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La Baronía de Torreón

by Giampaolo Agosta from Threshold Magazine issue 18

A Mini-Gazetteer for the Savage Coast

[Image: Torreon]

The Mini-Gazetteer of Torreón was my first comprehensive project for Mystara, back in 2004. I had been producing materials smaller in scope for a few years already, but not a complete Gazetteer. At the time, I had just finished playing through “The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind”, a milestone of computer-based RPGs designed by none other than Ken Rolston, author of Mystara Gazetteers for Ylaruam and the Northern Reaches. Morrowind’s setting is a former elven nation, occupied by a multicultural, but predominantly human, empire, and divided into many factions, which serve as employers or opposition for the player character. This resonated clearly with Torreón -- also a land populated by both humans from the Thyatian Empire and many elves, but with the humans in charge. Thus, the Telvanni, Hlaalu and Redoran houses of Morrowind became the inspiration for the native elven houses of Torreón. As a result, the mini-gazetteer you are reading focuses heavily on organizations and NPCs, while providing only a slightly expanded overview of the land itself.

The Mini-Gazetteer is designed for use with the AD&D 2e Savage Coast Campaign Setting. As such, NPC capsule statistics are provided in AD&D 2e format, and the present year is 1014 AC.

1 Geopolitical Overview

The Baronía de Torreón is one of the few landlocked Guardiano states, north of the Estado de Texeira and the Baronía de Narvaez and west of the Terra Vermelha badlands.

Its aggressive rulers heavily tax the peasant population in order to build up a powerful military, and actively promote the formation of mercenary companies. In many ways, Torreón is not as advanced as the other baronies, but its relatively large population and warlike stance compensate for this.

[Table: Baronia de Torreon]

1.1 Lay of the Land

During its sixty years of existence, the Baronía de Torreón has proved a successful, expansionistic nation.

The former barony of Alcázar, centered on Puebla de Alcázar, comprises the valley of the Río Fangoso, while Ciudad de Morales was once the capital of the barony of Morales. The barons of Torreón, starting from their capital, Ciudad de León1, conquered the two northern neighbours, then expanded their holdings north and west along the Rio Frio and the Rio Guadiana.

The disappearance of the baronies of Elegidos and Cristobal left Torreón without established neighbours along the northern border. However, the goblinoids of the Yazak Steppes prove dangerous enough, and keep the large Torreóner military busy and further northward expansion by Torreón impossible.

The population of Torreón concentrates in the fertile valleys, leaving the hills of Las Rocallas and the forests as borderlands. In addition to the two major towns, Ciudad Morales and Ciudad de León, there are several large farming villages, and a number of fortresses and towers to protect the borders.

1.2 The People

Before the arrival of the Ispan conquistadores, Torreón was mostly populated by elves and Otzil2, descendents of the great civilizations that were destroyed by the goblinoid hordes more than two millennia ago.

The arrival of the Ispan colonists brusquely changed the status quo: in 916, the first barony in the region, Cristobal, was founded. A quarter of a century later, adventurers from Narvaez moved northwards and established a group of baronies. The new rulers struck alliances with the elven clans of the region, thanks to the help of elven advisors, mostly nobles of the former Baronía de Montoya who had chosen exile rather than accepting the annexation to Narvaez. The Otzil natives did not fare as well as the elves, as they were considered savages by the colonists.

[Image: Don Hernan de Torreon]

When the initial phase of settling was completed, the baronies turned on each other. The expansionist Torreón absorbed most of its neighbours, while the barony of Elegidos disappeared mysteriously and the Baron of Cristobal relinquished his claim to land and title rather than fight the emerging power of Torreón.

Nowadays, the population of Torreón is mostly composed of elves and half-elves. The small nobility is composed of elves and humans of Ispan blood, while the lower classes are largely composed of native Otzil. Half-elves, elves, and Ispan humans form the urban middle-class. A number of lupins of the Torreóner Pit-Bull breed also live in Torreón. They arrived with the Ispan conquistadores from Thyatis, and now work in the mercenary companies and in the arena, as well as in less savory enterprises.

The rulers of Torreón still pursue the expansionist policy of their ancestors, building up their military to expand towards the Terra Vermelha, the badlands which are rich in minerals, or towards the sea.

1.3 The Army

Torreón supports a large army, nearly 5% of its population, and can rely on some 2000 mercenaries from its many Companies.

[Table 1: The Army of Torreón]

Torreóner warriors make heavy use of chain mail armor, and Torreóner swords are considered the best in the Savage Coast. Thanks to its high elven population, Torreón can field many spellcasters; moreover, Torreóner elves serve as archers and medium cavalry.

Human and half-elven nobles tend to fall into the ranks of heavy cavalry – with Narvaez, Torreón is the only nation to keep a force of armored knights, equipped with half or three-quarters plate armor, lances and swords.

The bulk of the army is formed by the infantry and crossbowmen. Both are equipped with chain mail armor and swords in addition to the specialty weapons: crossbow, pike, halberd, or spear and shield.

Light infantry consists mostly of pikemen.

2 Rogues, Regents and Rascals

This section details several notable Torreóner characters, including the royal family and the leaders of the main temples.

2.1 Doña Isabel de Torreón y Morales

Baroness of Torreón (human ♀ Noble F5, LN, age 32).

[Image: Dona Isabel]

The baroness of Torreón is a human noblewoman of pure Ispan descent. She is fully described in the Savage Coast Campaign Book.

The Baronesa has some training in self-defence, but she is more of a politician than an adventurer.

2.2 Don Augusto de Montoya

Advisor to the Baroness (elf ♂ Noble F13, LG, age 187).

This young but widely travelled and experienced elf is the principal advisor to the Baronesa. He was the heir to the Barony of Montoya, but his father was killed by the soldiers of the Baron of Narvaez, who conquered the Castillo de los Hidalgos, the dwarven fortress that housed the royal family of Montoya.

While many elves accepted the Narvaezan supremacy, a few went into exile3. One of these elves was Augusto. He joined a band of Narvaezan adventurers and travelled with them north of Narvaez. After a life of adventure, two of the human friends of Augusto, Hernan de Torreón and Jorge de Alcazar, decided to gather their families and followers and establish new baronies, which they named Torreón and Alcazar.

Augusto agreed to help Hernan, and later his descendants, in obtaining the support of the local elven clans, then engineered the marriage of Hernan with one of the Morales heirs, and led the Torreóner army in the Morales succession war when the first, and last, Baron of Morales died just one year after the foundation of the Barony. In that war, he was unfortunately forced to kill his old friend don Jorge de Alcazar, who had opposed Torreón’s claim to Morales.

[Image: The Morales Succession War]

Don Hernan’s reign lasted long (he died in 965), but his son Carlos (942-983) was not as lucky, nor as competent, and died in an ill-conceived expedition against the Yazak goblinoids. Don Carlos’s son, Hernan II, was none the better, and only the unswerving loyalty of Don Augusto could keep the lesser nobles in check. However, several nobles, including members of the Morales and Alcazar families, plotted against the Baron. In 992, Hernan II was assassinated during a hunting trip in Las Rocallas.

The elven nobles reacted, asking Augusto to take the crown. The advisor, however, lent his full support to the rightful heir, Doña Isabel.

Luckily, the young Doña Isabel immediately proved a stronger ruler than her father – she had the conspirators hanged, and, while she taxed her subjects as much as the previous rulers, at least she put the money to good use, following Augusto’s advice and starting research programs in military science.

However, the elven nobility has made it quite clear that, in the event that neither Doña Isabel nor her sister can produce an offspring, the crown would go to one of their own – that is, Augusto. The arrangement suits well Isabel, since Augusto is the only Torreóner noble she trusts.

Augusto is driven by the will to preserve Torreón as the main center of elven culture in the Savage Coast. To this end, he will make any compromise, even to the point of allying with Narvaez rather than driving Torreón into a war with that state. He is not evil, but neither he is a forgiving or kind-hearted character.

2.3 Doña Rosa de Torreón y Morales

Heir to the throne of Torreón (human ♀ Noble NM, NG, age 24).

[Image: Dona Rosa]

The heir presumptive to the Baronesa is her younger sister, Doña Rosa, a beautiful girl of 24. Doña Isabel has always spared Rosa the worst of the treacherous politics and intrigue of Torreón, so Rosa is rather naïve for a Torreóner noblewoman.

She is likely to be the most wanted match for noblemen all over the coast, even though her sister is still young, and Rosa is not going to inherit the title soon. Still, her children might inherit the title of Baron, so gossip runs free on the list of potential husbands, from the sons of Dom Jorge de Vilaverde to Margrave Miosz of Slagovich.

2.4 Doña Pilar de Leon

Primate of the Temple of Faña4 (half-elf ♀ Noble Pr13, LN, age 55).

[Image: Dona Pilar]

Doña Pilar is one of the few half-elven noble-women of Torreón, born of a human mother and an elven father from the House de Leon, one of the foremost elven clans of Torreón5.

She entered the priesthood of Faña 40 years ago, since she had little hope to inherit the leadership of House de Leon – her father is only in his third century of life – and she rose steadily through the ranks by a combination of connections with the aristocracy, combat skill, charisma and force of will.

An accomplished swordswoman, Doña Pilar is known for her readiness to issue and receive challenges, and has fought and won more duels than anyone else in Torreón, bar Juan Josè Dominguez.

She is also a member of the Cavalcante fencing school, though she uses the long sword, a weapon more common in Torreón, rather than the rapier. This seems to suit well with the forceful style of the Cavalcante.

Doña Pilar looks about 40 or 45 years old in human terms, with a warrior’s powerful physique, long dark hair held in a tight bun, and fair skin, with just a hint of red.

Her current concerns deal mostly with Narvaez’ inquisition – while she outwardly appreciates the role of the Inquisitor given to Faña in Narvaez, she actually resents the subservient position of her goddess in that nation. Therefore, she tries to keep the three northern baronies outside the influence of Narvaez without exposing herself.

2.5 Don Felipe de Casanegra

Lord of the Judge’s Court (elf ♂ Noble Pr12, LN, age 225).

[Image: Don Felipe]

The founder and current leader of the Judge’s Court6 in Torreón, Don Felipe, is an elf who came from Thyatis with the Ispan colonists. He left Narvaez when the aggressive behaviour of the followers of Ixion became clear. He went north, bringing along a number of followers of the Judge, mostly humans, and allied with the rulers of the newly founded Barony of Alcázar. However, twenty-five years later Torreón conquered Alcázar along with the other northern baronies. Don Felipe had to adapt to the new conditions: the Torreóner rulers and most of its population are followers of Faña and pay only some attention to the Judge. The Judge’s Court is very popular in former Alcázar and in Ciudad Morales, less so in the rest of the barony. However, Don Felipe is secure in his position, since he has developed strong contacts among the local elven aristocracy.

Don Felipe is a short, wiry fellow with raven black hair and a thin mustache. He is a relative of Marquis Fernando de Casanegra in Glantri, but the two (and the respective branches of the family) are on very cold terms, for the family was split on the matter of Immortal worship long ago7.

The Lord of the Judge’s Court originally resided in Casanegra, but left after the Torreóner conquest of Alcázar. He now holds court at Ciudad Morales, where he can more easily get in touch with his peers. His second in command, Don Miguel de Villavieja (hm Noble Pr9, LN, age 48), leads the temple branch in Puebla de Alcázar.

2.6 Colonel Jorge Luis de Alcázar

Commander of the General’s Army, Torreóner Regiment (human ♂ War Priest Pr11, LN, age 57).

A distant relative of the founder of the Barony of Alcazar, Colonel Jorge Luis de Alcázar leads the Torreóner branch of the General’s Army8. He is an imposing character, always dressed in a field uniform, and often found in armor. Colonel de Alcazar has curly, iron grey hair cut short, a bushy mustache, and a number of scars gathered in the battles of the last thirty years, including an especially wicked one across the left side of his face, from the forehead down across the left eye to the cheek. The Colonel wears a patch over the lost eye.

Colonel de Alcázar is a man torn between different loyalties: while his family never lived in Alcázar, he still cannot forgive Torreón’s aggression towards that barony – though he never shows these feelings: on the contrary, he is and appears to be one of the Torreóner noblemen least interested in intrigue and power. More recently, he disliked being forced to fight on what he perceived as the Church of Narvaez’s war. Now, he and the General’s Army work to contain the expanding influence of Ixion’s followers in Torreón.

2.7 Don Juan Josè Dominguez

Grandmaster of the Dominguez Sword School (human ♂ Swashbuckler F14, TN, age 72).

[Image: Don Juan Jose Dominguez]

This old but still active gentleman is one of the living legends of the Savage Baronies, the grandmaster and founder of one of the foremost fencing schools, the Dominguez school, famed for its two-weapon fighting style.

At 72, Juan Josè Dominguez still teaches his secrets to a select group of pupils from all over the Savage Coast. His sons and older apprentices have established branches of the school elsewhere, but Dominguez House in Ciudad de Leon remains the center of learning for the Dominguez fencers, and expert swordsmen come often to pay their respects to the old master and learn some new trick.

2.8 Don Iban Delvado

Owain y Rhyd, “Ambassador” of the Kingdom of Fey (Sidhe ♂ F7/W7, CG).

Don Iban Delvado appears as a lesser elven nobleman with long, silver hair and no hint of a moustache or beard. He dresses in colorful clothes, and carries a rapier and a slender dagger.

However, this is just a façade supported by Faerie magic, for Don Iban is actually Owain y Rhyd, a Sidhe from the Kingdom of Fey.

[Table: The Kingdom of Fey]

While Don Iban is a native of Fey, he has travelled far and wide, having struck a friendship with a group of elven adventurers, and considers himself an expert in the field of mortal lore9. He agrees with the Minuar faction that the Faerie of Fey should work to prevent further expansion of the Hulean Empire – and any other threat, for that matter.

Thanks to his oratory, Don Iban has managed to persuade King Rhuannach to send him to Torreón as “ambassador” – though under strict orders not to disclose his identity to any human. Therefore, Don Iban cannot directly work with the Baronesa, and has to deal with the Torreóner only through the elven aristocrats, whom King Rhuannach has not included in his ban.

Don Iban’s identity as the representative of a neighbouring Faerie Kingdom is known to Don Augusto de Montoya and a couple of other nobles, though not to Don Felipe de Casanegra – the Sidhe does not trust, nor like the Immortals and their followers, and want nothing to do with them.

Using his façade as an elven nobleman, Don Iban also works a semblance of espionage networks – that is, when he wants to know something and cannot look into the matter himself or find some other Faerie willing to do the job, he turns to elven or even human adventurers.

While more serious minded than most Faeries, Don Iban is still much more interested in revelries and festivals: not only he takes part in many parties of the nobility in Ciudad de Leon, but he also frequently leaves his post to join his compatriots in their festivals. When Don Iban is not at home, he trusts one of his friends, a Pooka10 who has the form of a greyhound, to deal with visitors to his house in Ciudad Morales.

2.9 Dame Arlène de Rochefort

Ambassador of the Royaume de Renardie (lupin ♀ Noble Pr5 of Saimpt Ralon, NG, age 76).

The younger sister of the deceased Baron of Brégoigne, Dame Arlène is the Ambassador of King Louis IV of Renardy to the Baroness of Torreón – and therefore a key player in the politics of the Savage Coast.

This old lupin looks like a short, lithe humanoid cocker spaniel, with glossy black fur which is greying and long hair. Due to old age, her senses are quite reduced, and she has few teeth left, but her wits are still quick. She entered the priesthood of Saimpt Ralon late in her life, after her betrothed, a Heldannic Knight from the Heldann Shepherd breed of lupins, was reported missing on a mission in Davania.

Dame Arlène is a quiet person, a noblewoman of high breeding, though marked with a streak of curiosity. She is currently investigating Torréon efforts in military science – of course, in a most unobtrusive way, as the relations between the two countries must not be hindered in any way. Aside from this, her main preoccupation is to keep the overland trade route between Torreón and Renardy free of bandits and goblinoids. She is a potential patron for adventurers willing to explore the Llanos Verdes and the Pampa Rica, as well as a contact for lupin travellers.

2.10 Ponce “Torero” Linares

Leader of Los Banditos de La Pineda (human ♂ Swashbuckler F12, CE, age 37).

A member of the Marmureg Wing of the Bleak League, the foremost Hulean criminal organization, “Torero” Linares is a dashing character: he looks like the epitome of the swashbuckler, graceful and quick in his movements, slim and elegant, dressed in expensive clothes, always covered by a midnight black cloak, lined in red silk11. Linares is a pure Ispan, though not of noble background.

Contrary to his charming looks, Ponce Linares is a thoroughly dark-hearted blackguard. He started his career as an apprentice at the sword school of Don Juan José, but he was unruly and quarrelsome, and was turned out by the old master, despite his remarkable ability. After being kicked out of the Dominguez school, Linares performed for a while in the arenas, which later earned his nickname “Torero”.

However, he strongly desired to increase his fighting abilities, craving the powerful secret passes of the Dominguez school: in the end, he tried an assault against the Dominguez mansion, hoping to kidnap one of the Don Juan José’s granddaughters and force the old master to reveal his secrets by threatening to kill the girl. Luckily, his plan was foiled by an elf enchantress, Gloriana de Rondalla, who freed the kidnapped girl. However, Ponce’s skill in swordplay was too much for either Gloriana or Dominguez’ apprentices, and the villain was able to escape capture.

As a consequence of his failure, Linares fled Torreón, vowing revenge. In time, he gathered a band of thieves and cutthroats, and set upon raiding villages of western Torreón.

[Sidebar: Los Bandidos de La Pineda]

While Ponce Linares ultimately hopes to trick the old Dominguez into an ambush, capture him and force him to reveal his secrets, he bides his time and builds up his strength by capturing other swordsmen and forcing them to fight against each other or against members of his band in order to steal their secrets. Already he has gathered a few secret passes from the Cavalcante and Moncorvo schools.

As can be gathered from his history, Ponce Linares has collected many enemies, including the Dominguez, Cavalcante and Moncorvo schools, and the Torreóner constabulary. The Judge’s Court has set a 5,000 oros standing reward for Linares’ capture, dead or alive.

To offset these enemies, Linares has allied his gang with the Bleak League, which accounts for his continued survival.

2.10.1 Notable members of Los Bandidos de La Pineda

Alvaro Marquez

(human ♂ Pr5 of the Ambassador, LE, age 34), a cunning worshipper of the Ambassador, who acts as adviser to Ponce and as a contact with the Thieves’ Guild of Ciudad Morales; Alvaro styles himself as a politician of the outlaws, but his ability to manoeuvre is rather limited, since Linares doesn’t trust him much.

Iskander Davala

(human ♂ Diviner Pr7 of Bozdogan, CE, age 42), a Hulean priest, sent by the Holy Men to keep tabs on Los Banditos; while he goes through the pretence of working under cover, he is just a bait: another agent (human ♂ Spy T5, CE) hides among the lower ranks of Los Banditos, ready to take care that Linares does not survive if he becomes a liability.

Nestor Gomez

(half-elf ♂ Bandit T5/W6, NE, age 48), a half-elf from Ciudad de Leon, is Los Banditos’ chief wizard; he is always busy dealing with Torreón’s magical scouts and has had little time to deal with the Fey; Nestor knows he is not strong enough to face all challenges, but does not wish the competition of another wizard; rather, he is looking for an apprentice or two.

Marcelo “El Olteco” Diaz

(human ♂ Bandit T8, LE, age 32), a man of Otzil descent, fled Torreón after murdering a nobleman; now, he is Linares’ second in command, but considers “Torero” a buffoon and hates him along with all Ispan–descended Torreóners.

David “El Loco” Cañas

(lupin ♂ Gladiator F4, NE, age 29), a massive Torreóner Pit-Bull lupin, he is an acquaintance of Linares’ times in the arena. Proficient with dozens of different weapons and endowed with exceptional strength, David is a relentless, ferocious fighter. Though not a likeable character, he serves well as enforcer and drill instructor through sheer intimidation.

2.11 Xavier “the Rapier” Marreras

Head of the Thieves’ Guild of Ciudad Morales (human ♂ Swashbuckler T12, NE, age 43)

Xavier Marreras, the second most wanted man in Torreón, is the leader of the Thieves’ Guild of Ciudad Morales. In contrast to his colleague Ponce Linares, this tall, dark rogue has slightly less panache, but he is much more adept at making money out of his criminal activities, which pleases the Marmureg Tiger more than any flashy display of villainy.

However, Xavier is encountering an uncommon resistance in his attempts to establish a protection racket, due to the degree of control exerted by House de Morales on trade, and to Don Felipe de Casanegra’s efforts in promoting law and order in the town.

[Sidebar: The Thieves' Guild of Ciudad Morales]

3 Guilds and Organizations

Torreón is a lawful, regimented realm. In spite of its poverty, it boasts a large number of guilds and organizations that regulate trade and other matters. This section describes the main guilds and some other organizations, such as temples, fencing schools and noble houses.

3.1 Mercenary Companies

Mercenaries are the primary export of Torreón. Most of the other Baronies employ, or have employed in the past, Torreóner mercenaries to protect their assets. The main employers, in present times, are the Sea Powers, which use the Torreóner heavy infantry and archers to garrison their mainland and colonial fortresses, and as marines on their ships. The baroness of Gargoña also employs mercenary companies from both Torreón and Narvaez to complement her nation’s large but mediocre militia, and the L.B. Trading Company has Torreóner sellswords protect its holdings in Dunwick and Richland. Other nations and private employers (nobles and merchants from the Baronies, Renardy, Herath, and the Traladaran City-States) provide work for the smaller companies.

[Image: Torreoner Mercenaries]

There are circa 40 companies in Torreón, including two temple-sponsored companies (the General’s Army and the Knights of Faña), and a couple of Afflicted companies12. Except for the large temple-sponsored companies, each mercenary company includes 20 to 100 sellswords13 of various specializations. Larger groups may provide combined specializations, such as cavalry and infantry or archers, while smaller groups often provide a single type of service – e.g., a heavy cavalry company or a group of infantrymen.

Each company is guided by a Captain chartered by the Captains’ Assembly, a yearly gathering of the mercenary captains. The Captains' Assembly operates much like a trade guild leadership, setting standard prices for the goods and services offered. The Assembly Hall in Ciudad de León also functions as a Guildhall, offering services to the mercenary companies such as recruiting replacements for companies on long term assignments such as those in Colony of the Horn, handling the acquisition and shipping of weapon supplies (Torreóner mercenaries prefer to fight using Torreóner red steel weapons), and even to individual sellswords – job offers for individual mercenaries as well as some training.

3.2 Temples

The main religious organizations in Torreón are the Temple of Faña, the Judge’s Court and the General’s Army, described below. All of these religions have strict hierarchies and complex ranking systems, well suited to the close social system of Torreón.

Each of these temples reveres one of the Immortals popular in the Savage Baronies. Faña is the local name of Vanya (who is also known as Fanha in the Verdan baronies, and as the Inquisitor in Narvaez). The Judge is Tarastia (also known as Pax Bellanica), and the General is Thor. The other common Guardiano Immortals are Valerias, the Ambassador (Masauwu) and Milan (Mealiden Starwatcher) who all have only a limited following, and no established temple, in Torreón.

3.2.1 Temple of Faña

The Temple of Faña is the most popular faith in Torreón, and is also quite popular in the Sea Powers. The Temple is a managed by a well-organized hierarchy, at the top of which sits the Primate. Priors – priests of 9th level or more – control the main divisions of the Temple: the Priories of Morales, Cristobal, Vilaverde, Texeiras and Alcazar. The Primate is also the Prior of Torreón.

Individual temples, or Chapels, are managed by a Chaplain, usually a priest of 7th or 8th level, who coordinates the work of several Priests and Novices.

A Legate of 7th level or more is assigned to nations or regions not included in the main area of influence of the Temple of Faña, but where there is a significant following among the population, or there is a reason to keep an ambassador at court.

The Temple of Faña, like most other Torreóner churches, is rather militaristic, and Defenders and Crusaders compose a military order called the Knights of Faña, which is also chartered to work as a mercenary company – though it rarely does so.

Most other priests are War Priests, though a few are Nobles or Local Heroes. The Temple of Faña includes circa 2000 priests, plus 800 Knights of Faña.

3.2.2 The Judge’s Court

The Judge’s Court is the primary religion for about one Torreóner in ten, though many others refer to the Judge in matters of justice and revenge. Priests of the Judge are often called to perform as witnesses and mediators in duels. They are also involved in the judiciary system of Torreón, since many priests double as constables or magistrates for the government.

There are about seven hundred priests in the Church. War Priests are prevalent, but not as much as in the General’s Army. On the other hand, there is a slightly higher proportion of Noble Priests than in other churches. Below the Lord, the head of the church, is the Vicar, and below the Vicar are the High Avengers (level 9+ War Priests) and the Jurists (other level 9+ priests). Avengers and Councillors (level 3+) make up the rank and file of the church, with Initiates forming the lowest rank.

The Judge’s Court coat of arms is blazoned as gules a sword or fesswise in chief and a scale or.

[Image: Judge’s Court coat]

3.2.3 The General’s Army

The General’s Army is as much a church as it is a mercenary company. Most of the clergy, like Colonel de Alcazar himself, are War Priests. Many serve as chaplains in the Torreóner army and mercenary companies, while the less experienced train in the Army barracks in Ciudad de Leon.

The full might of the General’s Army could amount to some 500 War Priests plus one hundred more priests of other types. However, Colonel de Alcazar could hope to mobilize up to 200 at any time for active duty, since the rest would be either unavailable, or required to man the various temples. The church is also registered as a mercenary company, and its leader takes part in the Assembly.

The General’s Army exists in other Baronies as well, and the Commanders of the various Regiments form a Council of War, which defines policies and regulation for the whole church. In wartime, the Council of War usually allows each Commander to field his Regiment to support his nation’s army. If the war has some religious significance for the General, the Council of War may, on a majority vote, elect a Warlord to lead a unified General’s Army. This only happened once, in the recent war against Hule.

The General’s Army coat of arms is blazoned as: per pale azure and gules, with a pallet or, a lightning bolt sable bendwise, and a hammer sable bendwise sinister.

[Image: General’s Army coat]

3.2.4 Other Cults

In addition to the organized temples, other cults are present in Torreón. Most of them are limited to the main towns, Ciudad de León and Ciudad Morales.

The Church of Narvaez hails from the southern neighbour of Torreón, Narvaez. It is a growing cult with a strong bent on further expansion, but it is currently limited to a single church in Ciudad de León.

Valerias, the Ambassador and Milan do not have organized cults, though shrines to all of these Immortals are found in both towns. Torreóner Priests of these Immortals formally belong to either to the Verdan branch or to the Gargoñan branch of these cults, but enjoy a considerable independence.

Native Otzil belief in the Sun14 was suppressed by the early colonists and goblinoid invasions with the rest of the Otzil culture. A few Otzil Shamans do exist, but they practice their religion secretly in the farming villages. The Ispan priests, not least the priests of Ixion, would most likely root them out were they aware of the existence of the Shamans.15

3.3 Noble Houses

While the nobility is relatively small in Torreón, it has a significant influence. The middle class is not really developed, and most resources remain in the hands of the noble families, which use all of their power to preserve the status quo. The noble houses are among the few sources of employment for Torreóner adventurers and mercenaries who do not join a mercenary company. Each noble house keeps as large a private army as it can, limiting factors including both resources and the need to avoid the attention of the Baroness, who would ruthlessly remove any challenge to her power.

The nobles houses can be divided into three groups:

3.3.1 Native Elven Houses

The native clans of the Torreón elves have lived in the region for centuries. These elves make up a large part of the Torreóner population, and are grouped into five major clans, and twice as many minor clans. The leading families of the major clans are recognized as nobles by the Ispan rulers.

House de León

This was the first elven clan to ally with the Ispan colonists. The León elves control the woods east of Ciudad de León. They have mixed with the Ispan more than any other elven clan of Torreón. Since the daughter of the León clan leader is the Primate of the Temple of Faña, this House has close relations with the Temple. Many León elves have embraced the cult of Faña, and the human or half-elven retainers of the House are chosen primarily among the followers of Faña.

Coat of arms: gules a lion argent.

[Image: House de Leon coat]

House de Chiquitin

This clan controls Chiquitin and the wooded hills north-east of the village. The Chiquitin are a farming clan, and have been declining slowly but steadily in recent years. They usually support the House de León and the House de Montoya, but tend to have little interest in politics. Most of the population of Chiquitin was levied during the war, while the population of Las Chambas was spared due to the political influence of House Gonzalez. Some of the younger Chiquitin have been complaining about the poor leadership of the elders, and are trying to recruit supporters – including humans, to repopulate their village. Unfortunately, they can offer little in terms of money, but on the other hand they are unlikely to look too closely at their employee’s past.

Coat of arms: vert a garb or.

[Image: House de Chiquitin coat]

House del Lugar

This clan controls El Lugar and the hill country south-west of that village. They consider themselves the first elven clan to settle in the region, and were the last to accept the Ispan domination. House del Lugar does not like half-elves, and only accepts human retainers for menial jobs – anything of consequence is handled by elves. A few members of House del Lugar are aware of the Kingdom of Fey, a secret they guard closely, since they consider this trust a token of their higher breeding. Just like House Chiquitin, the main settlement of this house was hit hard by the recent war levies. However, House del Lugar simply withdrew most of the elven population to the forests, so that the bulk of the levies were made up by Otzil farmers. Now, the move is backfiring as the fields go untended, and the House leaders are trying to attract elven farmers to their lands.

Coat of arms: quartered, the first and fourth vert a garb or, the second and third or a key vert inverted.

[Image: House del Lugar coat]

House Gonzalez

This clan controls the woodlands south of the Rio Frio, and has strong interests in Las Chambas, where the leading families reside. Of the native elven clans, it is the most involved in trade, controlling part of the trade route to Renardy. They feud with House de Morales and the trade guilds over control of the mainland trade routes, and often have open positions for traders, caravaneers and caravan guards.

Coat of arms: azure a castle argent.

[Image: House Gonzalez coat]

House Ramirez

This clan controls Pueblo Real and the woodlands of northern Torreón. As far as Torreóner noble houses go, House Ramirez nobles can be considered the most compassionate. Certainly, they are the only ones that at least show some concern for the lower classes (including the Otzil natives) and the Afflicted. House Ramirez has strong interest in the exploitation of Torreón’s forests, and most of the Torreóner lumber comes from the Ramirez holdings. The leaders of House Ramirez are aware of the Kingdom of Fey, and try to enroll the faeries in a campaign against their sworn enemies, Los Bandidos de la Pineda. Up to now, they have not reported any success.

Coat of arms: argent an eagle vert.

[Image: House Ramirez coat]

3.3.2 Non-native Elven Houses

These elves came from either Thyatis or other Baronies, most notably Narvaez. The native elves consider them as guarantors of the human-elf alliance in Torreón.

House de Montoya

House de Montoya is simply a collection of exiled elves from Montoya, a region of Narvaez that enjoyed a short-lived independence. Fiercely loyal to their leader, Don Augusto, these elves are mostly nationalists, but willing to deal with humans. They serve to bridge the interests of the native elven clans and those of the human colonists. House de Montoya prefers elven retainers, and is closely allied with House de Torreón. It maintains good relations with most elven clans, except House del Lugar. House de Montoya is opposed to the Alcazar and Morales families, but also to House de Villavieja, which supports House de Torreón, because the Villavieja believe they deserve a higher status than the Montoya.

Coat of arms: argent a castle azure, on a chief azure ten oak leaves argent in fess throughout.

[Image: House de Montoya coat]

House de Casanegra

This clan comes from Thyatis and is related to the Belcadiz clan of Glantri. The Casanegra elves are one of the most religious clans of Torreón – their leader is also the Lord of the Judge’s Court. They hold the lands east of Las Rocallas, between the Tower of Casanegra and the Bastión de los Caballeros. The Casanegra are allied with House de Villavieja, but have been careful not to support them too much, and so their relations with the Alcazar family are neutral. They oppose the rebellious Morales family, however, and are trying to impose some order on Ciudad Morales. House de Casanegra employs retainers chosen among the followers of the Judge, and most of their retainers actually work in some government capacity – especially in the police force of Ciudad Morales. However, these are usually dangerous and poorly rewarded jobs.

Coat of arms: a tower sable on a field d’argent.

[Image: House de Casanegra coat]

3.3.3 Ispan Houses

The Ispan Houses are the descendants of the Ispan colonists and adventurers that founded the baronies of Torreón, Morales and Alcazar.

House de Torreón

The ruling house of Torreón has only two members who can claim rights to royalty, Doña Isabel and Doña Rosa. A few other Torreón exist, but they are cut off the inheritance line for various reasons, mostly related to being unable to demonstrate a legitimate lineage – the old Barons had many illegitimate descendants. The House of Torreón chooses its retainers on the base of loyalty and fighting prowess. Its interests and resources merge seamlessly with the national interests and resources of Torreón.

Coat of arms: per pale bendy sinister or and gules and bendy gules and or16.

House de Alcazar

This was the ruling House of the Barony of Alcazar, and still holds much land around Puebla de Alcazar. The power of this House has waned considerably since several holdings were confiscated by the Baroness after the assassination of her father. To compensate, House de Alcazar made a massive effort of prospecting mining sites in Terra Vermelha, and now holds a large share of the Compañia Nacional das Minas. House de Alcazar is a good employer, on the short term, as it offers rich, if dangerous, contracts on expeditions to Terra Vermelha and has few prejudices. There is also a Torreóner branch of the Alcazar family, descendants of Luis de Alcazar, brother of the first Baron of Alcazar. The two branches are not especially close.

Coat of arms: or three towers gules.

[Image: House de Alcazar coat]

House de Morales

This house is now composed only of members of secondary or illegitimate branches of the Morales family, since the main branch died out at the time of the Morales Succession War. While the House has lost all control of the lands of Morales, it still retains a considerable influence in Ciudad Morales, since it controls, directly or through loyal retainers, most of the trading activities of the town. The House de Morales is the most active opposition to the current ruler, even though they have yet to attempt an assassination – mostly because the leaders do not wish to see Torreón in the hands of the elves. House de Morales is a likely patron for Torreóner thieves – both because it needs a large number of spies for its political activities, and because it is competing hard with the Thieves’ Guild of Ciudad Morales. The Houses of Morales and Alcazar sometimes work together, especially against House de Villavieja.

Coat of arms: argent, within a bordure sable a tree vert.

[Image: House de Morales coat]

House de Villavieja

This Ispan house was founded by an advisor of the Barons of Morales who sided with Torreón in the Morales Succession War. House Villavieja is still on very bad terms with House de Morales and House Alcazar, and the Baroness plays the Ispan houses against each other easily. The Villavieja control the village bearing the family name, which they founded on lands taken from the Morales by Hernan de Torreón. Villavieja retainers mostly come from the Judge’s Court, as the family has a close alliance with that temple and with the House of Casanegra.

Coat of arms: quartered first and fourth bendy or and gules second and third azure a quill or.

[Image: House de Villavieja coat]

3.4 Guilds

Guilds in Torreón regulate the most fruitful commercial activities – or, at least, those not monopolized by the noble houses. In addition to mercenary services, these include mining and prospecting, overland trade, and metalworking. The well known Guild of Swordmakers, and some less powerful organizations such as the Guild of Armorers, control the production and trade of weapon and armor (and most red steel items), setting quality standards and prices. These guilds are associations of professionals, but tend to be very aggressive – it is simply impossible to encroach on the trade monopoly of the Swordmakers without provoking an immediate response. The guilds will use any means, legal or not, to force competitors out of the market.

Overland trade and mining are controlled by the Compañía Nacional das Minas and the Compañía Comercial dos Llanos Verdes. Several noble houses have controlling interests in these companies, including the Torreón, Alcazar, Morales and Gonzalez families. The Compañia Nacional das Minas has a chartered monopoly over mining activities in eastern Torreón and Terra Vermelha, while the Compañía Comercial dos Llanos Verdes shares control of the trade route to Renardy with House Gonzalez and the Guilde Marchande Renardoise17.

In addition to the legal guilds, a Thieves’ Guild exists in Ciudad Morales and a group of bandits haunts the woods of La Pineda, as described in the notable characters section. Both are rather unsavory, and have close ties with the Bleak League, a Hulean crime syndicate.

A small network of Friends of Freedom also exists in northern Torreón, and enjoys some support from liberal nobles of House Ramirez. The Friends of Freedom keep loose ties with some Flame Inheritors, but are opposed to Los Bandidos de La Pineda.

3.5 Other Organizations

The Inheritor Orders stay out of the Torreóner countryside, as the Inheritors are hated by the local peasants and by the Afflicted. Some Ruby Inheritors and Crimson Inheritors live in Ciudad Morales and Ciudad de León, working as ambassadors of their Orders to the Torreóner Houses. A few Flame Inheritors occasionally wander into Torreón as well.

Swordplay is very popular with Torreóners, though most prefer longswords to rapiers. However, the Dominguez school is native to the barony, and many Torreóners learn Dominguez fencing, or the Cavalcante style from Texeiras, which well suits the emphasis on strength that most Torreóner warriors have. Moncorvo is popular only among Swashbuckler thieves and wizards, while the Verdegild school is almost unknown, though one teacher can be found in the General’s Army. In Torreón, the Dominguez school is a real organization, not simply a collection of swordsmen using the same style. Torreóner followers of the Dominguez school share a veritable veneration for the old master, Juan Josè Dominguez. Followers of this style can often find help (within reason) from fellow swordsmen, including lodging and assistance in duels.


The Barony of Torréon is described in the Voyage of the Princess Ark series, as well as in the Red Steel, Savage Baronies, and Savage Coast campaign books.

Several characters are taken from other fan works. Specifically, Ponce Linares and Xavier Marreras are Christian Constantin’s creation (see “The Bleak League”). The Torreóner temples are inspired to the temples in Solmyr’s Savage Coast–Birthright conversion. Last, Dame Arlène is modeled on a dog I knew.


B. Heard, “Savage Baronies”, Voyage of the Princess Ark series, Dragon Magazine 174

T. Beach and B. Heard, “The Savage Coast Campaign Book”, TSR 1996

C. Constantin, “The Bleak League”,

Aleksei Andrievski, Savage Coast Birthright Conversion,

Á. Pires dos Santos and G. Agosta, “A Timeline of the Oltec Man”,


[Table: Baronia de Torreon]

Baronía de Torreón

Surface: 7,000 square miles

Capitol: Ciudad de Leon (7,400)

Population: 89,000 (elves 30%, half-elves 20%, humans 45%, others 5%)

Military: 4,200 (plus mercenary companies)

Navy: none

Religion: Faña, also The Judge and The General


Hernan I de Torreón, 941–965

Carlos de Torreón y Morales, 965–983

Hernan II de Torreón y Morales, 983–992

Isabel de Torreón y Morales, 992–

[Table 1: The Army of Torreón]

Heavy Infantry


Light Infantry








Cavalry (Medium & Heavy)











[Sidebar: Kingdom of Fey]

The Kingdom of Fey

While the human inhabitants of Torreón, and even most of the elves, may be unaware of this, a large, if dwindling, Faerie kingdom lays deep in La Pineda, a forest of evergreen trees north-west of Ciudad Morales.

The Kingdom of Fey has been there for much longer than anyone else, including the Otzil and the elves of Torreón. However, while once Fey covered a large forest up to the Rio Guadiana, including parts of today's Torreón and Cristobal, goblinoid invasions and human encroaching have reduced its territory to the deeper woods of La Pineda.

Sidhe King Rhuannach mab Gwyr (Sidhe m F13/W15, TN) rules over an unknown number of Faeries, currently divided into two factions: the original dwellers of the Kingdom of Fey, who shy from direct action against (or in favor) of the neighbouring humans and elves, and the exiles of the Faerie Kingdom of Minuar in the Dark Wood18. This second group advocates intervention in the external world, lest the events should take Fey unaware as it happened with Minuar.

[Sidebar: Los Banditos de La Pineda]

Los Banditos de La Pineda

This group of bandits is based somewhere in the deeps of La Pineda. It is composed by a variable mix of Torreóner rogues, humanoids from the Yazak Steppes, Hulean agents of the Marmureg Tiger and other renegades of various origin.

Usually, the band includes 20 or so low level fighters (F1-3) and a likely number of thieves (Bandit T1-3), and a dozen mid- to high-level characters of various classes, including two priests and a wizard.

[Sidebar: The Thieves' Guild of Ciudad Morales]

The Thieves' Guild of Ciudad Morales

Just like Los Banditos, the Thieves' Guild is also under the control of the Marmureg Wing of the Bleak League. It is a rather small guild, and it concentrates its activity in Ciudad Morales and the neighboring villages. Some attempts have been performed to gain a foothold in Ciudad de Leon, but the police forces there are too well-organized and the effort may not be worth the gain. The Thieves Guild includes some 20 thieves of varied levels and various inclinations -- pickpockets, burglars, fences and simple thugs.


[Image: Torreon]

Thomas Moran, Valley of Curenavaca, 1903. Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons.

[Image: Don Juan Jose Dominguez]

Anthony von Dyck, Alvaro de Bazan y Benavides, ca 1631. Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons.

[Image: Dona Isabel]

Isidoro Lozano, Isabel II de Espana, XIX century. Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons.

[Image: The Morales Succession War]

Francisco de Paula Van Halen, La batalla de las Navas de Tolosa, 1864. Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons!Battle_of_Las_Navas_de_Tolosa.jpg

[Image: Dona Rosa]

Francisco Prats y Velasco, La reina Berenguela de Castilla, 1850. Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons.

[Image: Dona Pilar]

Raymond Monvoisin, Jean d’Arc, ca 1843. Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons.,_Raymond_-_Juana_de_Arco_-ost_142x101_PVergara_f02.jpg

[Image: Don Hernan de Torreon]

Manuel Miranda y Rendon, El rey Sancho Garces IV de Sobrarbe, 1862. Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons.

[Image: Don Felipe]

Gerard ter Borch, Portrait of a Spanish nobleman, ca 1648. Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons.,_c._1648.jpg

[Image: Torreoner Mercenaries]

Diego Velazquez, The surrender of Breda, ca 1635. Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons

[Image: Judge’s Court coat]
Original work by author made with Drawshield (

[Image: General’s Army coat]
Original work by author made with Drawshield, re-drawn by Robin D.

[Image: House de Leon coat]
Original work by author made with Drawshield (

[Image: House de Chiquitin coat]
Original work by author made with Drawshield (

[Image: House del Lugar coat]
Original work by author made with Drawshield (

[Image: House de Gonzalez coat]
Original work by author made with Drawshield (

[Image: House de Ramirez coat]
Original work by author made with Drawshield (

[Image: House de Montoya coat]
Original work by author made with Drawshield (

[Image: House de Casanegra coat]
Original work by author made with Drawshield (

[Image: House de Alcazar coat]
Original work by author made with Drawshield (

[Image: House de Morales coat]
Original work by author made with Drawshield (

[Image: House de Villavieja coat]
Original work by author made with Drawshield (

1In the maps, this town is called “Ciudadela” rather than “Ciudad”, which is the name used in the Savage Baronies sourcebook. I’m using the latter name, although it could be argued that the “Ciudadela” was the original settlement which grew into a larger “Ciudad”.

2The Otzil were a culture descended from the ancient “Oltec Man”, which settled the area around 3500 BC. See “A Timeline of the Oltec Man” [] for more details.

3As did most Montoya dwarves.

4The Immortal known as Vanya in Thyatis.

5The others are the House of Chiquitin, House Ramirez, House del Lugar and House Gonzalez.

6The Judge is known as Tarastia or Pax Bellanica elsewhere.

7Depending on the origin of the Belcadiz in your campaign, Don Felipe could be a Belcadiz who left Glantri at the time of the Light of Rad, or a descendant of Belcadiz elves who did not go to Glantri, but remained in the south.

8The General is the Guardiano name for Thor.

9This happened half a millennium ago, and even the youngest of these adventurers is now dead.

10See PC1 “Tall Tales of the Wee Folk” or the Mystara Monster Manual Compilation by Robin D. [], page 1771, for more information on Pookas.

11This is the distinguishing mark of the Marmureg Wing adepts.

12In this article, I follow the version of the Red Curse stated in the AD&D 2e material -- Red Steel and Savage Coast Campaign Book. Some adaptation is needed to use it with the Voyage of the Princess Ark version of the setting.

13With an average of 60 mercenaries per company.

14Otzitiotl, that is Ixion.

15While it may seem unlikely that an Immortal allows his followers to persecute each other, the following considerations must be taken into account. First, the Ixion priests in Narvaez are vastly under the influence of the Narvaezan Fiends, as reported in the Savage Coast Monstrous Compendium Appendix. Second, an Immortal may have followers of different alignments, which could easily engage in conflict with each other. Some Immortals even foster such rivalries for their own purposes (e.g., consider the rivalry between the Kin and the Preceptors in Ylaruam), which may include strengthening the followers or radicalizing them. Finally, one should consider that the events in this area may be below the threshold of attention for an Immortal with vast numbers of followers such as Ixion, and that, in Mystara, an Immortal is not in danger of losing power unless he or she is fully deprived of followers, an event which is all but unthinkable for Ixion.

16Red (garnet) and yellow diagonal stripes, originally published in Dragon Magazine issue #181, page 47, see also the Savage Coast coat of arms reproduced by Átila Pires dos Santos in the Vault of Pandius:

17An organization of Renardois merchant for protection of their rights in foreign trade.

18This Faerie Kingdom was destroyed by the Master of Hule and his undead and goblinoid servants when the Master decided to invade the Dark Wood.