Tag: Orbis Leonis

A Grassy, Wind-Swept Sandbox Full of Giants, Part Four

Drow Assassin by thatDMan
Drow Assassin by thatDMan

You knew a prophecy had to show up eventually. Continuing from part three…

Upon arriving back in town, the party headed for Lord-Protector Shendrel’s offices only to find an unruly mob of farmers complaining about Xerlo, the stone giant, who apparently defended an outlying farm from attack by throwing the farmer’s silo at a bunch of hill giants who were stealing all the livestock they could get ahold of while chanting “Food for Guh! Food for Guh!” They said they’d have a talk to him.

While they were in town, Inkblitz headed off to the Golden Compass Society for Exploration, Acquisition, and Monster Dispatch (a.k.a. the Adventurers Guild), while Sirfox headed for the Brotherhood of the Spider (a.k.a. the Thieves Guild). Jamie went off to the temple and the garrison to boost morale, aid the refugees of the volcano still clogging up the town, and presumably chop wood or something paladiney like that.

Investigation at the Adventurers Guild revealed that the only business for miles around seemed to be giants– hill giants around the mountains, cloud giants floating through the sky, frost giants raiding the coast, and fire giants everywhere tearing up stuff. Sirfie discovered that the Thieves Guild was in the back of the same building as the Adventurers Guild and was in fact run by the same gnome. He also was a bit surprised to discover a drow just sort of hanging out there.

He was pretty sure she was one of the drow who’d been meeting with Kolstaag Albrek and buggered off when a troll came bursting through the window, and he tried to to get her to own up to it, but she was cagey, more or less attempting to interrogate him right back. Three rounds and no decision later, the guild master came in and starting creeping on the drow (because blue-skinned elf chick in black leather, man). The guild master informed Nikki that with all the refugees in town trying to sell off their family’s heirlooms in order to afford a place to stay and food to eat, it was actually a pretty rough time to be a thief– none of the usual stuff was worth stealing.

Finally the group connected with Xerlo, who was sitting on a hill outside of town scribbling runes on a boulder. He told them he had been granted several visions. First was of Togar, “battling great spiders in the darkness.” Second was “a gargantuan red dragon, holding your group in the palm of a massive claw and smiling down upon you as a prized treasure.” Third was Hantamouse, “striding the lands as if you were yourself a giant, with the god Kord walking at your side.” (Hanta: “Woot!”) Finally, his last set of visions didn’t feature any of the heroes at all, just a series of images: “a black fortress surrounded by a moat of lava, great black tentacles in the crushing depths of the sea, and an ancient city lost in the sands of the desert.”

After wrangling with these visions a bit, Xerlo told them that their discussion had made up his mind: he was going to go north “to the land of the frost giants,” where there was supposedly a giant oracle called the Eye of the All-Father, to ask the oracle what these visions meant. When asked if he would be okay making a trip like that, he replied that it was hazardous in the extreme and he didn’t think it likely he would survive, but that he had to try. Being a bit concerned for their enormous, stoic-yet-strangely-vulnerable friend, they asked if he would like them to join him, to which he replied he would indeed like that very much.

They didn’t want to just bugger off to the frozen north leaving Three Roads vulnerable to hill giant attacks, however, so bringing Xerlo in tow they tracked down the hill giant raiding party and wiped it out, retrieving most of the livestock (but unfortunately unable to rescue the captured farmers, whom the giants had killed long before). Xerlo informed the party that “Guh” was in fact a great chieftain of the hill giants, who lived on the other side of the Silver Spires.

Before leaving town, they just barely remembered to look into the fate of Harthos Zymorven. In the town library they found accounts of his heroic career in Elsir Vale and Westdeep Forest, before becoming a mercenary for the dwarves of Starhold later in life. At the Adventurers Guild they found a reference to him signing over his guild membership to his son in Hierandal, to the north, twenty years ago, and apparently retiring. Since that was more-or-less the direction Xerlo wanted to go anyway, they chose that as a destination and headed off.

They were not expecting the dragon attack that comes in part five…

-The Gneech

PS: Quit creeping on that drow, guildmaster! Don’t you know that’s Obsidian’s mother?

A Grassy, Wind-Swept Sandbox Full of Giants, Part Three

Ghost paladin possessing a troll SMASH!

Kolstaag Albrek never knew what hit him. Continuing from part two…

It has always been true, but it is especially true of 5E that rolling low on initiative kills bosses dead. Between being blasted by the party’s wizard and cleric, sneak-attacked by the rogue, and having a ghost-possessed troll flip a desk on him then pick him up and go all TROLL SMASH, Kolstaag Albrek didn’t even get a spell off before the party had wrought their revenge. The pair of drow he was meeting with decided that was their cue to call it a day, and the wizard’s vicious gargoyle pets were quickly dispatched. The only other occupant of the house was a cranky old coot named Xzyyzx, the wizard’s housekeeper, whose opinion was that the wizard’s death meant it was his house now.

The party were not inclined to debate the legalities of property ownership in Three Roads, but instead reclaimed their gear (Jamie was quite jazzed to discover that Togar was the owner of a suit of adamantine plate), read Kolstaag’s mail, and headed back to town. Kolstaag, it turned out, was working for a drow by the name of Nezannar, which triggered deja vu in players from my previous Silver Coast game.

(Since that game is actually set 50 years in the future relative to the current one, the events of that game are history repeating itself, even though it got played first. Wibbly-wobbly campaigney-wampaigney.)

They also fetched Xerlo the stone giant out of the basement. He was quite surprised they were no longer in their cells, but on being informed that his former employer was dead, he adopted a very c’est la vie attitude on the subject. The party invited him to come along back to Three Roads with them, with the plan of setting him up as an 18′ tall Lurch-like guardian angel.

Lord-Protector Shendrel of Three Roads was a bit taken aback by having the party come back two days later from the opposite direction the fire giants had gone, with a troll and stone giant in tow. However, when shown the evidence of Kolstaag’s shenanigans, took them at their word. (Having a paladin in the party really does wonders for the group’s trustability.) She installed Xerlo in a barn outside of town, but took pains to point out that the job she’d hired them for– make sure the fire giants don’t come back– was still not done.

So they set off north, tracking the fire giants. Even two days cold, the trail was fairly easy to follow for most of the way. They ran into some Calladganger hunters from the Clan of the Eagle, who seemed to think that Nikki was a nature spirit, but eventually found a cave complex populated by orcs herding axe beaks.

Their attempt at scouting the caves was thwarted when Rina botched a Stealth check. The orcs thought she was just a random wood elf in the forest and were going to bully her for fun, but the rest of the party came swooping in and disabused them of that notion quickly. A general alarm was raised and it turned into a huge furball with orcs, maddened axe beaks, fire giants, and their fire elemental pets/familiars/adds/whatever they were.

In 30+ years of playing Dungeons & Dragons, I would have never guessed I would see opposed Animal Handling checks be a factor in combat. Achievement unlocked.

Hathas, his time “bonding” with the troll seeming to rub off on him, waded into the fray with more bloodlust than one generally expects from a paladin, even a fallen one. The fire elementals damaged the troll so badly that Hathas abandoned it and joined the fray in ghost form instead. While the troll retreated to a cave in the back where it could munch on dead orc and regenerate, Hathas attempted to terrorize a fire giant (not unlike the librarian in the prologue of Ghostbusters). The fire giant was not terrorized… but members of the party were. Nice jorb, Hathas.

The odd thing about ghosts in D&D is… they have hit points. They resist nonmagical damage, but in order to interact with the world they must manifest on the physical plane. Fire giants do an average of 28 points of damage with a single hit and their attack bonus alone equals a ghost’s AC. The fire giant made short work of Hathas, much to everyone’s surprise (including Hathas).

The fight was a tough one, but the party rose to the challenge. Brother Drang finally got to use the call lightning he’d been itching for, and Togar entered a new phase of his career by being the tankiest ever but not getting one-punched in the first round. When the dust settled, the party was battered and bruised but victorious. They retrieved the giants’ rod of the vonindid, a kind of dowsing rod for adamantine golem parts, and also discovered that these giants had found the vonindid’s entire left hand. They rather hastily buried this where it was, as it was way too big to haul anywhere, and headed back to town.

The troll survived.

It turned out there were developments with their new stone giant friend, which will be revealed in part four!

-The Gneech

A Grassy, Wind-Swept Sandbox Full of Giants, Part Two


Ghost Martyr Paladin by SpiralMagus
Ghost Martyr Paladin
by SpiralMagus

“So there we were, locked in a dungeon with a stone giant.” Carrying on from Part One…

The new phase of the campaign really began with the first session down in Kolstaag Albrek’s dungeon. Inkblitz’s new character was introduced to the rest of the party (“A talking griffon? Neat. I’m a five foot tall flying squirrel!”), as was their erstwhile guard, Xerlo the stone giant, whose first line was a straightforward, “If you try to escape, I will kill you,” but who seemed more interested in scribbling on the floor than anything.

But he was willing to chat, assuming you could parse his mode of speech. Riffing on the idea that stone giants are sort of the hippie-dippie mystics of giantkind, I decided that Xerlo didn’t care about things like “good” or “evil,” but was only interested in what was “true” or “untrue,” and that he was on a vision quest to find out what was really going on with the breaking of the Ordning– because he didn’t believe that the stone giant thane’s interpretation (“We must destroy every town, city, or building of the little folk!”) was correct. I chose a stone giant particularly because, being inherently neutral, he could be a wild card. The players could recruit him or fight him, but it would be their choice and an impactful one.

They decided at first, once they’d gotten the gist of what he was about, to basically leave him alone, and that was probably a good call. They also worked out that while he was completely serious that he would kill them if they tried to go out the front door, there was also a back door that he apparently couldn’t see and wasn’t aware of.

So, being the mighty heroes they were, they slipped out the back, and again, that was a good call. They managed to scrounge up some sharp bits of broken metal or rusted bars from the cell doors to make crude weapons, and plunged into the depths. They found an old series of vaults that either Kolstaag didn’t know about or wasn’t interested in, origin and purpose unknown, populated by orcs, whom they avoided, but who were also between them and the exit.

They also caught glimpses of a ghostly figure in the darkness, but figured a ghost that you could talk to was more likely to be something you could deal with than a whole tribe of orcs when you had no armor and improvised shivs.

The ghost was not so keen to talk at first. In fact, if I remember my exact words, they were, “The ghost attempts to possess Togar, because he is an idiot!” The possession failed (whatever else you want to say about them, paladins are good at making saving throws), leaving them confronted with a confused and upset ghost. He informed them that his name was Hathas, he was a fallen paladin of Hieroneous, with a quest to find the sword of Harthos Zymorven to restore his paladinhood, and that he had come to see Kolstaag Albrek about… something he couldn’t remember… only to be knocked out and locked in the dungeon just like they had been, and subsequently died. They remembered seeing the bits left of his skeleton in the dungeon cells, and were appropriately creeped out.

(Yes, yes, I know. Hathas and Harthos? I could have chosen a better name for the ghost. But all I have to say is: Sauron/Saruman Theoden/Denethor Fili/Kili Bifur/Bofur/Bombur. Professor Tolkien did all right for himself, didn’t he? Cut me some slack. ;P)

In Storm King’s Thunder Harthos Zymorven is a random lord in a keep populated by animated furniture… and that’s it. The quest consists of “go to his keep and ask for the sword,” which isn’t the most epic thing int he world. To be honest, I had completely forgotten who Harthos Zymorven was supposed to be by the time I was actually running the encounter, so when one of the players asked if they recognized the name and gave a really good History check, I made up on the spot that he was a great hero of the north who sort of dropped out of sight twenty years ago.

The players made a deal with the ghost: if he would help them get out of the dungeon, they would help him finish his quest from beyond the grave. Hathas readily agreed to this, but was at a loss for something to do. The players suggested that he go possess an orc and wreak havoc, to which he immediately brightened up, said, “I can do that!” and whisked off into the darkness. A few minutes later they heard a lot of shouting and turmoil from the orcish warrens, which gratified them.

The party tromped on into a cave complex connected to the vaults, where they found and defeated a roper and its piercer… children? While they were resting from that, they were disturbed by a troll trying to squeeze its way through the passage to get to them. When they prepared to attack, the troll shouted, “Wait, wait, it’s me, Hathas!”

With their new ghost-in-a-troll ally, the party made short work of the remaining orcs and the troll’s former roommate, an ogre who obviously felt very betrayed about the whole thing. They then headed up to the surface, armed with orc weapons and armor and setting their sights on Kolstaag Albrek’s house.

They will confront the wizard in part three!

-The Gneech

A Grassy, Wind-Swept Sandbox Full of Giants, Part One

The Silver Coast Map, Revisited

So there have been some pretty big changes in my D&D game since the last time I posted about it. I want to bring my chronicle of the game up to date, but there’s a lot of ground to cover so it’s going to require several posts. So here’s part one!

The party did in fact defeat The Yellow Lady, mad priestess of Hastur behind the evil brewing in the Caves of Chaos, only to discover that she had in fact been the missing daughter of Duke Blakewell all along. Oops. >.> A tragic and somewhat downer ending to the scenario, but also completely in line with the kind of crap that happens when Hastur gets involved.

The players all wanted to continue, and after presenting them with the various options I was weighing the group voted for Storm King’s Thunder. So I said that with everything at the Keep being so awkward (“Sorry, m’lord, we kinda killed your daughter… but in our defense she tried to kill us first!”) the party decided to move on to greener pastures. They heard that Mt. Thunderdelve, over on the Silver Coast, had erupted, and decided to head over there to see what they could do to help, and maybe find some gainful employment on the way.

Unfortunately, here I hit a bit of burnout, and floundered for a time. Far from being something I could easily pick up and run more-or-less off the shelf as Red Hand of Doom was, I discovered that Storm King’s Thunder is an immense, sprawling, hot mess of an “adventure.” It’s not like a traditional module, so much as an enormous sandboxey “Build Your Own Campaign!” kit. Which is cool if that’s what you’re looking for, but at the time, that was so totally not what I was looking for.

Storm King’s Thunder as written covers pretty much all of northern Faerûn, and the Silver Coast wasn’t anywhere near that developed. I didn’t realize it then, but the monumental task of actually sifting through SKT from front to back and building a world that could accommodate all 256 pages of it while still being a world I liked and wanted to run adventures in, was really biting off more than I was prepared to chew. And because of the way the book is structured, it isn’t really something where it’s easy to just toss the tracks down in front of the train as it goes.

So, I kinda bobbled a bit at first. I spent several weeks grinding my gears on the problem and not really getting anywhere. But I knew if I let it sit too long, the campaign would pass its expiration date. So I transposed Triboar in the Forgotten Realms to Three Roads, its Silver Coast analog, and ran the giants’ assault on the town pretty much as written in the book just to get the game moving again. After a big hairy fight against orcs riding axe-beaks and a lot of what-the-helling at fire giants pulling an enormous adamantine staple out of the ground under the town fountain, the players decided to go visit a local wizard named Kolstaag Albrek to see if he could give them any insights before they chased the giants down– only to have Albrek knock them all out and toss them into a dungeon, the jerk.

Somewhere in here, two things happened. First, Seifer decided he’d had his fill of D&D and retired from the game. Which is fine, players come and players go, it’s all part of the game. Fortunately, Jamie’s protracted battle with employment had just come to an end, so he was available on Saturday nights again. (His inability to play Morgo any more was what had tanked the previous Silver Coast game.) I handed him the key points of Seifer’s character (“a dragonborn paladin of Bahamut, named Togar, who acts as the party tank and gets knocked out a lot”) and let him write it up any way he wanted, with the expectation that if he wanted to build his own character he could do so in a later session.

Second, Inkblitz decided that his purrsian bard Miskan just wasn’t doing it for him, and so he came up with another character, a talking griffon named Swiftstorm, using the “Totally Not My Little Pony” races from Ponyfinder. Swiftstorm’s backstory was that she was a guardsman in far-off Kithria who got polymorphed by an evil wizard and has been wandering the world ever since looking for a way to reverse it… or learning to live with it. I decided that Swiftstorm had wandered too close to Kolstaag Albrek’s gargoyles, who’d sucker-punched her and she ended up down in the dungeons too. (Miskan had officially wandered off from the group between the last Keep On the Borderlands session and the first Storm King’s Thunder session, so we didn’t need to worry about phasing him out.)

In SKT as written, the wizard “Hyuth Kolstaag” gets a total of four paragraphs, being described as an arrogant neutral evil mage who is kind of a trouble magnet, and keeps gargoyles as sentries much to the annoyance of his neighbors. I decided that if the PCs were going to see this dink, I was going to make him important to the story, so I had him secretly working for the drow with orders to round up any and all interesting things related to giants, hence his capture of the PCs.

This left me with something of a problem, as the book didn’t provide any good material for such a contingency. Far from just picking it up off the shelf and running with it, I was now forced to create my own material, so I tossed together a Five Room Dungeon (one of the most brilliant DMing concepts of the past decade) for Kolstaag’s prison and rolled up a few random encounters to put in it. One of those encounters was “ghost,” but I have always been of the firm opinion that you don’t just randomly toss a ghost into a dungeon without figuring out why it’s there first.

Grabbing the phrase “the giant-slayer sword of Harthos Zymorven” from one of the quests actually in the book, and keeping in mind that this dungeon was, in fact, a literal dungeon, I decided that the ghost was a fallen paladin who’d been on a quest to find said sword and restore his paladinhood, only to fall victim to Kolstaag’s machinations, and then get an overdose of sleeping draught and die in his cell– and that said ghost would try to possess Togar to finish off his quest. I also decided that, to tie things back into the giant theme even more, that the cells would be guarded by a stone giant who ended up working for Kolstaag more or less by accident and had no real affinity for him.

These two seeds turned out to be the defining factors of the game. Once I embraced the idea that SKT was a campaign kit and not an off-the-shelf adventure, thirty years of DMing instincts took hold and I was suddenly on fire! But how the party escaped the dungeon and what they did next, will have to wait for the next installment.

-The Gneech

The Halfling Lass From Appletop

Berelandine the Halfling Serving Wench, by Dunlaoch
Berelandine the Halfling Serving Wench, by Dunlaoch

A popular barracks/meadhall song in Orbis Leonis, sung to the tune of “The Mademoiselle From Armentiers.”

[call]
The halfling lass from Appletop is a tavern maid.
[return]
The halfling lass from Appletop is a tavern maid!

The halfling lass is a tavern maid.
In gold or kisses she gets paid!

[chorus]
Will you have another round, me lord?

[call]
The halfling lass from Appletop is three foot high.
[return]
The halfling lass from Appletop is three foot high!

The halfling lass is three foot high.
She looks your codpiece in the eye!

[chorus]
Will you have another round, me lord?

[call]
The halfling lass from Appletop is a lovely girl.
[return]
The halfling lass from Appletop is a lovely girl!

The halfling lass is a lovely girl.
She’ll take your stallion for a whirl!

[chorus]
Will you have another round, me lord?

[call]
I asked the lass from Appletop to be my bride.
[return]
He asked the lass from Appletop to be his bride!

I asked the lass to be my bride,
and spend a lifetime at my side!

[chorus]
Will you have another round, me lord?

[call]
The halfling lass from Appletop said “Nay, sir, nay.”
[return]
The halfling lass from Appletop said “Nay, sir, nay!”

The halfling lass said “Nay, sir, nay!
Not until your tab you pay!”

[chorus]
Will you have another round, me lord?

Put that in your weed-pipe and smoke it. 😉

-The Gneech

The Elves of Orbis Leonis

Writing this as part of my World Map Project for the Storm King’s Thunder campaign. Chunks of it will go into the gazetteer handout for the players, but I’m also posting it here for my elfy players (lookin’ at you, Plotline and Multiclass Geek).

Elves are always a joy, and always a problem. Every campaign, and every edition, has treated them differently, to the point where it’s become a giant blurry mess. So for Orbis Leonis, my “grand unified D&D setting,” here is the definitive word on elves.

Earliest Days

In prehistoric times, the elves were a single people. They have a variety of creation legends, but they are largely biased and contradictory. What is known is that there was once a wide-ranging high elven civilization throughout the region now known as the Marches, ruled from the great spiraled tower Elfspire. Before the foundation of Elfspire, even the elvish histories are lost, other than that the elves fled from some calamity across a seemingly-endless plain– a plain that would have to be where the Gulf of Irul Kinthé is now– only to stop in despair upon sighting the eastern reaches of the great desert of Xadar. The Elfspire was created, the story goes, when the Maimed King, Iearendir, prayed to Corellian Larethian, who appeared before them and commanded a unicorn to touch its horn to the ground. From that spot sprung a well of miraculous healing powers, and around it grew the Elfspire in “an echo” of the unicorn’s horn. This happened, according to the elves, “hundreds of centuries ago.”

For an indeterminate (but presumably very long) time, the elves ruled the region. How the elvish realm interacted with other ancient kingdoms is open for speculation. However, roughly 30,000 years ago, according to what elven records still exist, there was a bitter internal conflict among the elven gods, which was in turn echoed by enclaves of elves in the mortal realm. This conflict led to a massive event the elves call the Sundering, that splintered the elves into the eladrin, high elves, wood elves, and drow that the world knows today. (Some scholars point to this as also being the origin of the orcs. Orcs deny this. Often via manslaughter.) This event also ended the elvish dominance of the region and seems to have led the decline of the entire elvish race.

Note that this story seems to conflict with the giants’ tradition that there were no civilizations of note on the surface other than Ostoria during its heyday. Either the elvish record is incorrect, or the giants’ idea of what is a “civilization of note” is disputable. Which of those may be true is left as an exercise for the reader.

High and Wood Elves

Of the elven kindreds, high elves and wood elves are closest to each other, with their differences being purely cultural. A high elf raised by wood elves, is a wood elf, and vice versa. They are called “high” elves because they prefer to live on the surface, or even better, in trees or tall spires, but also because they did not follow Lolth into the Underdark. Although the stereotypical high/wood elf is of fair complexion, with very fine, straight hair, there is more variation than people generally think. In the Sea Kingdoms and realms further south particularly, elvish complexion ranges to a copper or deep brown color.

Eladrin

Eladrin (“noble elves” in their own language) are the most powerful of the high elves, with the strongest attunement to the realm of Faerie, to the point where they are infused with its magic. They are closer to elemental spirits to mortal beings, being tied to the passage of the seasons and the movement of the sun, stars, and planets. Although physically similar to their more terrestrial kin, Eladrin are readily discernible because their eyes are solid orbs of color with no visible pupils, and their bodies often radiate a visible aura. Tales say they can speak any language, and step between the mortal world and Faerie/Feywild at will, and while this may certainly be true of individual eladrin, it may not be true of all of them.

Drow

Drow, the “dark elves,” followed their goddess into the Underdark. Before the Sundering, the elf goddess Araushnee was a patron of the stars, destiny, and craftsmanship, whose emblem of the spider represented her weaving of the fates. Her favored followers, although still high elves, would undergo a ritual transformation that altered their skin to an intensely dark blue and their hair to a shining white or silver as a mark of their devotion. During the great conflict that caused the Sundering, Araushnee forsook the light of the stars and fled the realms of light (or was banished, or simply left, depending on who you ask), taking her followers with her into the Underdark. From that small pool of common ancestors came the modern drow.

(Note: Araushnee’s daughter Eilistraee, a high-spirited goddess of moonlight and dancing, shares her mother’s appearance, and what few drow who have forsaken the worship of Lolth for its wickedness and cruelty, have generally turned to her as their new patron. A small cabal of drow worshippers of Eilistraee can be found in Myth Talminden, and it is something of a “promised land” for discontent drow of the Underdark who would flee their dark mistress.)

Orcs and Elves

How do the orcs fit in? The truth is that mortals don’t know and the gods aren’t telling, but there are clear signs of some sort of connection. First, is their shared mythology: the story of the battle between the orc god Gruumsh and the elf god Corellan Larethian, allowing some variance for which side you are rooting for, is remarkably similar in both cultures, and always highlights the famous cutting out of Gruumsh’s eye. It is also worth noting that elves and orcs are both interfertile with humans and each other, unlike any of the other demi-human races. (It is rare in the extreme that an orc and an elf would have a child, but such a child would essentially be either a half-elf or a half-orc depending upon which parent they favored.)

Elvish Homelands

There are two major elf holdings in Orbis Leonis. First, and oldest, is the Elfspire, in the southeastern portion of Thessalaine near the Gulf of Irul Kinthé. This consists of a massive, spiral conical tower formed out of a unique mineral reminiscent of mother of pearl, a dizzying fifty stories in height and crowned with an ever-burning beacon. The mountainside below the spire is also populated by houses and fortifications in the high elven style.

The second largest is the western seaside realm of Myth Talminden (“Silver Lighthouse” in Elvish), a fair and green country on the westernmost point of the mainland. The city of Myth Talminden proper consists of several large stone towers inlaid with silver from Argent, in a curving spiral style that echoes the Elfspire, but on a much smaller scale (the tallest reaching only seven stories). The towers are connected by a dizzying network of narrow, gracefully-arcing catwalks that not only provide walking access from one spire to the next, but also reinforce the overall structure like a lattice.

There are many smaller settlements across the land, usually referred to as “havens.” These include the wood elf settlement of Starsong Hill in Elsir Vale, Mother Oak of the Westdeep, or Dimhaven and Mistvale in Thessalaine. Of course, the drow have their own cities in the Underdark, but the names and locations of these are not generally known to surface dwellers.

-The Gneech