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Against the Shadow  |  Places on Aryth  |  Draumador (Silver Vein)
Draumador (Silver Vein)
In the Kaladruns the dwarven people face the greatest of the wars, they fight the so called Chosen of Izrador, the Anvil Breaker, since the beggining of time and now the dwarven clans are isolated and doomed. The Durgis clan has been outliving the other clans, once the smallest of all the clans the surface Kurgun of the Durgis clan now accept many outsiders into their clan.

Silver Vein is a Durgis clan city located somewhere between Kardoling and Low Rock, it rests about two days walk into the Kaladruns, but it is the very place and architecture of Silver Vein that surprises: the Draumar river is born high in the freezing peaks of the Kaladruns, as it cuts its way to the lower heights of the Kaladrun it forms a unique landscape, the river receives many other streams and gets wider, until it meets the so called Draumardor, or Silver Vein in the trade tongue, Draumador is a city built inside a great stone that protudes from the river, around this great peak of Draumador the river turns into falls with amazing height that meet the still waters of a lake called Thesmol.

Draumador is a city built inside the great Teeth of teh Draumar, this great stone is akin to a tower made out of solid stone, not only the Teeth is capable of resisting the great power of the water, but it also shines under the moon with a silvery color.

Draumador was a very important city during the past ages, as it can be used as a trade point to the dwarves in the Kaladruns and is reachable by waters, the great Draumador meets the Sea of Pelluria. With that the city has always been very receptive to outsiders and with that many gnome vessels have once traveled between the Sea of Pelluria and Draumador.

Nowadays Draumador is a city forgotten by the dwarven clans, for it is almost unreachable in the winter and rgeat number of orcs that now inhabit the Kalandruns make any travel hard. Dwarrow and Dwarf alike live their lives with gnomes, even the Norfal are said to coe to the city one year or another, as they sometimes need metals and gems for use at their powerful fleet.

Draumador is ruled by a council of noble dwraves called dorbald this council is composed of 5 dwaves or dwarven blooded and is organized around a single firgure that ahs hold of one place in it, this leader is chosen by the council at mystical times when mother sun and father moon meet and is named the Dorthane of Draumador.

The waters of the Draumar freeze at the winter and make the falls of Draumador become silvery white in color, the great lake Thesmol becoms an almost endless desert of ice and cold, as the lake spans all around the valley of Silver Vein. Some evil predators live in the waters of the Thesmol and gnome vesels always carry misterious stones that are said to protect them.

At summer and spring the waters are running and the great falls of Draumar-Thesmol circle the city of Silver Vein, making reaching it possible only through Thesmol, at the very base of the Teeth a port is situated. At autumn and winter the running waters of the Draumar turn icy cold and freeze, making acess to the city possible only by walking all along the icy layers of Thesmol or through the frozen tops of the falls. Whatever the way Draumador is not easy to reach for unexperienced travelers and sailors.


The Flame of the Deep

For one thousand years, dwarven priests have guarded the Flame. It is a spark of pure fire-magic, a gift given to them by an Avatar of Aradil all those years ago. They kept it in a deep, deep shaft cut into the bedrock of the city, a rune-carved well that channeled and focused the energy therin. For a millenia, the Flame has provided light, warmth and hope to Draumador.

Ten years ago, though (a blink in a dwarf's eye), the keepers failed... the flame was extinguished by a mysterious traveller called the Black Winged One, whether it is a demon or not is yet mere stipulation.


The Loregivers of Draumador

Prior to the beginning of the Last Age, Draumador was one of the most open and accessible Dwarven towns. Dwarves and Gnomes mixed freely and even Humans of House Orin regularly traded with the Dwarven town. The clan’s loregivers acted as advisors, maintainers of law, trainers of language and the arts, and the keepers of tradition. Just prior to the end of the Third Age, there were a score and a half loregivers in the town. With the battles of the Last Age and the scattering of the clans, the number has dropped to just under a score (1.

The leader of the Loregivers is Fergold son of Fathin. Fergold’s family has held the position as the head of the Loregivers and the senior advisor to the Dorthane (leader) and the Dorbald (council) as far back as the Second Age. Fergold is unique among the loregivers as he does not have the spark of magic. He retains leadership, even without magic, due to tradition and the great respect the clan has for his wisdom.

Fergold has three assistants, Murand the keeper of mysteries, Barakus the keeper of the arts, and Gramoldsen, a Dwarrow, the keeper of laws. Murand is the most powerful channeler in the clan. He spends his time seeking and nurturing those who have the spark of magic. He and his apprentices assist in the crafting of charms and other items that can help the clan. He has an intense dislike of Cheribella who always seeks to take from the clan’s lore giving nothing in return. Barakus, trains the young clansmen in languages and traditional clan Durgis crafts. Gramoldsen is the only Dwarrow among the loregivers and he advises the Dorbald on the law and collects what lore the human and gnome refugees bring from the lowlands. Over the past century, he has been able to recover much of what was lost when Low Rock was sacked.

Fergold has spent the past five years trying to restore the sacred flame and preventing an open split on the Dorbald on how best to act against the ever encroaching forces of the Shadow. Fergold has asked Hrothgar for permission to send an emissary to the Witch Queen asking for help restoring the flame. Hrothgar has so far refused every request, stating the dangers and the need for more study. Fergold suspects Cheribella is behind Hrothgar’s refusal. Fergold does not trust Cheribella and the influence she has over Hrothgar. He has been asked to speak out against her, but realizes that in doing so he could split the clan.

Recommendations for the loregivers levels: Fergold (Exp 16), Murand (Chn 11), Barakus (Chn 6/Exp 5), Gramoldsen (Chn 5/Exp 5)


City Overview

The dwarves of late have no time for anything but war and survival, but it was not always so, the very city of Draumador is an expression of the times before, when art, religion and symbolism were all main dwarven concerns, the city has suffered a lot since then, but has not lost any of its former glory. Each level of the city has a function and oevrall organization thatobeys the concerns of old times.

The Horn of the Sun

The top most floor is a great hall shaped like a sun with the rays making out the passages through which the surface of the windy peaks of Draumador can be reached, aside from the portuary entrance this is the only one that can be used to have acess to the city, this halls are more of a passaegway than anything else, teh stairways rest at the center of the room and at the end of it there is a pedestal where a stone carved into the shape of a fire rests, it was enchanted long ago using the power of teh flame of the deep and thus radiates light equal to that of a campfire.

The Halls of Honor

The dwarves follow a very respectful tradition and unedr that the guests of the council of draumador is received and given choice of a small "house" in this floor, being the closest floor to the Horn fo the Sun it has the shape of a moon in 1/8 of its cicle, the round part matching the sun shape of teh above floor and looking at the side of the great Horn of the Draumar.

The Halls of Blood

This is where the council of draumador members have their homes, the previous members and leaders still have areas in the floor after leaving the council, as an act of respect and reverence. Its shape is that of a moon with 2/8 of its cycle.

The Halls Of War

This is the place where the tactics and warfare are thought and where weapons and armor is made, this is also the barracks for the city and all the full time soldiers live here or at least have a bed in this floor. The only way to acess the top 3 floors is by passing throught this one, it is the only acess to any of them and the levels below. 3/8 of the moon cycle.


The Halls Of Stone and Earth

This two floors were designed to host the dwarven homes, they are the places that the dwarves have tjheir houses and carry their business, dwarrows and gnomes can only live in these two floors after marrying or while living with their dwarven parents, while this may seem rather racist it is tradtional in the city and most gnomes and dwarrows prefer to dwell in the level below. 4 and 5/8 of the moon cycle.

The Halls of Ice

Housing the gnomes and their ships and trades this floor has acess to teh external world through a great double door of stone that is sealed shut in winter and opened again after the ice melts, the place is mostly covered with either water or barges and small ships, although it has walkways of stone and secure places where the gnomes may conduct their business with the water fearing dwarves. 6/8 of the moon cycle

Halls of Knowledge

This where the lorekeepers and the hall of heroes rests, the place is divided between th lorekeepers rooms and the meeting and learning halls. Inthe middle of the floor lies a grand stairway that leads to the floor below, where only the lorekeepers, the keepers of the flame or the deceased may go, special authorization is needed for anyone wanting to get to the place.

The Mother Embrace

Shaped like a full moon the floor has many tombs and resting places of old heroes, in the middle of it, right in the center of the stairway there is a great opening that used to house the flame of the deep until it was taken away. The floor connects to the many caves of the Nithut and some of them were converted into resting places for the gnome deceased, for flowing water runs in them. The caves are a maze and have yet to prove a route to anywhere.

The Icy Caves of Nithut

Deep in the caves there lies a place of frost and word, a place where no mortal has veer been and where many mortal knowledge is housed, the Library of frozen words is a place of cold and knowledge kept by its only inhabitant and his two servants, it was him that stole the flame of the deep many years ago and secured it in the library, its motivations and uses for it are yet to be discovered, but one thing is for sure, he is not what the dwarves believe him to be...

Auhtors: Nifelhein, Dirigible and Kane.


Key Personalities

Cheribella Francesca della Pyromeo

Background

Cheribella was rescued by the newly elected Dorthane (or chief) of the Durgis clan, Hrothgar, sixty years ago when she was but thirty-five years of age, not yet an adult by Gnome standards. She was a prisoner of Orc slavers and had been abused. Her clothing had been ripped and was little more than rags. The only possession she had to her name was an acorn she carried in a pocket (which she has kept to this day saying that it had brought her good luck).

In reality, she had been recruited by a legate named Nizam who had seduced her (at least he thought so). Either way, he promised her that Izrador would reward her with great power if she aided their cause. He had been assigned from Erenhead to deal with the continued disruption caused by Dwarven raids from Draumador. They had no success getting spies in (or if they did get in, back out). So the plan was devised for her to infiltrate the dwarven enclave. The acorn was in fact a true charm of undetectable alignment that was given to her to protect her from discovery. She was planted in the slaver caravan for the dwarfs to free, counting on her charm to take care of the rest. She had actually been abused as a prisoner, which she had suffered voluntarily, to make her cover convincing. The plan worked, even better than they had hoped since Hrothgar himself lead the particular raiding party that liberated her.

In those days, Hrothgar and other bold dwarves of the Durgis clan frequently ventured forth to fight the minions of Izrador. Cheribella was already an exceptionally pretty young woman at the time of her "rescue". And, in the intervening years, she has become a woman of nearly unparalleled beauty and even more potent persuasiveness. He soon fell prey to her charms. Two years later, he named her his consort (since clan tradition does not permit a Dorthane to take a non-dwarven wife) and so she has remained ever since. They had two sons, Amhroth (born two years later) and Jarlirnir (born four years after that). Gradually, under Cheribella's influence, the mighty leader came to view the fight with Izrador's forces as a matter not of his clan's concern, not at the cost of dwarven lives.

For several years, the Legate kept touch with her by magical means both scrying and communication. But it has been several decades since she was last contacted or scryed on, at least as far as she is aware. She does not know what has become of Nizam. Whether influencing Hrothgar's attitude was the legate's idea or hers, it effectively all but stopped the Durgis clan's raids against the Shadow's minions. Of course, there are occasional encounters with orcs in the mountains and surrounding lowland areas as there has always been. They are still dwarves after all. None truly knows if she has developed feelings for the dwarven chief or if all has been but a cruel charade to further her own ends. She certainly stood to lose her position of favor if he were to fall in a battle while on one of their raids. Whichever is the case, through the years, he ventured out less and less. It has now been over 25 years since he has left the halls of Silver Vein. His mood has grown dark. He often sits and broods for hours on the Dorthane's seat on its dais at the end of the long, dark great hall that is the clan's audience chamber. His reason has become clouded by jealousy.

Futhermore, their two sons are deeply divided by a bitter argument. Amhroth believes that they should be actively involved in and leading the fight against the shadow and chafes at his father's inactivity. He wants to see Silver Vein become a rebel base where they can mobilize resistance efforts. The city now houses a large outsider population that has grown steadily through the years. He still leads parties out to conduct raids and seems unmoved by his father and mother's reasoning. Jarlirnir on the other hand supports his parents views and seeks to oppose his brother's efforts to rally support for the resistance. While neither of them can hold a seat on the Council of Five since they are not full dwarves, both are leaders (having inherited a good portion of their mother's charismatic presence) and carry much influence throughout the clan.

Meanwhile, Cheribella has used her position to further her magical studies and creations. She acquired an all black rat she calls Julius as a familiar and she has a an elaborate private work chamber. She has explored much of the dwarven complex, often with Hrothgar's aid (and sometimes in secret). In truth, there is probably no place he would not grant her access to if she desired to see it greatly enough.

Located in the vicinity of Draumador (Silver Vein), are two known power nexuses. There is one deep beneath the mountain that is no longer used by the Dwarves. It is known as The Flame of the Deep (see separate description).

Cheribella has discovered one that is in a small cavern where crystals pulsing with light cover the walls and stalactites. There is one stalactite that seems to be one large crystal. It appears almost as if it captures or collects the light from the various crystals until it shines so brightly that the whole sixty foot diameter chamber is lit as with daylight. It radiates strong enchantment magic. The nexus has spell energy of 90 and recovery of 15. Its energy is restored four times a year at the time of each equinox and of each solstice. It is here that she has been able to craft and enchant the covenant circlet and spell talismans that she wears.


Game Mechanics

Female Dwarrow, Rog3/Chn6: CR9; Small humanoid; Age 95; HD 9d6+9; hp 38; Init +2; Spd 20 (+5 to swim for move equivalent and +10 to swim for full round); AC 14 (+2 Dex, +1 Size, +1 Natural Armor); Atk +5/+0 melee (1d3+0 Dagger +1); or +9/+4 ranged (1d3 masterwork hand crossbow); AL NE; SV Fort 6 (includes +2 from familiar), Ref 7, Will +8 (+2 racial bonus to saves vs spells and spell-like effects, +2 racial bonus to saves vs poison); Str 9, Dex 14, Con 12, Int 15, Wis 15, Cha 24 (includes +2 from covenant item); Spell Energy 12.

Skills: Appraise +2 (+4 when trading), Bluff +8 (+10 when trading or smuggling), Craft Alchemy +14, Decipher Script +8, Diplomacy +23 (+25 when trading), Disguise +4, Gather Information +7 (+9 when smuggling), Hide +12, Knowledge Arcana +14, Knowledge (local) Draumador +8, Knowledge Eren River Valley +3, Language Old Dwarven (read and write), Language High Elven (read and write), Language Courtier (speak, read and write), Perform +7 (+9 when singing, storytelling or playing musical instruments), Search +8, Sense Motive +14, Spellcraft +14, Spot +8, Survival +4 (+2 on rivers), Swim +1, Use Rope +3.

Feats: Negotiator, Spellcasting (Abjuration), Spell Focus Enchantment, Craft Spell Talisman, Craft Wondrous Item.

Schools of Magic: Universal, Transmutation, Abjuration, Enchantment, Illusion

Spells Known: 0 – Lullaby, Mage Hand, Mending, Open/Close, Purify Food and Drink ; 1st – Disguise Self, Charm Person, Feather Fall, Hold Portal, Hypnotism, Magic Weapon, Shield, Sleep, Undetectable Alignment ; 2nd – Alter Self, Bull's Strength, Calm Emotions, Eagle's Splendor, Invisibility, Knock, Silence, Touch of Idiocy ; 3rd – Deep Slumber, Dispel Magic, Hold Person, Suggestion ; 4th – Air Walk, Geas (Lesser), Modify Memory, Stoneskin ; 5th – Dominate Person, Feeblemind, Passwall .

Racial abilities: Darkvision (60'), all skills for Dwarrow raised among gnomes

Class abilities: Magecraft, bonus school (Enchantment), bonus spells, art of magic, channeler gift (charismatic), Summon familiar (rat), bonus school (illusion), bonus feat, art of magic

Languages: (automatic) Traders Tongue, High Elven (literate), Norther Pidgin; (bonus) Old Dwarven (literate), Orcish; (bought) Courtier (literate)

Possessions: Fine magenta silk robe with color coordinated shawl knitted from lambs wool, matching silk slippers (except when she is exploring the dungeons) lots of silver jewelry (rings, earrings, charm bracelet, ankle bracelets), +1 spell storing jeweled dagger (gift from Hrothgar – it has Hold Person stored in it), master work hand crossbow, 10 bolts in a small pouch, acorn (true charm of undetectable alignment), Mithril circlet with the design of an eye with a large opal in the center [1st – +2 Charisma checks and Charisma related skill checks, 3rd – Charm Person 1/day, 6th – +2 Enhancement Bonus to Charisma, 9th – Suggestion 1/day (and when she reaches 12th level she can enchant it to give her an a +4 Enhancement bonus to replace the bonus gained at 6th level)], Spell Talismans – Calm Emotions, Touch of Idiocy, Deep Slumber, Hold Person, Suggestion, Dominate Person, and Feeblemind (ornately wrought, these silver talismans adorn a belt like conchos – each with a different design).


Hrothgar Granitefist

Background

By the age of fifty, Hrothgar had the reputation as being the mightiest warrior of the Durgis clan of the Kurgan dwarves. That same year, he was elected to fill a seat on the Dorbald (ruling Council of Five) when one of the members, a valiant warrior named named Eregdur, was killed fighting orcs. When Hrothgar was sixty, the clan Dorthane (chief), Ethelbert, finally succumbed to old age. Hrothgar was chosen unanimously by the other Dorbald members to become the acting Dorthane until the next Dormoot (the traditional election time when Mother Sun and Father Moon meet) which was still three years hence.

At the age of sixty-three, Hrothgar was elected Dorthane, making him the youngest dwarf to ever hold the position. That was one year before the fated day when the raiding party he led rescued the beautiful young gnome female, Cheribella Francesca della Pyromeo, who was a prisoner of Orc slavers. Only a short two years later, he named her as his consort (since a Dorthane was not permitted to marry a non-dwarf). They had two sons, Amhroth who was born two years later and Jarlirnir who was born four years after his brother

From the moment Hrothgar laid eyes on Cheribella, he was smitten by her beauty (which has only increased as she has matured). Since the time they were married, he has doted on her and lavished gifts on her. He has personally led her throughout the extensive dwarven complex within the mountain. He has even shown her the clan's hidden treasures. She often adventured with him in the early days they were together.

In his own right, Hrothgar is a master smith. The magical dwarven waraxe he carries was made by his own hand during the winter following his election as Dorthane. Another of his creations, a beautiful magical dagger, he gave to Cheribella. However, since the Flame of the Deep disappeared ten years ago, he has not forged a single item.

So powerful is Hrothgar's presence, that none has ever dared to speak out publicly against his choice of the gnome woman as his consort. Though many felt that he was bewitched by her beauty and "charms" if not outright by magical means. Some refer to her derogatorily in whispers far away from the main halls as "Cherry Pie". Just what is meant by that is left to your own interpretation. What they did note was that over many years, his zest for battle seemed to wane. He began to say that the fight against Izrador's forces was not the Durgis' fight and that he would not be responsible for more dwarven blood being spilled in that cause. Finally, he quit sending out raiding parties, though of course, they maintained full patrols to watch out for their hated orc enemies and other foul creatures that are frequently encountered in the hostile mountains around their home.

Hrothgar is unequivocally supported in his sentiments against the resistance strangely enough by Cheribella. One would think considering the circumstances under which she met him that she might feel differently, but such is not the case. It may simply be due to the fact that her devotion to and trust of Hrothgar is so deep that she would not voice otherwise even if she held a contrary opinion. Whenever she speaks on behalf of his views, those who already agree become more firm in their beliefs, others who have been unsure find themselves swayed to the Dorthane's position and many who think the clan should be supporting the resistance remain undecided. Only a relatively small number continue to hold firm to their beliefs that they should be fighting to overthrow Izrador's rule.

Amroth has been the staunchest supporter of the resistance effort. He has been and remains very vocal in calling for his father to rally their clan and join the fight. He longs to see their city (Draumador in the dwarven tongue and Silver Vein as it was known to non-dwarves) become a rebel base from which operations against the Shadow's minions are staged. Though his supporters are greatly outnumbered at the present, Amroth is a natural leader and has a strong following of both dwarves and many of the outsiders who have made their home there over the past century. They are inspired by his fiery zeal and chafe at sitting back and doing nothing. Amroth still leads raids out of Draumador and Hrothgar does not gainsay him (whether because of some deep seated guilt Hrothgar has over not joining the fight or simply because of the deep affection he bears for his son or for some other reason, none knows). Amroth has not been the slightest bit dissuaded from his beliefs by either his father or mother.

On the other hand, Jarlirnir agrees with his parents and takes issue with his older brother. The two have often been heard exchanging heated and angry words over this difference of opinion. Jarlinir is charismatic in his own right and many among the younger dwarves side with him in his isolationist position. He tends to be jealous of his older brother often thinking that their father favors Amroth. Why else would Hrothgar allow Amhroth to continue making such raids unless it is because Hrothgar secretly admires his oldest offspring's more warrior-like ways. Jarlirnir has followed in his mother's footsteps and developed a facility with magic.

It has now been twenty-five years since Hrothgar last lead a raid out of Draumador. Many secretly have begun to doubt his fitness to lead. He has grown increasingly jealous over Cheribella and perceives other's interactions with her with suspicion. He is prone to sit for long hours brooding on the Dorthane's seat on its dais at the end of the long, dark audience hall. Few are those who dare to approach him for fear of prompting a wrathful outburst from him. Some whisper in far chambers of the city that this is the work of his consort while others think that a madness has slowly fallen upon him. The number of whispers have been steadily increasing. Whatever the case, Hrothgar is still a young dwarf. Prospects for harmony within the clan seem poor and a kind of disgruntled mailaise has fallen over the city.


Game Mechanics

Male Dwarf (Kurgun), Wld6/Ftr4: CR 10; Medium-size humanoid; Age 124; HD 6d8+15+4d10+15; hp 96; Init +1; Spd 20 ft; AC 21(22 **) (+1 Dex, +4 chain shirt, +2 heavy steel shield, +1 dodge, +2 natural armor, +1 dodge**); Atk +17(18*)/+12(13*) (1d10+7 Dwarven Waraxe +1 flaming, flaming burst ) or +12(13*)/+7(8*) (1d8 light crossbow); AL CG; SV Fort +12 (add additional +2 vs poisons and toxins), Ref +4 (+2 to next save), Will +5 (add additional +2 vs spells and spell-like effects, +2 to saves for one minute); Str 22 (+4 from belt of giant strength), Dex 14, Con 116, Int 14, Wis 15, Cha 13.

* -- means vs. Orcs and their kind; ** -- means vs. Orcs

Skills: Appraise +2 (+4 for stone or metal items), Climb +12, Craft Weapons +15, Intimidate +11, Hide +10, Knowledge Kaladruns +7, Knowledge Nature +9, Listen +10, Move Silently +10, Search +7, Spot +10, Survival +11 (add additional +6 when tracking and +2 when in mountains or underground), Swim +11.

Feats: Dodge, Combat Expertise, Mobility, Power Attack, Leadership, Cleave, Great Cleave

Racial Abilities: Darkvision 60', Stonecunning,

Class Abilities: Wild Empathy, Tracking, Bloodhound, Danger sense (+4 insight bonus on Spot checks at beginning of encounters), Smite 1/day, Light Step (conceal tracks), Danger Sense (never surprised)

Languages: (automatic) Clan Dialect, Old Dwarven Pidgin, Orcish Pidgin; (bonus) Old Dwarven, Trader's Tongue

Possessions: Chain shirt, Belt of Giant Strength +4 , Heavy Steel Shield (with Durgis clan heraldry – a rectangle divided into quarters, the upper left bearing a black anvil on a silver background, the upper right solid white, the lower left solid blue, the lower right bearing a yellow flame on a black background), +1 flaming, flaming burst dwarven waraxe , light crossbow, 40 bolts in two bolt quivers, Minor charm (+2 to next Reflex save), Greater Charm (+2 to Will saves for one minute).

Author: PrinceIain

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