Real world places, items legends to be researched
Moldavite (sp?) as resonance stone material.
Hybrasil (sp?) disappearing island.
City of Ghosts - stone logs - Pacific Ocean islanders.
Posted: 08-10-2014 03:47 pm
Here's a link template.
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Posted: 08-01-2014 03:14 am
Humanoid Names of Greyhawk
Buchveer = bugbears
Celbit = kobolds
Dwur = dwarves
Eiger = ogres
Euroz = orcs
Hobniz = halflings
Hoch jebline = hobgoblins
Jebli = goblins
Kell = gnolls
Noniz = gnomes
Olve = elves
Trulent = trolls
While these come from a post-Gygax source (LGG, pp. 8-11), according to Skip Williams in "Sage Advice" (Dragon
#200, December 1993, p. 106), these names (except buchveer, and hoch
jebline are called high jebline) actually originate in the WoG boxed set
and are said to be the Flan names for these races. For instance, we
are told that "tribes of Celbit, Jebli and Euroz now infest the place,"
ie, the Blemu Hills (A Guide to the World of Greyhawk,
p. 49), and that "the Euroz and Jebli hordes which had nested in the
Lortmils" (p. 31) were now in the Pomarj. We also find that "Olvenfolk
are said to dwell in that portion [of the Dim Forest] west of the Javan"
(p. 59). Euroz, High Jebline, Jebli, and Celbit are mentioned in
passing on p. 8. So, I imagine those other names are found in there as
well (I found those 4 occurrences with just a cursory search, it'll take
time to find other examples). And that's about as officially Gygaxian
as it gets.
Posted: 07-28-2014 11:55 pm
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Posted: 07-28-2014 09:06 pm
Large Monstrous Humanoid (Reptilian)
7d8+7 (38 hp)
20 ft., fly 40 ft. (good)
17 (+1 Dex, –1 size, +7 natural)
2 foreclaws +10 melee; or longspear
Foreclaw 1d6+4; or longspear
5 ft. by 5 ft./10 ft.
Fort +5, Ref +6, Will +7
Str 19, Dex 12, Con 13, Int 10,
Wis 14, Cha 13
Intimidate +11, Listen +12, Spot +12
Flyby Attack, Great Fortitude
Clutch (2–8) or squad (4–16 plus 1
human necromancer of 7th–11th-level)
Standard (magic items only)
Usually chaotic evil
By character class
Dragonkin are humanoid creatures believed to be distant cousins
of dragons. Found in wild tribes or serving human masters, their
brute strength and sharp claws make them a deadly threat.
Dragonkin are 8-to-9-foot-tall humanoids with draconic features.
Their scaled hides range from dark yellow ocher to reddish brown
with darker spots or bands. Their faces are decidedly dragonlike,
with a long snout, a mane of thick hair, and small horns swept back
behind their heads. They have green wings that lighten to gold or
yellow, or sometimes wings that match the color of their bodies.
Their long, scaled tails are not useful in combat as a dragon’s tail is,
but their vicious claws certainly are.
Dragonkin speak Draconic
Dragonkin prefer to fight in the air, swooping down to slash earth-
bound opponents with their foreclaws. If forced to bring combat to
the ground, dragonkin move in and use their claws or weapons
(they favor spears and pole arms).
Dragonkin make two additional attacks (+10 melee)
with their rear claws for 1d6+2 points of damage each when attack-
ing from the air.
Detect Magic (Su):
Dragonkin have the innate ability to detect
magic at will, as a free action. They have an overpowering desire to
acquire magic items, and they attack characters who possess these
items in preference to others. If possible, a dragonkin will grab a
magic item from its opponent and flee with it, taking the item back
to its cave. (Resolve this as a disarm attempt; since the dragonkin is
unarmed, it holds the item if it wins the opposed check.) Drag-
onkin who are fighting on the ground do not take unreasonable
risks to flee with an item—they never turn their backs on an oppo-
nent, for example. Cult dragonkin (see In the Realms) are better
able to resist their instinctual desire for magic, and do not endanger
or abandon their mission for the sake of these items.
Tribal dragonkin do not use magic items in combat, but Cult
dragonkin often do, if appropriate.
Most dragonkin with character classes are barbarians, and barbarian
is their favored class. However, a handful of dragonkin sorcerers have
been reported, and their number seems to be slowly increasing.
IN THE REALMS
The Cult of the Dragon has managed to gain control over a few
dragonkin tribes; it imposes some small amount of discipline on
their society in exchange for teaching the dragonkin additional
combat skills and providing a steady supply of magic trinkets.
They serve as warriors to protect the wide-ranging interests of
Posted: 07-28-2014 12:33 am
New Monster Hellfurnace Boar
Large Magical Beast (Fire)
Dire Boar + Pyro-Multiheaded Creature, MMI p.63 & Savage Species p,125
2 extra heads; three heads in total
Hit Dice: 11d8+55
Speed: 40 ft. (8 squares)
Armor Class: 17 (–1 size, +6 natural, +2 for extra heads), touch 9, flat-footed 17
Base Attack/Grapple: +11/+23
Attack: Gore +18 melee (1d8+12)
Full Attack: Gore +18 melee (1d8+12) x3
Space/Reach: 10 ft./5 ft.
Special Attacks: Ferocity
Special Qualities: Low-light vision, Dark vision 90ft, Scent, Superior Multiweapon Fighting
Saves: Fort +10, Ref +5, Will +8
Abilities: Str 27, Dex 10, Con 21, Int 2, Wis 13, Cha 8
Skills: Listen +10, Spot +10
Feats: Alertness, Endurance, Iron Will, Improved Initiative, Combat Reflexes
Environment: The Hellfurnaces (Greyhawk)
Organization: Solitary or herd (5–8)
Challenge Rating: 8
Alignment: Always neutral
Advancement: 8–16 HD (Large); 17–21 HD (Huge)
Level Adjustment: —
This giant boar has an arched back as high as a human is tall. It has spiny armor on its head and back, great, gleaming tusks, and small, furious, demonic eyes. The coloration of its fur is a sinister blend of deep, rusty red and coal black. Helltempered Razorbacks are omnivorous and spend most of their time rooting around, much as ordinary pigs do. They viciously attack anything that approaches them, however. They grow up to 13 feet long and weigh as much as 2,100 pounds.
A Helltempered Razorback charges its opponent, trying to rip the target open with its tusks.
Furnace Belch (Su): These creatures can breath jets of fire 10 feet high, 10 feet wide, and 20 feet long. All heads breathe once every 1d4 rounds, and each jet deals 3d6 points of fire damage per head. A successful Reflex save (DC 16) halves the damage.
Ferocity (Ex): A Helltempered Razorback is such a tenacious combatant that it continues to fight without penalty even while disabled or dying.
Fire Subtype (Ex): A Helltempered Razorback is immune to fire damage and takes a –10 penalty on saves against cold attacks. If a cold attack does not allow a saving throw, the creature takes double damage instead.
Posted: 07-26-2014 06:37 pm
Decades ago, a dying/degenerating illithid city dwindled to a population of 203. However, it was at that time - the lowest point in the history of that vile metropolis - an ulitharid1 1 = Lords of Madness, p. 158 was born to the city. Underpopulated and severely weakened by starvation and acrimony (both internal and external), the inhabitants had hope in this wickedest of messiahs.
Upon reaching maturity, this ulitharid devised a complex plan. Using existing underdark tunnels and dungeons beneath certain prominent giant leaders’ demenses , circuitous routes to and from the city were constructed. These routes would come to have the purpose of food transportation.
To increase their usefulness and security, these paths deep within Oerth have directions carved in the walls at regular intervals. However, these carvings are completely useless to non-Illithid races since:
1} The directions are in Qualith2 2 = Lords of Madness, p.71, which is nigh on indecipherable [DC 35] to other races.
2} They are placed high on the cavern walls which must be reached by levitation, thus making them nearly impossible to find, let alone decipher.
Only one illithid travels with a slave-caravan from a giant’s stronghold. The rest of the overseers/guards are heavily conditioned thralls. The illithid acts as little more than a guide and manager.
The trip from a giant’s dungeon to the home city is easy for a slave-caravan but impossible for adventurers due to the reasons previously mentioned. Plus, there are many “false” tunnels leading the naïve astray, into danger or both.
The way is long and meandering but it is both safe and easily found by those with an illithid guide.
The ulitharid’s agreement/treaty with the giants is based on his extraordinary Diplomacy skill and the Lawful nature of his race.
The ulitharid supplies the giants with a degree of strategic acumen they could never achieve on their own along with vital information to which they’d otherwise never have access.
The ulitharid and elder brain provide the former; their network of bribed or controlled agents offers the latter. Needless to say, matching the above with physical power and brutality of the giants makes for a terrifying and powerful alliance.
The ulitharid’s high Diplomacy, INT and pertinent skills keep this evil machine running smoothly with chilling efficiency.
The various races of giants involved have little contact with one another, yet the ulitharid informs them of the accomplishments of one another, thus promoting competition.
The ulitharid constantly reinforces the dynamic of this allegiance by emphasizing the fact that all the associated intellectual burdens (planning, intel-gathering, supply schedules, mapping transportation routes, et al) are off the giant leaders’ shoulders.
This arrangement is ideal for many reasons:
1} illithids are cowardly always prefer having others do the tasks involving serious risks.
2} The giants are mentally much weaker, therefore the illithids retain much of an upper hand.
3} The Lawful nature of the illithids is well suit to such symbiotic undertakings.
4} This bargain makes the giants appear far more advanced, tactically skilled and cunning than they ever could on their own. This means their respective reputations increase in beneficial ways while the illithids get to remain (comfortably and safely) in the shadows; the mind-flayers care nothing for “credit”.
5} In fact, only those giants inside their respective leadership’s inner-circle even know of this sinister cooperation.
As the illithids are far more concerned about acquiring a steady source of food, the giants are given the preponderance of pillaged treasure from the raids. In exchange for this, the raiding giants accord the capture of prisoners a much higher priority.
Once the enemy is in captivity they are cast into the giant’s dungeon as quickly as possible (another high priority). From there, the prisoners are taken via the aforementioned underdark passages to the illithid city.
Posted: 07-26-2014 03:12 pm
Hochoch, City of
Hochoch, City of
Credits: Tom Harrison and Tony Palladini
Approx. 100 miles NE of Gorna, between the Oytwood and Dim Forest
6,500 (not including Gran March troops)
Humans (90%), Elves (5%), Gnome (3%), Dwarves (2%)
Approximately 1,500 Gran March troops in occupation, militia of 1000-2000 can be organized within three days
Resources not exported
Foodstuffs, livestock, timber
Against The Giants - The Liberation Of Geoff
Little Known Fact:
Within the Cemetery of Pelor, just outside the city walls, are tombs and sarcophagi dating back to nearly 100CY .
Formerly a bordertown between the Grand Duchy of Geoff and the Gran March, Hochoch has only recently been thrust to the forefront in the politics of the Sheldomar. Many of the older residents remember the sleepy days, watching caravans roll through the town gates. Children are still told the stories of brave Roelkar and others that made the town more than a market place in the shadows of the ancient Willow Towers.
These days are gone now, dashed in the aftermath of the Great Wars. The siege and battle at the town walls in 586 CY was proof enough for most. Many left, many stayed. And many more came to seek their fortune in the torn lands west beyond the Duke's Gate. Some come heeding the cries for liberation; others come in search of the scraps left by the armies of evil. Some simply come to gaze upon the porcelain Willow Towers and the lush Garden of Lai. And to most, it matters not who they are, only that they have come.
Hochoch in 591 CY is a different place than the town which stood here only a decade ago. While it was once a rest stop on the way through to the lands of Geoff, it is now the gateway to the liberation of Geoff. The mercenary companies which now gather in the Oytwood and along the Javan travel through the city regularly, and the restored Northill Keep maintains a constant vigil atop the Shalm's Shoulders north of town.
Hochoch sits on the banks of the Realstream, on the eastern rim of the area known as The Cup by the inhabitants, between the Realstream and the upper Javan river. Neither of these are deep enough for larger vessels, such as river galleys or the larger merchant barges, but there is traffic from smaller boats, mostly local traffic, and some from southern Keoland. Travel on the Javan is still moderately light given the situation in the Grand Duchy of Geoff. These rivers flow through the central Dim Forest, a place named for the shadows created by the thick canopy of tall trees. Beneath the canopy, these waterways are only navigable only by poled barges small flatbottom vessels.
Most of The Cup is only lightly wooded, and the plains are fertile and good for grazing. Only a scattering of farms remained in 586 CY, when the Battle of Hochoch was fought, and though the farmsteaders are beginning to return to the region, most of the foodstuffs here are imported from the east.
The Duke's Highway runs the length of the Cup, from the Realstream at Hochoch to river stations on the Javan. Despite the years of neglect, the road is still useable. Military forces have begun erecting tall watchtowers every dozen miles, sending messages between one another by bird and by signal. These fortresses discourage banditry and hostile troop movement. Light signals can be easily seen between towers on a clear night.
Hochoch is a middle-sized community of nearly 6,000 people. Most of these folk are descendants of Suel and Oeridian stock, with a substantial strain of Flan blood as well. Hochoch received a considerable number of refugees fleeing east when Geoff and Sterich fell to humanoid invaders, thus increasing its Flannae population. There is a small population of high elves and hill dwarves, and a few gnomes and halflings also live within the town's walls. The folk here hold many of the same political attitudes as elsewhere in the Sheldomar Valley. Most still consider themselves loyal subjects to the Grand Duke, Owen I, though this is no longer necessarily the case. The constant presence of the Knights of the Watch gives many hope that soon they will be able to return to their homes in the west, or at least what remains of them.
Hochoch began as a trading post and fishing village in the early days of Keoland. It was built at the site of the legendary Gardens of Lai and the ruins of five towers, known in Flannae legend as the Willow Towers. These towers are believed to date back before the great migrations, perhaps as far back as when the powerful lords of the Isle of Woe ruled over eastern Oerik. Flan legend has it that they are of Olven design. Old tales and maps sometimes refer to Hochoch as Hocholve, which means "Hand of Elves" in Old Flan, though the true origins of these mysterious structures has never been confirmed. The town's name, Hochoch, stems from this.
The Willow towers are aptly named, given their tall, lithe structure. Only two of the towers remain standing, fondly called the Thumb and Gardenview towers by the townsfolk. A third is known to have collapsed shortly after the mage Roelkar and his men, having successfully entered and exited it once, entered a second time. It is the only one of the Willow Towers known to have been penetrated, and bears the name Roelkar's Breach in tribute.
"Peace would come to the Sheldomar eventually, and when the Kingdom of Keoland was established in -100 CY, the Willow Towers still denied the newcomers. It was suspected the sylvan elves of the Dim Forest knew the secrets of the ruins, but few men who cared would brave the shadows of that woodland. True, some did go seeking such knowledge. The few who returned spoke of cities of wild elves at the heart of the forest. Little folk taken by a certain madness but were, according to the slightly more peaceful sylvan, the true descendants of the Golden Court. One of these fearless explorers, a practitioner of enchantments whose name has been recorded as Roelkar, returned with part of the secret - a name: Haunafay.
Accompanied by a band of strong arms and scouts, Roelkar was the among the first to enter the gardens and return. He claimed to have spoken with the golden galda trees at the center of the gardens, these apparently being the last true members of the Golden Court. Roelkar was a master of oration, and with the luck of Olidammara had won the trees to his side. With the secrets they gave him, Roelkar's band entered the first of the Willow Towers.
Another interesting phenomenon of that day: within an hour to the moment when Roelkar claimed to have spoken with the masters of the garden, Olamdri, the druid hierophant appeared in the shadows of the garden. No one saw him come - he was simply discovered sleeping on the hillside. The next day, the man stepped lively into the tangles of the garden and was gone, not to be seen again for a generation.
Roelkar and his men returned to camp in high spirits. They bore with them artifacts from a forgotten era, and were full of the anticipation of exploring the higher reaches of the tower, which became known as Roelkar's Breach, in the morn. It would be the last night any one would see them, for not a single one returned from their next day's venture."
East River Area
Cemetery Of Pelor
West Market District
Foreign Quarter District
High Gate District
East End District
Twin Gates Market District
From the Journals of the Sage, Nyfarem of Hookhill
Hochoch grew, and as Keoland nurtured its northern colonies, it became the major trading post south of the Dim Forest. At its peak, before the Empire of Keoland fell in the Small Wars, the population of the town and its outlying parts was nearly 12,000. Though defensive structures had long been in place, the King of Keoland ordered stone walls built to surround the town proper. Its proximity to the Dim Forest made it vulnerable to raids from creatures of that place.
The Province and town of Hochoch have seen a number of changes over the past decade. Originally of Keoland, there were constant disagreements about its ownership between it and the Grand Duchy of Geoff. When war came to the east in 582 CY, the townsfolk only listened to stories from afar. Then Ket invaded Bissel and humanoid hordes swept out of the Crystalmists, overwhelming the distracted armies of Sterich and Geoff. The fate of Hochoch seemed dark indeed.
Then, in 586 CY, as the armies of orcs, goblins, and ogres amassed within a day from the town walls, a ray of hope arrived. Legions of Gran March cavalry, led by the famed Knights of the Watch, arrived under cover of darkness. The battlefield the next day, at the Battle of Hochoch, turned the green pastures red with blood. The humanoid line, unprepared for such resistance, broke and those forces were routed northward into the Dim Forest. Hochoch had been saved and its townsfolk rejoiced. None would imagine what would come next.
In Hookhill, the new Commandant, Magnus Vrianian declared the whole of the province of Hochoch annexed by the Gran March and placed under martial law. Despite protests by Grand Duke Owen I, who had taken residence in Hookhill, and King Skotti of Keoland, it was agreed Hochoch would remain under control of the March until such time as it was adequately stabilized, only then to be returned to its own rule. In the meantime, Commandant Vrianian ordered, both sides would have to work out the issue of control. Few noticed the clause in Commandant Vrianian's proclamation that if the territorial dispute were not settled by such time as Hochoch was released of martial law, it would become part of the Gran March's eastern territory.
In the spring of 591 CY, the atmosphere in Hochoch is even more urgent than 5 years ago. Exiles are slowly gathering behind the town's walls. The humanoid armies, retreating from defeats in Sterich, now gather their strength in Geoff on the far side of the Javan river. These raiders fight nearly daily skirmishes with patrols.
The Marcher presence is strong. Just north of the town is Northill Keep, sitting atop the Shalm's Shoulders - twin hills named for the Flan deity. Watchtowers manned by soldiers observe the highways into town. The town walls are manned and soldiers walk the streets, enforcing the peace. In some areas of town, a curfew has been imposed. Many of the townsfolk, including the former Mayor, Abnur Rhys, are beginning to doubt their Marcher "guests" will ever leave, and tensions are beginning to run high. In Niole Dra, Grand Duke Owen I and King Skotti have not yet resolved their differences.
The dwarven refugees who came to fight at the battle of Hochoch five years ago have become a rowdy presence in the town. Despite the best efforts to curtail their festiveness, these dwarves cause problems within the human population not yet used to their brand of humor.
While the majority of the giant-led forces have withdrawn further back to the Javan, the lands west of the Duke's Gate still hold many dangers. Ghouls and other unspeakable horrors roam the old battlefields at night. The old towns and cities of the Grand Duchy lay in ruins - pillaged and burned, and they offer hiding places to bandits, invaders, or worse.
These are interesting days for the leadership of Hochoch, and not all pleasant. While the traditional appointed Mayor, Abnur Rhys, still presides over basic functions from the town hall, the real power in Hochoch is the Lord Knight Protector, Horace Amstide. Sir Amstide, sent by Commandant Vrianian to administer the town during the reoccupation, is a typical Marchite lordling, steady and determined. Many of the town's leaders seen put off by his no-nonsense approach to governing. There is little gray in Sir Amstide's manner, and his agenda for Hochoch is clear and simple. In effect, the town is in a state of martial law. The Lord Mayor and his agents are now no more than figureheads, and this doesn't sit well with them.
There is also the matter of Hochoch allegiance. Abnur Rhys has authority granted by the Grand Duke of Geoff, while Sir Amstide acts in the name of the Commandant of the Gran March. It is believed by many the Commandant plans to annex the Cup region as a whole, using it as a staging area in the war to reclaim Geoff's sovereignty. The Grand Duke is aware of such rumors and has voiced his protests to King Skotti of Keoland.
Abnur Rhys is not the kind of man to wait for the Keoish King to speak for him. He has, instead, instigated a form of shadow government, taking what authority is handed down from Sir Amstide and expanding it through bureaucratic channels. Whatever his orders, the Lord Knight Protector is still a Knight of the Watch, with little taste for the day to day subtleties of government. A skilled politician, Rhys knows how to use intrigue to his advantage, then make false assurances to regain much of his former power.
Mayor Rhys is not without his supporters among the townsfolk. While there is no lack of appreciation for the Gran March's efforts in the region, few native Geoffites wish to swear loyalty to the Commandant. In many cases, the townsfolk look to Rhys as the lawful ruler of the township. Most are loyal to the Knights of the Watch out of tradition and so far as there is a united effort to reclaim Geoff for the Grand Duke.
Hochoch has always been amazingly diverse religiously. Since the Greyhawk Wars, the town has swollen with the ranks of exiles from Sterich and Bissel, knights and soldiers from Keoland and the Gran March, and numerous adventures. As with many places in troubled areas, the townsfolk have begun to take much more stock in faith. The deities of the Suel and Flan have always been represented, though of late the most popular followings are of the more common powers. Today, the most honored deities in Hochoch are Pelor and Kord, and a thriving cult to Trithereon has been at work here since 586 CY. The Knights of the Watch hold vigils to Pholtus at the chapel in Northill Keep. Both Kelanen and Mayaheine have small followings in town, though neither has a formal place of worship.
As is customary in the Sheldomar Valley, the folk rarely limit reverence to a single deity, and while all temples in Hochoch are attended by some small groups, it is the Zenith of the Sun temple, dedicated to Pelor, regularly attracts a large congregation. Prayers to Pelor are also customary at festivals and town hall meetings. Most of the townsfolk accept the deity as a sort of patron of Hochoch these days.
Hochoch shares most of the holidays and festivals held throughout the Gran March and Geoff, drawing from both nations. However, the Green River Festival is unique to the townsfolk. This festival has been held annually for as long as anyone can remember, and possibly dates back to Flan customs before the foundation of Hochoch.
In mid-spring, snow-runoff brings a rise to the banks of the Realstream. As the river passes through the Dim Forest, it collects winter deadfall. For a few days, the waters of the Realstream turn turbulent and a faint shade of green. This event usually comes in mid to late Planting, and precedes the spawning season for the perch and trout inhabiting the river.
The Green River Festival commemorates this event, and gives thanks to the spirits of the land for the bounty to come. In a twilight ceremony led by a cleric of the Old Faith, or a druid of Obad-Hai, small tallow candles are set on wooden plaques and set afloat on the river. The purpose is to lead the fish to their seasonal spawning beds. The ceremony is held on the first day of the two day festival.
Surrounded by a low wall and overseen by a fortified keep, Hochoch is by all respects a well-defended town. The town wall is twelve feet, or roughly two stories tall, and set about with battlements and towers. The towers straddling the Duke's Gate are the tallest, heightened when the Marchites occupied the town. They receive messages from the watch towers on the Duke's Highway, which would warn of approaching dangers. The wall is largely stone with wooden supports, some of which have been replaced by stone.
A full militia is currently employed by decree of the Lord Knight Protector. Every able bodied man must spend his time on the wall, as well as time training with a weapon. If necessary, the town militia can assemble nearly 2,000 men. Another 150 are trained guardsmen, who form the police force of the town. They answer to the local constable who in turn answers to the Lord Mayor, or the Lord Knight Protector in his stead. Mayor Rhys' constable, Willum Thol, was quickly dismissed by Sir Amstide when the man proved unreasonable. In his place, Kamen Freck was appointed the position. Constable Freck, for all his allegiance to Geoff, understands the situation and is willing to work in the space given by the Knight. He is also no ally of Mayor Rhys. Constable Freck is perhaps Sir Amstide's only ally against the Lord Mayor's shadow government – a mantle which has won the Constable little goodwill from Rhys' supporters.
Northill Keep, set on the western-most height of the Shalm's Shoulders, was begun in the summer of 586 CY. Its walls are tall and sound, and the fortress is capable of withstanding a siege for many months if necessary. It normally holds a single cavalry company, two units of infantry and a company of archers, perhaps 300 troops in all. This is seen as suitable in the defense of Hochoch. The walls can easily house as many as 1,000. When the keep and grounds were completed, craftsmen began working on a tunnel system to connect the town proper and Northill Keep. Such endeavors proved more costly than effective, however, the ground was just too soft and the project was abandoned - though rumors to the contrary exist. From its position, few among the Watchers doubt Northill Keep is more than adequate in the defense of Hochoch.
Neighborhood and Town Sites
As Hochoch is not a large town when compared to the likes of Verbobonc or Cryllor, it may seem strange, or even inappropriate that its neighborhoods are divided so neatly. Even the townsfolk rarely use terms such as "the Garden District", and neighborhoods are usually better identified with the nearest gate (High Gate, Twin Gates, etc.). On the other hand, Riverfront and East River are regularly referred to as such, and depending on who you speak to may seem like completely separate communities from Hochoch. When giving directions to places inside the town walls, places are marked by their street and the nearest gate.
Districts and neighborhoods do exist however, and are used primarily in political ventures. A nobleman will not likely wish to live in "East End" with the commoners, and might even refer to that section in haughty disdain. And as such, those highly concerned with status are more likely to identify places by their district than the common townsfolk, who see such identifiers as needlessly excessive in most cases.
Riverfront is a shamble of packed buildings and warehouses. There is a certain odor to the place, given the fisheries on the bank of the Realstream, and most establishments burn strong scented candles to help mask it. Most of the residents of Riverfront live in high story apartments, or above their shops. Families tend to build upwards, and it is not uncommon to find as many as four stories on some buildings. The ground here is wet, precluding basements. Instead, most buildings have an attic or loft for storage. Those buildings closest to the Realstream are often elevated, as the river is subject to minor floods every six years or so.
Except in the harshest times of winter, ferries are available to carry passengers and their mounts across the Realstream year-round. Most of the larger ferries end their business at sundown, but a few continue on into the odd hours of the night. Transport costs around 5 cp per passenger (horses count as passengers) on the smaller ferries, while the larger ones, capable of transporting whole caravans, cost a bit more.
R1) The Last Word (Inn): ratty and disheveled, with an open porch, this place is most popular in the fall months, when its northern location protects it from wondrously scented Riverfront breezes.
R2) Red Rum Jack's (Tavern): Perhaps the most notorious (and popular) drinking hole in town. The proprietor is well known for his wild and crass humor and the specialty drinks are a wonder in themselves. Of course, maybe the reason it is so popular is the resident hedge mage, who earns his keep by keeping the pleasant Riverfront smells at bay.
R3) The Little Fish (Tavern): Known for its riverside deck and darts tournaments.
Once a community of fisherman and charter boat captains, East River is the newest part of Hochoch. It is not new in years, but was only recently annexed; just prior to the wars. It lacks the crowding of Riverfront but otherwise shares its character.
E1) Brotherhood of the Long Road (Chapel/Fharlaghn): Spacious and open with numerous gardens.
E2) Fharlaghn's Footsteps (Tavern): A small watering hole which lives up to its claim as the first and last drink on South Rivercross Street.
This fortress occupies the western of two hills north of the town proper known as the Shalm's Shoulders. In addition to holding a sizeable force of the Marchite army and a number of Knights of the March, a shrine to Pholtus is housed there. Most of the Knights of the Watch pay homage to He of the Blinding Light, including Sir Horace Amstide, who journeys there with his aides each Godsday. A small but growing number of townsfolk also travel there on key holy days to worship. The knights and soldiers are watchful of these people, but usually permit them to enter and give homage. The high priest is a Missionary knight named Droven Klysse. He is very adamant about his faith, to the point many of the townsfolk view him as arrogant and condescending.
Cemetery of Pelor
This large plot of ground rests south of the town ways, inland some distance from the Realstream. It is an ancient burial plot, with sarcophagi bearing dates as far back as 100 CY. The plots are arranged in a circular manner, spreading out from a series of six stone slabs, low to the ground, which form the center of the mausoleum. Funeral rites are performed upon these slabs, before the dead are sealed away from Pelor's light. This allows the souls of the dead to leave their mortal shells. It is known if a man faithful to Pelor is buried prematurely, the soul is trapped on the mortal realm and undeath can result. It is likewise unhealthy to bury those faithful below ground, hence the dead are sealed upright in mausoleums. It is also appropriate, in the case of priests of Pelor, to cremate the body and seal away the ashes.
The Town Proper
The Promenade runs north to south, connecting the Garden and River Gates with the High Gate. It is a wide road, and heavily trafficked by caravans from spring to autumn. The second thoroughfare, Garden Way, runs east to west, connecting the North Gate and Duke's Gate. Prior to the fall of Geoff, most commercial traffic traveled the Promenade to Garden Way, and those parts are still the most built up. The eastern length of Garden Way is much more open.
Market Lane begins at the Garden Gate and runs to the east through the West Market district and intersecting the Promenade in the Garden District.
Twin Gates Market
The hustle and bustle of the southern town proper is a maze of shops, carts, and stalls. As exiles slowly return to Hochoch, and adventurers come to seek their fortunes in lost Geoff, the market district of the town has grown considerably.
T1) Hawk House (pawn/fencer): While this shop offers little at its front other than small works of art and trivial jewelry, a quiet word and a gold coin can buy a look at the wares kept in the back. The proprietor has close ties with the Owl's Talons. No thief can fence his wares here without word getting back to the guild.
T2) Red Bracket's Forge (blacksmith): While most of his work is for agrarian purposes, Red can still hammer out one of the best blades in town. His horseshoes are said to last twice as long as those of any other smith in Hochoch.
T3) Golan Hambler, moneychanger: An immigrant from Veluna, Golan is one of the wealthier moneychangers in Hochoch. He is always hiring guards or the like, and is whispered to be paying the Owl's Talons a healthy fee for their "hands-off" policy towards him.
T4) Simion's Remedies (Apothecary/Herbalist): One of the best places in town to acquire poultices, remedies, and even minor potions.
T5) Hound and Hare (Inn): While certainly not the largest boarding house in Hochoch, the Hound and Hare gains its reputation from the proprietor's love of sport hunting.
An amateur taxidermist, the walls of his common room are adorned with the forms of many animals he has hunted. His oldest dog, Reb, is a regular visitor and a favorite of patrons. It is considered very bad form to harass Reb.
T6) Fabianus’ Stables: A large, burly man, Fabianus can often be found feeding and talking to his horses. He keep two stable boys on staff to assist him, and usually can accommodate requests for horses for groups of up to eight persons. Fabianus breeds normal riding horses, draft horses and ponies.
T7) Gaywayne’s Fine Tailoring And Accoutrements: Gaywayne is a somewhat effeminate human male. Although he is often considered flighty, no other clothier in Hochoch can compare with the quality of his clothing. He carries most of the items listed in the Player’s Handbook under clothing.
Not only encapsulating the Garden of Lai and the Willow Towers, the Garden District is the district of the wealthy and noble in Hochoch. The grounds are spacious and the homes, while not elaborate, are typically large and low.
G1) The Garden of Lai: An enchanted garden believed to be planted ages ago by the elves who built the Willow Towers. At the center of the garden is a small fountain, surrounded by a circle of golden Galda trees. According to Flan legend, these are the sleeping masters of the garden. The garden itself is tended by a druid, a member of the Druids of the Standing Stones, and affiliated to Obad-Hai.
G2a-c) The Willow Towers: Of these ancient structures, only two, Thumb and Gardenview, remain standing. Others have long since crumbled. Strangely, the remaining towers show no signs of wear. Neither have any apparent entrances or portals. Only one of these towers was ever entered and was since named for the mage whose band penetrated it shortly before its tragic collapse in which none survived. Roelkar's Breach is the site of a memorial today. Tall and narrow, these towers are fashioned from a pale marble, cool to the touch even in the light of the sun.
The Thumb tower: Short and thick, this structure rises about thirty feet from its base. It is much smoother than its counterpart, and its white porcelain walls have a glow to them when Celene is full.
Roelkar's Breach: Much of the rubble here was cleared away. Still, the remains of the foundation and some of the larger stones still rest here undisturbed. On the largest stone, the names of Roelkar and his men, and the date of their passing is noted.
The Gardenview: Tall and narrow, the outer shell of this tower has a certain curve to it, much like a unicorn's horn, though it does not end in such a point. The tower is speculated to be about 60-70 feet high, but only appears to be about 30 feet thick. Architects are still unsure of the structure, and are certain magic was used in its creation, since measurements taken one day do not always match those taken later.
G3) The Ivory (Inn): A pleasant enough place which caters to well-to-do merchants and other such visitors.
G4) Zenith of the Sun (Temple/Pelor): Perhaps the most beautiful temples in Hochoch, and certainly one of the oldest. The High Priest is a soft spoken, serious man named Klaudius Boneventure.
G5) Haradine's Shop of Antiquities: All manner of oddities can be found here, from trinkets to furnishings. Most are fashioned from precious stones or metals, and are quite expensive. Haradine is a proud woman with a passion for history. She knows of many legendary sites throughout the Sheldomar and will occasionally fund expeditions if she feels the terms are right.
G6) Hochoch Grand Performance Hall: Lying almost directly at the intersection of Garden District, East End and High Gate, the Grand Performance Hall has enjoyed three decades as the premiere venue for the performing arts. Each Freeday and Starday, musical concerts and operas can be seen within it’s lavish hall. On Moonday and Waterday, a variety of plays can also be seen. The prices for these events vary, with the plays averaging a silver piece or so, and the operas charging nearly 5 gold for a standard seat. Currently the most popular performer in Hochoch is the beautiful seventeen year old Nabiki Ryoko (see Who’s Who), who’s vocal performances always sell out.
G7) Wunderwon’s Musical Emporium: Looking for overpriced musical instruments? This would be your place. Phineus Von Wunderwon (pronounced Vundervon) carries all manner of musical items, and is instrumental (pardon the expression) on the board of directors of the Grand Performance Hall. He is always interested in any musical artifacts, and industrious characters might think about bringing items they find back here for appraisal or sale. Phineus is a human male in his mid-seventies, originally from Rauxes, with long, wispy white hair he keeps pulled back tightly in a knotted tail.
Larger than Twin Gates Market on the south side of town, West Market is known for its high profile luxury shops. Most of the products here are more expensive than can be found on the south side, but not necessarily of higher quality.
W1) The Crow's Perch (tavern): A small establishment which specializes in exotic wines. It attracts many patrons from the Foreign Quarter.
W2) The Brave Hearth (restaurant): A long, low ceiling, wood construction. This place is modeled after the festhalls of the barbarian lords in the far northeast. Open for drinks and small meals daily, on Restday they hold a great feast, which can be joined for a modest price. This place was a favorite of Goreblade's Dwarves, who have recently been banned from Restday festivities.
W3) Fantasy in Wax (candle shop/apothecary): Sells a wide variety of wax and tallow candles. The proprietor is a hedge wizard who will craft special magical candles for a price. Unbeknownst to most, he is an ally of the Owl's Talons, and has aided them in the past by crafting special candles producing a myriad of illusionary effects. The Snow Owl pays him well for his assistance and secrecy.
W4) Brotherhood of Kord (Temple/Kord): Built on Willow Street where the West Markets meet the Garden District, this temple is a very old one. The people of Hochoch worship a very odd representation of Kord. Here he is seen as sort of a pioneer spirit, as many of those who tamed this land in the early days of Keoland felt a certain kinship to the deity. As such, it is often considered just as proper for explorers and adventures to pay homage to Kord before setting out on the road as it is for them to visit the chapel of Fharlanghn in East River. The leading Priest of Kord, Madorly, is a tall, wiry man whose appearance belies his strength. He often dresses in animal skins, decorated with colored cloths marking his station as Canon. He is a blunt-spoken and forthright man, with little concern for station or status outside church proceedings. He holds a great respect for the Knights of the Watch and makes regular, good-natured, attempts to sway them to the dogma of Kord, as is "only proper in the life of a fighting man." Pholtus, he claims, "is a god for politicians."
W5) Gazar’s Crown Jewels: Overpriced and overbearing, Nigel Gazar runs this jewelry establishment. He is always interested in jewelry and gems, especially those from other lands, and is a master or appraisal. He will constantly offer between 20% - 50% less than actual value for any item (1d4 x 10% plus an additional 10%). He always has two large armed guards in the front room, and an additional 2-4 in the back of his shop. He has an agreement with the Thieves Guild in the city – they ignore his store, and he occasionally feeds them information regarding people with large amounts of gems that they need to have "lost."
The residents of this area are largely refugees and demi-humans. There is evidence this was once one of the most beautiful districts in town. The foreign nobles who once summered in Hochoch have moved on, leaving behind a shadow of color. The new residents have changed the old atmosphere of this place. The quarter is now a mishmash of cultural influences and color, producing features quite unique from the rest of the town. Open areas are dotted with trees and monuments, adding to the attractive aesthetics of the place. Old mansions now house multiple families, and the flat rooftop terraces have been converted to gardens and are home to Hochoch's elven population.
F1) The Root Cellar (Tavern): Proprietor Quigby Smallfoot, a tallfellow halfling, has done his best to welcome visitors from all across the Flanaess. He imports most of his brews from the Ulek nations, but is also know for an ale of his own recipe. Quigby, an exile from Geoff, is said to have a network of contacts from the Grand Duchy.
F2) Olam Gantry, Moneychanger: The services of a moneychanger are essential in a place as varied as Hochoch's foreign quarter. Gantry is fairer than most, though he still favors coins from Veluna and Keoland. His exchange rate for those with Geoffite coinage is charitable, but still poor compared to that seven years ago. He is a kind man and interacts with the community.
F3) The Briar Oak: This is an open air court set in the center of one of the quarter's many small parks. Hochoch's high elves gather here to hear traditional poetry, song, and discussion. Hochoch boasts only a small population of high elves, and most of these are travelers from the high elven city Fenntyne, which lies several days northeast in the Dim Forest. This place is also spoken well of by elvish travelers from Ulek and elsewhere in the Sheldomar. The drinks are nonalcoholic, but still potent, blends of nectar and fermented fruit juices. A menu of edible flowers makes this place quite unique. It is also one of the few places a non-elf might overhear matters of elven politics, the continued neutrality of Celene obviously being a frequent topic. There are occasional whispers and rumor of the "wild elves" who live at the heart of the Dim Forest, though most of the human locals accept these as folktales used to scare children.
F4) Fortunes and Fates: This small shop is also the home of Old Tetta (see Who’s Who In Hochoch), an elderly female gnome. The home is spartanly furnished, and Tetta receives visitors in the front study. For a few copper pieces, Tetta will put on a pleasant show, telling small bits of information to a customer. For a fee (up to the DM), Tetta will perform small informational spells.
While parks and temples give High Gate its character, the town hall and militia barracks are definitely its centerpiece. The roads in this quarter are paved in brick, and a local guild keeps them in good condition. This is the religious and political center of town, and the townsfolk will assure travellers that the two make strange bedfellows. Hidden on the eastern end, where High Gate meets East Side, is Hochoch's notorious red light district.
H1) Order of the Avenger's Blade (Chapel/ Trithereon):Perhaps the fastest growing assembly in Hochoch, the Avenger's Blade attracts mostly refugees and those who suffered personal losses during the war. Most of them seek revenge on one level or another. The high priest, Danollen, lost his home and family to Ketite raiders in Bissel. The building housing the chapel was destroyed by catapult fire during the Battle of Hochoch, and while it has been largely reconstructed, the priests hold the fact to some significance in their gatherings.
H2) Town Hall: A multi-level complex of timber and stone, Hochoch's town hall is a beautiful site. It includes living quarters for the lord mayor and a number of servants, and many meeting areas. Atop the hall's tower is a large bell, which is struck on the hour. This doubles as a fire alert.
H3) Militia Barracks: This complex, surrounded by a high stone wall, sits adjacent to the town hall. This fortification houses the town guard and on-duty militia men. Beneath the complex are the town's jails. Some 100 guardsmen are usually housed here on an irregular basis. The only permanent residents are the town constable and his family. Living quarters are also available for deputies, though most of them live elsewhere.
H4) Militia Training Grounds: At the heart of the militia complex are the training grounds.
H5) The Wet Pilgrim (Inn): One of the seedier places in Hochoch, this inn doubles as the headquarters of the local thieves guild, the Owl's Talons. This organization works slightly different than most circles of robbers. Instead of concentrating on crime and criminal activities in Hochoch, they specialize in procuring items from the lost lands. The Claws' numbers are largely composed exiles from Sterich and Geoff. Many are low ranking scouts for the Knights of the Watch. The symbol of the Claws is a silver claw on a sable field, a mockery of the Knight's own seal. The head of the guild is Onshae, the Snow Owl. As a guild, they are still relatively unorganized. They do not currently require membership to operate in Hochoch, but it is considered rude to not obtain it. The Claws' vast network of contacts can be of considerable help to thieves in need, but to acquire such aid requires signing the guild register.
H6) The Whippoorwill (Brothel): The only brothel operating within the town proper. The Madame is proud of her establishment, and it is quite sanitary for a house of ill repute. There are rumors of secret tunnels running beneath the inn, connecting it to the Town Hall (H3).
Largely a residential area to the common working folk of Hochoch, East End does have a few extraordinary features. There are isolated pockets of shops, and non-guild tradesmen often sell their services here. This is one of the few areas in Hochoch not lit after nightfall. While some alleyways collect beggars, most of the residents of East End are honorable folk, and theft is uncommon.
EE1) Aldra's Maps: Her maps are more artistic than useful. Still, her work is spoken of well within among township.
EE2) Jorne Kepeth (Sage, animal lore): a retired forester, most of the townsfolk will concede Jorne is the undisputed expert in the region's wildlife. He spent many years in the Dim Forest with the Druids of the Standing Stones, and has many friends among them.
EE3) Chapel of Dawn (Chapel/Lydia): Bright and open-aired, this chapel is an odd contrast to the more modest dwellings in the East End. Noblemen occasionally visit it, and musicians and poets are constant attendants as well.
EE4) Kazamir’s Wilderness Goods and Supply: As the sign proudly proclaims, Kazamir sells all manner of normal traveling items and supplies such as rope, oil, torches, etc.
EE5) Incense And Pleasant Scents: This small wooden building can be found nearly a block away – simply let your nose lead you there. The proprietor, a middle-aged Flan woman named Lea Flori is a master of smells. Her incense and scented oils are often purchased in bulk by the temple throughout the city. Refer to Priest’s Section of the Whole Realms Catalogue for details on purchases from this establishment.
Who’s Who In Hochoch
Sir Horace Amstide, Lord Knight Protector of Hochoch (LN, HM, F6)
Sir Amstide began his career with the Knights of the Watch as a squire. Notorious for his wandering eyes as a young knight, he was rumored to have fathered a few bastard children in Bissel. This proved too much for his wife, who took her life with her husband's own blade. Shattered by guilt, Sir Amstide fell into a prolonged melancholy, coupled with uncontrolled bouts of drinking. In an effort to guard the good reputation of the order, he was stationed in more and more remote forts. It was the Wars which marked a change in him, and Sir Amstide strove to lead himself back to a more righteous path. Little of this tale is known to the residents of Hochoch, though many have observed the Knight walks under the weight of his past. He believes his post as Knight Protector of Hochoch is his last chance to redeem himself in his wife's eyes, whose spirit he claims haunts him still. Sir Amstide is a tall man with a heavy frame. Balding, his thick mustache is peppered in grey, and his face has grown sullen under his prolonged burden. His peers call him, "the long-eyed son." He has few friends among the order, as most consider him a drunk. Those he does call friends are quite loyal.
Abnur Rhys, Lord Mayor (LN(E), HM)
A stocky man with a slight paunch, Rhys is accustomed to a comfortable life afforded to him by his aristocratic background. He made several renovations to the town hall when he came there by Grand Duke Owen's appointment. Unmarried, he is a notorious womanizer. He consider's Sir Amstide's front to him a grievous insult and has little regard for the Knight Protector or the Knights of the Watch. His hatred has led him to build alliances with less reputable organizations like the Owl's Talons. (Note: Rhys' evil tendencies are a fairly new development, born of political disappointment and the humiliation of being stripped of his office. The residents of Hochoch do not view him as an evil man, though they may question his political motives.)
Morikahn Goreblade, Underking of Ollbrough (CG, DM, F7)
Underking Goreblade and his company were driven from their dwarfhold in the foothills of the Crystalmists mountains in 585 CY. Their numbers were decimated during the Wars, and now his court is perhaps 36 strong (including women). Now, having settled in Hochoch so as to coordinate their efforts with the Knights of the Watch, they have become the town's most notorious refugees. Rude and uncouth by human standard, the Underking's court is wild even by hill dwarf standards. Goreblade himself is a proud dwarf with fiery red hair and brilliant blue eyes. He typically wears his beard braided when not on an excursion. He misses no opportunity to engage the enemy in border skirmishes, and so is often away these days, much to the relief of the townsfolk. He and his dwarves reside in a feasthall in the Foreign Quarter.
Constable Kamen Freck (LG, HM, F2)
Kamen Freck is a simple man, absent of political aspirations. Perhaps this is why he was appointed to his post by Sir Amstide. Freck is a long-time member of the local militia. A plain, slender man, he hails from a traditional Flan family and holds to the Old Faith. His two sons, twins, have only recently been accepted as squires by the Knights of the Watch, and are an enormous source of pride for him.
Onshae, the Snow Owl (CN(G), HF, T6)
Awkwardly beautiful, Onshae's outstanding feature is her height. She stands nearly seven feet tall, lean and willowy in frame. She is among the best of her profession operating in Hochoch. The former master thief of Hochoch raised her as a daughter, taking it upon himself to train her. Her brief stint as a scout for the Marchite army in the winter of 586 CY earned her the title 'Snow Owl', by her peers. Onshae likes to be in the center of things, and has more recently forgone burglary for the more lucrative trade in selling secrets.
Klaudius Boneventure, High Priest Of Pelor (NG, HM, P12)
The temple of Pelor in Hochoch is one of the largest shrines to the deity in these parts of the realms. Thus, Brother Klaudius takes his appointment as High Priest with the utmost seriousness. Wise even for his 60+ years, Klaudius is well known throughout the community as a gifted conversationalist. He has spent the last 30 years in Hochoch after leaving the temple of Pelor in Rel Mord. His priests often accompany the Knights of the Watch on patrols – where the Marchers accept their company if not welcome them. Klaudius is slightly over six foot in height, with short graying hair and green eyes.
Nabiki Ryoko, Vocalist (True Neutral, HF, zero class)
Some use the word "haunting" to describe the impact of young Nabiki’s vocal performances. Those viewing her usually come away feeling as though they’ve shared in whatever pain or sorrow seems to dwell in the heart of this beautiful girl. Nabiki is of nearly pure Suel bloodline, her long blonde hair and blue eyes leave little doubt to that fact. What is confusing is that this young girl, who comes from a fairly wealthy family in Hochoch, can sing songs full of a lifetime’s worth of heartache. Off stage, Nabiki is a shy seventeen year old young lady, seldom seen in public, and apparently oblivious to the countless males of whom are smitten by her lovely voice and stunning looks.
Myryld Shalyh and Myvy Fylynne (NG, EFs, zero class)
Refugees from the Elven village of Preston, Myryld and Myvy are two adolescent females, taking in all of the new sights and sounds of the city of Hochoch. They can normally be found flirting with any semi-attractive male Elves in and around the Briar Oak. As far as they know, their parents are still alive and are participating in the hit-and-fade campaign against the giants who occupy their village. In the meantime, the two flighty Elven girls plan on milking this experience for everything it’s worth.
Old Tetta, Mystic (CG, GF, M11)
The mystic Tetta lives in a small gnome burrow just outside of the Briar Oak. She can often be found sipping tea and smoking a long pipe with the elven refugees of Preston. Tetta originally hails from just outside of Verbobonc and only recently came to Hochoch. If questioned, she will only say she goes where the fates would have her. Tetta is a devoted follower of Istus, and is always ready to peer at the lines in the palms of those she meets.
Posted: 07-25-2014 08:00 pm
My gateway in...
Posted: 07-11-2012 10:44 pm
Old is new again.
Just picked up a bunch of old modules for WoG.
Debating which one to update to 3.5ed first.
Posted: 07-11-2012 05:52 pm
First name: Charles
Location: Southern New Jersey [USA]
When you started playing D&D?
Yeesh... 1984, if memory serves.
What rules you started with?
Expert set with some older kids in Philadelphia, PA [USA]. Sure, we played it ½ wrong but I fell in love with the game, regardless.
Where does your Forum Nick come from?
A character I played in the original Against the Giants series.
Posted: 07-11-2012 05:50 pm