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by Francesco Defferrari from Threshold Magazine issue 26


The twenty-sixth issue of Mystara’s premier magazine leads you to meet interesting and dangerous characters, new allies or new enemies !

The Good and the Bad and the Organized

Sadly enough the Covid crisis is not ended yet and these are hard times for everyone, but Threshold magazine goes on, hopefully providing a bit of needed escapism to its readers. And this issue, as all the previous ones, has great authors and illustrators!

And now to the content of this issue: Agathokles in the first article of the issue describes the Organization and Societies of Karameikos, then there is my own Mystara Generator, an article describing the many tables for character creation in Mystara modules and including also a random generator of adventures. New author Lost Woodrake illustrates the Actor Troupes of Darokin, while Demos Sachlas introduces to us the fearsome leader of the Magian Fire Worshippers of Ylaruam, Rahotep the Accursed!
Then Brian Rubinfeld takes us back to the ominous lands of Returned Blackmoor, which appeared previously in issue #20 and #22. David Keyser also returns to his conversion of the Savage Tide Adventure Path for Mystara, now focusing on the characters after the conversion published in issues #4 and #19.
New author Michael Sutherland instead presents his Deadly Deceivers, dangerous encounters for your campaign. Last but not least, editors Allan Palmer and Agathokles continue the description of the Stronghold District of Specularum from issue #21 and #25.

Special mention and thanks also to the illustrators, the new entries Jeffrey Kosh and returning Dario Odillo and Justin Pfeil, who provided wonderful original illustrations for this issue, and the other illustrators in the art credits who have contributed to another fantastic issue of Threshold!

The next issue of Threshold, to be published in 2021, will focus on a great milestone for the Mystara community: Vault of Pandius 25th anniversary! To join this very special issue as authors or illustrators please send your proposal to the Threshold mail (check Submission guidelines and mail on the last page of the issue) or write in the proposals thread of The Piazza forum:
Even if we usually have no shortage of articles, we always need help for proofreading and editing the submissions. We currently have two active editors, therefore the issues schedule has been scaled back to two issues a year. So anyone willing to help the Threshold Editorial Team please come forward and let us know through the mail or in the above thread at The Piazza. Helping Threshold magazine certainly needs some time commitment, but is creative and rewarding work!

The Threshold Editorial Team and the authors hope you will enjoy this new issue as much as we enjoyed putting it together, and stay tuned for the next issue!

Francesco Defferrari (Sturm)

Editor, Threshold Issue 26

Editorial Credits

Threshold Editorial Team:

Allan Palmer (AllanP)

Giampaolo Agosta (Agathokles)

Francesco Defferrari (Sturm)

Editors Emeriti

Andrew Theisen (Cthulhudrew)


Angel Tarragon (The Angelic Dragon)

Geoff Gander (Seer of Y’hog)


Jesper Andersen (Spellweaver)

John Calvin (Chimpman)
Joseph Setorius (Julius Cleaver)

Leland (Argentmantle)


Robert Nuttman (RobJN)

Simone Neri (Zendrolion)

Thorfinn Tait (Thorf)

Troy Terrell (CmdrCorsiken)

THRESHOLD logo designed by Thorf

Editors, Issue 25:

Francesco Defferrari (Sturm)
Allan Palmer (AllanP)


Allan Palmer (AllanP)


Dario Odillo
Giampaolo Agosta

Isabella Calvin
Jeffrey Kosh
Justin Pfeil
Kevin Simonich
Linus Andersson
Luigi Castellani
Toni Roads

V Shane
William McAusland
Will Pleydon


Allan Palmer


Additional Reviewers & Proofreaders:

Allan Palmer (AllanP)

Rob Koper
Shawn Stanley

Thomas Rosleff Bækmark

Author Blurbs

Giampaolo Agosta (a.k.a. Agathokles) agrees with Schiller that “man is only completely a man when he plays". Therefore, he makes a point of taking gaming seriously, and real life casually. Besides Mystara, his gaming interests include (among others) Dark Sun, Planescape, Ravenloft, Birthright, Call of Cthulhu, Star Wars and Witchcraft RPG.

Allan Palmer (a.k.a. AllanP) was first introduced to D&D a long time ago (but not quite in a galaxy far away) by a work colleague who set up a gaming group using the last version of the “blue book” rules. While dabbling with RuneQuest and Traveller along the way, he developed a liking for what would become the world of Mystara as the BECMI box sets were released. He has always been fascinated by maps. He is an IT professional and when not indulging in hobbies of panelology, retro tv watching and family history research,uses his various PC skills to consolidate the writings of others into the issues of Threshold.

Brian Rubinfeld: despite never being as intense of a fan as much of the fandom, Brian has had a fondness for Mystara stretching back as many eons as the stars! Whether coming up with zany ideas or diving into the earthiness of the setting's lore, he always finds something to love about the Known World and beyond. When not writing for Threshold, Brian is an amateur writer and game creator looking into freelance options, as well as currently working in a pharmacy.

Dario Odillo, class of 73, has always loved the Mystara setting, and considers it the most original and with the purest D&D spirit. After artistic studies and a past as advertising designer, he has always admired the illustrations of Elmore, Brom and above all Easley, feeding day after day his passion for artistic drawing. In the past he collaborated with his drawings helping an Italian community of a well-known skirmish game. At home, in addition to being invaded by a myriad of miniatures and manuals, he alternates his free time between painting, drawing and the conquest of Alphatia.

David Keyser has run four long-term campaigns set in Mystara since the 1980s, using published adventure and support materials as much as possible. He denies having any creative talent himself. It's just that if you put him with a group of friends who are willing to work with him to provide an evening of entertainment, there's a momentary spark like the scratch of flint on steel...and then something magical happens.

Demos Sachlas has run several campaigns in Mystara, and hopes to start a new one using a virtual tabletop, at some point in the near future. He is active on many of the online forums and social media groups dedicated to the Old School Renaissance and Mystara, in particular. Most recently, he has been spending his time exploring the historical roots of the game on his blog, the OSR Grimoire (

I. "Meandrathel" Calvin enjoys drawing fantasy, and animals that can kill. Namely wolves, dragons, horses, and most large felines. Human animal hybrids are not excluded either; she often draws human versions of her favorite animals. She does, however, despise drawing things that are unbearingly cute. It's a pretty awful thing to do.

Jeffrey Kosh is the pen name of a writer and graphic artist specialized in book covers and movie posters. He collaborates with various publishing companies and authors. His covers range from dark horror to space opera, from thrillers to fantasy. A published author himself, Kosh knows that an attractive cover is the best way to introduce a book to the reader. Inspired by great fantasy artists, such as Clyde Caldwell, Larry Elmore, Keith Parkinson, and more, Kosh likes vibrant colors and heavy use of light and a dark contrast. His graphic tends to be moody and evocative. He also likes to work on 'era-specific' movie posters and book covers, trying to re-create the style used in those years, from the 1920s to the 1990s. As a writer he has been published various times.
His pen name comes by the combination of Ambassador Kosh Naranek of the TV series Babylon 5 and the body-actor who portrayed the character, Jeffrey Willerth. Why? That’s a funny story you can ask him personally on social media platforms.

Justin Pfeil draws comics, is a historical fencer in the Italian tradition, makes armor for his friends, and has played D&D since the Red Box was first published. His current project is a webcomic about characters attempting to survive The Keep on the Borderlands module from the players perspective.

Lost Woodrake's first encounter with Mystara in the early 90's was GAZ12: The Golden Khan of Ethengar, which led to the next gazetteer and downhill from there. He hadn't played in Mystara for many many years, but that doesn't stop him from still actively imagining the place.

Michael Sutherland
lives in inland Australia and has been writing campaigns for various editions of the game since 1988. His storytelling is described as cruel, cunning and fun. Once he was accused of being one of the most devious DMs ever; and this inspired him to write the article presented here. Michael is also an award winning medieval archer, teaches arrow fletching and truly enjoys writing.

Even though
Sturm (a.k.a. Francesco Defferrari) loves any alternate world, he believes Mystara is incomparably the best for its vibrant community endlessly delving into ethnography, linguistics and history just to make a little sense of it. Something like the real world, but with dragons.

Will Pleydon is an Illustrator and teacher living in rural Australia. He specialises in pencil and gouache drawings ranging from portraits, animals, sequential art, concept art and book illustrations. He can be found at: Art of Will Pleydon on youtube, and WillPleydonart on Facebook. For email contact,

Call for Contributors

The Threshold editorial team invites all fans of the Mystara setting to submit contributions to the magazine’s next issue.

We are especially looking for contributions fitting the following themes:

Issue 27 - Vaults of Pandius 25th Anniversary Special

This issue will celebrate the milestone reached by the repository of Mystara treasure managed since so many years by Shawn Stanley.

Proposal Deadline: February 15th, 2021

Manuscript Deadline: April 15th, 2021

Issue Published: June 2021

Issue 28 - Trade routes and Darokin

The second issue of 2021 will focus on trade, the lifeblood of nations and the fortune of the Merchant Houses of Darokin!

Proposal Deadline: August 15th, 2021

Manuscript Deadline: October 15th, 2021

Issue Published: December 2021

Articles about other topics are still welcome and the editorial team will evaluate their publication for any upcoming issue, taking into account available space and the issue's theme.

Threshold accepts and invites submissions of extended or revised versions of works having appeared on The Piazza or Vaults of Pandius.

Contributions may include, but are not limited to: Articles-- short stories, short adventure modules, NPCs, historical treatises and timelines, geographical entries, new monsters and monster ecologies, etc.; and Illustrations-- portraits, maps, heraldry, illustrations, etc.

The Threshold editorial team strives for edition neutrality, but edition specific articles (e.g., conversions) are also accepted. Statistics for new monsters and NPCs may be included in articles (e.g., adventure modules, new monsters or NPCs) in any version of Dungeons & Dragons. The editorial team also offers help in providing conversions to some specific rules set. Including BECMI/RC, 2nd Edition, 3rd edition/Pathfinder. However, they should be limited to a minimum -- for most NPCs, it is sufficient to mention class, level, and alignment. For important NPCs, a one or two line stat block may be included.

Next Issue

Issue 27 - Vault of Pandius 25th Anniversary Special!

This issue will celebrate the milestone reached by the repository of Mystara treasure managed since so many years by Shawn Stanley.

Anticipated contents include:

An interview with Shawn Stanley.

A history of the Mystara community.

An overview of the Vaults with stats!

Of Masters and Deceptions - Behind the Hulean Wars!

and much, much more!


[Back Cover Blurb: Issue 26]

Friends, allies and enemies

In this new issue of Threshold magazine we’ll meet an interesting gallery of characters who could become precious allies or terrible enemies in your adventures across Mystara.

First meet the Knights of Karameikos: they should be on the ‘good’ side, but maybe not so much if you are a Traladaran hero. Then you can try to create as many characters and adventures as you like with the Mystara Generatore of People, Stories and Everything. You can go search for allies among the Darokin Actor Troupes, but you’ll probably not find many of them among the Magian Fire Worshipper of Nithia and their dreadful Master, Rahotep the Lich! It will probably be even harder in the lands of Returned Blackmoor, among the pirates of the Savage Tides, or in the company of Deadly Deceivers! Last option, try your luck in the Stronghold District, if you can survive the hideout of the Radu in Specularum!

All this can be found only in the last issue of our favorite magazine!