Sunday, November 22, 2009

Dragon Army Part 2

Well now it was decision time. Rather than write a dungeon and railroad the party down it. I generated a list of rumors and presented it to the players. We could have role played collecting them from Bards gate, but for my players is usually speedier to hand them a list. I make the rumors sufficiently obscure so no direct information is given away. Here is the list:

Rumors of lost cities:

The Elves speak of the “City of Ferns” believed to be somewhere in the Northern forests. This City is said to be the home of several giant creatures including badgers, frogs, turtles wasps and beetles. The local is said to be a deep valley set within towering crags. In some versions of the story the streams of the valley ran into a lake with a whirlpool, which was its only outlet. In other versions a river ran into the valley and disappeared into a mountain. The last travelers known to have come from the valley died about nine centuries ago. A copy of the diary of these travelers is known to have existed in two of the Elven strongholds that were overrun by the northern army, the fleeing Elves did not bring either copy with them so they now are passing the tale on in oral story.

Another book now lost to the Elves because they had to flee spoke of a city of Mind Flayers in
the Underdark. Many centuries past a horde of Dark Elves succeeded in so damaging parts of the city that the Mind Flayers withdrew to another plane. At that time the Drow came into possession
of several artifacts which even they did not fully comprehend. One of those called a “Plane Cube” is said to be capable of moving a large number of creatures from one plane to another all at the same time.

“The Golden Plateau” was once home of the ancient religious shrine to Corellon Larethian. Only a century ago it was over run by red dragons. The dragons are still using the area for
nesting. It is located far away, beyond the route the Gypsies take. It is
rumored in the Human taverns of Bard’s Gate that a few of the Elves now living
in the city visited the plateau before it was overrun.

“Brigadoon” a city located somewhere in the hills South of Bard’s Gate. Rumored to appear only when celestial objects are in the correct alignment. It is said to be the home of powerful sorcerers who posses lost artifacts. There is a book belonging to a wizard in Bard’s Gate which is reputed to have come from there.

Rumors about known Cities and the routes to reach them:
The trade route over the pass: The gypsies are quoted as saying: ” We are willing to take you the one way but you must make your own way back. There are things up in the pass, which have power over us, we do as they say or we will not be allowed to travel there. We can travel the pass only as long as we can keep the passengers blindfolded through certain parts. If the secrets of the pass are ever revealed to those outside our blood we will not be allowed to go that way again. “ Humans in Bard’s gate agree that those who have gone without the Gypsies have never returned to Bard’s Gate. A few who have gone with the gypsies have come back by way of Port Saskatoon. The merchant Rupert is the best known of these few.

Port Saskatoon lies to the south of Bard’s Gate. It is commonly reached by caravan through hills that harbor bandits. Caravans go both ways and they are usually looking for guards but do not pay very well. It is rumored that if you must take a ship out of the port you should make arrangements to pay off the organization of pirates known as the “ Skull Society “ also known in more polite company as the “Secret Society” or simply as “SS.” The rumor continues that this group can be reached by consulting with the thieves’ guild.

Speculation from the Guards about the Northern Army:
The king’s griffins have made over flights of the northern army that is besieging the Dwarves. They say they have sited a few large probably ancient red dragons in proximity to the army, They speculate that one of them maybe in control of that army.

One of the items carried by the King’s man detected the aura of an artifact in the midst of the northern army. The guards think it was in the possession of one of the Gnoll leaders. The guards
speculate this maybe the artifact known as the Crown of Command or the Scepter of Ruling either artifact could allow its owner to command a very large following. The artifact that made this determination is rumored to be the “Sword of the Rites of St. Cuthbert.”

A massive avalanche was witnessed by the over flight. The avalanche buried many of the army.
The Army was spotted digging in the avalanche, a greater number of undead are now believed to
be in that army. There is speculation that avalanche was the work of the Dwarven high priest Thorwin the Grumbler. Dwarves who have witnessed guards raising a toast to the Grumbler have welcomed the action. One dwarf went so far as to buy a round for the table of guards who drank to the high priest.

News or rumors from the alchemist who works at the Abby:

The Gnome enclave in Reme is working on a clockwork dog to substitute for a riding dog. They are hoping to make one capable of caring a load as large as a Dwarf.

Reakle one of the gnomes who live in Bard’s Gate was given a large pendulum operated clock by his father, Samess before that gnome left with the Gypsies. The use of the clock is that as long as the father is healthy the clock will keep perfect time, if it falters it means he is unwell, if it stops abruptly it indicates he has died. The clock is still keeping perfect time and it has been six months now since the father left. The son is making preparations to follow.

Many Gnomes are worried that the King will not be able to protect the human towns once the northern army turns it’s attention to them. A number of the Gnomes in Bard’s Gate are considering
traveling across the pass to found a new community. Some want to wait for word back trough Port Saskatoon that the trip was a success before going. The gnome Reakle Samesson has promised to
send them a message.

The party caucused and decided to head for the port town of Reme book a boat for the Northern Wilderness and gather more information on the City of Ferns. Not the obvious pick to my way of thinking, but that's why I let the players decide. I think the fact that the party had three elves and only one gnome may help explain.

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