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11/10/2015 9:35 pm  #1

The Blackmarshes and Beyond:


Well I started pondering on a location within Hyperborea to focus my adventures and had downloaded a Setting called "Blackmarsh," by Robert S. Conley. This I greatly enjoyed, but how to make it function within the floating cap of Hyperborea.

I basically rewrote his text, making Hyperboreans from the Elves and changing the plot to suit Hyperborea...

Next I reshaped the south-east coast of Hyperborea, to locate the Blackmarsh map supplied by the Setting...

Also remodelling the maps supplied by the Setting to suit Hyperborea.

Edit: Removing flawed pictures.


Last edited by Caveman (6/26/2020 2:12 am)


11/10/2015 9:46 pm  #2

Re: The Blackmarshes and Beyond:

Blackmarsh and the Southlands and Beyond:

There is land around the Blackmarsh, the Southlands and the frozen mountains to north and west.

This is the Blackmash's map (Closer version)...

This is the Southland Map:  Here for Maps:

Last edited by Caveman (6/26/2020 2:30 am)

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11/10/2015 10:11 pm  #3

Re: The Blackmarshes and Beyond:

Map of North and West of Blackmarsh:

Redo West and North Map (Sorted forests, and added some text and ruins): https://www.flickr.com/photos/nialldubh/22967285065/in/album-72157660656424710/

Old North and West Map:

Last edited by Caveman (11/12/2015 11:59 am)

     Thread Starter

11/10/2015 10:16 pm  #4

     Thread Starter

11/10/2015 10:26 pm  #5

Re: The Blackmarshes and Beyond:

Blackmarsh's Chronology:

TU: Time Unknown.

Blackmarsh Events from the time of the Ashen Worm to the present.

c. -TU BC Æ: Hyperboreans flee to their retreats in the Spiral Mountain Array.
c. -TU BC Æ: Separation of Hyperborea from 'Old Earth.'
c. -TU BC Æ: Land thaws; but Hyperboreans still remain within their mountain lairs.
c. -TU BC Æ: Savage tribes of Old Earth find their way to Hyperborea and progress.
c. -TU BC Æ: Hyperboreans return to their old cities and estates.
c. -TU BC Æ: Time of 'The Mountain that Fell,' within the region of the Black Castle.
c. -TU BC Æ: Hyperboreans of Castle Blackmarsh fight strange dæmonic and fell creatures and eventually after a century and a half sent them into hiding in the dark places of the world.
c. -TU BC Æ: Most Hyperboreans succumb to lotus dreams, the other Human tribes expand, populating the land.
c. -TU BC Æ: Many Hyperborean generations pass....
c. -TU BC Æ: Warning from some of the Hyperboreans who fled back to their retreats in the Spiral Mountain Array of a menace of foreboding and death.
c. -425 BC Æ: 'Green Death,' comes and near destroys 90% of life on Hyperborea. Some Hyperboreans who woke from their lethargic sleep in Blackmarsh managed to take refuge in their vaults, though had to leave many to die in their haste.
c. -425 BC Æ: Dark Age begins...
c. -411 BC Æ: Kelts, Kimmeri-Kelt (Ostrobards) and Kimmerians came from inland through the passes and from the sea came Viking to raid or to settle the land they named Vasa.
c. -388 BC Æ: Petty wars occurred between some of the Human tribes (mostly created by the savage Ostrobards) until Geran Blackoak, a Kimmerian Ranger brought a certain kind of peace and at least mutual cooperation.
c. -225 BC Æ: Savage tribes claim Khromarium.
c. -215 BC Æ: A strange magical substance called alzarém is found in Blackmarsh attracting adventurers from near and far.
c. -198 BC Æ: Dwarves move into the area searching for alzarém.
c. -171 BC Æ: Orc tribes secretly move into the hills and mountains around Blackmarsh.
c. -125 BC Æ: Pirates and freebooters wrest control of Zangerios Islands.
c. -50 BC Æ: Viking resettle New Vinland.
c. 1 C Æ (Genesis): Dark Age ends.
c. 6 C Æ (H.S. Waxing):  Blackmarsh begin sea-trade with Khromarium.
c. 19 C Æ (H.S. Waxing):  Blackmarsh begin sea-trade with Vikings of Vikland, New Vinland and and Zangerios.
c. 58 C Æ (H.S. Waxing):  An other of migration of Kelts moved into Blackmarsh and some continued onwards into the Southlands.
c. 60 C Æ (Drought):  Vikings of Vasa keep raiding and trading, throughout the Grey Sea.
c. 203 C Æ (Drought): Keltic Gal established.
c. 273 C Æ (Nightfall): A ship of over a hundred Atlanteans made their way into Smoking Bay and into the Lanis River and took refuge in a nameless salt-watered lake with three islands in it.
c. 273 C Æ (Nightfall): Atlanteans scouts attempting to explore the Smoking Bay were lost and gain a small underwater mount, they were lucky to harvest alzarém which supported them with there underwater activities.
c. 376 C Æ (V. Equinox): Lanis River lighthouse abandoned.
c. 383 C Æ (H.S. Waxing): The 'Shattering,' battle and war rage throughout the Blackmarsh and Southlands, dæmons and their allies arouse.
c. 385 C Æ (Drought): Viking invade Gal City.
c. 386 C Æ (Tranquillity): Keltic retake Gal City from Viking invaders.
c. 433 C Æ (V. Equinox): The 'Shattering,' the 50 year war raged and seemed unstoppable, dæmons and their allies, Bird-men, Orcs and Rurasin berserkers savages swarmed the land, causing many of the tribes to flee in terror. It was only with a united effort from the free tribes that they forced their way back into power.
c. 434 C Æ (Tempest): The 'Shattering,' broke the Hyperboreans council's power. Alliances with other tribes was needed, especially with the Wardens. But it was now a struggle to maintain order. Monsters roamed the land freely and without restraint. The meagre forces of the Hyperboreans, Wardens and the devastated tribes could not contain the danger without.
c. 452 C Æ (A. Equinox):  Treaty is formed with the Vikings of Vasa to stop raiding and   be content with trading, most are, but a group of Viking renegades reject such a proposal and sailed with their families east across the Grey sea to establish haven from which to raid from and continue their “auld ways!”
c. 454 C Æ (Coda):  With the treaty  formed, the Vikings of Vasa change their name to the “Grand Kingdom; Province of Vasa.” To celebrate their more civilized ways.
c. 473 C Æ (Deluge): Hyperborean Magician named Atacyl Oathbinder attempted to take power in Castle Blackmarsh and take it as his own.
c. 477 C Æ (Tranquillity): Atacyl Oathbinder controls Castle Blackmarsh and commit multiple atrocities in his quest for ultimate power.
c. 517 C Æ (A. Equinox):  Atacyl Oathbinder loses power and his life, followers secure his body and secretly take him to a hidden place where they convert him into a vampire. Atacyl kills half the enclave and flees.
c. 532 C Æ (Coda): Atacyl is killed in the dungeons below Lanis River lighthouse by a group of adventurers.
c. 525 C Æ (Deluge): Dwarves of Bolzak open their doors at their holdings at Oldan Hold to instigate friendly relationships with the Humans of Blackmarsh.
c. 559 C Æ (Nightfall):  Savage tribes sack Swampgate and raid streets of Khromarium.
c. 572 C Æ (Nightfall):  Savage tribes sack Swampgate but are repelled at Khromarium wall.
c. 575 C Æ (V. Equinox):  Viking brutally raid Khromarium, Erikssgard claims raid was unsanctioned.
c. 576 C Æ (Tempest):  Present day.

Last edited by Caveman (12/09/2015 10:43 am)

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11/11/2015 6:43 am  #6

Re: The Blackmarshes and Beyond:

Castle Blackmarch

Castle Blackmarsh (0913), Pop: 1,294, of which is 823 Hyperborean, 471 mixed; Align N; Ruler: Lord Tyrilas Graax, Warlock 9, N; Resource: Market.

Castle Blackmarsh is the largest settlement in the Blackmarsh region.  It was originally founded by the Hyperboreans many thousand of years ago when Hyperborea was still once part of Old Earth and served as the main port and watchpost against any who would approach from the lands further to the south-east. It also hosted various settlements and conclaves of Magicians and Warlocks.  It was ruled by a Lord of the leading Family appointed by the spokesman from each Family and advised by a council of users of magic and merchants. 
It survived the fall the coming of the Ashen Worm and the time of the 'The Mountain That Fell,' and of the 'Shattering,' and became an independent city-state dominating the settlements along the southern shore of the Smoking Bay.  As the lands flooded around the castle and the economic decline caused most of the outlying settlements to be abandoned shorty after.  The mages established themselves in Castle Blackmarsh, forming a conclave in the castle. 

The Hyperboreans dominated the city-state for many centuries, but occasionally allied with the other Sub-Human cultures to defeat common threats and allowing some to enter the city and reside.  In that time the population of the town stabilized and found a small amount of prosperity as adventurers entered Blackmarsh searching for alzarém. Still the town could probably support six to eight thousand People and many streets and sewer tunnels have been walled to keep vermin at bay, with no plan to develop or clean the city, it has in places fallen into ruin with who knows what strange creatures lurking there.

A century ago, an ambitious Hyperborean Magician named Atacyl Oathbinder manoeuvred his way into control of the council.  He seized absolute control of Castle Blackmarsh and ruled as a tyrant for several decades.  It is rumoured that he accomplished this through a strange helmet capable of mind control. His attempt at empire building was thwarted. The Hyperboreans retook Castle Blackmarsh with a combined force of different magicks and Hyperborean Blackmarsh exiles. 

The Hyperborean Families retook control of the settlement and appointed a Lord at the head of the reformed council.  Castle Blackmarsh, the home of the Magician’s Conclave, was the site of many Atacyl’s experiments and magical researches.  Even after a century of rule, not all of the levels that Atacyl created have been explored.

Forty years ago, Atacyl reappeared as a vampire Magician and attempted to retake Castle Blackmarsh.  He was destroyed, supposedly, by a band of adventurers and his base at the old Lanis Lighthouse (see 0712) was purged.

Last edited by Caveman (11/11/2015 7:57 pm)

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11/11/2015 6:45 am  #7

Re: The Blackmarshes and Beyond:

Castle Blackmarsh Establishments

1) Blackmarsh Castle: The castle is currently under occupation by the original inhabitants of the place, and the four Hyperborean Families of Graax, Vheez, Shoon and Druun.  They maintain sole control to prevent former allies of Atacyl Oathbinder from gaining access to the lower levels.  They do not have the manpower to clear the dungeons. They will allow adventuring parties who have the recommendation of the Blackmarsh Rangers or the Temple of Ullr to enter.  The Hyperboreans have an arrangement with the Temple of Ullr to provide healing at good rates for those that require it.

2) Temple of Aurorus “The Shining One”: This once glorious temple to the God of Knowledge has fallen into decay.  The near destruction of the Society of Magician and Scholars by Actacyl has left little for donations to maintain the grounds and buildings.  Much of their income comes from charging for access to their extensive library of magic, legend, and lore.

3) Temple of Ullr: This temple was established soon after the fall of Actacyl.  With their allies, the Blackmarsh Rangers, they rid the town of the many magical traps, devices, and creatures left behind.  Since then they have been the most popular temple with the hall packed on holy days.  They actively seek out newcomers and encourage them to form adventuring parties.  They will either send them to the Hyperboreans to explore Castle Blackmarsh or into the surrounding countryside to respond to the many requests for aid.

4) Merry Legs Banquet Hall: This is the largest banquet hall in Castle Blackmarsh.  Unlike the Alzarém Lodge it is not exclusive and any adventuring party that is willing to pay its fees may make use of the main hall and the many private dining rooms.  It also makes suites of 3 to 4 rooms available to rent for groups needing a place to stay.  During the evening hours, merchants, caravan masters, and ship captains dine and drink in the main hall seeking business opportunities.  Starting an hour after sunset the floor show starts, it features singing bards, dancing wenches, and juggling fools.

5) The Scholar’s Inn: This is the largest inn in town.  It has an extensive library that is open to patrons.  It doesn’t have the depth of the library at the Temple of Aurorus “The Shining One,” but it has more current material.  Nearly half of the rooms are rented to what remains of the Blackmarsh Guild of Magicians.  Survivors of Actayl’s reign and the Hyperborean takeover have congregated here to restart the guild.  However, the town’s mistrust has hindered their recovery.

6) The Alzarém Lodge: This is a banquet hall open to members only.  Only elite explorers and adventurers are invited and the yearly fees are said to be ruinous.  However, membership gives access to information and lore found nowhere else.  The few that are invited gladly pay. 

7) Dax Brothers Outfitters Founded by two brothers five decades ago, this is the premier shop to buy equipment in the Blackmarsh region.  They import the best from the Grand Kingdom and beyond.  Their prices are 20% higher than normal, but the equipment’s quality gives a +1 or +5% bonus to dice rolls involving their use.  The Dax Brothers long passed away long ago and currently a large group of cousins are involved in running the store.  Many of them are overseas or scattered throughout the Blackmarsh region looking for the latest goods to bring back to the shop.

8) Emporium of the Strange and Arcane Not all Magicians in Blackmarsh struggled after the fall of Actacyl and the return of the Hyperborean Families.  Thil the Cowled proved himself an ally of the Hyperboreans and the Blackmarsh Rangers and became one of the first adventurers to become rich from exploring the dungeons beneath the castle.  After retiring from adventuring, he established the emporium to buy and trade magic items.  Now 102 years old, he leaves the day-to-day operation to his apprentices, but will still participate in negotiations for high value items.
Adventurers will find that there is an 80% chance that magic items worth 1,000 GP or lower can be found in stock.  For items up to 5,000 GP value there is a 20% chance of being in stock.  For more valuable items, these are auctioned off every quarter at the Alzarém Lodge.  For non-members there is a 1,000 GP entrance fee.

9) The Abrams Company John Abrams is the most successful ship magnate in the Blackmarsh region and one of the leading trading companies on the Grey Sea.  He owns over two dozen ships of various sizes, ranging from one-mast coasters to caravels capable of crossing the vast distances to the Zangerios and beyond (if needed?) or the City-State of Khromarium.  With a recommendation, he will let an adventuring party charter one of his ships.

10) The Blackmarsh Company of Adventurers The Company of Adventurers is largest company of caravanmasters in the Blackmarsh region.  They organize overland caravans to Greywood, the Duchy of the Ostrobards and into Southland. They can also go through the mountain passes inland to Kimmerian Steppes. Matthew Thanes is the latest Captain General to lead the company and is always on the lookout for new members to join as merchants, scouts, or guards.

11) The Company of Honourable Men Actacyl’s reign dispossessed many wealthy and noble inhabitants of Blackmarsh.  Driven into hiding, they attempted to strike back at the Oathbinder’s tyranny.  In subsequent decades their descendants became little better than a group of organized thugs.  Today, they gladly aid those who are discontented with the rule of the Hyperboreans while running their illicit operation for financial gain.

Last edited by Caveman (11/11/2015 8:06 pm)

     Thread Starter

11/11/2015 6:47 am  #8

Re: The Blackmarshes and Beyond:



Blackmarsh in the year 576 C Æ lies on the fringes of civilization, an isolated area of land located around a large bay on the western edge of the Grey Sea, a sheltered inlet off the Grey Coast.  For many, many thousands of years, the frontiers of the great Hyperborean nation encompassed this region until the Ashen Worm arouse and the Hyperboreans fled to their retreats in the Spiral Mountain Array. When at last the land thawed, some did returned to their ancestral homelands, but they eventually in time retreated in small numbers through the centuries back to their glorious city of Khromarium, leaving only a few families in control of the land. Then after the 'Green Death,' only a small enclave remained, surviving only by hiding in their vaults beneath the castle, leaving many to die in lethargic and helpless sleep  in their lotus-dreams.

The remaining Hyperboreans hide within their walls of their ancient Castle Blackmarsh till it was safe to return to the land above.  But a few outposts of other cultures survived and flourished after the coming of the 'Green Death,' and finding passes through the glaciated mountains amid the dangers of the encroaching wilderness, came Kelts and a few Kimmerian tribes and from the sea Viking came and settled the area and survived.  The Mountain That Fell: The bay that dominates Blackmarsh was created after the return of the Hyperboreans from their forced exile in their Spiral Mountain retreats by the disaster known as 'The Mountain That Fell.' Before the bay existence a great mountain dominated the land, but it sunk below the waves and only the great magic of the Hyperboreans stopped their castle which was known at the time as the 'Black Castle,' from being utterly destroyed in the process. Water rushed in and around what was left of the land as boiling clouds rushed out in all directions leaving a wasteland in its wake. This creating the marsh surrounding the castle and from then on, the land and castle was renamed Blackmarsh. After 'The Mountain That Fell,' strange and terrible monsters appeared in the surrounding wasteland. The Hyperboreans in the now Castle Blackmarsh, drove the fell creatures into hiding, and kept their land secure.  However, after further æons, their power is waning and the monsters have crept back into the dark corners of the wilderness.  Many speculate why the mountain sunk, some say that witnesses the event and survived attest to seeing a blazing meteorite shot from the skies and stuck the mountain. Others say that a creature from the deep vast and to horrible to behold pulled at the mountain's roots and sucked the mountain down, some say that it was both!

Æons have past since that time and a thousand years more after the 'Green Death,' and many farming communities had spread throughout the plains and forests between Blackmarsh and the 'White Mountains,' and the 'Frostgrims.' More Keltic cultures settled the northern Blackmarsh and some to the Southland (as known to the locals) close to the now formed Viking settlements of Vasaland. For a brief time the Peoples were united in an alliance and pushed back any threats from monsters or hostile tribes. Then near two hundred years ago (383 C Æ) disaster struck once more as the power of the Hyperboreans truly diminished, they collapsed after being defeated by strange powers from a unknown source in the cataclysmic battle known as 'The Shattering.'  Blackmarsh was near to being abandoned.  Left in the wake of the fleeing People's retreat was a patchwork of realms ruled by petty kings and tyrants.

Since the 'Shattering,' the frontier has slowly retreated.  In place of the ordered safety of the Hyperborean government, monsters, Maneaters, savages, and others increasingly roamed without restraint. In the present day, those who come to Blackmarsh are more interested in alzarém, killing monsters, or the strange artefacts left by 'The Mountain That Fell,' than establishing new settlements.

     Thread Starter

11/11/2015 6:49 am  #9

Re: The Blackmarshes and Beyond:

The only force that stands against the wilderness is the Blackmarsh Wardens.  Anyone who is willing to defend the land and its people are welcomed into their ranks.

The Reforming: 'The Mountain That Fell,' had left a strange and special gift; a powerful enhancing magic for those who could wield it. Near and far, those of learning and stout of heart discovered new powers to shape the world.  In the desolation around the Smoking Bay the adventurous found a strange source of power called 'alzarém,' magic in physical form.  And there was more, scattered amid the landscape were strange artefacts and stranger creatures that survived 'The Mountain That Fell.'  For a time Men, Dwarves, and even Orc scouting groups, and other strange and bizarre creatures braved the dangers and fought each other in the wastelands.  Then the Hyperboreans regained some of their strength and power hidden in their Castle Blackmarsh and rode out and expelled the feuding interlopers, drove the monsters out, and ruled the land once more.

Alzarém (Al'zar-eem): Alzarém is a magical substance, much like a metal-like substance that takes many forms (mostly crystallized).  It could be a meteorite nugget, or an iridescent rock; some rare souses of alzarém take other forms and can be found by those who know what to seek. What all these items have in common is they are infused with pure magic.  Alzarém can be used in the casting of spells or the creation of magic items.
Alzarém allows a user of magic to cast spells without losing it from memory.  The alzarém is consumed in the process.  One alzarém for a first level spell, two alzarém for a second level spell, three for a 3rd level spell and so on.  One alzarém is worth 100 gp towards the creation of a magic item.  The referee can use alzarém as treasure usable towards the creation of a magic item in place of giving out more gold pieces.  

The Wild North: To the north of Blackmarsh lies what the locals call the 'Wild North,' a cold land of dark fir and spruce, much like in the Black Forest Inlet, though these one are not as tall, being only about 200 ft tall. The mighty Belaya River runs through the heart of the land, wide and ferocious, raging down from the Frostgrims.  Scattered through the Wild North are isolated Human tribes called the Rurasin city-states, but they are small though savage groups, prone to battle lust and the need for slaughter (Berserkers or FightingMen CE); these People maybe a mixture of the Esquimaux Lapps, Tlingit and Yakuts that were defeated in New Vinland by the Vikings many years back and formed into aggressive tribes of the black firs. The good thing about their location, is most are trapped between two mighty surging rivers and cannot reach the tribes of the south and the Kelts of the north as they are not very good boatmen.

Last edited by Caveman (9/07/2017 1:40 pm)

     Thread Starter

11/11/2015 6:51 am  #10

Re: The Blackmarshes and Beyond:

Southland: Bordering Blackmarsh to the south is the region known as Southland.  It lies on the frontier of the Vasa Province of the Grand Kingdom (or Vasaland) and was recently opened for settlement. The Kingdom of Bolzak in the White Mountains is the birthplace of many Dwarves in Blackmarsh and they are not to be trusted.

Peoples: There are many distinct areas of Humans in Blackmarsh. The Ostrobards (treated as Common Humans and Kimmeri-Kelt) in the north are new to civilization, having shed their barbaric ways in the last century. There are the Humans along the south-west shores of the two bays running from Castle Blackoak in the west to Jorvik in the east. Then the Vasan Vikings (or the Vhalan) have four settlements along the eastern edge of Blackmarsh. They arrived here after they lost much of their homeland to changes in Vasa with the new Grand Kingdom. Finally, there is the Grand Kingdom which is starting to expand into Blackmarsh. There are also pure-blooded Kimmerians, and Kelts living in small groups within the area and of course the Hyperboreans of Castle Blackmarsh.

The Blackmarsh Wardens are a organization indigenous to the area and work from a central base deep within the Greywoods. They are mostly make of Rangers, Fighter and Scouts though other Classes do join.

The Aeries of the Raven, are an obnoxious tribe of Bird-Men that are not to found of being treated as slaves by any, problem is they still are a pack of cowards and use overwhelming number to win any battle. They live in the small forest north-east of the Tave Marches

Last edited by Caveman (11/19/2015 5:25 pm)

     Thread Starter

11/11/2015 6:55 am  #11

Re: The Blackmarshes and Beyond:


The aftermath of 'The Mountain That Fell,' has had a major impact on the region’s geography.  The impact caused many cracks and shifts in the land, forming the numerous swamps and estuaries of the region.  Even after many thousand years, and the best efforts of the Hyperboreans, much of the shoreline is a confusing maze of waterways.

Alhert Island
This long barrier island has little of note other than scrub and sand. The unique Pyrocantha bush grows in abundance here.  Its berries can be harvested in the fall and used to create a salve that when rubbed on armour gives a +1 bonus.  Unfortunately, the salve lasts only a single battle, but additional doses can be applied.  Multiple applications of the salve do not have an accumulative effect.

Dragonbone Peaks
The western slopes of these high mountains took the brunt of the debris ejected from the effects of 'The Mountain That Fell.'  The debris covers most of the valleys of western slopes.  In the centuries since, an extensive cavern system has formed.  It is believed the network extends for miles along the western edge of the mountain range.

Driftwood Isle
The currents of the Grey Sea caused this island to accumulate a large amount of driftwood as well as other objects from the wind and tide.  Along the south-east peninsula, the scattered remains of a ship can be found.  Beneath a pile of seaweed is a body of a young man dressed in the style of a high noble of the Grand Kingdom.  His hand clutches a necklace with the royal seal.

Lanis River
The Lanis River flows north from Southland and is three miles wide when it enters Blackmarsh.  The current is deep and slow and easily allows ships and barges to travel in both directions. Merchants travel between Castle Blackmarsh, Westguard and the Dwarven kingdom of Bolzak. Sometimes the occasional Renegade Vasan longship will try their luck raiding farther south.

Pendar Mountains
A spur of the White Mountains they connect a hundred miles to the north-west.  They are known for the numerous Cavemen tribes that inhabit the little explored mountain valleys. 

Rednut River
This river gets its name from the number of Rednut groves growing along its banks. The Rednut is considered a tasty delicacy by the inhabitants and animals of Blackmarsh. Every fall, the river surface is covered with floating rednuts as they drop from the trees. This has the unfortunate effect of attracting hippogriffs and griffins who swoop down and scoop them off the water. They are not above trying to take a more meaty bite from an unwary traveller on the river. 

Sandstone Island
The leeward side (facing Sheltered Bay) is a mass of sandstone that was heavily cracked from the crash of 'The Mountain That Fell.' There are numerous ravines, gullies, and chasms throughout the length of the island.  This is a favourite haunt for Vikings and pirates to hide their treasure.  Windward, it gradually fills in with sand until the beach dunes are reached.

Sheltered Bay
A chain of islands absorbs the brunt of any storm sweeping in from the Grey Sea.  It is also the only entrance into the Smoking Bay and the rest of Blackmarsh.  There is a 1 in 3 chance per day of encountering a ship entering or leaving the Smoking Bay.

Smoking Bay
'The Mountain That Fell,' created the Smoking Bay and for a century afterwards, pillars of steam rose from the waters and were seen for hundreds of miles away. The pillars of steam have since subsided, but the name remains. The sea bottom is a confusing maze of rubble with many areas unexplored. Many sea creatures have moved in to take advantage of the chaotic terrain to hide.

The Black Marshes
The impact of 'The Mountain That Fell,' fractured this region forming the marshes that give the area its name.  The marshes are fifteen miles north-south and over fifty miles east-west.  The impact left several large lakes connected by a confusing maze of waterways and bogs.  It offers a convenient place to hide for those who want keep their activities away from prying eyes.  The water is black in colour caused by the minerals leeching from the surrounding soil and vegetation.

The Crimson Hills
Over the centuries, numerous Orc tribes conquered and were conquered among these hills.  Their continual conflict has caused this region to be known as the Crimson Hills.  The two main tribes are the Bateaters (1911) and the Bloodcrushers (2207), but there are several smaller Orc clans and families hiding and hunting in the hills.

     Thread Starter

11/11/2015 6:58 am  #12

Re: The Blackmarshes and Beyond:

The Grey Sea
The Grey Sea is known for its storms, strong currents, treacherous reefs, and superb fishing grounds.  After the collapse of the Hyperborean rule reavers, Vikings and pirates dominated the waters, but the rise of the Grand Kingdom of Vasa has largely brought peace to the Grey Sea.  Only the renegade Vasan Vikings and a few pirate ships remain to challenge the might of the Grand Kingdom’s navy.

The Greywoods
Over a thousand Wardens make their home in this forest. The forest gets its name from the Grey Ash trees, whose seeds in the fall, dry into a grey ash like colour. The seeds littering the forest floor remind the Wardens of the wasteland that once existed here in the aftermath of 'The Mountain That Fell.'  The ash seeds are also a potent source of alzarém, jealously guarded by the Wardens for their own use.

The Tave Marshes
Unlike the Black Marshes there are not many lakes in the Tave Marshes. Instead, there is a network of estuaries connected by small steams and bogs.  The region is largely avoided by the surrounding Peoples due to the evil reputation of the weretigers that dwell within the swamp.

The White Mountains
These majestic, snowcapped mountains stretch far to the northwest, and are the highest known in the regions.  The Dwarven kingdom of Bolzak lies to the south and Olden Hold is the northernmost outpost.

The White Mountains teem with game, and great predators, such as griffins and hippogriffs, making their home in the high aeries. Mountain Apes and Fomorians are known to roam to the edge of the mountains ranges looks for fresh meat (preferably Human), and will attack small parties of travellers.

Thornbrush Island
The leeward side of this island is choked with groves of thorny bushes and hedges.  Numerous game trails form an extensive maze that wild boars (HD 3+1) and other creatures use.

The Westwall
Farther south, the Westwall forms the western boundary of the Vasa Province of the Grand Kingdom.  The northern terminus ends in Blackmarsh and is home to several clans of Mountain Apes and Fomorians.

     Thread Starter

11/11/2015 6:59 am  #13

Re: The Blackmarshes and Beyond:

1 In Strangeholm, the locals have uncovered a powerful sword of law (F)
2 Cavemen roam the Pendar Mountains (T)
3 Be careful wandering the Greywoods, the boundary between worlds is weak there (T)
4 The Hyperboreans have wild parties of debauchery in Castle Blackmarsh (F)
5 The Duke of the Ostrobards is noted for his wild parties (T)
6 The Wizard of the Isle will allow any who tells him a riddle he can’t solve to stay on 'The Mountain That Fell' (F)
7 Lord Mazardan of Olden Hold is offering 1,000 gp for any alzarém brought to him (partially False, he will offer 200 gp)
8 King Ragnar’s grip on the throne of Castle Taldane is weak.  Civil war is about to ensue (T)
9 The Blackmarsh Wardens are recruiting new members (T)
10 Sir Causari of Inuacus Keep is gathering forces to overthrow the Hyperboreans (F)
11 Three beautiful maidens dwell in the westernmost lake of the Blackmarshes, they will bestow their treasure on those who please them (F)
12 Beware of those who march underneath the Raven’s wings (T)
13 Actayl Oathbinder survived the clearing of the lighthouse and is now in Jorvik raising an army  (F)
14 A strange maelstrom appears in the western portion of the Smoking Bay.  One can see treasure at the bottom  (T)
15 The Ostrobards are having trouble with attacks by hippogriffs (T)
16 Lord Mazardan hosts a lavish banquet at Olden Hold every year.  Only the most successful of explorers are invited  (T)
17 Myrmidons of Yig are leading an invasion force into Blackmarsh (F)
18 So many Orcs have died in the Crimson Hills that the hills are haunted by their spectres (F)
19 Most of the Hyperboreans from time past lived in conclaves south of the Black Marshes. Their ruined homes are dangerous but many are remain untouched (T)
20 The Duke of the Ostrobards is going to hold a grand tourney the first in the Blackmarsh region (F)

     Thread Starter

11/11/2015 7:04 am  #14

Re: The Blackmarshes and Beyond:


0105 These are the ruins of Daur Anthar, the hold of the famed Dwarven Ironmaster, Gamli Norreshield.  It is here that he found a vein of metal rich in alzarém and researched it's use in the forging of arms and armour. When the hold was abandoned several hundred years ago, an earth elemental (HD 12) remained to guard the ruins.

0107 A band of brigands are bent on vengeance against the Wardens of Blackmarsh and are marching on Blackoak Castle. Sigrun the Boneless (Ftr9), two captains (Ftr6,5), and three lieutenants (Ftr4) lead 115 brigands from the Brigand's Bay regions.

0211 Viewing the Humans of Strangleholms and Greenton as easy prey, King Graptar the Stupendous (Orc Captain, wielding a +1 warhammer) moved 150 Orcs into the Pendar Mountains where they established their new base. Surrounding the king are twelve guards (Orc Lieutenants) who protect Graptar against any usurpers.

0214 A mother black Wyvern (HD 7+4) and her young spawn (HD 4) hunt and slaughtered herds of deer in this area which they regard as their territory and can be seen in the meadow consuming the carcasses; they have made a nest from themselves in the small forest to the east.

0217 Oldan Hold, Pop: 342, Dwarf; Align LE; Ruler: Lord Mazardan, Ftr6, LE, Dwarf; Resource: Market.

Oldan Hold is the northernmost outpost of the Dwarven Kingdom of Bolzak.  It was founded as a base for the search of alzarém by the Ironmasters of Bolzak.  It has become an entrepôt where merchants from over Blackmarsh come and trade with the Dwarves.  There are 5d10 foreign merchants (various local cultures) with their guards present.

Lord Mazardan was one of the most successful explorers and appointed as Lord of Oldan Hold two decades ago.  He is also High Captain of the Northern Brigade, a group of Dwarven explorers looking for sources of alzarém and they do not care how they do it. Every year he hosts a grand banquet in the company hall where members and their (so called) friends can eat and tell tales of their discoveries (so he can hear any useful word on the precious resources).

0302 The inside of this bend on the Rednut River is riddled with giant water snake dens.  Every 100 yards there is a 3 in 6 chance of encountering either a hole to a den (1-4) or a giant water snake (HD 3) (5-6).

0309 This crumbling Hyperborean Magician’s Keep dates back a thousand years to the time of the 'Green Death.'  An experiment gone awry left the keep infested with numerous ochre jellies (HD 5), including one very large black pudding (HD 10, 60 hp) in the old great hall.

0318 A herd of mean tempered wild boars (HD 3+1) roam the slopes of the White Mountains here.  Even hunters from Olden Hold (see 0217) avoid this valley.  There is a 1 in 4 chance of encountering 4d4 boars per hour while in the region.

0407 Blackoak Castle; Kinerian, Warlock 10 CG, Kimmerian; 50 Common Men, 60 Kimmerians, 40 Kimmeri-Kelts, 20 Kelts. 

This castle is the headquarters of the Blackmarsh Wardens, an organization dedicated to preserving peace between the Peoples of the land and keeping Blackmarsh free from the depredations of monsters.  They consider the Aeries of the Raven one of their mortal enemies (see 1807), amongst brigands and Orcs. The Temple of Ullr at Castle Blackmarsh is an ally especially when monsters are involved.

The Blackmarsh Wardens were founded by the legendary Geran Blackoak over nine centuries ago during one of the invasions of the Ostrobard barbarians. Geran Blackoak was instrumental in restoring the peace. While he failed to unite them politically, a tradition of mutual assistance took hold among the Peoples of the Land.
The castle serves as the primary training ground for new Warden recruits as well as a meeting place for the biannual gathering of the captains. It contains workshops and stores to supply the various Warden Circles wandering throughout Blackmarsh. Druids of Yoon'Deh, the Nature Goddess, are traditionally stationed at the castle to provide aid and support.  Thanks to the Wardens, one of the finest schools of magic in the Blackmarsh region is found here. The school tends to study the practical rather than theoretical aspects of magic.
High Captain Kinerian has been the chieftain for over a score years and expects to serve for several decades more. His greatest challenges have been dealing with the raids of the Vasan Vikings from across the Grey Sea, and the rising power of the Grand Kingdom to the south-east.  If the Rurasin city-states to the north unite, it may prove another threat to the peace.

0409 Strangeholms, Pop: 292, Common Humans and Kelts; Align L/CG; Ruler: Chief Brion Reidleaf, 0-lvl, LG; Resource: Farm.

Strangeholms is a Keltic village (though there is many Common Families) that surrounds a large hill south of the Holms Water. The region around the village has rich soil for farming and the Kelts supply much of the food needed by Castle Blackoak (see 0407). 

Chief Brion, along with his militia, keeps the peace, but struggles when the occasional monster emerges from the ruined Magician's Keep (see 0309) to the north-west.  In addition to being chief, Brion is a skilled painter and has had his work commissioned several times by the wealthy and nobles of Blackmarsh.

Last edited by Caveman (11/19/2015 5:27 pm)

     Thread Starter

11/11/2015 7:10 am  #15

Re: The Blackmarshes and Beyond:

0413 A tribe of 190 Bird-Men of the Aeries of the  Raven dominate the forest north of the lake. Aukarck Cwrukk (Cw-ru-k-k) rules the Bird-Men with the assistance of six other chiefs of the tribe (treat as 2HD).  He also leads the Bird-Men in the worship of a strange glowing sword of law in an open grove at the centre of the forest. When the Bird-Men first arrived, a century ago, they tried to take the sword, but it killed any who touched it. 

0415 These islands are known as the three sisters.  Each island is the home of a Atlantean (Witch 1, Int 11, Cha 16, charm) and the three of them are rival sisters.  They use their Charm Person spell to compete among themselves for the most handsome captives. They are not above conspiring with outsiders if it means that one sister is denied her prize.

0515 This is the dwelling place of the Atlantean Lake King (Witch 5, Int 12, charm) and his court of 80 Atlanteans (Witch 1, Int 11, charm). He will release anybody captured if they will kidnap his quarrelling daughters and bring them home to him (see 0515). This is a salt-water lake and the Atlanteans flourish in secret after arriving by ship over three centuries ago. Their ship badly damaged in a storm had arrived at 'Nightfall,' and managed to make it's way up the Lanis River (misdirected by the lighthouse) and find the small inlet leading to the nameless lake with the three islands. The ship eventually sunk, but they found that they could survive in the deep dark waters and see to it's depths. They tried further out to sea, but found it was only here in this lake that their abilities as seadwellers were enhanced. The reason this is so, is because of a rich deposit of alzarém lying just under the surface of the bottom of the lake. If any Dwarf heard of this, he and is People would exterminate the Atlanteans and find away to extract the  alzarém for themselves.

0605 A weak wall exists between this world and other planes of existence in this grey forest.  Here the fabric of reality has been torn, 48 Wardens are fighting 12 flame dæmons (treat as 8 HD Fire Elementals).  Several dozen more Wardens surround the conflict trying to contain the blaze started by the fight.

0608 Ashdown, Pop: 121, Mixed; Align LG; Ruler: Councillor Neera Dane, Rg6, LG; Resource: Market.

Ashdown is home to many retired Wardens as well as the spouses and progeny of Wardens currently on duty.  Neera Dane, a retired Warden Captain leads the village council and operates under the authority of the High Captain of the Wardens.  She and the villagers will gladly aid any friend and ally of the Wardens.  Kelts, Common Humans, Kimmerian, and Kimmeri-Kelts can be found living here.

0610 Greenton, Pop: 642, Common, some Kelts; Align LG; Ruler: Ealdorman Paddock Ryburn, Common Human, LG; Resource: Farm.

Greenton is the chief settlement of the Humans and an important market for the surrounding farms.  Here merchants from across Blackmarsh flock to purchase grain and other produce to export back to their home regions.  When in residence, the merchants stay in a hamlet just outside of Greenton known as Sackton.  So named from the stuffed woolsacks the merchants sit on while bidding or negotiating prices. Ealdorman Paddock maintains a large contingent of 20 militia led by Captain Barris Ironoak to keep the merchants in their place.

0616 Ruchill Burn runs through a 50’ deep gorge for over a half mile.  During the the time before the 'Green Death,', Magicians established a conclave here to harvest the alzarém found within the cliffs of the gorge. One centuries after the 'Shattering,' the conclave was abandoned for no known reason. The cliffs are honeycombed with several levels of the conclave. Many of the levels span both sides of the gorge with bridges connecting them.  Not all of them are safe.

0702 Six trolls (HD 6+2, Regen) feast on corpses from any merchant caravan from Muncæster (see 1305).  The smoke from their cooking fire can be seen from two miles away.

0712 This ruined tower was once used as a lighthouse. It guided ships to the mouth of the Lanis River. Built during the Hyperborean era it was abandoned several centuries ago. Since then, a succession of leaders of chaos expanded the complex beneath the tower to create a base to be used against Castle Blackmarsh (see 0913). Currently, it’s believed to be empty having been cleared by adventurers over forty years ago after the killing of Atacyl Oathbinder, an undead vampire Magician.

0804 Stardell Falls, Pop: 503, Wardens; Align LG; Ruler: King Nilal, Warlock 10, LG; Resource: Magic.

Stardell Falls is the heart of the Greywoods. The village consists of individual homesteading arrayed in a series of semi-circles around a 40-foot waterfall.  On either side of the falls are two towers made of a shimmering grey stone, and a bridge connects the two. The west tower is the King’s Tower and the east tower is the Queen’s tower.  Here King Nilal resides with his queen, the Lady Aerindal (Warlock 9).

The waterfall is a rich source of alzarém. Various users of magic inhabit the homesteading surrounding the lynn. At the base, behind the falls, is a magnificent temple to Yoon'Deh, the Nature Goddess. The temple is carved out of the rock.  The falls provide a spectacular backdrop to the services especially when the moon or sun is at its zenith.

Last edited by Caveman (11/19/2015 5:29 pm)

     Thread Starter

11/11/2015 7:12 am  #16

Re: The Blackmarshes and Beyond:

0814 Scattered throughout the bogs are several small buildings that were once the homes of users of magic researching the plants and herbs of the region. Stone was sunk into the bogs and dry pathways were built to connect the scattered residences. It was abandoned in the century after the fall of the 'Shattering,' and time has taken its toll.  Sections of the pathways have worn away and various creatures have moved into the abandoned dwellings.  Some have reported that the Magicians left unfinished experiments and strange forms of plant life live in the ruins.

0909 A large water elemental (16 HD) inhabits this area of the Smoking Bay.  It preys on unwary ships sucking them down into a giant maelstrom. At the sea bottom there is a half-mile wide shallow basin littered with the remains of the ships and treasures that the water elemental dragged down.

0912 This island is home to 100 men who fish the surrounding island. They were granted this island by the lords of Castle Blackmarsh in exchange for standing watch against any raiders, particularly Vasan Vikings.  At the south end of the island is a 20’ wooden tower that can be seen from the main land.  At the sign of danger a fire will be lit and relayed along a series of signal towers to Castle Blackmarsh.

0913 Castle Blackmarsh, Pop: 1,294, Hyperborean (823), mixed (471); Align N; Ruler: Lord Tyrilas Graax, Warlock 9, N; Resource: Market. See separate text: 'Castle Blackmarsh.' Above.

0918 On a bluff, overlooking the lake, is the remains of a wizards’ conclave founded a over a thousand years ago during the of growth. Like the others, it was abandoned shortly after the 'Green Death,' and remained unoccupied for several centuries. After the collapse of Atacyl’s attempt to regain control of Castle Blackmarsh, one of his lieutenants, Sir Autse Darkheart (Ftr8), now occupies the ruins. Sir Autse was transformed into a wraith and was made Atacyl’s second in command. The ruins are now crawling with skeletons, zombies, wights, and lesser wraiths under Darkheart’s command.

1002 Wedmor, Pop: 255, Ostrobard; Align LG; Ruler: Lord Octa, Ftr5, LG; Resource: Cattle.

Wedmor was settled by the Ostrobards several centuries ago and has become a centre for cattle herding. Every fall, the herds are brought from the hills and plains, most of the bulls and old are slaughtered. The meat is salted and shipped down the Rednut River to Muncæster and distributed throughout the Blackmarsh region. Lord Octa is looking for additional help to aid with the herding and guarding against raiders and monsters.

     Thread Starter

11/11/2015 7:15 am  #17

Re: The Blackmarshes and Beyond:

1014 This large island, in the midst of the Black Marshes, is a nesting ground for a herd of chimeræ . (HD 9)

1103 Sixteen bandits on horses (HD 1) are running down a herd of cattle they are planning to rustle.  A mile away two herders (Ftr1) are riding at full gallop back to Wedmor (see 1002) for help.

1107  This grotto is home to 86 Fish-Men (HD 2+2).  They are ruled by King Neptar (HD 4+4).  They are holding a funeral for Neptar’s son who was slain by a water elemental. (see 0909)

1112 On the sea bottom, are the sunken remains of the last treasure ships to sail from Blackmarsh before the time of the 'Shattering.'  Gold, adamant, and sealed crates with alzarém lie in the hulls of a dozen galleys and scattered across the seabed.  Taking residence amid the crumbling ships is a school of several dozen Electric Eels (5 HD) along with a sleeping Giant Octopus (8 HD).

1113 Inuacus Keep; Sir Causari, Ftr9, Kimmerian, LG;  50 Men mixed.

This keep is an outpost of Castle Blackmarsh and protects the surrounding farms from monsters moving north from the Black Marshes, as well as Atacyl loyalists located in Jorvik.  Sir Causari is the leader of a faction that wants to see the Hyperboreans leave Castle Blackmarsh and gain Human rule in the land.

1213 Located on Witch Hill are the foundations of Ramat, an old ruined Apollo monastery from the time before the separation from Old Earth.  It was home to a potent holy artefact known as the Spear of Ramat.  All records on the monastery were lost after the Hyperboreans retreat.  In the present, the young daughter of Governor Causari of Inuacus Keep lost her favourite pet dog while on a picnic near the ruins. The governor will gladly pay an adventuring party to search the ruins for the dog. (see the Ruins of Ramat)

1214 This island is home to a Renegade Hyperborean and mixed Humans Coven of Warlocks and Magicians.  This coven was established a century ago after the loss of Castle Blackmarsh to the returning Hyperborean Families. A few surviving users of magic fled here with Atacyl’s body and oversaw his resurrection as a vampire.  In the transformation process, Atacyl slaughtered half of the coven before fleeing into the bogs.  Since then the coven has struggled to survive and only a few ageing members remain.   

1217 In the foothills north of the last peaks of the Westwall is the homesteading of 8 Fomorians (HD 8).  They enjoy raiding the farms around Jorvik and Nefgeirr Castle.

1302 Camden, Pop: 214, Ostrobard; Align LG; Ruler: Lord Varxis, Ftr8, LG; Resource: Iron.

Several iron mines dot the hills to the west.  Lord Varxis has his hands full trying to keep enough forces in the field to protect the mines.

1305 Muncæster, Pop: 895, Ostrobard; Align LG; Ruler: Duke Caedwine, Ftr4, LG; Resource: Market.

Muncæster is the largest settlement of the Ostrobards, and the seat of their dukes. It is located on an island in the midst of a bay formed by the confluence of the Rednut River and the River Eamont. A thriving market in farm produce, furs, and exotic herbs attracts merchants from all over the Grey Sea.

Duke Caedwin is known for his great girth and wild banquets.  He has agents throughout the town on the lookout for new arrivals to provide a banquet with tales of their exploits. The duke will not take no for an answer.

Last edited by Caveman (12/08/2015 3:14 pm)

     Thread Starter

11/11/2015 7:18 am  #18

Re: The Blackmarshes and Beyond:

1306 A small group of five islands stretches south-west from Muncæster (see 1305).  They are home to dozens of fishing clans harvesting the bounty of the Grey Sea.  Several of the fishermen are members of smuggler clans that specialize in moving goods in and out of Muncæster, evading the duke’s taxmen.

1307 This forested island lies unspoiled in the middle of the Smoking Bay.  The sorceress Naomi (Witch 9) ensures that it stays that way.  She relies on several Lotus Women (HD 6) for aid.  She was once the lover of the Magician of the Isle, (see 1309) but he spurned her several centuries ago. Because of this any male interlopers will stay as the guest of the Lotus Women for a long, long time.  Females will just experience memory loss and put adrift to sea.

1309 The larger island is all that remains of 'The Mountain That Fell.'  It is incredibly rich in alzarém although the lack of any beach and the steep slopes make it difficult to get around. Any who managed to brave the island not only has to contend with the ire of the Magician of the Isle but the numerous flyers dwelling around the slopes.  There have been reports of gargoyles, wyverns, griffins, hippogriffs, pegasi, chimeræ, manticores, and even rocs nesting near the summit.

The smaller island off the south-west shore is home to the mysterious Magician of the Isle (Mg12).  His presence goes back centuries and all anybody knows of him is that he is the selfappointed guardian of what remains of 'The Mountain That Fell.' 

Anybody surviving landfall and subsequent attacks by the local creatures will be apprehended by the Magician of the Isle, and warned not to return.  They will be escorted back to their ship by the Magician’s golden mechanical servant Cæthré.  He will calmly explain that they need to seek their alzarém elsewhere and that 'The Mountain That Fell,' is very dangerous to meddle with.

1316 Jorvik, Pop: 481, Common Humans and Kimmeri-Kelt; Align N; Ruler: Lord Maracan, Ftr7, CE; Resource: Market.

Jorvik was once one of the small villages allied with Castle Blackmarsh until a century ago.  When Atacyl rule was overthrown, several of his supporters fled to Jorvik and fortified the village. They attempted several plots to retake Castle Blackmarsh, but failed.  Their aid of Atacyl’s last failed attempt (see 0712) nearly ruined them and they were forced to pay tribute to Castle Blackmarsh. 

Lord Maracan is the current leader and his plans revolve around posing as experts on the region to newly arrived scouts of the Grand Kingdom.  He is also attempting to inflame resentment towards the Wardens.

1406 Two Renegade Vasan longships drift in the current, resting after a several days of hard sailing.  Each ship has 75 warriors on board.  Their chief, Egil Longhair (Ftr 8), plans to raid at sunrise.

1503 A flock of 9 hippogriffs (HD 4+2) landed on Egbert’s farm two miles from the river.  The locals have gathered to watch.  Egbert weeps as his pigs and chickens are devoured by the hippogriffs.

1506 Ethanfeld, Pop: 145, Ostrobard; Align LG; Ruler: Lord Ingwold, Ftr6, LG; Resource: Fish.

This village gains much of its livelihood from fishing, but also enjoys some trade outfitting adventurers heading east to the Dragonbone Peaks.  Lord Ingwold leads 20 Men known as the Dragonbane Company.  They keep the valley up river clear of monsters.

     Thread Starter

11/11/2015 7:22 am  #19

Re: The Blackmarshes and Beyond:

1515 A shrine to the sea goddess, Lunaqqua, is maintained on the island by Tavis (Clr 6).  His holy duty is to aid any shipwreck survivors.  He has a small single mast sailing boat he uses to search the surrounding waters.

1518 Nefgeirr Castle; Jarl Dagvidr Leifsson, Ftr7, LG; 120 Vikings. 

This is the northernmost outpost of the Vasa Province of the Grand Kingdom.  Completed only five years ago, it is hoped that the castle will serve as a gateway for merchants and explorers from the Grand Kingdom into Blackmarsh. 

Jarl Dagvidr Leifsson served on the frontier with Grand Kingdom’s rival the pirates of Brigand's Bay and in some of the New World colonies.  While he appreciates the aid that Lord Maracan of Jorvik has given in learning about Blackmarsh, he is beginning to suspect an ulterior agenda.

1602 Ultán Keep; Bedewald the Atheling, Ftr6, LG; 50 Ostrobards.

This is the easternmost outpost of the Ostrobards. It shields the farms and villages to the west from the creatures who dwell in the Dragonbone Peaks. Duke Caedwin eldest son, Bedewald, is in command.  He is the opposite of his libertine father in almost every way.  He was given Ultán Keep to so that the duke wouldn’t have to hear his nagging.

1609 The land between the coast and the swamp is occupied by 325 Bird-Men (HD 1) of the Shelleater Tribe.  They are divided into six feuding clans who continually fight among themselves. They will only unite when outsiders invade. They use their superior knowledge of the terrain to make life miserable for the invaders.

1701 In a cave beneath a rocky outcropping, an eight-headed hydra (8 HD) has taken residence.  Bedewald the Atheling (see 1602) has a patrol periodically check to make sure it hasn’t moved farther south.

1706 Four rocs (6 HD) from 'The Mountain That Fell,' (see 1309) have landed and are feasting on the remains of a dæmon (see 2105). Three hundred yards to the east is the charred remains of a fifth roc.

1709 On this island, in the midst of the swamp, there is strange black monolith on top of a rocky outcropping.  Every full moon weretigers emerge from the surrounding bogs to perform strange rites.  If the ritual is watched for any length the players will discovered all cultures are among the weretigers; Hyperboreans, Ostrobards, Kelts, Kimmerians, and the odd Dwarf.  And even Orcs, Cavemen, and Vikings!  Those who visited 'The Mountain That Fell,' (see 1309) will see that the monolith is made of the same type of stone.

1807 In the middle of this forest is a confusing network of ravines and hills. This is the current base of the Aeries of the Raven. They are a group who believe in the supremacy of their species. They have operated against the Wardens and other tribes of Blackmarsh for nearly a thousand years.

Currently there are 158 Bird-Men in residence along with 200 slaves, mostly Orcs.  They are nominally led by the Aukarck Ard Elanawk (Warlock 9) who has minimal authority over the various commanders and their troops. To get anything done Elanawk has to continually negotiate compromises between the different factions.

1816 At the bottom of the lagoon are the remains of a ship that was sent by the Grand Kingdom’s rival, the Brigand's Bay pirates to scout Blackmarsh. It contains several treasure chests of gold for bribery and valuable supplies to outfit expeditions.

1902 This was a settlement of the Ostrobards that was burned out several decades ago by the dæmon Scytheback (see 2105).  It was the hub for several abandoned silver mines nearby.

1905 This is an encampment for 15 Bird-Men from the Aeries of the Ravens.  They are led by Rinisarwk Awnothilk (Warlock 4). They plan to rouse the hydra (see 1701) and drive it to the southwest to ravage the lands of the Ostrobards.

1911 This network of caves is home to 105 Orcs (1 HD) of the Bateater Tribe.  They pay an annual tribute to the Aeries of the Raven (see 1807).

1914 “The Dweller Below,” in Sheltered Bay sleeps in a dark haze of chaotic dreams and revels in destructive joy. It has lay there for many millennium unmoving and the sand and seaweed has grown over it, covering it completely. Sometimes it shudders in it's sleep sending out slight ripples that can only be vaguely seen from the surface above.

Last edited by Caveman (11/18/2015 11:25 am)

     Thread Starter

11/11/2015 7:26 am  #20

Re: The Blackmarshes and Beyond:

2015 Ten Vasan Vikings (HD 1) stand guard over supplies for the return voyage of Egil Longhair’s fleet (see 1406).

2105 This is the lair of Scytheback, a cruel and twisted dæmon (11 HD, Class IV).  He participated in the wars against the Hyperboreans after 'The Mountain that Fell,' and the time of the 'Shattering,' and hordes the treasures he looted in these times.  He made an alliance with the Aeries of the Raven (see 1807) and considers them useful pawns in keeping unwanted visitors away from his lair.

Over the centuries, he has had a succession of mates to breed his young.  His current mate is Dakacki, an Succubus (6+6 HD), whom with he mated with twenty years ago.  They are currently raising three young that are now sub-adults (6-7 HD).  One of them is missing (see 1706).

2109 The Tribute Place: Kinkaris, Ftr6, LE, Orc; 20 Orcs.  This crude heap of stones serves as a keep for Kinkaris (Ftr7, Orc, C) and his guards (Ftr 3, Orc). He has been placed in charge of collecting the annual tribute for the Aeries of the Raven from the Bateaters (see 1911) and Bloodcrusher tribes (see 2207). The Orcs only fear the Bird-Men because they can fly and shots bolts and hurl spears upon them from above, plus the Bird-Men have an allegiance with a great dæmon which also terrifies the Orc tribes.

2114 On this idyllic island five Atlantean naked Women (Witch 1, charm) frolic in the streams, collecting seashells, and gently placing them in a crystal clear pool of water in the centre of the island. Then on the night of the full moon they collect the ones that turn into alzarém (4d6) and journey to the Azure Lord’s hall. (see 2416)

2201 Within the ruined castle, made of black stone, are twisted skeletal remains.  It is obvious that they came to some horrific end. Several attempts over the last several centuries have been made to reoccupy the castle.  Nevertheless, after the full moon the new inhabitants are slain in the same manner. The last attempt was made a hundred years ago by the Aeries of the Raven.

2203 In this corner of the forest, 85 Bird-Men make their home. Their village is spread out among the trees built on wooden platforms.  They gleefully torment anyone who intrudes.

2207 This network of caves is the home of 243 Orcs of the Bloodcrusher Tribe.  They are ruled by King Suduk (Ftr 7) assisted by his shaman G’mung (Sha6).  King Suduk resents paying tribute to the Aeries of the Raven and especially hates Kinkaris (see 2109). 

2306 The hills and ravines echo with the sound of battle as 15 berserkers (Bkr or Ftr 1) from Castle Taldane battles 30 Orcs (HD 1) from the Bloodcrusher Tribe.  The berserkers are surrounded on a ridge between two ravines and are hard pressed by the Orcs. 

2401 Along the side of a half-mile stretch of the river valley are the warrens for 300 giant ants (4 HD).  The queen’s chamber is built around a long buried cubical artefact 10’ by 10’ by 10’.  There is a door on one side of the artefact, but the giant ants have not opened it.  One in twenty ant eggs can be used as a single alzarém.

2410 Six 20’ tall black pillars with strange carvings can be seen through the water on the top of a shallow bank.  On further examination, there are compartments on the ends of the pillars where alzarém can be inserted.

2411 Ysby, Pop: 80, Man (Vasan); Align N; Ruler: Chief Bjarni, Ftr5, N; Resource: Fish.

This fishing village of Vasan Vikings was established two hundred years ago by an improvised clan from Vasa.  They kept contact with their relatives, and when much of Vasa became the Grand Kingdom Ysby proved to be an important way station for the refugees.  Since the establishment of Castle Taldane, it has returned to being a sleepy fishing hamlet.

2416 A sea mount rises from the ocean floor to 15 feet beneath the surface. Around the peak and down 80 feet are the grottos and caves of the Azure King (Ftr8), a powerful Atlantean lord.  He rules over a tribe of 300 Atlanteans. The Sapphire Enchantress (Mg8) is his advisor and the current lover of the Magician of the Isle.

The Atlanteans that arrived in the salt-water lake sent out scouts, some did not return and those that did warned that the powers that they had gained failed the further out they swam. So they stay within their lake. The scout that did not return proved the the lake Atlanteans that it was not worth leaving their new home. The scouts that left got lost and though some survived, they could not make it back, tired and swept by underwater tides they were swept eastwards.

Finding about only a dozen of them survived they reached a small island and dragged themselves ashore (see 2114). They idly pick up shells as the fearfully pondered their fate. Some of the shell enhanced their powers, the alzarém was in some of the shells in a pool of water and in time they realise the shell were induced by alzarém on a full moon. Their power returned and they explored the region unable to traverse the vast expanse of the bay without their power fading and currents were never in their favour and none wanted to take the risk. Five Females were part of the group and they located their sea mount and made their homes.

2505 Castle Taldane: King Ragnar the Ringless, Ftr9, N, Men (Vasan); 200 men (Vasan). 

King Ragnar’s great grandfather was one of the Vikings of Vasa who renounced the Grand Kingdom's peaceful way, regarding it as unfit for a Viking Warrior to behave.  He fled with what goods he could carry on his longships and brought with him as many of his own and allied clans as he could. In the decades since the petty kings of Taldane dreamt of reconquering their home, but it has been a struggle to survive in Blackmarsh let alone rebuild enough troops to mount a major military expedition.

King Ragnar is known as the ringless after losing his royal signet ring when his finger was cut off in a raid on Castle Blackmarsh.  It brought him great shame and now he spends his days in a drunken stupor beating his dogs. Rumour has it that it is sitting in a jeweller’s shop in Castle Blackmarsh.

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