeholds and established their theocracy: the Heldannic Order.
Unpublished - Due out 1993
There is far more to the Known World than this atlas reveals. The World of Mystara also has two moons: Matera and Patera. Matera's celestial pattern is similar to our Earth's moon. The second moon, Patera, is invisible. Mystara also is hollow! The inside of the planet hides new continents and mysteries that perhaps only a handful of people in the Known World have ever heard of.
This fantastic setting is fully described in the Hollow World Reference Guide. A planetary map and a complete historical timeline for the Known World exist in the Hollow World boxed set.
Heroes & Villains
Player characters, their friends and their foes, are what brings life to the role-playing game. They allow interaction between players and the Dungeon Master.
Characters have the same basic motivations of true people - the quest for a better life, wealth, power, curiosity, or simply excitement! The players bring their characters to life by impersonating them during the adventures. The Dungeon Master does the same for all other creatures in the game, be they friend or foe. Their personalities are the key colour component of all role-playing games.
What makes the greatest difference between the D&D Game and other games is that D&D Game characters can become immortal, like mythological heroes. The Immortals, as they are called, are nearly invincible beings that mortals sometimes adopt as spiritual patrons. For many powerful characters (including those run by the players), attaining immortality can become the ultimate goal, and the source of endless adventures and fantastic quests!
Here are just a few of the more important personalities of the Known World, and their goals.
Amanth The Evil Red Dragon
She is an incredibly old red dragon, and almost blind. Amanth uses magic, smell, and cunning to remain ahead of the pack. She is very cautious and will avoid confrontations she is not sure to win. Pride and jealousy are her flaws. Amanth has but a few decades to live before she dies of old age. She has been seeking a powerful artifact, the Ivory Plume of Maat, from Azem (see Azem later) to complete a last attempt at becoming an Immortal herself. Amanth does not know where Azem hides the coveted relic. She is contemplating the idea of making a pact with the evil Synn if her next attempt at immortality fails (see Synn later). Amanth and her draconic followers would seek to destroy The Master should he succeed in weakening the Empire of Thyatis, in exchange for which Synn would reveal to her the location of the ivory plume (see The Master in a later entry).
d'Ambreville An Immortal in Disguise
Etienne d'Ambreville is one of the Wizard Princes of Glantri. To most people, Etienne appears to be a very old man with tremendous magical skill. He also heads the Great School of Magic in Glantri City. In truth he is an Immortal who took fancy of mortals and their efforts to tame their world.
He is under the opinion that one day magic should vanish from Mystara. The true tool of mortals should be science and technology - not magic which is the stuff of Immortals. To that effect he created the secret Brotherhood of the Radiance: wizards that gain great power at the expense of magical energy available on Mystara. This would eventually drain Mystara forever of its magic and all life that is related to it, like elves and dragons for example. Although he is a good entity, Etienne's support of the Brotherhood of the Radiance may eventually bring his downfall and that of Glantri as a whole. The rare wizards aware of this danger, especially those in Alphatia and their Immortal Patrons disagree with Etienne. The current year of AC 1000 has become the dawn of a Great War like the Known World never has seen before. Whatever the outcome, it will forever change its face. (See next chapter about The Future of the Known World).
Anaxibius The Famous Gladiator
Once a famous adventurer, Anaxibius became a celebrity in the Arenas of Thyatis. His sword and his might bought him respect and a rich estate on Emperor's Hill, near the Imperial Palace. This very popular figure begun an affaire d'amour with Emperor Thincol's daughter Stephania.
Azem The Gentle Dragon
Azem is a powerful gold dragon. Her lair, no more than a halfling cottage, hides in the village of Wereskalot, in the Five Shires. Azem appears to be a very common-looking, little old halfling lady. This very sweet, unassuming creature loves growing flowers in her garden. No one knows of Azem's true identity. She keeps the Ivory Plume of Maat in her lair, an artifact the red dragon Amanth covets (see earlier entry on Amanth). Azem is a secret protector of the Five Shires and of all that is good in the Known World. She would certainly oppose the dark plans of The Master and even more so, those of Synn. Azem nurtures a particular distaste for Bargle who long preyed on halfling folk near the border (see Bargle, The Master, Synn).
Bargle A Wizard Foe
Also called "the Infamous", this wizard is Baron von Hendriks' companion (see Von Hendriks later). Not necessarily loyal to his liege nor tremendously skilled as a sorcerer, he is a good foe to use against player characters of average experience. In his earlier life, Bargle killed a number of wizards to steal their spells, including a few Glantrian and Alphatian citizens. He is wanted in those two realms, under various pseudonyms. Bargle is likely to strike some sort of deal with either envoys of The Master or Synn (see The Master, Synn later) to further his own interests - with or without the Baron. Bargle would definitely cause the end of Karameikos and of his Grand Duchy if given the opportunity.
Eriadna The Empress of Alphatia
She rules over the Great Empire of Alphatia and its Council of a Thousand Wizards. Eriadna was the one who removed the last in a long dynasty of incompetent, decadent emperors. She has returned Alphatia to a greater might in the Known World. In the forty years since, she has ruled well, despite her western rival, the Empire of Thyatis. She is Thyatian Emperor Thincol's opposite number in practically every respect (see Thincol later). Eriadna prefers diplomatic treachery at a distance to head-on clashes whenever possible. She is not ordinarily accessible to novice player characters. High level clerics or wizards, such as Haldemar of Haaken, might easily become regulars at her court (see Haldemar later). Eriadna recently discovered the existence of the Brotherhood of the Radiance (see d'Ambreville earlier) and diplomatic tension has grown between Alphatia and the Principalities of Glantri.
Haldemar Captain of the Princess Ark
Lord Haldemar of Haaken is a noble wizard from the Alphatian Court. He is the hero of a long series of adventures currently published in the DRAGON(r) MAGAZINE. Haldemar commands the Princess Ark, a fantastic flying ship that harbours the soul of a powerful creature, Berylith. Although made of wood and cloth, the ship is actually a thinking, living creature. Haldemar explores Mystara for the benefit of Her Imperial Majesty, Eriadna the Wise (see Eriadna above). He and his crew have had many adventures during their discovery of Davania and Brun. Their journey took them into space, the Hollow World, and then to the land of The Master (see The Master later). There, he discovered a Great War about to break out, and d'Ambreville's involvement (see d'Ambreville earlier). He suspects it might lead to the destruction of Alphatia and its wizards. Haldemar hopes to prevent the war, or at least further the interest of wizardry and his liege, Empress Eriadna of Alphatia.
Karameikos Grand Duke and Model Lord
Duke Stephan Karameikos III once was a Thyatian noble. He sold his ancestral property to the Emperor in exchange for which he was given sovereign control of the wildlands that are now the Grand Duchy of Karameikos. The Duke is allied with Thyatis. Stephan is a peaceful man whose only weakness is his inability to understand and deal with raw evil - like his cousin Ludwig (see Von Hendriks later). Duke Stephan is a character many players are familiar with since he rules the game area most beginning players usually start from. He is some sort of fabulous creature the player characters only hear of but never meet. At a more experienced level, the characters could meet him at the court, and perhaps undertake special missions for him, stumbling on plots to harm the Grand Duke. The Grand Duchy of Karameikos is one of The Master's targets (see next entry).
The Master The Waiting Threat
Also known as Hosadus, he is a dark, evil figure ruling the Great Hule, a remote, western realm whose goal is to carve itself an empire out of the Known World. The Master is aware of the tension between Glantri and Alphatia (see Eriadna, Synn, Wulf) and hopes it will drag Thyatis away into a colonial war on the Isle of Dawn. Once Thyatian Legions overseas, The Master would then launch his fiendish armies, unopposed, into Thyatis' backyard. His goal is to capture Sind, The Five Shires, Darokin, and Karameikos. His greatest enemy so far remains Haldemar (see Haldemar) who thwarted The Master's attempts to assassinate him and to destroy his skyship.
Synn The Evil in the Dark
She is a powerful creature of the shadows, an undead dragon who masters the art of treachery and deceit. She often takes the shape of a young women, either human or elven. She is privy to information normally limited to her Immortal Patron. Upon her discovery of the Brotherhood of the Radiance (see d'Ambreville earlier), she subtly communicated information to The Master (see The Master above), and then set him up to seek a possible alliance with the Heldannic Order (see Wulf later). Her goal is to cause the downfall of Alphatia and Glantri, for which her Immortal Patron would establish an evil realm in the place of Glantri for Synn to rule, and ravage the remains of the Known World. Synn presently is Haldemar's archenemy (see Haldemar earlier), for she knows of a prophesy placing Haldemar at the heart of the Glantrian intrigue.
Thincol Emperor of Thyatis
Thincol was once an adventurer from Norwold who sought fame and fortune. He became the greatest gladiators in Thyatis. In the course of a war against Alphatia, he was propelled up to the Imperial Throne of Thyatis after leading his gladiator friends into a desperate battle that threw the invader out. Since then, Thincol I Torion, became one of the best military commanders in the Known World. This hard, ruthless, uncompromising man is the archetype of the mighty warrior and a great hero. Thincol is the old rival of Empress Eriadna of Alphatia. Their greatest challenge remains in the control of colonies on the large Isle of Dawn that marks the longest border between the two empires. Peace so far has remained a fragile thing. Thincol sees the growing tension between Alphatia and the Principalities of Glantri (see d'Ambreville, Eriadna above) as an opportunity to acquire loose colonies at Alphatia's expense. Although still neutral, Thincol may side with Glantri.
Von Hendriks A Treacherous Noble
Also known as the Black Eagle Baron, he is related to Duke Stephan Karameikos (see Karameikos). He grew up in the shadow of his great cousin and has hated him all along. This villain, with the help of his sidekick (see Bargle earlier), plots the downfall of the Grand Duke in order to gain the throne of Karameikos. The Baron sympathises with the Heldannic Order (see Wulf below), upon which he relies for help should things turn sour in his barony.
Wulf Lord of the Heldannic Knights
Also known as Herr Rolf in the Princess Ark series (see Haldemar earlier), he now heads the Heldannic Order, a brutal brotherhood of knights. Haldemar was directly involved in Wulf's death, for which Haldemar was never absolved. Synn's Immortal Patron (see Synn earlier) later returned Wulf to life, in order to succeed the dying Heldannic High Priest (and become Synn's puppet). So far, the Heldannic Order is an ally of Thyatis, although Wulf infiltrated the Thyatian Storm Soldiers' fellowship, just in case... Wulf keeps secret ties with the Black Baron (see Von Hendriks) who provides Heldannic ships with a safe heaven on the Sea of Dread. Wulf has vowed Haldemar's death, and that of all Alphatians. The Heldannic Order is an imperialist force that desires nothing but glory and conquest in the name of their Immortal Patron. Unfortunately, most of the land in the vicinity was either claimed by Thyatis, or lies in the empire's backyard. The Heldannic Order has been contacted by envoys of The Master for a potential alliance (see The Master earlier).
The Future of the Known World
The Known World has seen a number of savage wars and migrations, but one of its biggest upheavals is yet to come. The two largest empires, Thyatis and Alphatia, are on the eve of another major clash over the fate of a magical artifact in the Principalities of Glantri. This conflict and the background of events that will affect the Known World during the next ten game years will be the focus of 1992, in the accessory Wrath of the Immortals. Many Champion Level products not directly related to the Great War will be affected in some fashion. Imagine an adventure in ancient Greece during the war against Troy. Although the adventure is separate from the conflict, the war still goes on and sets a distinct atmosphere.
The Origins of the Great War:
The Immortals are the ones who ultimately provoke the Great War. It starts with a quarrel between them that soon spreads to their mortal followers in the Known World. Immortals are divided among Spheres of Power representing their main areas of influence and power, and also determining their opinion toward the Glantrian artifact. There are five spiritual spheres: Thought, Time, Matter, Energy, and Entropy (the forces of darkness) with diverging interests.
Phase I - The Prelude
Immortals of the Sphere of Energy discovered that the powers the Glantrian artifact provides to wizards drains magical energy to the point where magic's very existence on Mystara may be threatened. These Immortals decide to intervene and conspire to destroy the artifact. Their scheme would break an age-old pact with the other Spheres that forbade any direct involvement with the affairs of mortals. This causes a catastrophic schism in the Immortals' pantheon.
The spiritual patron of the Glantrian wizards, Etienne d'Ambreville (see d'Ambreville in the previous Chapter) adamantly opposes the artifact's destruction. It is his conviction that the time of magic has passed on Mystara and that it should yield before true science and technology. Magic should be reserved to Immortals only. For this reason he opposes the artifact's destruction. His opponents form the Ring of Fire, a loose alliance set against d'Ambreville and the artifact. In response, d'Ambreville establishes the Fellowship of the Star, an alliance with several other Immortals opposed to direct intervention among mortals. The two factions run into a stalemate. They cannot defeat each other and decide to fight the conflict down at mortal level.
Phase II - The Build-Up
The Immortals start building up their forces, trying to increase the number of their followers - the more followers, the more power to the Immortals and their causes. This leads to a fierce race for magical power. One after another, states, kingdoms, and empires fall under the control of an Immortal. Adventurers are sent on quests benefiting one faction of Immortals over another. Immortals of the fifth sphere (Entropy) so far remained quiet. They secretly and systematically help weaker factions. Their plan is to ensure no faction gets a cheap victory, since Entropy feed upon misery and destruction. These Immortals are known as the Brotherhood of the Shadow.
Phase III - The Great War
Immortals assembled large forces of mortal followers. Raids and local wars break out. Soon the conflict degenerates into massive campaign wars (Alphatia clashes with Thyatis, the Orcs of Thar invade Darokin, the Shadow Elves seize Alfheim, and Ethengar plunders the Northern Realms, etc). The Brotherhood of the Shadow causes conflicts to be as devastating as possible according to their plan, and quietly keeps switching sides. The Brotherhood of the Shadow becomes the leading faction.
Phase IV - The Aftermath
At the end however, the Brotherhood of the Shadow openly sides with d'Ambreville and his allies, hoping to ruin an all out attempt from the Ring of Fire to destroy the artifact.
The Ring of Fire rallies the Thousand Archmages of Alphatia and throws them against Glantri. Their bold move succeeds and the artifact is neutralised.
Although not destroyed, the artifact no longer drains magical power from Mystara. Instead, it feeds upon the evil powers of Entropy's grimmer fiends, vampires, liches, and other servitors of darkness, greatly weakening the Immortals of Entropy in the process. With fear, they now sense their possible doom in centuries to come.
Alas, the cost of the battle remains very dear to many. The Alphatian archmages are destroyed in their assault of Glantri. They were the source of an arcane power upon which Alphatia was built, and their demise causes the destruction of the arcane empire. With horror, the wizards see Alphatia's mainland sink into the cold Sea of Dawn.
Unbeknownst to mortals in the Known World, the Wizard Empire becomes a floating continent in the Hollow World, while its remaining colonies fall under Thyatian occupation.
Etienne's Immortal soul is trapped in the artifact and corrupted. He becomes a minion of the Sphere of Entropy, along with all his followers in the Brotherhood of the Radiance.
Glantri is ravaged by the war, becomes a pawn of darkness, and sinks into a dark age. Glantri and the Orcs of Thar become the new threat against mighty Thyatis. In the mean time, the face of the Known World has forever changed.
The Known World uses a common chronology, based on the year the first Thyatian emperor was crowned. Today, all adventures in the Known World take place in AC 1,000 (AC - After Crowning) All current products are written for that year. Alphatians use a different chronology. For them, the current year is AY 2,000 (that is 2,000 years after the arrival of the first Alphatian in the Known World). The timeline given here presents some past and future background related to Wrath of the Immortals and Haldemar (the Captain of the Princess Ark). Both backgrounds have to do with the Great War and the future of the Known World. A much more detailed timeline on the history of the nations and the peoples of the Known World is provided in the Hollow World boxed set (see also Hollow World Reference Guide).
BC 2800? The adventurer Vanya attains Immortality in the southern continent after defeating a monstrous red dragon. Her mortal body remains in a vault, a site that is taboo for local tribesmen.
AC 775 A 23 year-old Hattian adventurer, Gustav Grunturm, discovers ancient scriptures on Vanya's history. Gustav leaves on a life-long journey across the world in search of Vanya's treasures.
AC 805 Gustav discovers Vanya's vault and sacred scriptures telling of Vanya's saga. Gustav is 53.
AC 810 Gustav returns to Hattias, and starts a new temple. Minrothad merchants provide initial funds.
AC 823 Gustav incites Hattians to overthrow Emperor Gabrionus IV and conquer Thyatis.
AC 825 Thyatian troops burn down the original temple, killing 73 year-old Gustav and destroying his original maps and books. Followers of Vanya are branded as heretics and flee to more tolerant Heldann Freeholds. The Immortal Ixion begins to build up followers among mortals.
AC 833 Etienne d'Ambreville attains Immortality in Glantri. Eccentric Glantrian wizards vote themselves Wizard Princes.
AC 845 The Power of the Radiance is discovered in Glantri. Construction of the Great School of Magic begins above the source of the Radiance.
AC 875 Construction of the Great School of Magic is completed in Glantri. The Power of Radiance is first used.
AC 885 The Temple of Vanya's power grows among the Heldann Freeholds. Dissension among the clans and the followers of Vanya causes wars.
AC 888 The Brotherhood of the Radiance is founded in Glantri. Minor magic drain begins in the Sphere of Energy.
AC 912 The Temple of Vanya creates the Order of the Heldannic Knights. Hattian mercenaries are recruited and shipped north to the Heldann Freeholds. Holger von Kaltstein joins up at age 18.
AC 919 The Heldannic Knights defeat the Ethengarian invaders under Toktai Khan, and annex several areas of the Heldann Freeholds. Fortifications begin around the town of Freiburg, siege of the Great Temple of Vanya.
AC 926 The Heldannic Knights kill Toktai Khan at the Battle of Hayavik. The Heldannic Knights begin the construction of a series of small forts along the Ethengarian border. Herr Holger loses an eye and becomes a Heldannic hero at the age of 32.
AC 930 The Heldannic Knights "pacify" the remainder of the Heldann Freeholds, imposing their law and authority.
AC 937 The Citadel of Freiburg is completed. Holger the Blind (at 43 years old) becomes the High Priest of the Heldannic Order. He sends his closest Knights to discover the lost Vault of Vanya. (Wulf von Klagendorf, aka Herr Rolf in Princess Ark, is 19)
AC 946 Herr Wulf returns to Freiburg with proof of the sacred vault's location. The Heldannic Knights send a small army, enslave the local tribes, and build a secret fortress on site.
AC 947 Herr Wulf discovers the remains of Vanya are a holy relic with magical powers.
AC 949 The Heldannic Knights exploit the power of the relic and begin the construction of a fleet of flying ships.
AC 951 The Heldannic Knights breach the Sky Shield, and begin space exploration.
AC 953 The Heldannic Knights build trading posts in various areas of space. They discover and visit the Hollow World.
AC 961 Thincol becomes Emperor at age 23.
AC 962 Eriadna becomes Empress at age 42.
AC 966 Princess Ark jumps to the future (2,000 AY). Wulf is killed at age 48 by a Synn. First cathedral consecrated to Ixion is completed in Thyatis. The movement expands into Karameikos and Darokin, but fails in Ylaruam.
AC 979 Holger the Blind dies at age 85 of old age in Freiburg. Synn's Immortal Patron, returns Wulf von Klagendorf with extra powers to Freiburg. He succeeds Holger at the head of the Heldannic Order (still at age 48).
AC 982 The Heldannic Knights conquer a large portion of the Known World's 1st moon. A new, strange metal ore is discovered. Natives become hostile.
AC 994 Ixion discovers the magical drain from the Sphere of Energy and traces it back to Glantri and d'Ambreville. Phase I of Wrath of the Immortals starts.
AC 995 Etienne d'Ambreville becomes a renegade. Immortals Rathanos and Eiryndul secretly help him. Ixion and Alphatia head the Fire Ring -- a loose alliance including other Immortals from various sphere -- against d'Ambreville. Most notable supporters of the Fire Ring are Valerias (Matter) and Ilsundal (Energy).
AC 996 Immortals mostly from other spheres dispute the Fire Ring's goals, headed by Asterius (Thought), Ka (Matter) and Rafiel (Time). They form the Fellowship of the Star. Most notable supporters of the Fellowship include Korotiku (Thought) and Vanya (Time). A number of other Immortals remain neutral.
AC 997 Immortals of Entropy claim their neutrality, but in fact secretly help the weaker faction - no matter which one it may become, in order to cause as much damage as possible to the other four spheres. The more active Immortals of Entropy are Alphaks, Atzanteotl and Hel.
GAZETTEERS BEGIN AT THIS TIME
AC 1000 Princess Ark emerges at the Alphatian Imperial Palace. Wulf is 69 (level 32 Cleric). Haldemar is 51 (Level 21 Wizard). Thincol is 62. Eriadna is 80 (apparent age is 30, magically altered). Heldanners and expatriated Hattians form a mixed race in the Freeholds. Renewed fervour for al-Kalim grows in Ylaruam. Envoys of The Master contact the Heldannic Knights. Phase I of Wrath of the Immortals ends.
AC 1001 Phase II of Wrath of the Immortals begins now. Haldemar's recent interference with The Master's plans provokes an argument between the Heldannic Knights and The Master. The Heldannic Order sends missionaries into Norwold and Ethengar. The Alphatian Council of Wizards accuses Glantri's Great School of Magic of harbouring dangerous entropic followers and of using forbidden magics.
AC 1002 Spring: Glantrian lycanthropes found their own Principality in Glantri. They immediately ally with their neighbour, the Principality of Sylaire (Etienne d'Ambreville). See PC4 Night Howlers.
Summer: Spies sent by The Master to set up Glantrian adventurers in Alphatia. They are framed as the perpetrators of a political assassination against an outspoken opponent of Glantri. The Glantrian Council denies any involvement.
Fall: Alphatia breaks diplomatic ties with Glantri. Secret deal between The Master and the Heldannic Knights fails.
Winter: Several Glantrian nobles are assassinated (by followers of The Master). Thyatis warns Alphatia to back off. Alphatia denies any involvement.
AC 1003 Spring: The Temple of Vanya builds up mystic fervour in Norwold. Thyatis becomes progressively decadent.
Summer: Heldannic missionaries massacred in Ethengar.
AC 1003 Fall: Heldannic Knights mount several punitive raids into Ethengar. Alphatian spies burn down several Temples of Asterius and set Glantrian adventurers up as culprits.
Winter: Glantrian adventurers start a fire that burns down an Alphatian skyship armada in Aasla.
AC 1004 Spring: Phase III of Wrath of the Immortals begins. Alphatia declares war on Glantri. Thyatis and the Heldannic Knights side with Glantri. The Master captures Sind.
Summer: Alphatia and Thyatis build up their armies on the Isle of Dawn. Alphatian wizards conjure hordes of monsters from other planes and release them in Glantri.
Fall: The Alphatian army attacks Thyatian colonies on the Isle of Dawn and captures the Fortress of Kendach. The Ylaruam zealots ally with Alphatia and besiege Biazzan.
Winter: The Master invades the Known World.
AC 1005 Spring: Glantrian wizard adventurers harass Alphatian nobles in Sundsvall. The Province of West Portage on the Isle of Dawn falls to the Alphatian army. A swarm of red dragons sent by Synn and a coalition of Known World armies wrecks The Master's army and force him to retreat back to Sind permanently.
Summer: In revenge of his defeat, The Master releases a meteor that hits Northern Darokin, blasting a huge crater. A black cloud covers Darokin, Alfheim, and the southern half of Glantri.
Fall: The Shadow Elves cause the Alfheim forest to mutate and begin their infiltration under the cover of darkness. The dwarves of Rockhome lock themselves up in their caverns.
Winter: The Khan of Ethengar invades the Heldann Freeholds and besieges Freiburg. Glantrian adventurers steal a major artifact from the Imperial Palace in Sundsvall. The Alphatian army besieges Redstone Castle on the Isle of Dawn. Biazzan surrenders to the Ylari zealots.
AC 1006 Spring: Freiburg still is under siege. The Khan's armies spill over into Vestland and Soderfjord. The Heldannic Knights sign an alliance treaty with Thyatis.
Summer: Broken Lands humanoids join with hordes from the Khurish Massif and the Dwarfgate Mountains, under King Thar's authority. They take over the Northern Darokin Crater and invade the south of Glantri. The Alphatian army storms the City of Newkirk on the Isle of Dawn. The Eastern Thyatian Legion ships out and retreats to Thyatis.
Fall: Glantri City is under siege from the Orcs of Thar. Redstone Castle surrenders to the Alphatian army.
Winter: Alfheim elves flee Canolbarth and split up. Half go north through Ethengar toward Wendar, the others go south toward Karameikos. Allied lycanthropic hordes and mixed Glantrian troops annihilate Thar's forces in a bloodbath at Les Hiboux.
AC 1007 Spring: Plague ravages Freiburg. The Khan's hordes retreat to Ethengar, spreading the plague into Ethengar. Ochalea and Nuar claim their independence to avoid war. The Shadow Elves occupy Alfheim.
Summer: A Five Shires contingent joins the remainder of the Darokin army in southern Darokin. The City of Helskir betrays Thyatis and sides with Alphatia. The plague spreads into Vestland, Soderfjord, and northern Ylaruam.
Fall: The plague spreads into Glantri. Ostland and Heldannic forces trap and massacre remaining Ethengarians at Tromso. The Alphatian fleet defeats the Thyatian navy off the coast of Ylaruam.
Winter: Ethengarians pursue Alfheim refugees in Ethengar. The Brotherhood of the Radiance in Glantri begins the construction of a doomsday machine.
AC 1008 Spring: Humanoid hordes in Southern Darokin clash with joint Darokin/Five Shires forces. The Alphatian army lands at Cubia, in Ylaruam.
Summer: A coalition of Vestland and Heldannic Knights crosses deserted Rockhome, and slams into Thar's rear- guard. The Alphatian army storms the Thyatian border, near Fort Zendrol.
AC 1008 Fall: Thar retreats back to the crater and fortifies. Several Alfheim clans resettle woodland areas in Karameikos. The Duchy of Tel Akbir surrenders to the Alphatian army.
Winter: The other Alfheim elves cross the northern Glantrian mountains and enter Wendar. The plague spreads to Wendar. The Alphatian army overruns the last Thyatian Legions at the Battles of Kantridae and Retebius. The Brotherhood of the Radiance finishes the construction of their doomsday machine. They use it to conjure a magical storm over the City of Sundsvall, almost killing Empress Eriadna in the process.
AC 1009 Spring: Phase IV of the Wrath of the Immortals begins. Empress Eriadna sends the Thousand Arch-mages from the Alphatian Council into Glantri to destroy their doomsday machine. Haldemar (from the Princess Ark) is involved and steals a key component of the doomsday machine. It allows the arch-mages to stop the doomsday machine, but also causes it to explode. The archmages along with many Glantrians die, and d'Ambreville becomes a minion of Entropy, with all disciples of the Brotherhood of the Radiance.
Summer: Glantri falls into chaos. Mainland Alphatia "sinks" into the ocean (...and magically reappears as a floating continent in the Hollow World). Prince Eusebius Torion dies in a skirmish, despite a heroic relief effort led by the famous Anaxibius. His gallant effort allows the tattered remains of the Thyatian Legions to retreat back into the Imperial Capital.
Fall: The Alphatian army surrenders at the gates of the Imperial Capital in Thyatis.
Winter: Ylari zealots are defeated and booted out of Biazzan. Alfheim elves settle various woodland areas in Wendar. This marks the end of Wrath of the Immortals.
AC 1010 1ST ALMANAC IS WRITTEN. Thyatis begins the reconquest of lost territories. Heldannic Knights annex the Landfall region in Norwold. Surviving Alphatian skyships become pirates (Haldemar becomes a renegade). The dwarves come back out of their caverns.
[This is where it gets weird based on what we know happened... BH.]
AC 1011 The balance of power stabilises. The Glantrian Council is dissolved. Synn takes over the Glantrian nation.
AC 1012 Haldemar prevents Herr Wulf (Rolf) from attaining Immortality - and kills him at age 81. Haldemar is 63, Thincol the Brave is 74. Max der Stutz becomes the High Priest of the Order. Tension grows between the Heldannic Knights and the Thyatians. Glantri turns the Broken Lands and the Darokin Crater into a Glantrian colony. [YOWZA! None of this stuff ever happened! BH.]
AC 1013 Using obscure self-defence reasons as a pretext, the Heldannic Knights invade the Oceansend Kingdom in Norwold. Upon the Knights victory at the capital, the local ruler, King Yarrvik, dies in a mysterious "accident". A pro-Heldannic leader immediately replaces Yarrvik. Oceansend becomes the "Most Pious Protectorate of the Heldannic Order". Thyatis breaks its alliance with the Heldannic Knights and denounces the Order's act of outrageous brutality and treachery against an ally of the empire.
AC 1014 Although no war is declared, Thyatis and the Heldannic Knights become hostile and compete in their endeavour to colonise distant lands. Synn names herself Queen of Darkness and becomes the Known World's major public enemy. Rumours fly of a secret pact between Synn and Heldannic Max der Stutz. Thincol the Brave dies of old age. Princess Stefania Torion becomes the Empress of Thyatis. Haldemar obtains a Letter of Marque from the new Empress to act as a corsair... and an explorer.
The D&D(r) Game Now & Tomorrow
The D&D Game was published nearly twenty years ago. It has undergone a series of updates and revisions, the latest being this year's with the D&D boxed set and the Game Cyclopaedia.
The older D&D Game came in five boxed sets: Basic, Expert, Companion, Master, and Immortals. Each set had a particular goal. The Basic set was an introduction to role-playing. Like the present boxed set, it dealt essentially with teaching the game up to level 3 of experience, and adventuring in dungeons. The Expert set dealt with experience levels 4-14 and wilderness adventuring. The Companion set was limited to levels 15-25 and to the topic of how to become the ruler of a dominion. Master covered levels 26-36, and gave guidelines to players on how to have their characters start a quest for immortality. Finally, Immortals set explained all about them.
These five sets are no longer in use. The present D&D boxed set (the large black box with the Dungeon Map and the Dragon Cards), and the Game Cyclopaedia (the 300-page hardback book) replace the first five sets completely. The replacement of the last one, Immortals, is the focus of 1992 - with Wrath of the Immortals.
So far, there are many products available for the game. Here are the more important of them.
Entry Level Modules:
These adventures are designed for novices. However, only the Dymrak Dread module works specifically with the new D&D boxed set. More of these are due early in 1992. The others were designed for the older Basic set. They are nevertheless good adventures that a Dungeon Master familiar with the Game Cyclopaedia could use to break novice players in.
B1-9 - In Search of the Unknown: Written for the old Basic set, this module provides the best parts of the first nine D&D modules.
B11 - Queen's Harvest: A simple starter module for written for the old Basic set. It also helps a rookie Dungeon Master learn about role- playing to entertain his audience.
B12 - King's Festival: Written in the same style as B11, King's Festival is the sequel of the adventure started in B11. It is set in the Grand Duchy of Karameikos.
DDa1 - Arenas of Thyatis: A module for low level characters, this adventure requires more experience to play compared to B11 and B12. Recommended for the Game Cyclopaedia, it teaches special DMing techniques.
DDa2 - Legions of Thyatis: As with Arenas, Legions was written more specifically for Dawn of the Emperors, a boxed Gazetteer on Thyatis and Alphatia. DDa2 is a follow-up adventure for Arenas of Thyatis.
DDa3 - Eye of Traldar: An excellent adventure for beginners, this module is also compatible for the new D&D boxed set. It takes the characters into the gloomy fortress of Baron Von Hendriks in Karameikos.
DDa4 - The Dymrak Dread: This is the first module exclusively designed for the new D&D boxed set. This 16 page adventure also contains a colourful map sheet representing Dymrak's dungeon, plus stand-up characters and monsters (available December 1991).
Champion Level Modules
Here are several modules for higher levels of play to look for. Although these adventures were designed for the older D&D game sets, they are perfect for use with the Game Cyclopaedia. These adventures all take place in the Known World.
X10 - Red Arrow Black Shield: This module depicts the part of the Great War that deals with The Master. Its contents will be largely reused as part of Wrath of the Immortals.
X11 - Saga of the Shadow Lord: This popular adventure brings the player characters in Wendar and Denagoth, two realms north of the Known World.
X12 - Skarda's Mirror: A powerful bandit found the magical mirror of Skarda and uses it to imprison people into another plan. A great adventure set in Karameikos.
X13 - Crown of Ancient Glory: Adventurers discover the Realm of Vestland and leave on a quest to find a magical crown. The fate of the rightful successor is at stake.
CM1 & CM2 - Test of the Warlord, Deathride: These are Adventures in Norwold for characters levels 16 and higher. Great for characters who already became Barons or rulers of greater dominions.
M1 & M2 - Into the Maelstrom, Revenge of Alphaks: These two modules take characters on sagas that begin their quest to Immortality. They discover the world of outer space and the true origins of the ancient Alphatians.
Major Game Accessories
The largest and best known series of accessories in the D&D(r) Game are the Gazetteers. You can find references to the Gazetteers in the Known World section of this Reference Guide. Here are some of the more important accessories in the D&D Game line. Unless indicated otherwise, all are for use with the Game Cyclopaedia. Gazetteers and Creatures Crucibles all contain an adventure section.
PC1 - Tall Tales of the Wee Folk: Deals especially with the fairy races and other woodland beings in the Known World (pixies, dryads, centaurs, wood imps, etc...) PC1 tells of their customs, their kingdoms, and how to create player characters in this new environment.
PC2 - Top Ballista: The gnomes are at it again! In this light-hearted product, they have built a giant flying city. They travel the Known World, peddling their curious inventions, and seeking fuel for their gargantuan contraption. Players get to be part of the Top Ballista Squadron, an elite force of flying machines that defends the city.
PC3 - The Sea People: The strange nations of the Known World's undersea are detailed in this accessory. The Sea People way of interacting with the surface folk is explained here. Players get to create new characters and discover the secret of the tritons and the fearsome kopru.
AC4 - Book of Marvellous Magic: A must have for the completist. This accessory offers many magical objects the players can use in the game, some innocuous, some practical adventurers' items, others very deadly.
AC6 - Character Sheets: A classic accessory that everyone buys sooner or later. This stock of blank forms allows players to record their characters' descriptions. It can be used with all the D&D game products.
AC7 - Master DM Screen: A practical item for Dungeon Masters. It is a cardboard screen the Dungeon Master sets up on the table to hide vital information from the players. It also displays a number of useful charts and tables. It will do well with the Game Cyclopaedia.
AC8 - Book of Wondrous Inventions: This accessory expands on PC3, providing the Dungeon Master and the players with a collection of the Known World's weirdest inventions!
AC9 - Creature Catalogue: A great addition to the D&D Game Cyclopaedia, this accessory provides a wealth of different creatures and monsters that the DM can throw at the players' characters.
AC10 - Bestiary of Dragons & Giants: This accessory provides information on the various dragon and giant types of the Known World, a series of mini-adventures related to that theme, and a neat spell card for dragons.
TM1 & TM2 - Known World Trailmaps: All the Gazetteer maps are assembled and updated in these two huge 36" by 57" road maps. Includes a nifty travellers guide to the Know World on weather, road conditions, taxes and currencies. A must have for true specialists of the Known World. Ride Safely!
and last but not least...
Hollow World: this boxed set is an accessory to the D&D Game. It tells how The Immortals made the World of Mystara hollow and why. It describes the lands and people therein. Although the Hollow World now is a line of products separate from the Known World, the two worlds often connect. Tunnels, caves, and magical artifacts lead from the Known World to the Hollow World, such as those described in GAZ13 The Shadow Elves, or GAZ14 The Atruaghin Clans.
A number of Hollow World adventure modules and accessories for use with the Game Cyclopaedia are now available. All of these products are fully described in a separate Reference Guide for the Hollow World.
Tentative 1992 Plan
Wrath of the Immortals
1992 is the year we reintroduce a completely revised Immortals set. All of the Champion Level products that year will revolve around the new accessory Wrath of the Immortals, and its theme of the Great War. Many other products will be available for the D&D Game, either in the Entry Level category, or for the Hollow World. These are described separately in their respective Reference Guides.
Wrath of the Immortals boxed set: In truth it really does qualify both as an accessory, and a mega- adventure! Wrath provides a set of rules about Immortals, who they are, what they do, where they live, how to become and role-play one. But that's only half the product. The other half provides an adventure saga - actually three of them! The first adventure is for novices, the second for established heroes, and the last for dukes and kings. All have their place and effects on the Great War. These sagas can be played simultaneously by three different groups of players, or one after the other in a game that could last many months! They also provide a dramatic campaign background for the rest of the Known World. We explained quite a bit about Wrath (see previous chapters in this Reference Guide: Heroes & Villains, and The Future of the Known World).
PC4 - Night Howlers: This Creature Crucible describes in great detail famous lycanthropes in the Known World, their backgrounds and abilities. As with previous Creature Crucibles, players get to create lycanthropic characters and role-play them. This accessory is set in Glantri which legitimately qualifies as the Grand Capital of Lycanthropy (see GAZ3), near the spiritual home of Etienne d'Ambreville, a major personality in Wrath of the Immortals. A series of adventures in PC4 lead to the creation of a Patron Immortal of Lycanthropes allied to Etienne. This adventure links with PHASE II - The Build-Up in the Wrath of the Immortals.
AC1010 D&D(r) Almanac: a 256-page trade paperback booklet providing general information about the Known World and the Hollow World (geographic, political, and historical info, a who's-who of the D&D(r) Game world, etc) and a full gaming year's worth of future "historical" events that keep the D&D(r) Game world literally alive. The Almanac very easily incorporates all new information generated by the Wrath of the Immortals campaign. At the very least it could provide another gaming year's worth of events that reflect the situation during PHASE IV -- The Aftermath in Wrath of the Immortals. The Almanac is a must have item for those customers who missed the earlier gazetteers.
Tentative 1993 Plan [Can you say Kablooey!? BH.]
The Princess Ark
The Princess Ark is presently published in the DRAGON(r) Magazine as an on-going series. 1993 will see its development into a product line in D&D.
Princess Ark(tm) Boxed Set: This set describes the Princess Ark ship and life aboard. Players get to play either crew members under the authority of the various heroes from the Princess Ark series (see Haldemar in the Heroes & Villains section in this Reference Guide), or become the commanding officers at higher levels. Includes a summary of Haldemar's ship log (from DRAGON(r) Magazine), an overview of the Known World in AC 1010, and many adventures for all levels of play. The Princess Ark should also mark the beginning of a new series of accessories continuing the old Gazetteers' task of exploring the Known World (see next).
PAS1 - The Heldannic Knights, Princess Ark(tm) Gazetteer: This is a successor to the old D&D(r) Gazetteer series. This new supplement focuses on the Heldann Freeholds and the chaotic knighthood that rules the nation. The Heldannic Knights have been long time foes of the Princess Ark. Includes an in-depth look at an order of knights in the D&D(r) Game, an expanded background and new powers for Clerics and Avengers.
PAA1 - The Crown of Synn: This adventure module is for use with the Princess Ark boxed set. The player characters are part of a landing party in the evil land of Glantri. They are to retrieve the Crown of Synn, an instrument of Glantrian hegemony in the Known World and return to the ship. The ultimate plan is to provoke Synn, Queen of Darkness and long-time rival of the Princess Ark, to risk an attack against the fabled ship and perhaps to meet her demise.
DCr1 - Fantasy Cities(tm) #1, Specularum AC 1011: This new supplement provides a new look at the classic city of the D&D(r) Game, during the game year of 1011 AC. Includes street maps, building layouts, non player characters, historical information, etc. We may develop a link with the electronic games based upon Karameikos.
Champions' DM Screen: This replaces the old AC7 Master Player's Screen (9156). This eight panel screen features a unique piece of art on one side (or a huge DUNGEON & DRAGONS logo), and useful charts on the inside. The product is packaged in a 4p disposable paper cover.
AC1011 D&D(r) Almanac: This yearly Christmas item continues to expand the historical data of the Known and Hollow World settings. This supplement provides global game events for the Game Year of AC 1011 (one year after the Wrath of the Immortals).
Tentative 1994 Plan [Where fiction did NOT meet w/reality... BH.]
Adventures in Blackmoor(tm) Boxed Set: This campaign set allows the return of the Blackmoor civilisation in the Known World. A bit of history: Blackmoor destroyed itself 1,000 years ago and was "cloned" inside the Hollow World sanctuary by the Immortals. The Blackmoorians' technological antics finally upset the Immortals who literally kick them out of the Hollow World. Blackmoor re-establishes itself on the Known World, after being copiously trashed by their Immortal (ex)- patrons. Blackmoor distinguishes itself from the traditional fantasy genre because of modern technology equipment that keeps showing up in their setting. These are rare, poorly understood items that become very dangerous in the wrong hands. In a nutshell, Blackmoor qualifies as "dark-age medieval fantasy with technology"!
BMa1 - Blackmoor #1 of 2, The Egg of Coot: This adventure takes traditional player characters from the usual Known World to the chaotic Land of Blackmoor. They discover the secret and dark wonders of Blackmoor and realise the risks they pose to their way of life. They must shut down one of the known sources of technology-the strange and mysterious Egg of Coot. But it is indeed a deadly place.
BMa2 - Blackmoor #2 of 2, The Doomsday Rod: An adventure for native Blackmoor characters. These adventurers hear of a secret weapons cache forgotten by the powerful entities of their land. Contrary to the wisdom of characters in the traditional Known World setting, these fellows want these lethal contraptions to fulfil their dreams of power! The player characters are allowed to get their hands on the deadly weapons, but in so doing trigger a doomsday machine. The characters must use (and hopefully deplete) their newly acquired equipment to destroy the frightening machine. A typical shoot'em up escapade for gun powder-crazed players!
PAS2 - The Winds of Sind, Princess Ark(tm) Gazetteer: Focuses on the Kingdom of Sind. It details this vast realm of gurus, beggars, and wealthy maharajahs. A common port of call for the Princess Ark lies in the city of Jahore, Pearl of Putnabad. The captain of the Princess Ark, Haldemar, narrates his visit of Sind.
DCr2 - Fantasy Cities(tm) #2, Thyatis AC 1012: This supplement provides a new look at the ancient Imperial City, during the game year of 1012 AC. Includes street maps, building layouts, non player characters, historical information, etc.
AC1013 - #3 in the D&D(r) Almanac Collection
This yearly Christmas item continues to expand the historical data of the Known and Hollow World settings. This supplement provides global game events in 1012 AC (two years after Wrath of the Immortals).
1995 - Red Steel
Red Steel, Campaign Boxed Set: Our tentative plan for '95 includes the development of the Savage Coast, west of the Known World. This region was colonised by the more disreputable and ruthless people of the Known World: criminals, unscrupulous adventurers, and pawns of Entropy on a quest for power and wealth. Ignored by their Known World cousins, the conquerors forged new empires, unbound by the laws or philosophies of civilisation.
There, they discovered Red Steel, a very precious but poisonous metal that provides special powers, but also can kill if improperly handled. Red Steel affects everyone and everything there, from the kingdoms' economies to their philosophies.
The result is a setting where wars and treachery are as common as dragons in the uplands. Magic, science, or common wealth are a thing of the past, rarities in this violent world. Only ferocious rivalries now remain, opposing the Dark Kingdoms to the native rebels of the Savage Coast.
RSa1 - Red Steel #1 of 2, The Rif-Raf Barons: This adventure brings player characters from the traditional Known World to the Savage Coast. They have been hired to seek valuable merchandise from a local baron, and ship it back to a Minrothad Guild merchant prince. They are authorised to buy the secret merchandise with weaponry that could allow the baron to crush a rebellion. Will they side with their employer? Will they turn to the insurgents? Will they listen to rival barons?
RSa2 - Red Steel #2 of 2, The Slagovich Conspiracy: The wealthy Hierarch of Slagovich dreams of becoming a greater king and is plotting to have various rif-raf barons marry his sisters. But the rebels are watching and plan mischief of their own. The player characters are hired to escort the youngest sister safely across the Gulf of Hule to one of the baronies. The Hierarch plans to have the barons assassinated later and seize power for himself in the name of Greater Slagovich. The plot thickens when the PCs discover the Slagovich Maidens are not the true sister of the Hierarch either. They are impostors serving The Master, Ruler of Hule.
PAS3 - The Swords of Wendar, Princess Ark(tm) Gazetteer: This supplement focuses on the Kingdom of Wendar, city-building elves. It details its people, their history and their land. Elven magic, architecture and engineering skills are revealed. Haldemar narrates his journey across Wendar and his discoveries.
DCr3 - Fantasy Cities(tm), Ylaruam AC 1013: This supplement provides a look at the Fabled City of the Desert, Jewel of al-Kalim, during the game year of 1013 AC. Includes street maps, building layouts, non player characters, historical info, etc.
AC1013 - #4 in the D&D(r) Almanac Collection: This yearly Christmas item continues to expand the historical data of the Known and Hollow World settings. This supplement provides global game events for the Game Year of 1013 AC (13 years after the beginning of Wrath of the Immortals).