I'll be kicking off a Hyperborea game sometime this week, and thought I'd record my ref notes, here. (Mostly for me, but also to share -- I don't think any of my players are on the forums. If you are, you're a sneaky bastard or a sly minx and shouldn't read this.)
PCs (all first level) include:
Katarria Naintos the Huntress: N Ranger (from Khromarium, but spends her time in the borderlands)
Vennor the Merciless: LE Cataphract (from the Brigands Bay area, but had to flee to Khromarium)
Riona Inghean Kiaran of the Bone Paw: N(C) Kimmeri-Kelt Witch-Doctor (tribe massacred in a clan war)
Silxa Rhletos the Silent: CE Assassin (from Khromarium, guild-member)
Xulldar Tarros the Alabaster: CE Pyromancer (from Khromarium, guild-member, albino)
Initial adventure will be an adaptation of James Boney's Idol of the Orcs, set in the coastal hill area to the west of Khromarium. Play will begin in a village located in those hills: Ketill Manor.
Population ~200, approximate 1 square mile of settled area
2 Noble Households (~25)
15 Businesses (~75)
20 Farming Households (~100)
1 Temple (primary: Xathoqqa - 4 clergy)
1 Shrine (Ullr - 2 clergy)
1 Reeve (Einarr Oddason, oathman to Lord Ketill)
Ketill Manor is ruled by Lord Ketill Hersteinsson, also known as Ketill the Spry or Lord Gouty (neither of these used to his face). Lord Ketill is an aging Viking well past his prime, now obese and prone to chronic flare-ups of gout which healers have been unable to cure. He has few household warriors (five, plus his Reeve, Einarr), these days, and is not well liked by the commoners of his estate, nor by the nobles of Khromarium. He has one (living) youthful son, Helgi Ketilsson (F1), and also boasts a pretty, young wife (a Kimmeri-Kelt).
One other noble household is established, here, that of Fell Dilltos, who has given his oath to Lord Ketill. Lord Dilltos is better liked: he is younger, more attractive, and dresses and speaks well. He is also quite well off, and a sly, scheming bastard. (Think Littlefinger from GoT, but not as influential.)
Bookbinder (!) (Tullrahn)
Tavern: The Doomed Minotaur (Vonnrhil) - so named for a cracked "minotaur" skull over the door (actually a bull's skull)
There is no Inn, so hospitality must be sought among the households of the settlement. There is no smith-for-hire: such tasks are handled by the farmers or by individuals serving the noble households. Several of the businesses in Ketill Manor have connections in Khromarium, proper, but few of the businesses are very prosperous.
Main Hook: Lord Ketill has sent word that he needs assistance. Several outlying farmsteads on his manor have been raided by brigands during the night. He believes the brigands are hiding in the hill-caves farther to the west. He will reward those who can bring the brigands to justice. Due to his unpopularity, little help has been offered, so the PCs are among the few who have answered his plea.
Ref notes on main hook: The situation is a bit more dire than Lord Ketill has publicly broadcast. The farms were not simply raided: all the members of two farmsteads disappeared on two separate nights. No bodies. Ketill is unwilling to send his last men in search of the raiders (who are not mere brigands, but orcs hiding in a cave system), but believes he maneuvered Fell Dilltos into risking his resources, instead. Fell Dilltos hired a group of mercenaries for this purpose, and sent them into the hills with orders to do nothing except secretly leave the area; Dilltos is trying to make Ketill look bad and increase his unpopularity while seeming to be shouldering the responsibility for the manor's defense. Unknown to him, Fell Dilltos's sell-swords have not left the area: they are also hiding in the hills in a ruin they discovered.
Of the PCs, Vennor the Cataphract and Katarria the Ranger are the only two who have come to answer the call for assistance without other motives, although they have also heard rumors associated with the area. Vennor has heard that gold veins can be found in the caves of these hills. Katarria has heard that in times before the Green Death, the masters of these hills worshiped demons.
Riona the Witch-Doctor has been led here by visions. Her tribe (of the Two Cat Clan) was massacred by the warriors of the Black Boar tribe, in part because her visions showed her a lioness triumphing over a great, evil-looking pig. After her tribe's defeat, she was cast out by the survivors, and her visions led her south to the place where the stone-dwellers live. She continues to dream about the lioness slaying the boar, but now that she has arrived in the stone-dwellers place, the spirits have been silent. She bides her time and waits, hoping for more visions from the spirits.
During his studies in the Guild libraries, Xulldar the Pyromancer came across the fragment of an old journal which described a magical chalice of great potency. It notes that the chalice can be found within a cave system in these hills. The journal's author spoke of failing to recover the cup (which gave drinkers increased magical potency) from the "servants of The Gern," but of returning to "his tower" with a "prize of a different sort." When Xulldar heard that Lord Ketill sought help with brigands hiding in the hills, he seized upon it as his chance to find and recover the magic chalice.
Lastly, Silxa the Assassin has been sent to Ketill Manor on a guild mission: she is to slay a man named Dallsamm the Clothier. The guild provided her with a vial of digestive poison to use, if she chooses. She travels in the guise of a sell-sword answering Lord Ketill's call for assistance. (Unknown to any save the guild masters, this assassination was commissioned by Qannsamm the Tailor, who secretly hates Dallsamm.) While she wishes to complete her mission, Silxa is also pleased to be out from under the direct influence of the Guild, and would welcome an opportunity to line her pockets with recovered bringand-plunder, if the risk looks to be a good bet.
The PCs can recruit help from within the settlement. There are up to nine able-bodied farmers and farmers' sons who are willing to take action against the threat if they feel comfortable with the leadership and think their families will be taken care of if the worst should occur. If the PCs lack funds to recruit, Fell Dilltos will step in with an offer of silver "for the good of the people."
Dill, F0, MV 40, AC 8 (padded), FA 0, HP 3, AT 1, SV 16, ML 9, spear (1-6)
Ralltai, F0, MV 40, AC 7 (leather), FA 0, hp 5, AT 1, SV 16, ML 9, spear (1-6)
Zarr, F0, MV 40, AC 8 (padded), FA 0, hp 5, AT 1, SV 16, ML 9, axe (1-6)
Qarr, F0, MV 40, AC 8 (padded), FA 0, hp 3, AT 1, SV 16, ML 9, axe (1-6)
Renn, F0, MV 30, AC 5 (mail), FA 0, hp 6, AT 1, SV 16, ML 9, sword (1-8/1-10)
Xill, F0, MV 40, AC 7 (leather), FA 0, hp 4, AT 1, SV 16, ML 9, wood axe (1-8)
Nillconn, F0, MV 40, AC 8 (padded), FA 0, hp 6, AT 1, SV 16, ML 9, spear (1-6)
Gill, F0, MV 40, AC 8 (padded), FA 0, hp 3, AT 1, SV 16, ML 9, axe (1-6)
Ullgisl Bleiksson, F0, MV 30, AC 5 (mail) FA 0, hp 6, AT 1, SV 16, ML 9, sword (1-8/1-10)
In addition, Helgi Kettilsson wants to go, but has been forbidden by his father. PCs might be able to convince Kettill (unlikely) or convince Helgi to disobey (much easier). If Helgi accompanies them and dies, Ketill will be most wroth.
Last edited by Philotomy (9/14/2016 1:14 am)