The Blue Hill - Part I
8:10 AM | Author: One of Freedom
Spiders Defeat

Certainly the fire spiders were formidable opponents. But your brave band of adventurers defeated them none the less. Now Hilda has another lead on adventure. Seems that someone has been trying to discover the mystery of the Blue Hill. As you well know Blue Hills are sacred to the faeries, often located near faerie groves. This particular blue hill, named as such because from the air they appear as treeless blue grass covered hills, is not far from the faerie grove where your party awoke. Usually it takes the use of faerie tricks to enter the secret grotto, but if some creature found another way into the grotto then they might also be able to enter into Tier nan Og, the land of the faeries. You must make sure that no one has entered the grotto already and you must stop their attempts to find a way in.

The party will know that pixie dust blown by flapping faerie wings will open the sacred stone. But they will have to find some way to locate the Blue Hill as most natural animals are colour blind. When the party gets to the Blue hill read:

The blue grass that covers this hill is lush and the sacred stone on the top of the hill stands like a silent watcher. A large circle is carved into one of the faces of the stone, almost like a giant eye.

If the stone is approached then the party will be attacked! They can search around the stone and perception DC 20 (nature check to assist) will reveal that there are many tracks. A DC 15 nature check will show that these are wolf tracks. There are 4 ravenous wolves in the forest, they will attempt to grab a player and drag them into the forest (400XP). The stone can be searched (DC15 perception) to reveal a lot of scratches as if something has been trying to claw its way into the stone, but also there is a broken necklace on the ground. If you examine it you will see that there is some dust (DC 15 perception or nature reveals that it is pixie dust) in it. A DC higher than 20 will also find a piece of fairy wing discarded on the ground.

The stone can be opened easily by blowing some pixie dust across the circle, this does not affect the daily use of any of these powers.
A Rathbone Gazetteer and Almanac - Addendium
7:19 AM | Author: One of Freedom
We got over our phobia of psionics in 4E.

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Weather

Rathbone’s climate is cold to temperate; the variance is caused by the nearness of the Southern hemisphere to the Sun. The Sleep of the Land can get as cold as 25° F and as warm in the Waiting can be as warm as 90° F. Snows never last long in the winter, though the nights can become very bitter. The Northlands and Frugguthi are both very cold climates, but Ballydore is almost tropical in climate.

Natural Resources

Rathbone has rich farmlands in the South and East. The Southern farmers tend to raise sheep and goats while the Eastern farms raise cattle and swine. The few farms in the West focus on hardy root vegetables and horses. The Lymar hills are rich with ores, precious metals and building stones. The Mythral woods have secret mines that produce silver and other ores. The Shimmering Mountains are known for rock quarries as well as precious stones; there are rumours of gold mines in the far West of these mountains. Chorley Woods brings a source of clear crisp water; the halfling traders claim this water comes from a number of natural springs; it is also a source of tree nuts.

Magic and Psionics

There are no special campaign rules governing magic. Your characters have had no opportunity to purchase or create magic items until the campaign actually begins. The Wizard Academy in Persimé trains most wizards and sorcerers, they expect students who continue to grow in their talents to return from time to time and teach new arcane casters the arts.

Psionic powers exist only to the extent that they are described in the three core rulebooks. Material from the Expanded Psionics Handbook will not be used. Psionic classes from that sourcebook are not available to PCs or NPCs. For monsters who have psionic powers, like mind flayers, their powers will be treated as “spell-like abilities” (just as they are described in the Monster Manual).
A Rathbone Gazetteer and Almanac
7:09 AM | Author: One of Freedom
Again this was original material for my 2nd ed game with various updates for the 3.5 campaign. A lot of this has changed, but I still refer back to remember what is what in my world. Credit for the map has to go to one of my original players Anastasia, I think she came back the first week with a better colour version of the map I had made - we've colour photocopied it and scanned it ever since.

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Chorley Woods

These woods are rumoured to be home of the fey (faerie), not many are brave enough to remain long in these woods. At least a small community of halflings trade from a town within this forest, yet no reliable reports from non-halflings have emerged from this place.

Dark Forest

Rathbone is separated from the Northlands by a dense and dangerous forest. Safe travel through the forest is only possible by way of the Rathbone road, guarded by the newly constructed Rathbone Tower. Legend has it that dark magic unleashed from the top of the tower corrupted its very construction, sending it crashing to the ground a mere year after it was retaken from the forces that cut off access to the Northlands. It is said that a band of adventurers such as has never since been seen did destroy the works of a mad necromancer on its ramparts. The ruins of the old tower can still be seen, yet no one dares inspect too closely for fear that the dead will awaken again.

Update: The Tower is once again in the hands of Voth.

Druse

In the heart of Spider Valley lies the city of Druse. Once a small farming village, this community rebuilt and fortified since the last war. The only building remaining was a small church, unless you count the fountain that was repaired and placed at the center of the new market district. The city boasts a standing militia, which guard the city gates as well as patrol the farmlands. This militia is also hired out to clear spider infestations out of private farms. Druse mainly trades with Persimé, but more recently it has provided grains and meats to the Mythral elves and even the Hallenmare goblins.

Update: Druse was completely decimated by the armies of Lord Voth. It is rumoured that the slain have been raised as an army of living dead, but none has returned to confirm the truth of this rumour.

Hallenmare

To the East of Druse is a small seaport famed home to the dread goblin navy. This city is all that remains of the massive goblin armies that once threatened all of Rathbone. The city is blanketed with a permanent drizzle, the goblin warmage effort to ward off the brightness of the Sun. This gloom only serves to emphasize the dreariness of the city, which is mostly carved (very crude by dwarves standards) from large slabs of rock. The city has a standing guard of goblin soldiers, but non-goblin visitors are not an uncommon event, especially when trading is involved. Hallenmare is primarily a trading port but has been known for exporting local potions and strong drink, particularly Goblin Grog.

Update: Hallenmare’s army has been greatly increased despite the fact that much of the navy has yet to return. The Church of the Good in Hallenmare, like most cities, has been razed.

Lymar Hills

Stretching out before the Dark Forest, these hills are said to be rich with ores and even more precious metals. The Dwarven City of Lymar proudly rests in the Northwestern hills. Their city exists partially below the surface, yet the magnificent builders have fortified their city above the ground as well.

Update: The dwarves have retreated into their underground fortress; the town above was decimated by Voth’s troops. Rumour has it that an army of undead holds the siege line to prevent the dwarves from emerging.

Mythral Woods

The home of the Morguthi elves, this forest is not friendly to non-elven interlopers. The aged King Cearni Lyllthian reigns from a city hidden deep within the forest. Elven steel was instrumental in assuring a victory over the Eastern Goblin raiders and is highly prized by warriors and adventurers alike, it is said that an ancient city deep within the woods is the only source of this precious metal.

Update: The elves have fled and much of this forest has been burned.

Persimé

The jewel of Rathbone, this great city has expanded much in the last hundred years. A seaport extraordinaire, ships from all over Mellenheir can be counted amongst those that visit the city every year. The city consists of an inner core Old City, still surrounded by the ancient wall. The Old City Guard maintains the North and South gates and ensures weapons are secured and riding animals are stabled (at a modest fee of course). Inside the Old City are the famous Wizard Academy Tower, the Black Tower, Persimé’s docks and many famous merchants and inns. Outside these walls Persimé has spilled out into the countryside. While not as fortified as the Old City, the Rathbone Militia protects this city from all that might try to attack, from within or without. Many excellent shops and taverns can be found in the new city’s various districts.

Update: Persimé has fallen! The port is run by Argarth, warlord of Voth the Invincible. The wizard’s tower has been magically secured, essentially cutting off the traditional defenders of this great city. It is not known how the tower has been captured, what is known is that any attempts to penetrate the tower have resulted in massive loss of life. Voth’s own death warriors guard the tower; they are usually accompanied by the dreaded Scrys.

Spider Valley

South of the Darth Ravine is a fertile farming valley which also happens to be home of several dangerous varieties of spiders. Farmers regularly hire militia to rid their pasturages of these eight-legged pests. Most farms focus on grains and cattle, a number of mills sit at the junction of properties, shared by three of four farmsteads. These mills are often locked and left unattended most of the year. There are a small number of vegetable farms closer to the Darth Ravine and swine is becoming popular as well.

Temple of the Good

Northeast of Chorley Woods rests the massive central temple for the Cult of the Good. This is the principle training site for priests and paladins of the various Orders of the Good. It is also a popular pilgrimage site for the devout, many who camp on the grounds that surround the temple itself. The influence of the temple is strong surrounding the temple, which is treated as having a protection from evil spell extending 100’ in all directions from the temple itself. This effect is constant as long as there is prayer offered up in the main sanctuary – a requirement the pilgrims easily satisfy. Outside of the temple 30’ tall pillars carved with the stories of creation stand, each hour an evangelist can be heard speaking on one of the stories carved there. These pillars are duplicated within the main sanctuary as well, but sermons there only occur on high holy days.

Update: Defended by angelic beings, the temple has not fallen to Voth’s troops. Still the priests within are essentially besieged.

Weeping Marsh

This pungent swampland is thick with insects and mystery. On the rare occasion when the fog is low the smoke from a lone chimney seems to rise lazily into the air – or is this just and illusion brought on by the stink cabbage that so readily grows in the area.

Update: A new tower has emerged in the marsh.
Mellenheir - Calendar
11:05 AM | Author: One of Freedom
The mark of civilization is the ability to plot the movement of time. All Morguthi shares the calendar of the peoples of Rathbone, with variance only in the annual celebrations. As with any good cycle, years are counted from the melting of winter’s cold and focus on the seasons of growing and harvesting. There are four seasons: the Time of the Fields, the Time of Growing, the Time of Harvest and the Time of Sleep. These seasons are subdivided into 10 months (the Time of Sleep being a single month known as the Sleep of the Land). Throughout the calendar are many special celebrations for the people of Rathbone to enjoy.

Time of the Fields - The Melting

This month lasts 25 days and sees the Sleepy snows melt revealing the green of the land. On the 3rd day of the Melting, rural communities celebrate the Festival of Awakenings. As with any good celebration there is drinking, feasting and public revelry. In more traditional communities leftover foodstuffs are shared with the families who scraped dry their barrels during the Sleep of the Land.

Time of the Fields - The Planting

This month lasts 39 days, beginning with the sales of seeds and ending in the great festival of Hope. In rural communities most merchants realize that seeds not sold by the 5th will not likely be sold that year, so they offer great sales and bake many of the seeds into honeyed seedcakes given as an incentive to buy. The four day festival of Hope begins on the 39th, the traditional date when farmers pay those who have laboured planting their crops. In the cities, this has become the traditional date on which yearly bonuses are paid to employees, so it is no surprise that this day ends in much celebration throughout the land of Rathbone.

Time of the Fields - The Hope

This month of 36 days is when the farmers know if their crops will be good this year. Often farms will prepare other fields for second harvest crops. This month sees the weather becoming much warmer and is usually a time of much needed rainstorms. The month starts with the remaining three days of the festival of Hope. Many religious communities have chosen to ties celebrations and high holy days to this festival. The Church of the Good calls a fast on the 1st and on the 2nd every believing household brings food to the local church for distribution to the hungry. The Church of the Good as well as many of the Church of Pelor often minister in healing gifts freely on this day in their respective temples and churches.

Time of Growing - The Waiting

The second longest month of the Morguthi calendar, the Waiting is a full 45 days. Farmers turn their attention to livestock during this time and it is also a traditional time of trading and jobs are rarely scarce in the cities during this time. The 24th day of the Waiting is known as the Day of Order, on it Arcane Wizards and Sorcerers celebrate the restoration of the balance of magic in the land. Legend has it that in the past great imbalances in the magic of the land results in the unpredictable release of wild magic forces. Many who celebrate this day recognize the work of Cea Luecia in destroying the Points of Focus that once governed the houses of magic in Rathbone. With these points destroyed magic was able to once again find its own balance, ridding the land of the threat of wild magic disasters.

Time of Growing - The Preparing

This short month of merely 24 days sees many farmers recruiting workers to bring in the coming harvest.

Time of Growing - The First Gathering

A month of 27 days in which the farmers are all hard at work ensuring the first harvest is successful. The 10th is an exception to this hard working month; on this day farmers bring a portion of their new harvest to the nearest community for a big celebration known as the First Fruits Festival. Towns like Druse shut down all non-entertainment related commerce and fill the taverns, halls and streets with dancing, feasting and singing. A tradition of toasts to the good fortunes of the previous year marks the evening celebration, everyone is expected to raise their glasses and get roaring drunk. While the Church of the Good does not exactly encourage the revelry, it is a time when priests share of the offerings brought by the faithful. More than a few toasts are raised that night in the church halls of the Good.

Time of Harvest - The Second Gathering

Many farmers who planted a second crop will gather it during this short 22 day month. Some farmers who could not employ enough workers for the first harvest will spend this month gathering seed for next year’s crops.

Time of Harvest - The Rejoicing

This 30 day month marks the end of the harvest season in style. The first five days of this month are filled with celebrations and revelry. These celebrations have even caught on in the more urban centres like Persimé.

Time of Harvest - The Fall of Leaves

Typically the leaves begin to turn colour on the first of this month and by the end of this 27 day month frost will have kissed the land. This is also the month that sees the first light snowfall in Rathbone. The Lifting is a celebration on the 7th of this month, a time when the Church of the Good celebrates the coming of their God and the giving of the stories of creation. Evangelists and priests can be seen throughout the land speaking before the great speaking posts, priests in remote locations have been known to erect new poles for this celebration. This is the most popular time for pilgrims to make the journey to the Temple of the Good.

The Time of the Sleep - The Sleep of the Land

This is the longest month (53 days) and during this month most rural inhabitants stay close to home. The snow lies crisp on the ground and shipping is slower due to the colder weather. On the 42nd of this month a sombre remembrance of the goblin raids is held. Families will remain awake with candles burning throughout the night, in some remote areas hay filled goblin effigies are burned.
Rathbone 4E Primer
10:58 AM | Author: One of Freedom
Most of the players for my adult game played in the 3.5 edition game. Because we wanted to get this off the ground as quick as possible, I posted a few basic historical changes and racial mappings.

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Some things to note. First off in Frugguthi oriental type characters are going to be very rare. Any of those characters come from the Hand, other side of the world! However, the good news is that the Olve Kierza, dark elves who live above ground, were all forced underground by the elves of the Tongue. In fact most dark elves here will be more like the Drow you might be familiar with.

Elves are by far the dominant humanoid species of the Tongue. There are many towns and cities, but only those with mixed populations are represented on the map. Elves have closed communities, often deep in the forests. Trespass in these towns and cities is not taken lightly so most travellers stick to the established trade roads.

Warforged is not uncommon here. All warforged come from the great forges in Varguthi. Rumour has it that only the forge in Iron continues to operate. Once the Dark Lord used these forges to produce a vast army and even craft a new body for his twisted soul. Towards the end a new breed of undead warforged were created, but thankfully these were almost completely culled in the last great war.

We have adventured in this part of Mellenheir before, the mountains to the east are the historical home to the Griffon Brotherhood. An exclusive fraternity of griffon riding spellcasters, they have played significant roles in the history of this world. If the sightings are true then perhaps there will be opportunity once again to interact with these powerful and sage wizards and sorcerers.

Frugguthi is typically a cold climate, but the Tongue enjoys a temperate climate only slightly colder (on average) than Rathbone. Although during the Sleep of the Land the northern coast of the Shivering Sea can freeze, releasing dangerous ice flows as the land re-awakens. The fortifications of Cold Port are more as protection from the elements than from any military adversary. The frozen north is largely populated by giants and huge beasts - occasionally these will migrate down into the Tongue. Making for interesting additions to the population, such as Landover's large population of half-giants.

The dominant species of humanoids in the Tongue will be elven. With half-elves and humans making a good run for second place. But there is less racial intolerance, or should that be special intolerance than there would have been in the past. A few exceptions. Because of the role they played in the last war, warforged are rarely trusted. Halflings basically hid out much of the war, this was seen much the same as how the dwarves hid through the war before that. So while this does not engender distrust, it has created some tension with other humanoid species. As a result halflings have ghettoized their existence in cities and towns. Often those sectors are called Little Chorleyvilles.
Mellenheir - History and Religion
10:02 AM | Author: One of Freedom
This material has changed a lot over the years. My original intention was to create a Celtic-like (somewhat syncritisic) form of religion that would provide a peace-focused network of information for the players. Occasionally they would have an NPC from this Church of the Good come along as well as the odd player character who was part of the more militaristic branch of this religion. It was fun to include as a unique flavour for my campaign, but more recently the storyline has incorporated traditional D&D gods and goddesses. After all this is a fantasy game.

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The religious have always preserved the history of Mellenheir. While many of the creation stories told vary slightly in the details, there is a commonality that cannot be easily dismissed. That commonality is where we shall begin.

The chaos that birthed this world threatened to overwhelm the Gods. So a great ordering began. As the worlds were divided on the seas so the wealth was given equally. The north (Frugguthi) was given strength and iron. The west (Morguthi) was given agriculture and cultural riches. The east (Pal Urguthi) was given mineral riches and savagery to protect these riches. The south (Varguthi) was given the riches of mystery. The legends also say that the Gods threw all that they despised into the south most (Pileiduthi) lands and deemed this the place where the unfaithful will finally rest but never in peace. Sailors who have landed on the snow-covered shores of Pileidaea have often been convinced that this was the place forsaken by the Gods. The chilly winds seem to be charged with the voices of those agonizing in eternal pain.

The stories of this ordering are told most vividly through the talking poles of the Good. These huge stone structures dominate their temples and their small chapels. Each depicts the stories of how man and beast joined in the efforts of ordering the known world.

The Cult of the Good

Since as far as man can remember the priests of the Good have been the major religious influence in Morguthi, if not the whole world of Mellenheir. This largely benevolent religion claims adherents throughout the lands of Morguthi and every community has at least a chapel devoted to the Good. Their essential dogma is that selfishness is at the root of all the disorder that has afflicted the lands. Left unchecked this disorder will result in the return of the God of the Good and bring judgement, fire and finally restoration. It is the mission of the church of the Good to bring about redemption and restoration to prevent this apocalyptic visitation of God. This religion is largely monotheistic yet very tolerant of other good religions, believing that they are merely distorted representations of the God of the Good. Many of their order are pacifistic, yet they keep close watch on groups following more dubious deities. During the last Great War the church of the Good provided information that saved many civilized colonies.

Membership: The Temple of the Good in the land of Rathbone has become the main place of training and organization for this religion. All members on the continent of Morguthi are expected to make a pilgrimage to this temple within their lifetime. Clerics of the various orders also pilgrimage to various sacred locations throughout all of Mellenheir. A council of twelve wise and aged priests provides the core leadership for this cult, yet numerous independent factions within the church tackle more specific issues such as helping the poor, defending the weak, teaching the ignorant, preserving history and watching for signs of war (which is considered the ultimate in disorder). The council resides at the Temple of the Good and new priests are only added when an existing member dies. Members of this Church are of the Good alignment, priests and paladins of the Good tend towards being Lawful as well. Most Paladins are members of the Order of St. Kevin, a legendary slayer of evil dragons; this order is as close to a military force as the Church of the Good permits.

Clerics: Clerics of the Church of the Good must be good, with a preference for Lawful Good and Neutral Good over Chaotic Good. They may choose from the following domains: good, healing, knowledge, law, luck and protection. Those of the Order of St. Kevin are not permitted to choose the law domain but can choose from the additional domains of strength and war. All clerics of the Good must have at least 2 ranks in perform oratory, which automatically becomes a class skill. The Church of the Good uses a carved wooden replica of a talking pole; these are used to memorize the stories by initiates and are often blessed by priests at the temple (grant +1 saves).

The Way of the Mother

The Druidic order sees God not as an isolated person, but rather the embodiment of all that is in existence. They agree with the Church of the Good on only one point, order must be preserved at all cost. Yet they regard the naming of God or Gods to be essentially deceptive. This bias has led to a deep distrust between the pantheists and the Church of the Good. In order to conceal this division many druids have taken to outwardly professing the faith of Obed Hai, which for some reason the Church of the Good finds more tolerable. Secretly though the druids have brought their pantheism to many corners of Mellenheir and claim all druids (with the exception of some Elven druids) and many rangers among their followers. They have named their faith the Way of the Mother, seeing the world as the mother that gives everything life. The main dogma of their faith is one of honouring the natural order of the world.

Membership: Those that follow the Way of the Mother favour Neutrality as an alignment, most tend towards Good. They are never evil, but may be Chaotic. Druids are indoctrinated into the Way of the Mother as part of their initiation rights; they can be very convincing when arguing for their faith with the deists. Members of this faith are always permitted Sylvan as a bonus language.

Clerics: Really the druidic class forms the priesthood for the Way of the Mother. Druids are always permitted access to the sacred groves scattered throughout Mellenheir.

Sacred Groves: Scattered throughout the lands of Mellenheir are druidic groves. Trees and dense underbrush ring these places. They provide an opening for good persons to enter. Each grove has a druid keeper who is summoned when the grove is entered. Often they will enter through the plants and ensure that the sanctity of the grove is maintained. It is said that these places speed healing and provide safe rest for weary travellers. Also there are rumours that those with a strong connection to the Way of the Mother will dream of the future in these places. Attempting to destroy or desecrate a sacred grove will result in the immediate wrath of the entire order of druids. This was experienced by an unwitting group of ogres during the last Great War, and is likely the event that broke the kobold-ogre alliance.

Other Religions and Philosophies

Over time the names of the Gods has settled for the remainder of the religious in Mellenheir. All of the deities, mentioned on pages 106-108 of the Player’s Handbook, have followers throughout these lands. While none have as many adherents as is claimed by the Church of the Good, their temples can be found in cities and even in remote rural locations. Godless clerics are not permitted in this campaign, but many other classes simply do not worship a deity.
Rathbone 4E - Adult Game
8:31 AM | Author: One of Freedom
I also run an adult campaign using the 4th edition Dungeons and Dragons rules. In this campaign the party starts out not in Rathbone, as was the case in our previous campaigns, but in the Tongue of Frugguthi. We have an active facebook group for the campaign, but I'll transpose most of the information here for folks who might want to use my material and for gamers in my other campaigns who want a central access point to my world.

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The Year Plybithimus returned the dark Lord was torn asunder. But doing so poisoned our fair land. Many heroes of old defeated the undead armies left behind, but the poison ran through the bloodlines of the dragons. Many new species of dragons emerged, including the dragonborn. Only a few of the old ones are still around, many of them driven mad by the evil they consumed. Even wise Plybithimus has hidden herself away, perhaps a great sleep will heal her species. Until then may the gods have mercy on the lands.
Mellenheir - Geography
8:07 AM | Author: One of Freedom
This gazette information comes from the 3.5 edition players guide which was given to all players in the Rathbone campaign. Note that the updates are changes from the 2nd edition campaign in this same world. Some of this changes in the new version (4E) of the campaign, but much of the history and geography is the same. Of note the existence of Tier nan Og, or the realm of the Faeries, has been confirmed and is a central piece to the Faerie Champions campaign. Also of note, magic changes to match the idioms in each version. In the 2nd edition game schools of magic needed to be kept in balance and where they were not wild magic appeared, sometimes destructively. In 3.5 magic had balanced itself out somewhat, but the forces that held tyrannical power in yester-years was seeking a new reign of terror made by metal (warforged) and bone (undead). At the end of that campaign the heroes convinced the dragons to rid the world of Voth by taking him into themselves. As the most ancient dragons tore Voth apart, his essence corrupted the species and created all kinds of variations in the dragon species - hence the emergence of the dragonborn and other dragon tainted species. It also accounts for the strong alignment biases in dragons being eradicated.

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WELCOME TO THE WORLD OF RATHBONE! This guide will acquaint you with the geography and culture of the lands of Rathbone, giving you the background knowledge that your characters would have of their world, as well as some of the D&D crunch that will help us have an enjoyable campaign.

Preamble

The onslaught of Voth’s armies was swift. Few stood a chance as coordinated assaults secured his dominion of Morguthi. Reports from the Paals suggest that control there was gained more through subterfuge than through direct assault. Frugguthi seems to have been of less interest to the conquering Voth, but perhaps this is just a matter of time. Armies of goblins and metal forged warriors have been seen along the Tongue itself. Everywhere there is a new order and the warlords of Voth are determined to maintain that order at any cost.

Mellenheir

Mellenheir is an earthlike planet in almost every geophysical respect, though its biosphere is much more diverse. Mellenheir is roughly the same size and shape as Earth, with an axial tilt and rotational velocity almost identical to Earth’s. Its slightly smaller orbital path results in 328-day years with no need for “leap year” corrections. Like Earth, Mellenheir has but a single moon.

Land Masses

There are four main inhabited landmasses in Mellenheir. Civilized humanoids are primarily concentrated on the Morguthi continent, with the massive snow capped Frugguthi continent being home to many savage races. The oceanic continent of Varguthi rarely sees visitors; many a seafarer has tales of its shores being the very end of the world itself. The islands of Pal Urguthi reach like a bony hand to the north, rich in minerals adventurers often set foot on its shores only to be swallowed up by the mystery that surrounds the islands like a fog.

Morguthi
A. Rathbone

Civilizations have risen and fallen in this land. Bridging the lands of the north (Northlands) and the lands of the south (Ballydore). The largest city, Persimé, also serves as the launching point for expeditions to Pal Urguthi. A terrible gash in the planet reminds the residents of this region of the dreadful power wizards have held in the past. The gash extends into the ocean, yet even the water flows only around this horrible feature. The Shimmering Mountains separate Rathbone from Ballydore restricting commercial traffic to ships that travel the coast in the Sea of Persistence. In the West the Chorley Woods and Weeping Marsh hold their own secrets. Central to this land are the Elven Mythral Woods. In the West is the growing city of Druse as well as several smaller farming communities. These farms provide much of the grains consumed throughout the continent. The Darth Ravine that splits even the ocean still holds a fortress that holds a strange attraction to the darker inhabitants of this land. In the north we have the Lymar Hills, home of the Dwarven city of Lymar. The Dark Forest separates Rathbone from the Northlands with a newly constructed tower to guard the trade route through the woods.

Update: Persimé has been overwhelmed by Voth’s forces and robbed of all magical support. The Dwarves are known to have gone underground once again. Hallenmare has been given special honour by Lord Voth, despite the loss of their constant drizzle (which has rendered the city nocturnal) Voth has stationed his standing army in this city.

B. BallyDore

Much of this land is dense jungle, especially the south. The majority of the population lives on the coast of the Sea of Persistence. The city of Ballydore dominates this coastline, a place of intrigue and high adventure. The famous army of Fort Persistence sits just south of Ballydore and legend has it that the coast to the north of Ballydore is riddled with pirates’ treasure troves. The lands of Ballydore are rich in sugars, teas and spices. These lands are also famous for their huge flocks of sheep.

C. Northlands

North of the Dark Forest lies the land that breeds mighty warriors. Many dwell in the inland city of Thrarn a mere days travel from the edge of the Dark Forest. This city is famous for its impressive walls and towers. An immense lake dominates the east with many small fishing villages on its shore. Legend has it that this lake was once the beautiful city Eller a’Marth, but that it was thrown far away into the Sea of Chance. The seaport of Ruul lays north of Thrarn and provides the only commercial connection to Frugguthi. The Northlands provide dried fish, many varieties, and salts to their trading partners. They are also very industrious and are famous throughout Morguthi for their mechanical inventions.

Frugguthi
D. Frugguthi Cold Lands

Often called the Savage North, this continent is home to some of the harshest weather in all Mellenheir. The few barbarians who hail from these lands find the temperate weather of other continents to be uncomfortable. A land of small migratory communities of rugged Fruggites, they follow the migration of huge herds of bison through the seasons. There are a few established communities on the coast of the Sea of Chance, these communities trade furs and ore with the Northlandians from Ruul. Enterprising dwarves who have migrated from Morguthi have established a number of mining communities in these lands.

E. The Tongue of Frugguthi

Wrapping around the Bay of Frustration, this tongue of land juts far to the south. Home of many Elven tribes it is believed that all Mellenheir elves originate from this very land. There is little contact with the outside world from the Tongue. The elves call this land Mallenhane (which roughly translates to Blessed of Mellenheir). They do hold a strange relationship with an island to the south of the Tongue. This island holds some spiritual significance to the elves and is shrouded in rumour and mystery. The island is called Bellhane.

Update: The stronghold of the Griffon Brotherhood lies on the Tongue.

Pal Urguthi
F. The Islands of Pal Urguthi

Often a dense fog surrounds these islands making it treacherous to ships to approach. Reefs, uncivilized tribes and volcanoes add to the dangers of this distant chain of islands. Yet the richness of these lands in terms of rare minerals is famous, a siren call to many an ambitious heart. Not all the tribes are savage; the Chaal tribe is actually quite civilized and frequently rescues misdirected travellers in these parts. Unfortunately they also put many of these travellers into service as slaves in their mines, a fair payment for their liberation from the cannibals who also live in these parts.

Update: Olve Kierza have overthrown the council that once ruled the Paals (common term for the Pal Urguthi islands).

Varguthi
G. Varguthi

Not much is known about this small continent, an oversized island really. The only travellers who ever go there are those from Ballydore, and there has never been any sustained trading with this land. Geographically this island separates the Sea of Persistence from the angry Sea of Temper.

Update: It is rumoured that Voth has a huge standing army in Varguthi and that this mysterious island possess huge forges from which all manner of abominations emerge.


Other Lands
H. Pileidaea

This ice-covered land is constantly victimized by the angry winds of the Sea of Temper. How anything could survive long in such a harsh place is a mystery, yet stories of giants, dragons and snow people have been a staple of the sailing communities.

Cosmology - Planar Geography

Mellenheir exists in the Prime Material Plane of existence. Planes corresponding to the four basic elements: Earth, Water, Air and Fire also co-exist with this plane. The access to these alternate planes is accomplished through magic and fixed portals. There is also a legend that the realm of the faeries permeates this plane being only slightly shifted away. It is the only realm that is described in similar terms to the known world. Many speculate that there also exists spiritual planes of existence but there has been no evidence to affirm or deny these planes.

Update: Portals have penetrated into the Ethereal and Astral planes. Unfortunately these planes are less than hospitable to life.
Cave of the Fire Spider (lvl 1) - Part II
12:37 PM | Author: One of Freedom
Down the Chute

The hole is webbed off at the top, but seems clear inside. Boy does it drop a long distance into the darkness.


The chute is easily climbable as it is only 4’ wide and the surface is quite rocky (DC 15 athletics). It is too irregular for anything but a tiny creature to fly down. There are lots of rocks around the top to tie a rope to. The chute goes down 50’ and spills out along the back wall of a cave (A). When the first person starts climbing read the following:

As you descend you notice that there are small caves along the sides, some of them are completely webbed up and others are filled with little piles of bones.

Inside the first webbed up cave is a raccoon, happy to be free he will bolt out of the hole and up the chute to safety. Inside the next three holes are Halfling captives. Their names are Kip, Little Foot, and Randy. They are traders from the Halfling village and were captured a few days back. Kip has a dagger in his boot and both Little Foot and Randy have slings tied around their arms. They can be convinced to help the party if they know that they are the faerie champions and that they were sent by Hilda Highboots. They will begin by thanking the party for rescuing them, but want the party to take them up and out of the hole to escape. If questioned they will tell the party that it was large spiders that brought them to this place and webbed them in. Those spiders breathed fire on their cart with all their trade goods, they will be quite sad about that. But they are more afraid of the bigger spider that seems to come from below. If asked about a dragon spider they will say this must be the mother of all dragon spiders! If they do come along with the party, they will stay at the back and Kip will ask if someone can loan him a sling to use.

Lair of the Fire Spider


The air smells sulphurous here, broken webs cling to the falls and floor. The occasional scorch mark on the wall spells trouble for any who dare spend too long in this terrible pit.

The party climbs out at A and the big spider gets to try and detect the party. If they had a conversation in the chute, then the spider will be hiding and alert. Otherwise she is just hiding. She has babies with her, they will attack if the party moves beyond a burst 1 area centered on the chute opening. If they can’t subdue the party in three rounds the mother will come out of hiding. She could be spotted beforehand, so use her passive stealth (DC 16). 1 Fire Spider Mother (M), 1d4 each round (maximum 8 at any given time)Spiderlings will come from (S) (these stop coming when the mother is dead), and 2 Fire Spider Swarms (SW).

The mother spider has her treasure in a pile of cherished bones. It includes Arcanists glasses (AV 138), Hunting Beast +1 Hide Armour (PHB2 201), 1 potion of healing, 60gp.

Back at the Village

If you return to Hilda with proof you have killed the beast (either its head or the rescued Halflings as witnesses) then she will reward you with a pair of wavestrider boots (PHB 246) and 130gp. She will also give each party member a medallion that proves they are friends of the Halflings, all Halflings will recognize these medallions and give you a +5 reaction bonus. These can be worn without taking up an equipment slot.

After another fine meal Hilda will happily tell the champions about another adventure – the Blue Hill.
Cave of the Fire Spider (lvl 1) - Part I
9:50 AM | Author: One of Freedom
Entrance to the Cave

Even pointed in the direction it will require some tracking to find the spider cave. The party can use DC 15 nature checks (3 maximum), DC 20 history checks (1 only), and DC 20 perception checks (maximum 3). The party needs 4 successes before 3 fails to successfully locate the entrance to the cave. There will be an encounter at the cave entrance. [Add tiles to make enough of a terrain for a decent battle, I usually use a minimum of an 80' X 80' area for outdoor encounters.]

Webs seem to be everywhere! But in the midst of all that sticky mess seems to be an entrance to a cave. Could this be the cave that the vile spider lives in? Perhaps it might, because this cave has guards!

3 Ettercap guards and 6 spiderlings advance on your party. One of the ettercaps has a belt pouch with 400sp and a potion of healing (2 treasure parcels).

The Cave is Dark and Deep


Clearing away the cobwebs reveals a simple hole in the side of the rocks. Inside is dark and damp.

The fight outside has alerted the spiders inside. They will be waiting for the ettercaps to bring them fresh blood, so when the party arrives they will not be happy. Inside the cave webs as all over the place, moving more than ¼ your speed means the webs can make an entangle attack (Attack: +5 vs. Reflex. Hit: The target is immobilized (save ends)). The webs are surprisingly fire resistant, so burning them is not an option. However, if they are frozen they will shatter and lose their stickiness. Cold based spells clear out their area of effect. Apart from the two big spiders in here, there is a small amount of treasure hidden throughout and a hole that leads down into the deep. Searching this room means moving throughout it, which means potential attacks so it must be tracked. The treasure is easily found if you are in the marked squares (DC12 perception). Treasure 1: +1 Healer’s Brooch (AV. 152). Treasure 2: +1 Frost Dagger (2 treasure parcels). The occupants of the room are 2 Fire Spiders and 4 Spiderlings.
Rathbone Awakenings (lvl 1)
9:27 AM | Author: One of Freedom
The land of Rathbone has a long and varied history. At present it is ruled by a council of Wizards located in the city of Persimé. Most of the towns and cities have mixed populations, with the exception of the dark city of Hallenmare which is ruled by a goblin warlord named Grarg Jolstmazer. The last Great War was started by a very evil zombie master named Voth who was destroyed by the famous champions of who managed to convince the oldest dragons to come and destroy this formidable foe. Ever since those times dragons have acted a little peculiar, and some seem caught in between dragon and human form – the first dragon borns. Towns and cities rebuilt, although occasionally zombies rise up to harass the people, Voth seems to have been completely vanquished. The heroes are long since gone and the land has been relatively peaceful. But sure as the rain will return, new threats are sure to fall upon the land of Rathbone. For this reason, the great Faerie Queen Jordan, has prepared her own champions. In every generation there are now those who have been marked by the faeries, given special gifts and a solemn charge to protect the land of the Faeries from any evil that might try to get in. Because there are several special places where the distance between the lands of Rathbone and the world of Faeries is thin – the Faerie champions have always lived in and protected Rathbone.

Each of you has known about the champions, as each of you has a special gift. Some of you might fly with gossamer wings, others use the dust of pixies to cause mischief, and even a few of you can take on a special form. Over your lives you have met with and talked to the faeries, pixies and sprites, who told you that one day you will be called on to be the next champions. Sometimes when you would sleep you would awaken in the Faerie world, where your dreams seemed real and filled with laughter and dance. Always you would awake from those dreams in special places called faerie groves. It seems that while you were sleeping your friends the faeries visited you all again and whisked you away to this place. As you slept, the pixies and sprites whispered in your ears, “it is time to make ready, a great evil is coming to the land, you must become the champions you were born to be.” When you awake it is in a faerie grove, deep in a forest you are unsure if you recognize. Certainly you do not recognize all of your companions either. [LIST THEM] Off in the trees you hear the giggles of the little people, but it seems that this time you are meant to get to know each other so that together you might become the Faerie Champions of Rathbone.


Activities: Have the characters come up with a bit of a story about themselves that includes their name, where they come from, and what their specialty is. To recognize the forest as Chorley Woods requires a DC 20 nature check and up to two people can assist. A DC 25 nature check will also let the character know which direction it is to get to the Halfling village in Chorley Woods. But the faeries will also give them directions once they have defeated the pesky spiders that lurk just outside the grove.

Spiders in the Trees

When the party decides to leave the grove they will be attacked by spiders. A DC 15 perception check, before leaving, will notice webbing in the trees. The big spider will be hiding, the little ones will be out of sight.

If the spider is attacked from the grove it will retreat into the forest where it can have its babies swarm the attackers. As long as the fire spider is alive 1d4 spiderlings will appear and attack the party. There will never be more than 10 spiderlings visible at any one time. Hidden spiderlings are not targetable as they hide in nooks and crannies. When the fire spider is killed the remaining spiderlings will attack one last time and try to flee.

When the spiders have been dispatched two sprites will come to talk with the party.

Sprites

Thoma and Gilles are usually happy little sprites. They will dance around re-enacting the battle with the fire spider. They will be quite proud of the champions and once they have calmed down will point the party towards the town of Dylia (Halfling). They don’t know much else, except that Jordan, queen of the Faeries, had asked them to welcome the champions and point them towards their first challenge.

Dylia

Dylia is not used to non-halflings arriving, but are usually hospitable. They will be especially hospitable if they find out they are entertaining faerie champions. The chieftess is Hilda Highboots, and yes she wears high boots (for a Halfling). She will invite the party to a meal. She will be eager to enlist the party’s help in dealing with a ‘small’ spider problem they have been having.

She will tell the party that to the west of the town there is a cave with a very nasty spider in it. If they can bring back the head of this spider she will reward them handsomely, she might even let them have one of her pairs of high boots!
The Faerie Champions – A Rathbone Adventure
9:07 AM | Author: One of Freedom
This is a 4E game based on five characters. In our game we have two other dads and three younger players (two girls and a boy). The kids are around 10 years old, so attention is a problem. We aim to play an hour and a half each session, enough time for one simple combat encounter and one role playing encounter. We play every second week, and the kids really look forward to the games. I only have a couple of house rules: original Magic Missile only and chaos bolts always bounce if there is a legitimate target (that is the fun of them). I'll give some Rathbone history later, but here is the preamble:


The affairs of the world of Mellenheir are rarely of concern for the faeries in Tier Nan Og. But when great evil lurks in Mellenheir the faeries choose champions to protect them from those who would exploit their hidden land by stealing their treasures and turning faeries into slaves. Champions are chosen from a young age and given a gift from the faerie queen. This gift can be gossamer wings, dust of the pixie, or even the ability to transform into a woodland friend. The champions often seek each other out and set out to bring about good in the world by freeing the captives, defeating evil creatures, and, above all, protecting the world of faeries.

Character Creation

Each character will be created according to RPGA standards. All characters will start at first level, except when joining the game in progress in which case they will start at the level of the module being explored. Material from any of the official source books is acceptable, with the exception of the Dragon and Dungeon magazines. We will not be using the auto-hit magic missile rules (rather we will use the spell as described in the original PHB). Characters will choose one of the following free powers.

Faerie Wings Campaign Power Utility 1
You have a pair of gossamer wings which can easily be hidden under normal clothes.
At-will; Move action; Personal
Effect: If you are carrying less than 2 times you strength and your wings are exposed you gain Fly 6 (hover). If you are encumbered normal and your wings are exposed you gain the ability to jump (shift 2). Your wings cannot be covered in armour to benefit from either of these effects.


Pixie Dust
Campaign Power Encounter 1
You can produce pixie dust by rubbing your fingers together; this dust sparkles and can help you perform mischief.
Encounter; Arcane, Charm; Standard action; Close blast 3
Target: One creature within blast.
Attack: Charisma vs. Will
Hit: The target cannot see or hear you until the end of your next turn.

Woodland Friendform Campaign Power Daily 1
You can take the form of a small creature and experience life from a different perspective.
Daily; Polymorph, Primal; Minor action; Personal
Effect: You change from your humanoid form to a predetermined small animal form (a single tiny animal is chosen until the end of your next turn. When you change from beast form back to your humanoid form, you can shift 1 square. While you are in beast form, you can't use attack, utility, or feat powers that lack the beast form keyword, although you can sustain such powers. The beast form is tiny size, resembles a natural beast or a fey beast, and normally doesn't change your game statistics. Your equipment becomes part of your beast form, but you drop anything you are holding, except implements you can use. You continue to gain the benefits of the equipment you wear, except a shield. You can use the properties and the powers of implements as well as magic items that you wear, but not the properties or the powers of weapons or the powers of wondrous items. While equipment is part of your beast form, it cannot be removed, and anything in a container that is part of your beast form is inaccessible.
Special: You can maintain the small animal form as a minor action.

Special Campaign Rules

Magic Missile Campaign Wizard Attack 1
You launch a silvery bolt of force at the enemy.
At-Will; Arcane, Force, Impliment; Standard action; Ranged 20
Target: One creature.
Attack: Intelligence vs. Reflex
Hit: 2d4 + Intelligence modifier force damage.
Increase damage to 4d4 + Intelligence modifier at 21st level.
Special: This power counts as a ranged basic attack. When a power allows you to make a ranged basic attack, you can use this power.