03 August, 2012

Information.. Information!!

As a continuation of this post, another of my regular players, Zach, posed a few more questions about my continuing Original Dungeons & Dragons campaign, Castle Nicodemus:

1) Can any of the various beings (goblins, elves, ogre, bugbears, bullywug) that we have encountered and that now live in Renard's Folly recall any folklore or oral history of the Morvalians, where they came from or where they went? Were they conquerors? Were great wars fought to evict them?
It is widely believed that they destroyed themselves in a great internecine war, The War of the Wizards. Only elves pretend to have any solid knowledge of them, passed down through generations in the region. They maintain that their elven ancestors were even more reclusive and insular in the dim past of the ancient Morvalian lands, thus limiting their contact. However, elven tradition holds that the Morvalian Empire existed for many centuries, and attained great heights of arcane knowledge, perhaps too great. Much of current wizardry, when not attributed to themselves, is deemed an innovation of the Morvalians. The Empire is said to have stretched “beyond common geography,” and for a time may have been a positive civilising force. Though destroyed in the War of the Wizards, it is told the best parts and ideals of the Empire lived on for a time in the realm of the legendary Pomegranate Queen.

2) What kinds of constellations are visible above Castle Nicodemus on the rare clear nights? Anything familiar to our European mercenaries, or entirely unrelated?
Though the clouds have been stubbornly persistent, on the few clear nights you have been witness to a sky completely unfamiliar to those not native to Anglia.

3) Are the occasional magicians, alchemists and other miracle workers we find in your medieval Europe actually native to it, or immigrants from other, more magical realms? If so, are they aware they've come form somewhere else, or did they simply slip into mundane Europe without realizing? Have there been actual dragons in mundane Europe at any point? Actual vampires?
Stories of dragons and vampires, or more commonly strigoi, persist. Many believe they are factual, and take a myriad of precautions, but you have yet to see any direct evidence for yourselves. The unique individuals you’ve met, apart from The Magnificent Brian, are apparently native to Europe and Asia. Brian, who claims his real name is ‘Bran,’ confused by a limner with a travelling circus, has made it plain that he hails not from Europe. He hasn’t elucidated any further on the subject.

4) The badass Gypsy who goes adventuring with us sometimes--does he work for Migellito or the gypsy fortuneteller lady? In my skulking around the caravan, have I had the chance to observe their interactions at all? They seem pretty interested in the stuff we're pulling out of the ruins.
He seems to work for Migellito, but spends the majority of his time near the fortuneteller’s wagon. He and the fortuneteller confer often, but a feeling of romance is never present in their dealings. He appeared shortly after this exchange between Migellito and the fortuneteller.

5) What do the torch-bearers and mercenaries from the caravan that we've been over-paying spend their money on (besides funerals)? How do they feel about us bringing in cheaper mercenaries, and settling in the Folly?
Most seem to have blown their windfall on hard drink and fast women. A few sport fine clothes, now mostly road-worn, and some have excellent boots and the finest tack and harness. Ignatius, for one, apparently sent all of his to his family.

News and Happenings in The Environs of Nicodemus Castle

Late at night, word is sent down below to the denizens of the foundry that something of interest is happening above, and that someone should come take a look. Those climbing up to the surface are treated to a view of an only partly occluded sky above the lookout post atop the crumbling gatehouse. The cold blue stars are decidedly not arranged in the constellations with which anyone is familiar.

Being directed to peer Eastward, the head of a lengthy infantry column is seen marching South on the distant road, this side of the River Wythern. The tail of the column is somewhere to the North, shrouded in dust and darkness. The deep monotone of a rhythmic marching chant floats across the air a quarter mile to reach the roof of the gatehouse.

Suddenly, a pinpoint of firelight streaks toward the column from the other side of the river. A great blossom of orange fire opens in the middle of the road, engulfing nearly a dozen ranks. Several moments later the muted ‘whump’ of the explosion reaches your ears, closely followed by the distant gutteral shouts of rallying troops. Half a hundred are left charred and blackened in the roadway.

The scrambling infantry wastes little time. They break off in sections and begin crossing the river in answer to the sonorous boom of commands which reach your ears a moment later. The water teems white in the starlight as scores enter it from the near bank. The midst of the river begins to glow with a dim green light, as though the waters are lit from beneath, and then a blinding flash of lightning slams down into the river among the struggling troops. Thunder cracks and rumbles over the ruins. The surface of the water has taken on a sluggish quality, and you realise it is choked with bodies.