The Barrows of the Fenwatch Lords
At the feet of the Tower Downs, where the ground firms up and begins to rise in folds above the fenlands, is the traditional burial grounds of the lords of the Fenwatch.
Atop natural hillocks, dome shaped mounds are raised, aligned towards the east to face the wetland sea.
In current times, the mounds are small and simple but, in times long past, more grandiose tombs were constructed. It is rumored these ancient lords were buried with some of their opulent wealth.
Community prompt: [spell or ritual ] armor or shield , emerald , brutal
The Coward’s Shield
This spell was only cast once and its formula subsequently lost. Knowledge of the spell has only been preserved in the legend of the Fenwatch Lord, Hamfist Cursed and Curse-Giver.
On the eve of a battle against a band of reavers, Hamfist asked his court wizard, Mukong, to cast an enchantment upon his family shield, a wide disc of wood-backed bronze covered in a heavy patina and decorated with a ram’s head . The wizard betrayed him and cast an evil spell on the shield instead.
The nature of the spell was not revealed until battle was joined. Hamfist was hard-pressed and he fended off several killing blows. For each of the strikes he turned aside with his shield, one of his house-knights fell dead.
At the last, Hamfist recognized the wizard’s betrayal. He cursed the wizard seven times before he was felled by many reaver spear blows.
Legend has it that, some short time later, the wizard was himself betrayed— laid low by seven wounds from seven stealthy blades, one for each of the curses laid upon him by his dead liege.
Links: The Cursed Shield
I like the vib of this story. It has an old-European, early versions of the knights of the round table kinds feel.
I wasn’t thinking about that at all but, now that you mention it, it absolutely does!
The Cursed Shield
Cursed lawful shield +2
This shield once belonged to Hamfist Cursed and Curse-Giver.
If the bearer of this shield should suffer a physical attack that would kill them, every ally of theirs within 30 feet must save versus death. The first ally to fail their save is slain in place of the bearer.
It is said that should a brave warrior don the shied and defeat a worthy foe in single combat, the curse on the shield will be broken.
Should the curse be broken, the shield gains the following effect: the first time the shield-bearer suffers a fatal blow from a physical weapon, they are instead invigorated b the force of the blow rather than harmed.
Links: The Coward’s Shield
Every bit of the world is infused with magic but few can coax it into doing their bidding.
Lawful magicians seek to enhance and bolster the nature and purpose of things through magic. They appeal to Law through its Aspects, whose potential exists in all things.
Magicians of chaos seek to manipulate, twist, and warp things unnaturally through magic. They appeal to Chaos through its Aspects, whose potential exists in all things.
To cast a spell is to speak the mystic languages that not only communicate and bind the essences of matter and energy.
To harness the powers of the elements, a magician must know the language of the elements. Each element has it’s own language:
- Fire: flametongue
- Air: ethertongue
- Water: maerspeech
- Earth: erspeech
The primal elements of Earth, Air, Fire, and Water are neutral, They are not, in their basic form, either of Law or Chaos, but encompass both in their natures.
- Law: protect, buttress
- Chaos: crush, bury
- Law: revive, uplift
- Chaos: choke, scatter
- Law: protect, inspire
- Chaos: burn, consume
- Law: nurture, grow
- Chaos: swallow, drown
For Fire Law, what about Purify or Transform
Hmm, the idea with these is to be expansive and symbolic. Purify could potentially be phrased as “protect from impurities” or some such. Transform is trickier.
I found this which is intriguing:
The alchemists believed that the basis of the material world was a Prima Materia, or prime chaotic matter, which might be actuated into existence if impressed by “form.” The “forms” arose in the shape of the elements, earth, water, fire, and air. The Alchemists deduced that the limitless varieties of life were created out of the blending of the elements in particular proportions. Aristotle distinguished the four elements from one another by the four qualities of fluidity, dryness, heat and cold. Each element possesses two of these primary qualities. Thus the four possible combinations are:
hot + dry → fire;
hot + fluid (or moist) → air;
cold + fluid → water;
cold + dry → earth
One of the two qualities predominates in each element. In earth, dryness; in water, cold; in air, fluidity; in fire, heat.
Transmutation is thus possible. Any element may be transformed into another through the quality that they have in common. Thus fire can become air through the medium of heat, just as air can become water through the medium of fluidity
If I follow this lead then transformation wouldn’t be tied to a particular element. At the moment, I like this approach.
Casting Spells with Elemental Magic
It is not enough that the magician should speak the elemental language. They must also channel Law or Chaos by imbuing their spell with one of the Aspects that relates to the effect being attempted.
For example, causing a flame to leap from a candle towards a foe to burn them would require a spell in flametongue that channels Chaos through its Aspect of Wrath.
Note: switching gears, this entry is for my submission to the Jennell Jaquays Memorial Game Jam.
The Bronze Man
An automaton that inhabits the ruined tower in the swamp. Nearby villagers mistake it for a faerie knight.
HD 3+3 (15 HP) construct, AC 3, ATT 2 x slam 1d6+3 (7) dmg, SPECIAL
Faulty Wiring: if the Bronze Man misses its first attack by 10 or more, it malfunctions, losing its second attack; if the Bronze Man ever rolls a 1 on an attack, it explodes and causes 6d6 damage to everything in a ten foot radius and 3d6 damage to everything in a thirty foot radius.
A helm in the watchman’s tomb will control the Bronze Man. There’s a 1 in 6 chance that any melee attack striking the wearer of the helm will impact the helm and destroy it.
Destruction of the helm causes the Bronze Man to go berserk. It will attack the nearest creatures relentlessly until none remain. It will then deactivate permanently.
Tags: The Watchman’s Tower
Two notes: a) I missed a key bit of info about the Jennell Jaquays Memorial Game Jam, it’s dungeons only so my mini hexcrawl is out! I shall have to retool. b) I forgot to post yesterday so this is yesterday’s entry. I’m going to keep and use for myself the hexcrawl bits I created— no wasted creation here!
The Watchman’s Tower
On the west side of the lake sits the Watchman’s Tower. I.n past days, it provided a strong place to look out from the western shore of the lake. The final caretaker of the tower was entombed in its base.
Changes in the environment saw the surrounding marshes encroach upon the abandoned tower. At some point, it began to sink into the softened ground. At some point it collapsed so that, now, only the second floor of the tower shows as a jagged mound above the wetland. The third story and roof tumbled down and scattered into rubble. The base of the tower is completely submerged.
The Story of the Watchman’s Tower
The true history of the Watchman’s Tower has been completely forgotten by the local folk.
There was, and remains, a source of Chaos north of the lake. It infected the land and all the life of the land. It twisted and corrupted everything that came near it and, slowly, it spread its tendrils outwards to expand. It was ultimately discovered by a wizard. Unable to sever this source and destroy it, they did succeed in sealing it off and insulating the land against its baleful influence.
The wizard was well aware that this prison could not hold indefinitely so they built this tower to, from a safe distance, watch and warn.
Generations passed and the original intent of the tower was lost. It became merely a watchtower maintained by a watchman.
Some time long ago, it was decided that there was nothing that needed watching so, after the last watchman died, they sealed up the tower and allowed it to fall into ruin.
Tags: The Watchman’s Tower
Note: this entry is for the Week 4 community prompt; [place (town) ] weapon, sable, buried. It’s a day late but, hopefully, not a dollar short! community-prompt
The Town of Ysarn
Amenities and Services
- Inn (The Black Hammer)
- Marketplace (2 x week)
- River access
Ysarn sits at an intersection of a crossroad and the river, downstream from a productive iron mine. Iron ore reaches Ysarn by barge where it is smelted and forged by several smithies that were built on the river.
Generations past, a particular smith became famous for their forging of weapons. Though his name is lost to time, his nickname, The Black Hammer, survives, named for his hammer which, so legends say, was a shaft of black ash with a head of black iron. The Black Hammer’s work can be distinguished by his mark: ︎.
The Black Hammer was buried on the site of his forge but that location has been lost to time. It is said to have not been on the riverside like the other smithies but at some remove. Reasons for this have been posited-- from a need for secrecy to an upwelling of earth power-- but nothing has been proven and the site has not been found.
From yesterday, for my JJ Memorial Game Jam submission:
The Temple of Salvation
The Temple of Salvation is a demon-worshipping cult that masquerades as the followers of a charitable god. They lure unsuspecting poor and needy with promises of food, shelter, and charity only to capture, imprison, and finally feed them to their master through the Unholy Pool.
The Unholy Pool
The Unholy Pool shows a leaden, black surface that reflects no light until it is touched when the liquid turns clear and reflects, not this world, but a mirror world beyond that is the twisted prison of the Demon Lord.
The pool acts as a one way portal to that realm: anything submerged into the pool passes through to the other realm.
The water in the pool is tainted. Anyone drinking from the pool is affected by it. Roll 1d6:
- Grows bony ridges over eyes, eyes grow unnaturally large and amphibian-like
- Skin turned mottled and slimy; skin thickens; grows warts.
- Tears of the Submerged God: eyes seep a milky white, poisonous substance.
- Tongue elongates and becomes toad-like.
- Hands and feet become webbed and amphibian-like; five fingers become three, five toes become three;.
- Song of the Submerged God: loses ability to speak but can chant in low, rumbling tones; can only speak the language of frogs and toads.
Tainted toads live in the pool. The cult harvests poison from the toads’ skins to use as hallucinogens.
Finished the final (I hope) version of the game jam dungeon map and keyed it up:
Alright, this counts as at least a week of entries, right? My Do Anything D6 project is finally live!
So I’ve got a couple of modules for Do Anything D6 that I’m trying to get done quickly as i want to use them and I can’t use them if I don’t have them. Funny how that works!
Here’s the output of from the end of the week and weekend, in which I define some terms for the dungeoncrawling module.
For our purposes, a Dungeon is any structure that is dangerous and potentially hostile to the player-characters (aka the Party).
A Precinct is a particular area of the Dungeon, usually united by sharing physical space (a floor of a building, for example), purpose (a necropolis), or both.
A Lair is a Dungeon or Precinct controlled entirely by a single faction.
A Complex is a Dungeon or Precinct shared by multiple factions.
To keep things simple, time in the Dungeon is measured in fixed increments.
A Dungeon Turn is the smallest increment, usually equivalent to ten minutes.
A Dungeon Round is equal to six Dungeon Turns.
To keep things simple, distance in the Dungeon is abstracted into zones:
- Near: if something is Near, it’s close enough that a Character could reach it in one combat round without running.
- Far: if something is Far, a Character would need to sprint or move over two rounds to reach it
- Distant: if something is Distant, a Character would need to sprint twice or move over four rounds to reach it; often, because of space constraints, things that are Distant may be out of visual range but not out of the range of other senses (sound, smell, etc.).
- Gone: something that is Gone is completely off the radar, so to speak; where has it gone? who knows!