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Thread: [INFO] BrOp's Age of Worms
Thursday, 19th October, 2006, 07:04 PM #1
Acolyte (Lvl 2)
[INFO] BrOp's Age of Worms
The concept for this thread is ripped off in whole cloth from Thanee's INFO thread for her Pool of Radiance game. All praise be to Thanee.
The Age of Worms
Here you will find information on Branding Opportunity's (formerly jeremy_dnd's, formerly mine again, formerly Krauss von Espy's) Age of Worms game. I thought this particularly important since the chronicle of this campaign is spread around so many different threads.
CURRENT IC THREAD
CURRENT OOC THREAD
CURRENT RG THREAD
BrOp's IC THREAD (DEFUNCT)
BrOp's OOC THREAD (DEFUNCT)
Krauss' IC THREAD (DEFUNCT)
Krauss' OOC THREAD (DEFUNCT)
Last edited by Branding Opportunity; Tuesday, 6th March, 2007 at 08:48 PM.
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Thursday, 19th October, 2006, 07:50 PM #2
Acolyte (Lvl 2)
Here you will find maps of areas you have explored in the game, or with which everyone is familiar.
Domain of Greyhawk (detail)
Village of Diamond Lake
Stolen from Dichotomy's thread
Whispering Cairn, Entrance Level
Whispering Cairn, Level accessed through ruined elevator
Last edited by Branding Opportunity; Monday, 26th February, 2007 at 05:11 PM.
Thursday, 19th October, 2006, 08:07 PM #3
Acolyte (Lvl 2)
Background Information on Diamond Lake and its Inhabitants
I thought it would be a good idea to have a listing of folks whom you would know of and might know personally in the village of Diamond Lake (in alphabetical order). Anyone with at least 1 rank in Knowledge (local) would have all of this information. Once you've met them IC, I'll change their names to a different color.
ALLUSTAN (Human m): Wizard and "the smartest man in town"
CHEZABET (Human f): Emporium fortune teller
VELIAS CHILDRAMUN (Human m): Fatherly cleric of Hieroneous
DIETRIK CICAEDA (Human m): Chief Cartographer of Diamond Lake
SHERRIF CUBBIN (Human m): Corrupt Sheriff of Diamond Lake
RAGNOLIN DOURSTONE (Dwarf m): Mine manager
DANNATH (Human f): Lazare's daughter and hostess of his House
VALKUS DUN (Human m): High priest of Hieroneous
TYROL EBBERLY (Human m): Weapon dealer, owner of the "Captain's Blade"
CHAUM GANSWORTH (Human m): Mine manager
ARIELLO KLINT (Halfling m): "The Combustible Magician", entertainer at The Emporium
KURLAG (Half-ogre m): Bouncer at The Emporium
LAZARE (Human m): Proprietor of Lazare's House and dragonchess enthusiast
MELINDE (Human f): Charming young warrior priestess of Hieroneous
ELLIVAL MOONMEADOW (Elf m): Mine manager
GOVERNOR-MAYOR LANOD NEFF (Human m): Rules Diamond Lake for the Free City of Grehawk
NOGWIER (Human m): High cleric of the Bronzewood Lodge
LUZANE PARRIN (Human f): Mine manager
PURPLE PROSE (Elf f): Madame of The Midnight Salute
MERRIS SANDOVAR (Human m): Chief Scout of Militia
TOM SHINGLE (Boggle m): Emporium contortionist
BALABAR SMENK (Human m): Mine manager
SHAG SOLOMON (? m): "The Wild Gentleman", entertainer/freak in the Emporium
TIDWOAD (Gnome m): Gem monger and proprietor of Tidwoad's
GELCH TILGAST (Human m): Mine manager
TOLLIVER TRASK (Human m): Militia garrison's aging commander
DOBRUN TRENT (Half-elf m): Militia lieutenant
MIKKELA VENDERIN (Human f): Militia lieutenant
VENELLE (Human f): Bowyer/fletcher
JIERIAN WIERUS (Human m): Flagellant high priest of St. Cuthbert
ZALAMANDRA (Human f): Queen of the Veiled Corridor
DESCRIPTION OF THE TOWN OF DIAMOND LAKE
Every week, hundreds of miners boil up from the depths, their pockets lined with freshly earned coin. The Emporium exists to separate the men from the money, and at this it is paramount among Diamond Lake's diverse businesses. Ten years ago it was simply Zalamandra's, one of a dozen vice dens along the Vein. Its ill fortunes changed the day its charismatic young madam seduced Professor Montague Marat, proprietor of a traveling sideshow and curiosity collection passing through Diamond Lake. The two soon joined forces, and a cavalcade of freaks and eccentrics moved into the building's lower floor. Thus was born Zalamandra's Emporium, and Diamond Lake has never been the same.
Upon entering, visitors encounter a small desk station manned by a grinning, businesslike attendant named Gaspar. The thin, balding man smiles wryly at all times, a gesture accentuated by his upcurled moustache. The house charges three coppers for access to the 'Gallery of Science' along the first floor's central corridor, and three silver for access to the lushly decorated upper floor, which features a large gaming hall, an exclusive entertainment club, and the infamous Veiled Corridor, where any pleasure may be obtained for the right price.
Those seeking a relatively cultured nightspot often congregate at Lazare's House, a cozy gaming parlor situtated on the Vein's central square. In contrast to the ostentatious banners and garish chipped paint on the Emporium across the street, Lazare's exudes a quiet sense of class with a stylish stone and timber construction and distinctive crooked-peaked roof. Inside, Diamond Lake's elite match wits over dragonchess, a popular game in which two sides of 42 pieces contest over three 96-square boards representing the sky, the earth, and the underworld. Pieces include the griffon, sylph, oliphant, basilisk, hero, thief, and paladin. Scholars claim that the game is a metaphor for the celestial struggles of fundamental law, chaos, good, and evil. In Diamond Lake, it's principally another justification for gambling.
A central hearth, constantly stoked by the courteous staff, serves as the hub of a roughly circular interior. Along the ring, eight alcoves offer an excellent location for private conversation or even romantic trysts. Each alcove is a half-moon of posh benches encircling a rectangular table bearing a special built-in dragonchess board. Visitors are expected to bring their own pieces, but may rent a house set for 2gp. This fee effectively keeps out the riff-raff, making Lazare's a haven for visiting dignitaries and Diamond Lake's upper class.
The Feral Dog
Since both Lazare's and the Emporium charge a small fee for entry, Diamond Lake's poorest laborers must turn to a collection of run-down ale halls with more sullied reputations. The busiest by far is The Feral Dog, a sleazy tavern on the Vein's central square. Every night and especially when the workforces of several local mines let out at the same time, cheering laborers within the bar scream obscenities and wave betting vouchers over two dogs in a lethal pit fight. No one savors the tinny ale, but the place is more about camaraderie, bravado, and desperation than about expecting exemplary quality or service.
A gang of criminals casts a broad shadow over The Feral Dog's squalid taproom. The patrons know from experience to respect the word of Kullen, the silently seething albino half-orc who leads the motley band with little tolerance for insolence and a powerful backhand.
Arguments commonly erupt at the Feral Dog, especially during the dogfights, when betting often grows contentious and even violent. About once a month, a drunk miner falls or is pushed into the thrashing dog pit, with predictably tragic results. During the worst brawls, someone usually gets knifed. A festering garbage pit in the sharp crags behind the building is said to hold the corpses of as many humans as dogs.
Church of St. Cuthbert
Each of the establishments along the Vein's central square trade in the exploitation of human vice or false hope, and the tower-flanked Church of St. Cuthbert is certainly no exception. Within this austere stucco structure, the poorest of Diamond Lake's poor huddle in a torch-lit sanctuary listening to the fiery sermons of Jierian Wierus, a bombastic orator whose populist rants appeal to the best virtues and values of the common man while at the same time preying upon their fears and superstitions. Wierus endlessly preaches a creed of common sense, honesty, and self-sacrifice, encouraging his faithful to give penance to St. Cuthbert by whipping themselves in repetitive acts of self-mortification. His growing cult, now some 150 strong, gives succor to the dregs of Diamond Lake society and is seen as a menace by the town's mine managers, government, and other religious figures. Many claim that the flagellants seem to follow Wierus as much as they do St. Cuthbert, and it is only because the charismatic firebrand somehow keeps his followers from breaking the law that his sect has been allowed to thrive.
Sooner or later, adventurers looking to sell loot will cross paths with Tidwoad, a cantankerous jeweler with a meticulously arranged shop located on the Vein's central square. Tidwoad's is as close to a bank as one can find in Diamond Lake, and the gnome keeps several small vaults in the crawlspace below his workshop. He maintains a collection of his finest gems in a showroom display case, boasting that his establishment is completely theft proof. A shield guardian named Festus helps to keep the gnome's theft-free streak alive with powerful stone fists and a constant focus on protecting the shop.
When a barroom brawl gets out of hand or when visitors threaten to upset the balance of power in Diamond Lake, Governor-Mayor Lanod Neff relies upon the discretion and agency of his private police force, assembled from a collection of corrupt watchmen gathered during Neff's youth as a watch captain in the Free City of Greyhawk. Nearly all of them were drummed out of service in the capital due to some indiscretion, but each maintained a hold over municipal authorities (often in the form of potential blackmail fodder) strong enough to ensure that they were not bounced from the service entirely, but instead reassigned to Diamond Lake.
Led by a boisterous alcoholic named Sheriff Cubbin, the six thugs who comprise the constabulary see to the general safety of the town and ensure that Neff's schemes go off without a hitch. They take a keen interest in unusual visitors and in the dealings of the town's mine managers, Balabar Smenk and Gelch Tilgast in particular. The police don't care one whit about crimes committed against the mine managers' agents, but decorum insists that they persecute overt crimes committed against the managers themselves to the full extent of the law.
The Sheriff's Office off the Vein's central square contains living quarters for all six constables and a twelve-cell jail filled with a motley assembly of drunks and maniacs.
Running a successful business in Diamond Lake means avoiding entanglements with the constantly maneuvering mine managers and scrupulously avoiding favoritism (real or perceived). No merchant better understands this reality than Taggin, the amiable master of the town's largest general store. Tables line the walls within, stacked high with rope coils, lanterns, bottles, gloves, and gear. Wagon wheels rest against barrels filled with nails or candles. The inventory includes most common adventuring gear, and Taggin cheerfully offers to special order anything he does not have in stock from the Free City, a process that 'usually takes about a week.' Taggin is just shy of middle age, but dresses somewhat stylishly for his class. He has a handlebar mustache and full, receding blond hair. He treats women of any race with exceptional politeness.
The Hungry Gar
Guld Tortikan, head chef at the Hungry Gar, claims to serve the finest meal on the Vein. He is mistaken.
When the lake turned foul, Diamond Lake's modest fishing industry fled the town, leaving a wake of empty warehouses and bankrupted fishers. Some of these warehouses became stockades for mine managers, packed with raw ore and letters of credit from the Free City and beyond. Others fell to ruin and became infested with squatters and addicts. Jalek's Flophouse, situated on Front Street within smelling distance of the lake, is the town's most famous warehouse, as it houses nearly a dozen pitiful indigents fighting off destitution with a handful of copper. A rotting wooden framework within supports a lurching, mazelike second floor, where every step brings an alarming creak and the walls thrum with muffled conversation. Lodging is 5 coppers a night, paid to a massive, helmeted half-orc mute named Golot. The brute pummels those who do not pay until they flee or die. No one has an address at Jalek's - the room you have is the one can keep. Most rooms lack doors, let alone locks, but the shifting inhabitants and the chaotic layout of the upper floor makes it one of the best places to disappear in all of Diamond Lake. The halfling landlord Jalek lives in a rooftop apartment and is seldom seen. The Cuthbertine flagellant Jieran Wierus frequently visits the flophouse, where he recruits a growing tide of converts.
A corpulent elemental of corruption and bad taste, Balabar Smenk lords his political clout over everyone in Diamond Lake save the governor-mayor and garrison commander, whom he privately mocks. Smenk has wrestled four mines into his possession in the last ten years, and has designs upon the rest. A coven of sycophants and hired goons surrounds him at all times. Rumors suggest that he has powerfully connected friends in the Free City of Greyhawk.
Smenk lives in a sodden old mansion a century past its prime. Three thugs patrol the streets around his home, warning anyone they see to go away with a sneer and the brandishing of a lead pipe. Despite these precautions, Smenk's front door is always wide open, fulfilling an old public promise that he would always be available to his miners.
Balabar Smenk uses this abandoned mine only for storage (and, rumor has it, occasionally to disappear the body of a slain enemy). It is protected by a padlock on an iron door.
Centuries ago, long before the foundation of the Free City, a petty lord commanded the shores of the lake and the nearby iron ore and silver mines from a sturdy hilltop keep. Today, the refurbished ruin of that keep serves as home to more than 60 members of the Free City Militia, soldiers tasked with patrolling the northern hills, keeping watch over the lizardfolk-infested Mistmarsh to the south, and liaising with halfling, gnome, and dwarf communities in the region.
A third of the soldiers are always out on patrol, a wide circuit of nearby roadways and wildlands that takes them away from Diamond Lake for a week at a time. Remaining soldiers drill, maintain the garrison, hunt, and familiarize themselves with local terrain.
The bored soldiers present rich mining ground for a cadre of clerics and paladins of Heironeous, who provide spiritual and magical aid to the warriors from a stately chapel within the garrison fortress.
Captain Tolliver Trask, the garrison's aging commander, distinguished himself in a recent war and has the respect of his charges and of the community at large. He cares little about the day-to-day politics of Diamond Lake, and encourages his men to stay out of local business. He sees his job as critical to the defense of the Free City. Diamond Lake is just something that happens to be near his important work.
He supports Governor-Mayor Lanod Neff out of respect for the political process that put him in power, if not for the man himself. He trusts three advisors more closely than any of his other associates. The Heironean chief cleric Valkus Dun acts as Trask's spiritual advisor and foil. Trask's best friend is Dietrik Cicaeda, the middle-aged Chief Cartographer of Diamond Lake. Cicaeda is the region's sole legal authority regarding issues of land ownership, making his journals and maps among the town's most valuable treasures. He and his work thus enjoy the official protection of the garrison's walls and soldiery, and remain safely locked away from the town's manipulative mine managers. Chief Scout Merris Sandovar, lately of the Bronzewood Lodge druidic community three hours northeast of Diamond Lake, rounds out Captain Trask's inner circle.
The complete garrison force consists of 60 soldiers. Militia members typically wear leather or chainmail armor and carry a longsword or shortbow. This force is divided into thirds, with each squad led by a lieutenant. These individuals have the ear of Captain Trask and the admiration of their charges.
Chapel of Heironeous
Most of the guards and soldiers serving in the Diamond Lake garrison honor Heironeous as the patron of justice and martial prowess. The Invincible One's temple is little more than a large high-ceilinged chamber within the garrison itself, but it boasts the second largest congregation in Diamond Lake, as well as one of the village's most dynamic personalities in the form of its high priest, Valkus Dun.
Dun came to Diamond Lake two years ago, after the previous high priest vanished under mysterious circumstances. Local gossip holds that Dun once had great prospects in the Free City's immense Sanctum of Heironeous, but that politics saw him exiled to an assignment in squalid Diamond Lake. Nevertheless, Dun took to his assignment with zeal, and the weekly services have taken on an activist spirit. While the garrison commander urges his charges to stay out of local affairs, Dun instills in them a duty to the villagers and urges them to make a difference in the community. the resulting tension, between the garrison commander and Valkus Dun as well as between the Heironean soldiers and the disreputable elements of Diamond Lake (which is to say nearly all of them), is palpable.
A massive wall fresco of a mythic battle between perfect Heironeous and his traitorous half-brother Hextor looms over the chapel's bronzewood altar. The holy image is lit by dozens of guttering torches at night and by several stained-glass windows during the day. Weekly services exhibit a great deal of fraternity and sober, harmonic hymns. The are open to the public, but are dominated by soldiers and guards.
While the common folk of Diamond Lake have plenty of reason to despair of their living conditions, they remain several times more fortunate than the community's horses, who predominantly dwell in the run-down Lakeside Stables under the careful watch of the brutal Lanch Faraday, a portly ostler prone to distressing mood swings. Customers commonly complain of mysterious bruises on their horses, evidence of Faraday's uncontrollable rages. Still, the price is right, and the walls around back keep the horses relatively safe from theft, so no one has yet pressed the issue.
The Midnight Salute
This by-the-numbers house of ill-repute caters to the garrison crowd and anyone seeking a less exotic (and less expensive) experience than that offered by the Emporium's legendary Veiled Corridor. Its proprietess, the ravishing Purple Prose, stresses discretion and decorum with her workforce.
The Spinning Giant
When not drilling, sleeping, or on patrol, garrison soldiers flock to this raucous two-story tavern to meet with friends, chant drinking songs, and drown themselves in ale and good cheer. A blue-shingled roof tops filthy white plaster walls. A faded fresco painted on the building's face depicts a dancing imbecilic hill giant in a yellow dress. Patrons must enter and exit via a door positioned between the giant's legs. This is Flailing Felanore, a dim-witted young giantess captured by the garrison militia 40 years ago and 'granted' to the proprietor of a favorite watering hole to serve as a mascot. The attraction worked, drawing visitors from as far as the Free City to gawk and stare at Felanore's awkward gyrations. Though Felanore died from an outbreak of the Red Death plague, nearly 20 years ago, the free-standing circular center stage on which she once pranced remains the most prestigious musical venue in town, if not nearly the most titillating.
Garrison soldiers make up most of the Spinning Giant's regular patrons, with a handful of mine overseers and merchants rounding out the crowd. Most who come here consider themselves honorable, and expect similar conduct from others. They do not tolerate pickpockets, and respond harshly when confronted with a crime in progress. They hold a similar disdain for Diamond Lake's constabulary, and have made it known on many occasions that Sheriff Cubbin and his boys are not welcome on the premises. Nor do they welcome Diamond Lake's poor, including most miners. Regular patrons routinely "suggest" that riffraff instead visit one of Diamond Lake's other fine establishments. Soldiers act with bravado in these encounters, knowing that most of the Spinning Giant's other customers will have their backs should a fight break out.
The Captain's Blade
Tyrol Ebberly, a severe-looking man who claims to have once been a watch captain in the Free City, runs this small shop with efficiency. He's an absolute fanatic about weapons, always showing off his masterwork items with enthusiasm. He's also an inveterate gossip, and asks endless questions about peoples' affairs, trying to learn more about how they were wounded or why they're looking for money. Ebberly has any melee weapon up to 900 gp in stock, but must send away for more expensive items, a process that takes several days. He specializes in masterwork melee weapons, and keeps his surprisingly wide selection displayed on the walls. He does not offer any masterwork ranged weapons, and sends anyone looking for them to Venelle's, across town. "Don't forget your coin purse," he sniffs indignantly. "You're sure to need it there."
A redolence of fresh pine suffuses this handsome establishment, a distinctive structure that incorporates intricate carved patterns and upright logs. The proprietor, a curious woman named Venelle, makes masterwork bows and arrows, and also deals in other weapons and armor imported from the Free City in exchange for items of her own design. The shop is a bit chaotic, with various items piled on tables. Armor sits loosely on too-small dummies. Venelle has a touch of elven blood about her, and is pleased to entertain guests who appreciate arrowcraft and elven culture. She has friends among the Bronzewood Lodge, and greets other characters from that nearby community with smiles. Venele carries most weapons and armor priced up to 900gp, but must send away for more expensive items.
The "smartest man in town," a friendly wizard named Allustan, dwells within a charming red and deep blue house on one of the rare stretches of healthy grass in all of Diamond Lake. A small meditation garden abuts the face of the house, incorporating vertical stones and small pools of concentric circles. The fresh paint and well-tended yard contrasts sharply with the rest of the seedy town, a testament to the locals' respect for (or fear of) a man whose prowess is known as far as the Free City.
Allustan grew up in Diamond Lake with his brother, Lanod Neff. The sons of the town's powerful and efficient governor-mayor, they abused their influence and shamed the mine managers with social indiscretions. When finally they went too far, their father sent them both to the Free City, urging Allustan to seek an education and placing Lanod in a plum assignment with the city watch. Allustan soon found himself in the prestigious University of Magical Arts, where his apt scholarship and bravado caught the attention of a powerful master wizard named Tenser, a dynamic figure who traveled with some of the most renowned heroes of the day.
Tenser offered to take on Allustan as his apprentice, assuring him a life of thrills and discovery. What Allustan got was a window into a world of manipulative chessmasters willing to backstab trusted friends to honor abstract principles of balance and neutrality. Though he thrived in the company of Tenser and his ilk, the politics proved too much to handle, and he split with the group more than a decade ago after a bitter ethical dispute. He retired to Diamond Lake only to find his inept brother in charge and facing challenges from all sides. So he remains, knowing that his presence supports a corrupt leader but unwilling to leave his family to the wolves. The same political disinterest that got him into trouble with Tenser keeps him from seeing the worst of his brother's offenses.
Allustan offers his library and considerable intelligence to the citizens of Diamond Lake as a sage, although few miners have reason to seek his services. Allustan charges a standard rate of 20 gp per question. He does this more to sate his curiosity than for the money; gains from his adventuring days easily cover his modest lifestyle.
Ten years ago, the aging Gelch Tilgast held the reins of Diamond Lake's ore trade, a position he'd enjoyed most of his life. Then Balabar Smenk and his boundless ambition came to town. In his youth, Tilgast would have relished the challenge, but he didn't move fast enough to block Smenk's ascent, which has led directly to his own decline. Tilgast currently fuels enormous energy into building an alliance against Smenk that includes Luzane Parrin and a handful of weak mine managers from the neighboring towns of Steaming Springs and Blackstone.
The grandeur of Gelch Tilgast's stylish estate far outstrips its owner's current influence, which has been in free fall since Balabar Smenk first infested Diamond Lake. Tilgast maintains a family of seven fine thoroughbred horses within a well-managed stable enclosed in a stockade wall. Wealthy visitors and a few residents of the town pay 1 gp per day to stable a favorite horse within the compound, where a clutch of meticulous grooms tends to the animal's every need.
In decades past, nobles from the Free City flocked to Diamond Lake to sail upon its crystal clear waters. Mine tailings, waste runoff, and other pollution ended the practice almost a century ago, but the rotting carcasses of once elaborate piers still jut into the lake's murky waters. A few masts peek out from the surface, tombstones of abandoned fishing vessels from more recent times. Regular fish cannot survive in the tainted waters, leaving only dangerous, hardy predators like the ravenous, toothy gar that have become such a problem in recent years. Those who venture across Diamond Lake do so at their own risk.
For a piece of silver, a retired marine named Durskin will ferry up to six passengers across the lake in his sloop, a dingy vessel called the Autumn Runner. The destitute boatman lives on the deck of his boat, which smells of urine and teems with fleas and sea mites. Those seeking a safer passage must rely upon the Harkness, a ten-man sailboat maintained by the shadowy cult of the Green Lady, who use the vessel to cross back and forth between Diamond Lake and the cairn in which their order holds its services to Wee Jas, goddess of magic and death. Passage on the Harkness costs 3 sp, and passengers must endure bothersome sermons on the exquisite beauty of death and the arcane prowess of the Dark-Eyed Lady. In either case, it takes about 30 minutes to cross from one shore of the lake to the other.
Able Carter Coaching Inn
The Able Carter Coaching Company connects the City of Greyhawk to its satellite towns via a fleet fo horse-drawn coaches and an inn positioned in every leg of the journey. Diamond Lake’s hostelry offers 20 rooms for let at a rate of 1 gp per day. Stable services are available for a fee of 5 sp per day. Four guards keep watch on the place throughout the day and night and can be hired to ride with a coach for an additional 5 gp per guard per day. The following chart shows travel time from Diamond Lake to other locations. Journeys listed as “wild” involve at least one night in the wilderness, when the coach is a sitting duck for the numerous bandits who infest the hills and vex the garrison’s militia.
Code:Destination Days Direction Wild? Blackstone 1 West No Blackwall Keep 2 South-east Yes Elmshire 2 North Yes Greyhawk 3 West No
This is the residence of Luzane Parrian, who is one of the mine owners in Diamond Lake, which she inherited from her parents. When Balabar Smenk arrived in town years ago, he quickly started acquiring Parrian's assets and holdings. Over the last few years she as watched as her closes friends, allies forged during her mother's time, fell into bankruptcy or were killed thanks to the machinations of Balabar Smenk, who at the same time continued to press her on the romantic front.
Perrin once lived in the home now occupied by Balabar Smenk but was forced to relocate to this shabby manor about three years ago.
Three prominant representatives of the dwarven stronghold of Greysmere, many days to the south across the treacherous Mistmarsh, live in this sturdy brick and timber structure. Greysmere imports some of the raw iron ore unearthed by local humans, as it bears a color prized by the most skilled artisans and metalworkers of the dwarven clans. Dulok Blitzhame leads the delegation with straight talk and cunning pragmatism. The other councilors, Galuth Grobadore and Bitris Ruthek spend much of their time representing the interests of Greysmere in neighboring communities.
In the 14 years since he came to Diamond Lake, Chaum Gansworth has remained in the background, never drawing too much attention to himself while quietly amassing a fortune from three very productive mines.
Gansworth lives in the heart of Diamond Lake, at the end of a cul-de-sac marked by a memorial obelisk dedicted to the memory of a mine collapse 70 years ago that killed more than 300 miners. A low wall surrounds most of the two-story structure, and five loyal sentinels guard the compound at all times.
The Rusty Bucket
This popular restaurant used to specialize in fish, but since the lake went bad its' been forced to adapt to a land-based menu. Within, green stained-glass windows filter eerie light into the main dining room, where the intertwining melodies of a trio of pipers enhances an ethereal atmosphere. Guests dine in a large common room, with a handful of nicer tables situatied in a roped-off area beside the main dining hall. The far table, on a raised platform overlooking the private room, is reserved for Chaum Gansworth, Diamond Lake's most calculating mine manager and the owner of the Rusty Bucket. Gansworth rigorously pursues a neutral stance in all political dealings, afraid to expose himself to an enemy's treachery by making an overt move against one of the other mine managers. As a result, all fo the town's major political plaerys consider the Rusty Bucket neutral.
Unlike the other mine managers of Diamond Lake, Ellival Moonmeadow manages only one mine for the government of the City of Greyhawk. Moonmeadow owes his longevity to a keen intelligence and a reclusiveness that offers few chances to become embroiled in local affairs. The only thing that brings him into the public eye is gragonchess, and even then he plays only with opponents capable of challenging his instinctive, complex style. The blond, well-dressed elf rarely consorts with humans at all, preferring the company of six grey elves who also hail from his homeland, the distant realm of Celene. Decades younger than their master, these elves mix more readily with the folk of Diamond Lake, occasionally visiting the Emporium's opium parlor, Lazare's House, or Venelle's.
Moonmeadow's sprawling manor surrounds a central courtyard containing a meditation garden, an ostentation of peacocks, and two green-and-brown-pelted cooshees, mated elven dogs who have accompanied their master since his days in Celene.
The distinctive "O" maker's mark of Manlin Osgood is a regional sign of quality powerful enough that lesser blacksmiths in neighboring communities often forge it to maintain competitive parity. Osgood and his team of seven apprentices and journeyman smiths specialize in masterwork armor and household items like canteens, canisters, tools, and the like. Osgood is somewhat coarse, unfailingly polite middle-aged human with a bald head and a walrus-like mustache. He always remembers a customer's name, and greets frequent patrosn witha hearty handshake and a slap on the back.
A century ago, local mine managers maintained their own smelting houses, but constant conflict resulted in frequent sabotage that choked the flow of resources from Diamond Lake to Greyhawk markets. The city directors reluctantly stepped in, monopoloizing the smelting trade and basing the town's only smelting house in a massive fortress-worshop perched on the edge of the lake. Runoff slag belched from the great sub-surface pipes accounts for the majoirty of the pollution that has killed off most aquatic life in the region, and production these days is more robust than it has ever been. The rarely seen chief smelter, Vulgan Durtch, is one of the richest men in Diamond Lake, but few neighbors know anything about him.
A tower on the building's northwest corner serves as the residence and workshop of Benazel the Alchemist, a talkative chemist from the Free City who oversees the alchemical rituals and regents necessary for the smelting process and who makes a minor fortune selling potions from his first-floor office.
Diamond Lake Boneyard
The town's overcrowded cemetery used to be a great source of bodies for medical students in the Free City and unscrupulous necromancers, but the Cult of the Green Lady has put a stop to that. Throughout the day, a handful of green-robed acolytes wander the cemetery chanting songs holy to Wee Jas while tending graves and clearing vines and mude from stone markers dating back hundreds of years. Tales abound that one coffin in the boneyard -- no one is sure just which one -- contains not a dead body, but dozens and dozens of gold bars.
Governor-Mayor Lanod Neff's sprawling manor house squats atop the hill overlooking Diamond Lake, a tangle of scaffolding, wires, and workcrews. Protected by a wooden stockade wall, the manor houses the political apparatus of the town, including several meeting rooms, a courthouse, and numerous bedchambers for visiting dignitaries and (just as frequently) Lanod Neff's countelss cronies and concubines.
Visitation with the governor-mayor is by appointment only, with an audiences sometimes taking weeks to arrange.
This iron ore mine has kept strong for centuries, predating the formal establishment of Diamond Lake as a vassal of the Free City of Greyhawk. Ragnolin Dourstone has managed the mine since the very beginning, when he chose this spot seemingly at random.
This worn old stone ring is often visited by residents of the Bronzewood Lodge, and is sacred to druids and rangers, a relic from a time when teh laws of the wilderness governed man as well as animals.
This crumbling abandoned observatory once housed an order of monks obsessed with the heavenly bodies of the nighttime sky.
This squat, well-protected manor is the home of Ragnolin Dourstone, who is one of Diamond Lake's most responsible mine managers.
DIAMOND LAKE'S HINTERLANDS
Beyond the streets of Diamond Lake is a jagged expanse of wilderness. Wandering bands of militia patrol the region, keeping it mostly safe for the merchants, pilgrims, and travelers heading to and from the Free City of Greyhawk. The following locations, while technically outside the town limits, play important roles in local affairs.
The Twilight Monastery
About two hours north of Diamond Lake, a towering crag called the Griffon’s Roost casts a dark shadow over the muddy road to Elmshire. From a perch hundreds of feet above looms the cat-infested Twilight Monastery, a three-towered monument to an obscure philosophy of the Distant West. Two score monks dwell within the monastery, dedicating themselves to a litany of exercises meant to perfect the body and spirit. The secretive monks hold dusk as the holiest of hours, and sonorous chants emit from the Twilight Monastery’s central courtyard when the night sky appears in the heavens. Foremost among the monks is Izenfen the Occluded, a peerless masked combatant thought to be one of the wisest figures in the hills. Travelers frequently seek her council, but most leave Diamond Lake without ever having gained access to the Twilight Monastery, for Izenfen deigns to speak with only a handful of pilgrims foretold to her via the agency of the night sky and an immense mirrored lens called the Censer of Symmetry. When word of the Censer’s predictive prowess spread to the miners of Diamond Lake 20 years ago, a desperate contingent petitioned Izenfen to predict the location of the richest unclaimed local ore deposits, appealing to her compassion with tales of starving children and dangerously unpaid debts. The masked mistress of the Twilight Monastery rebuffed their pleas, triggering the miners’ contingency plan—an ill-fated invasion of the monks’ compound that left seven miners dead. Immediately thereafter, Izenfen gathered a cadre of stealth assassins from the ranks of her best warriors, and silently set them upon the surviving invaders who still milked wounds in the petty shacks along Diamond Lake’s waterfront. Rumors suggest that Izenfen’s masked silent killers remain active to this day, citing the disappearance or mysterious deaths of nearly a dozen political enemies within the town.
The Bronzewood Lodge
The ring of crumbling menhirs on the bluff overlooking Diamond Lake is a remnant of an ancient human druidic culture that once inhabited the region. They too came to the hills for the ancient cairns, seeing them as monuments to great ancestors of the invisible past. Although modern humans displaced the native druids during great migrations over a thousand years ago, pockets of indigenous architecture and culture remain. Foremost among these near-forgotten practices is veneration of Obad-Hai, the Shalm, the brooding patron of wilderness and natural order. Druids and rangers who honor the Shalm and a host of minor nature deities and fey spirits (the so-called Old Faith) routinely congregate in great moots three hours northeast of Diamond Lake, at an ancient megalithic structure called the Bronzewood Lodge. Devotees of Ehlonna or the elven pantheon are welcome at these meetings, if a bit gruffly, but all other attendees must be invited personally by someone already within the circle of trust. A small permanent community inhabits the Lodge itself and the wooded copse surrounding it. Perhaps 30 assorted druids, rangers, and scouts protect the sacred site and keep watch on the nearby roads and valleys. Occasionally, they step in to rescue a traveler from some natural menace, but just as often they warn explorers to stay on the roads and let the wilderness take care of itself. Their leader is Nogwier, an aged proponent of the Old Faith who strives to keep the focus of his community on preservation of a near-extinct way of life and away from anger at the Free City and its operatives in Diamond Lake, whose avariciousness continually rapes the land.
The Cairn Hills
A few hundred years ago, intrepid explorers discovered a fantastic cache of priceless artifacts entombed in one of the hundreds of ancient burial complexes hewn into the crags surrounding the Free City of Greyhawk. The trove attracted legions of treasure-seekers to the Free City (then a mere trading post), and unbelievable wealth plundered from the tombs. The wealthiest explorers became the city’s first nobility, and the Free City quickly became associated with easy wealth and fabulous archeological artifacts from long-dead civilizations that appeared to predate the emergence of gnomes and dwarves in the region. But the wealth didn’t always come easy, as many of the forlorn tombs provided deadly surprises in the form of bound demon guardians, relentless constructs, and ingenious magical wards and traps. The hilly lands surrounding the City became known as the Cairn Hills, and the hunt for lost treasure became an important part of the region’s cultural heritage. But the treasure didn’t last forever. Eventually, the cairns dried out, and unplundered tombs became more and more difficult to locate. Every decade or so a lucky explorer managed to strike it rich, but even more came away from their endeavors with nothing more than broken ankles and clothes singed by the fires of ancient protections. Several vanished entirely. Over the years, the Cairn Hills began to lose their allure, and the City fell upon difficult times. Although abandoned cairns host no few bandit troupes and savage humanoid enclaves, two nonhuman communities play an important role in the Free City’s economy, so much so that they impact even the remote mining town of Diamond Lake. These are the gnome warren of Grossetgrottel and the dwarven stronghold of Greysmere.
Three days (by coach) northwest of Diamond Lake, the Cairn Hills Trail enters a region of steep crags pocked with natural caverns. Five of these caverns lead to an interconnected series of gnome villages called Grossetgrottel. The gnomes of Grossetgrottel specialize in rare gems rescued from the subterranean depths, but each of the five villages focuses on a different trade or specialization. All told, some 800 gnomes call the place home, though about a quarter as many “expatriates” live in the Free City itself or in the mining towns surrounding it. Able gnome wardens and gem-encrusted constructs stand vigil over the surface entrances to each community, and nongnome visitors are subject to the legendary gnome suspicion.
South of the immense Mistmarsh, the Cairn Hills jut up to become the Abbor-Alz Mountains, and in a tight valley stands the imposing dwarven fortress of Greysmere, its impressive stone-carved façade reflecting in the still waters of a placid mountain lake. Tall mountains completely surround the valley, making the citadel one of the most easily defended locales in the region. Unusually for the dwarves, Greysmere stands open to all visitors, who are welcome in the enclave’s upper markets and vast, agoraphobia-inducing galleries. More than 400 dwarves dwell within Greysmere, under the guidance of Fionor the Rude, a downright mean little fellow who invites all new guests to his dinner table in hopes that they might provide a moment’s entertainment. Despite his boorishness, Fionor respects those who command respect, and is a trustworthy friend.
Cairn of the Green Lady
Far less welcoming are the brooding inhabitants of the Cairn of the Green Lady, a reclaimed tomb on the opposite shore of Diamond Lake itself. Cloaked in robes of green and quick to threaten outsiders, these two-score devotees of the death goddess Wee Jas honor a fallen saint of that deity with mournful prayers to departed spirits and mysterious explorations of the hills nearby. They base themselves in the tomb of this departed servant of the Dark-Eyed Lady, whom they believe died during a great migration of humans across the treacherous hills more than a thousand years ago. Diamond Lake’s Governor-Mayor Lanod Neff trusts the cultists only because they protect the town’s boneyard from the sinister attentions of the community’s most depraved residents. The order’s leader, the enchanting Amariss, is always on the lookout for new recruits.
Last edited by Branding Opportunity; Wednesday, 15th November, 2006 at 04:12 PM.
Thursday, 19th October, 2006, 11:37 PM #4
Acolyte (Lvl 2)
Here you will find pictures of people and places you have encountered.
DIAMOND LAKE MINERS
DIAMOND LAKE GARRIONS
ARTIFACT DISCOVERED ON FIRST LEVEL OF WHISPERING CAIRN
INDIGO COLORED LANTERN FOUND IN WOLVES' DEN
EMPTY SARCOPHAGUS ON FIRST LEVEL OF WHISPERING CAIRN
"EYE" CREATURE WHICH ATTACKED WITH SWARM
LEATHER ARMOR WITH STRANGE INSIGNIA
WAND #1 FOUND IN WHISPERING CAIRN
WAND #2 FOUND IN WHISPERING CAIRN
RING FOUND ON GHOUL
SHOULD HAVE CHECKED FOR TRAPS IN THAT CORRIDOR ...
Last edited by Branding Opportunity; Monday, 26th February, 2007 at 05:04 PM.
Thursday, 26th October, 2006, 05:36 PM #5
Acolyte (Lvl 2)
Information Picked Up Along the Way
This post is to collect clues and general information that the party has come across. It also helps me to keep track of what I have said!
The Domain of Greyhawk mints its own coinage which is used from the Nyr Dyv to the Bright Desert.
Plate (pp), orb (gp), noble (sp), common (cp)
Last edited by Branding Opportunity; Sunday, 12th November, 2006 at 05:36 PM.
Tuesday, 6th March, 2007, 08:49 PM #6
Acolyte (Lvl 2)