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CLOAK AND

DAGGER
Ansalon’s Heroes of Defiance

By Steve Miller

Editor Sue Weinlein Cook Proofreader Carrie A. Bebris


Creative Director Harold Johns on Typographer Angelika Lokotz
Cover Illustrator Jeff Easley Map Illustrator James A. Crabtree
Graphic Designer Shan Ren Cartographer Rob Lazzaretti
Interior Illustrators Jason Burrows and Storn A. Cook
Graphics Coordinators S. Daniele, Paul Hanchette, and Dawn Murin

Special Thanks To Duane Maxwell and Steven Brown for their good ideas;
Mike Oldfield for The Songs of Distant Earth, to which much of Heroes of Defiance
was written; and John Maddox Roberts and Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman,
whose novels provided this book with descriptive quotes to begin each chapter.

TSR, Inc. TSR Ltd.


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print this product for personal use.
Author’s foreword

Generally, when we think of the DRAGONLANCE® Sage, we see in our mind’s eye vast
armies clashing while dragons wheel overhead. But actually, very few escapades of
the Heroes of the Lance involved open confrontation. By and large, their early adven-
tures were tales of survival through stealth. The famous, grand battles came much
later and most cases emerged amid great loss, such as the death of heroes like Sturm
Brightblade, Tanis Half-Elven, and Steel Brightblade. Some say a heroic end is worth
the example it sets for others, but more pragmatic individuals believe it’s better to
live to fight another day.
This sourcebook is about the latter group. It is about heroes who consider
personal glory-even personal honor—far less important than surviving to see the
struggle end in victory for their side. Their belief in their cause is as strong as that of
knights boldly bearing the crest of their lords into battle. These heroes just have dif-
ferent priorities: survival for themselves, their loved ones, and their people. This is a
book about spies, freedom fighters, and even dark-cloaked assassins, the Saga’s
unsung heroes and villains.
As Narrators and players, you can use Cloak and Dagger to build a DRAGONLANCE:
FIFTH AGE™ campaign with a different flavor. Chapter One spotlights new roles, from
street urchins to displaced nobility In Chapter Two, you learn how to create an
intrigue-laced campaign, as well as glimpse the array of underground and resistance
activity sweeping Ansalon. Chapter Three offers new rules for creating roguish
heroes who keep secrets from even trusted comrades, as well as optional guidelines
for playing one of the most downtrodden races ever to skulk or thieve: the gully
dwarves. Finally, Chapter Four discusses Northern Ergoth, a land whose ancient his-
tory ties it to the bards and rogues of the world; this is the first time this island has
been treated in detail anywhere.

Suggested Reading
To create fantasy adventures full of intrigue and duplicity for your FIFTH AGE, cam-
paign, you can draw from a variety of DRAGONLANCE novels, such as:
Dark Heart by Tina Daniell (Meetings sextet Vol. 3).
Murder in Tarsis by John Maddox Roberts.
Lord Toede by Jeff Grubb (Villains series Vol. 5).
The Dark Queen by Michael and Teri Williams (Villains series Vol. 6).
The Reign of Istar, an anthology (Tales series Vol. 4).
Also, for those with Usenet access through online service providers, the newsgroup
alt.fan.dragonlance provides an Internet forum to exchange ideas about the Saga.
Table of Contents

Chapter One: Roguish Roles Chapter Two: A Land Defiant


Defining Roles . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 Creating Intrigue . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .31
Using Roles . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5 Underground Ansalon . . . . . . . . . . 32
Lower-Class Roles . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5 Map: Land of Defiance . . . . . . . 33
The Barmaid . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5
The “Loyal Servant” . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6
Chapter Three: Optional Rule
The Street Performer . . . . . . . . . . 7
Gully Dwarves as a Hero Race . . . 36
The Street Urchin . . . . . . . . . . . 8
False Demeanors . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .39
Middle-Class Roles . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10
Hidden Agendas . . . . . . . . . . 41
The Guild Thief . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11 Putting All Together . . . . . . . . . . 49
Sidebar: Thief Guilds . . . . . . 12
The Merchant . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13
The River Pirate . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14 Chapter Four: Northern Ergoth
Upper-Class Roles . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15 Geography . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .52
The Ambassador . . . . . . . . . . . 15 Empire of Ergoth . . . . . . . . . . 53
The Fop . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16 Ergoth Proper . . . . . . . . . . 53
The “Staunch Supporter” . . . . . 17 Ackal Province . . . . . . . . . . 68
Other Roles . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .18 Ogaral Province . . . . . . . . . . 74
The Bard . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ..18 Sikk’et Hul Province . . . . . . . . . . 77
Sidebar: The Bard College . . 20 Sidebar: Ergoth’s Gods . . . . . . .77
The Con Artist . . . . . . . . . . .20 Hylo (Kenderhome) . . . . . . . . . . 85
The Displaced Noble . . . . . . . . . . . 2 1
The Handler . . . . . . . . . . .22 Appendix
The Healer . . . . . . . . . . . 23 Roles Quick Reference . . . . . . . 94–96
The Legionnaire Scout . . . . . . . . . . .24
The Qualinesti Rebel . . . . . . . . . . .25 Hidden Agenda Sheet .. (back cover)
The Spellfilch . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .27
The Thug . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .28
False Roles . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .28
Chapter One
did not come conduct himself as a proper warrior.
here to speak However, creating roles for rogues,
of poetry,” thieves, and covert members of under-
ground resistance movements can call
said the
for a somewhat different approach.
aristocrat.
Degrees of wisdom and strength matter
“I desire the less to a hero of defiance than his cun-
death of a ning, his knowledge about the world,
ran. Is that and his place in society.
not your For this reason, this chapter initially
craft?” defines most roles according to a hero’s
social status. A person with a social sta-
“It is, tus of a peasant (2) is not likely to be an
indeed,” said ambassador or courtier, while someone
Nistur. with a social status of royalty (9) proba-
bly won’t wind up a street urchin.
“Truly, I am a poet, but these
The SAGAN™ hero generation rules
times are unkind to one who (Book of the Fifth Age, Chapter One)
seeks to exercise the divine gift, defines nine different social levels
so I must have a means to earn derived from a hero’s wealth score. To
my bread. I choose the ancient determine the proper roles for their
and most honorable vocation of heroes’ social status, players should
the assassin.” consult the chart below, which divides
the status levels into three social classes.
-A client to Nistur the Assassin, A roguish hero can play any of the roles
Murder in Tarsis allowable for his class.

The DRAGONLANCE: FIFTH AGE game is W e a l t h Social Status C l a s s


designed with a flexibility intended to 1 Slave Lower
facilitate the creation of any type of 2 Peasant Lower
hero appropriate to the setting and a 3 Commoner Lower
Narrator’s campaign. Roles help players 4 Tradesman Middle
get a handle on their character type at 5 Guildsman Middle
the start of play, to complete the pack- 6 Gentry Middle
age of a fully defined hero. From there, 7 Aristocracy Upper
the hero will grow and change as he 8 Nobility Upper
takes his part in the Narrator’s story. 9+ Royalty Upper
While the hero creation system in
the FIFTH AGE boxed set introduced roles Social status does not govern all the
briefly, this supplement, like Heroes of roles in this chapter, however. Some are
Steel before it, elaborates on the concept defined by the hero’s race or back-
with guidelines and sample roles. ground, while a few others are open to
all heroes. Regardless, a hero’s role
Defining Roles must always suit his demeanor and
nature. For instance, the role of a spy
Some roles can be defined most simply would be a poor match for a hero with
by requiring maximum or minimum an honest nature. Matching a hero’s
ability scores or codes of a hero. After role to his demeanor and nature is
all, a Knight of Solamnia should have a more important than score, code, or
fairly high Strength score and code to social status requirements.

4 Chapter One
ROGUISH ROLES
Using Roles Role-Playing
Barmaids are used to dealing with a
The roles in this chapter are offered as wide variety of people, from friendly
suggestions only. They are not intended guardsman and locals to abrasive mer-
to lock heroes into set molds but cenaries and obnoxious drunks. They
instead to heighten the enjoyment of can skillfully switch from one emotion
the game and further support role- to another, depending on who they are
playing efforts. interacting with, in order to gain infor-
Therefore, it cannot be stressed mation or another favorable result.
enough that players should feel free to
define their own roles, based on what
Requirements
kind of heroes they want to play or
upon their favorite DRAGONLANCE char- As their job revolves around interacting
acters. If Narrators think of ways to with others, barmaids must have a
improve the sample roles in this chap- Presence code of “C” or better. Further,
ter for use in their games, they may they cannot have a Strength code
combine them, modify them, or use higher than “C,” as barmaids typically
them as models from which to con- do not have the time it takes to become
struct their own unique roles. weapons masters.

Advantages
Lower-Class Roles Everyone has to eat and drink some-
Heroes with the social status of slave, time, and the common room of the
peasant, or commoner may not have a local inn remains the central meeting
wealth of riches at their disposal, but point in many towns across Ansalon.
they can often place themselves in the This gives barmaids the unique ability
perfect position to collect information to keep track of law enforcement activi-
as valuable as any dragons hoard. ties and underworld movement alike,
just by seeing who’s meeting with
whom and how often. They also can
The Barmaid identify the comings and goings of
A barmaid works in an inn or tavern strangers to the area and gather all
serving the customers. Those who fre- kinds of interesting tidbits while serv-
quent the establishment might consider ing drinks or wandering the common
her a friend—at least someone to room—patrons, viewing servers as just
whom they can vent their frustrations— another part of the scenery, often forget
while less savory persons who only themselves and continue sensitive con-
happen by the establishment occasion- versations while the barmaid stands
ally may view her as a potential sexual nearby, absorbing every word.
conquest. These heroes enjoy the Barmaids become adept at dealing
unique position of keeping tabs on vir- with people on a variety of levels and
tually everything happening in the in a variety of situations. Whenever
community. Tika Waylan from the they interact with a character in a non-
DRAGONLANCE Chronicles first combat situation, any card played for
appeared in this role. actions to put on a false face (appear to
Note: Although servers in taverns the character as seductive, angry,
and inns are typically female in the friendly, frightened, or any other suit-
DRAGONLANCE setting, males can able emotion) is automatically consid-
assume this role as barmen. ered trump. In melee combat—a bar
fight, for instance—any card played for

Roguish Roles 5
the barmaid to wield an improvised how to use a sword properly, he leads a
weapon becomes trump as well. (See life more dangerous than most front-
Heroes of Steel for details on impro- line soldiers. Not only does he risk
vised weapons such as chairs, tankards, being discovered as a traitor, but the
or Tika’s famous skillet.) loyal front he presents may make him a
Heroes who begin work in a tavern target for those who would hurt his
or inn can adopt this role during play. master. Anyone who courts opposition
from both the villains and those loyal
Disadvantages to his own cause is truly playing a dan-
gerous game.
Although working at a community’s
central gathering point has its advan-
tages, it has its drawbacks also, particu- Role–Playing
larly for a hero leading a double The “loyal servant” always seems
life—simple barmaid by day, daring friendly toward his master, as well as
rebel by night. the family and any visitors to the
Whenever the hero encounters house. Eager to please them, he always
someone who frequents her inn or tav- tries to stay one step ahead of their
ern in another setting, she must per- needs. This is only a facade, though.
form a Reason action to recognize him His friendliness gets him close to the
before he notices her. (This action’s action, and his desire to remain one
difficulty depends on how often the step ahead of those he serves makes
character has seen the hero.) If the him appear indispensable.
player fails at this action, the character Further, if a hero with this role is
recognizes the barmaid, as follows: ever caught eavesdropping, or perhaps
If she failed her target action score tailing a villain who recently visited his
by 1 or 2 points, she looks vaguely master, he has a fair chance of bluffing
familiar to him, but he isn’t sure his way out of a potentially bad situa-
where he’s seen her before. tion. Characters are prone to believe
Failing the action by 3 to 7 points even a mildly convincing story that
means the character knows that she comes from their faithful servant.
doesn’t belong here. Note: Because a “loyal servant”
Missing by 8 or more points tells the becomes familiar with virtually every
character exactly who the hero is detail of his master’s life, the Narrator
and where he’s seen her before. has an opportunity to give a villain a
sympathetic side. For example, an
The actions the character takes upon oppressive, corrupt lord may be enact-
recognizing the hero will vary depend- ing his foul plots to protect his wife and
ing on the circumstances. A quick- child, whom he loves very much-he
thinking hero might be able to bluff may even be a very gentle and loving
her way out of the situation. parent. Another employer might beat
his wife, torture prisoners routinely, and
The ‘Loyal Servant’ force his young son to perform weapon
practices until the boy drops from
A hero with the “loyal servant” role exhaustion. In both examples, the vil-
works in the household of a high- lain may see his “loyal servant” as an
ranking or wealthy enemy, so he can assistant and a confidant. Each situation
watch his foe’s plans develop. More generates dilemmas that can create
often than not, employers trust this interesting role-playing situations.
hero implicitly, even if he is secretly a
prime source of information for those Requirements
who oppose them.
It takes mental stamina to seem
Although the hero might not know
friendly toward, supportive of, and

6 Chapter One
subservient to those one actually drum, or some other easily portable
opposes (and perhaps even despises), instrument, while the dancer(s) grace-
so heroes with this role must have fully performs traditional routines
Spirit and Reason scores of at least 4. ranging from the pseudo-religious
(such as the famous “Mishakal’s
Advantages Lament”) to the erotic (like the popu-
lar Ergothian dance “Huma and the
Heroes who act as servants become
Silver Dragon,” performed by one male
adept at eavesdropping, as well as lis-
and one female dancer). There are
tening for approaching footfalls while
hundreds of kinds of dances, inspired
searching through documents on the
by everything from the ceremonies of
master’s desk. Any cards played for
Plains barbarians, to the lurching
such surreptitious actions are consid-
stumbles of drunken goblins, to the
ered trump.
majestic flight of the kingfisher.
A hero can acquire this role during
Some of the best street performers
play, however he must have had some
are asked to perform at the parties of
prior acquaintance with his employer
merchants, and even the rare noble.
to establish the bond of trust.
This is how they make most of their
living—they use their street routines
Disadvantages to attract attention to their skill.
Beyond his immediate circle of secret Others provide private entertainment
allies outside his master’s household, a or companionship for lonely travelers
“loyal servant” hero has difficulty con- who can afford such luxuries; these
vincing those who share his true sym- performers generally focus their reper-
pathies that he is on their side. toire around more exotic or erotic
Whenever trying to deal with “good dances. A rare hero with this role
guy” characters, the hero must perform makes his living entirely by perform
an average Reason (Spirit) action, ing on the street.
opposed by the leader of those he seeks Street performers move in a wide
to convince of his true intentions. variety of social circles and enter the
Mishaps might involve the hero being homes and rooms of any number of
dismissed, imprisoned, or even rich and powerful people. It is not at
attacked, depending on the situation. uncommon for them to act as lookouts
for thieves—with prearranged musical
signals used as warnings—or for
The Street Yerformer performers to “case” lavish homes for
A fixture of seedy towns like Port o’ burglar associates.
Call on the New Sea and large cities like
Gwynned in Northern Ergoth are street Role-Playing
performers. They dance or play their
The street performers of Ansalon are
instruments on corners and in plazas,
some of the land’s greatest musicians
hoping someone will reward their
and dancers, and they know it. While
efforts with a few copper pieces. Men
pampered nobles might play at making
and women in equal numbers become
music and bards use music as an
performers; most heroes with this role
excuse to spin tall tales of trips to the
can both play and dance.
moon, street performers live the craft
Street performers are young:
of dancing and creating music. Thus,
between 17 and 25, typically. They
when it comes to conversations about
often work in pairs—one musician and
music and dance, these heroes seem
one dancer—although sometimes
quite haughty and inflexible in their
larger groups join together in troupes
opinions—except when speaking to a
to perform more elaborate works. The
potential customer.
musician usually plays a flute or a

Roguish Roles 7
Note: Many street performers even- Presence (Reason) action, the character
tually go on to become bards, honing inadvertently lets something slip.
their crafts to the point where they get A hero with the proper background
tired of the snobbish attitudes and the can acquire this role during play.
abuse of the upper classes. Further, the
life of a bard is less physically taxing Disadvantages
than that of a street performer. (See the
Street performers never enjoy a trump
bard’s description on page 19.)
bonus for Presence actions to deal with
middle- or upper-class characters.
Requirements Although the rich folk of Ansalon’s
Street performers get by on good looks cities frequently draw upon these
and grace, not to mention a pleasant heroes to entertain at parties, they look
personality when dealing with an indi- down upon them at the same time,
vidual who might pay them for one viewing them as having loose morals
night’s work what they otherwise and no dedication to anything but
would make in a week. To adopt this money and maybe their so-called “art.”
role, a hero must have Presence and In their prejudice, they believe that
Agility scores of at least 4, with codes of “serious” artists would not be forced to
“C” or better in each. Further, street live in tenements or sleep in alleyways.
performers must have Spirit codes of at In other words, the wealthy don’t
least “C,” as they genuinely put their mind using the street performers when
heart and soul into their craft-even if convenient, but they don’t want to be
many augment their income with the bothered with them at other times.
occasional less-than-respectable
activity. The Street Urchin
Advantages Ragged, unwashed, and on the edge of
starvation, street urchins are living
Street performers excel both at playing
examples that life on Krynn is not fair.
instruments and dancing-unless the
Many of these children have been
player’s concept for his hero limits him
abandoned by uncaring parents. Some
to one or the other. Therefore, actions
have become lost in the chaos of this
they attempt for playing small, portable
invasion or that, and still others are
instruments (Dexterity actions) or
orphans with no relatives to raise them.
dancing (Presence or Agility actions)
A few of these lucky children find a
are always considered trump.
caring soul to raise them properly, like
In fact, normally street performer
Tika Waylan found in Otik Sandath,
heroes succeed at actions related to
owner of the Inn of the Last Home
their craft automatically. They need
during the War of the Lance. However,
only play cards when performing under
most street urchins must just survive as
the pressure of unusual circumstances—
best they can. The more adventurous of
such as a command musical perfor-
these are the stock from which heroes
mance before Malys or a special dance
are drawn.
atop the merlons of a battlement. Nar-
Marsi, introduced in the adventure
rators might also call for card play
Heroes of a New Age in the FIFTH AGE
when the dancer or musician wants to
boxed set, epitomizes the street urchin.
copy a work he has seen or heard per-
formed once or when he decides to
make something up on the fly. Role-Playing
Finally, a particularly charming More so than any other heroes, street
street performer might be able to sub- urchins display their natures clearly, as
tly extract information from an the harsh realities of the world ham-
unwary lover. On a successful easy mer them into shape. Whatever their

8 Chapter One
natures and demeanors, most urchins Once the hero has accrued five total
have learned to take care around quests (or has reached the age of eigh-
strangers and trust only those they teen, whichever comes first), he must
know well. Likewise, they help only abandon the street urchin role and all
those they know well—unless the that comes with it. He remains on
assistance will buy them some food, good terms with the characters from
clothes, a couple of coins, or a warm his network of friends (see “Advan-
place to sleep. Not greedy or self-cen- tages”), but they no longer seem as
tered, street urchins just want to sur- willing to lend him assistance-he’s an
vive. And the best way to survive on adult now and can take care of himself.
the uncaring streets is to help your The hero must at this time adopt a new
friends so they will help you. role, one that has grown out of his
Street urchins tend to get involved experiences during his quests.
with adventuring and covert activity—
freedom fighting, spying, and thieving— Requirements
for a number of reasons. Some like the
A street urchin may not begin play
pay. Others admire someone involved in
with more than three completed quests
such ventures, a role model or someone
and should be younger than eighteen
who reminds them of their parents. Per-
years of age. Further, the player of such
haps the lifestyle is simply a way to keep
a child hero must create a small tale to
their bellies full. The player of a street
explain any ability codes higher than
urchin hero must decide, with help from
“C” at the start of play. (For instance, a
the Narrator, why his hero decides to
kindly old mystic taught him the ways
accompany the adventuring group.
of the spirit before cruel city guards
Note: As heroes, street urchins are
killed her.)
still coming into their own. But, like all
children, they must grow up.

Roguish Roles 9
Advantages someone chasing him, and perhaps
even hide him.
Street urchin heroes have three things
Many characters, both Good and
going for them: They know the streets
Evil, see street urchins only as living
of their town like the back of their
refuse on the city streets. In their arro-
hands, they have a network of friends
gance, they find such heroes barely
they can draw upon for protection and
worth notice. Therefore, street urchins
support, and they spend much of their
can potentially gather all kinds of tid-
time beneath the notice of adults.
bits of information, as adult characters
When they need to lose pursuers or
speak more freely around them-even
just find a place to rest in their home
fail to notice their presence.
city, street urchins can attempt the
Finally, street urchins frequently
action below:
have to live off what they can steal.
Therefore, they enjoy a trump bonus
Find a Hiding Place when attempting Dexterity actions that
Difficulty: Easy (4) involve pilfering small items or picking
Action ability: Reason pockets. (See the “Pick a Pocket” action
Opposition ability: None in Appendix Three of the Book of the
Fifth Age in the FIFTH AGE boxed set.)
Comments: Success at this action
means the street urchin recalls a good
hiding spot nearby for himself and his Disadvantages
companions. To determine how far Most heroes enjoy the limited protec-
away it is, the Narrator turns over a tion that being a semipublic figure
card from the Fate Deck. A One means grants. However, this is not the case for
the heroes make it to safety in one the anonymous street urchins-few
minute, while a Ten indicates the trip characters outside the urchin’s network
takes a full ten minutes. of friends will care whether he lives or
The suit of the random draw might dies. Therefore, any enemies a street
indicate the nature of the journey to urchin might make during his adven-
the hiding place: Shields would allow tures will feel free to take their revenge
safe passage, while Arrows would with impunity.
engage the heroes in a running battle Once the hero is known to have
along the way. The Narrator might played a role in fouling up a character’s
instead let the card’s suit determine the carefully laid plans, any Presence action
nature of the hideout or tell whether involving that character must always be
someone is already there: A Moons card at least daunting. A mishap at such an
links the spot to the powers of sorcery, action means the character has tired of
while a Crowns card could let the the street urchin’s meddling and will
group slip into a castle or manor house. try to murder him, either personally or
Mishap: The heroes’ enemies have fol- through minions.
lowed them to the hideout. The role of street urchin must be
part of a hero’s original background;
Besides their knowledge of the city’s one cannot acquire it during play.
secret nooks and crannies, street
urchins have a network of friends and
supporters they can draw upon for Middle-Class
information and help. These folks
range from other street urchins to
Roles
street performers and kindly mer- The middle classes of Ansalon include
chants. Few of these characters will tradesmen, guildsmen, and landed
endanger their lives for the hero, but gentry—common workers who often
they will lie for him, attempt to delay lead very uncommon lives.

I0 Chapter One
The Guild Thief ter himself without thought or concern
for his fellow beings. Members of thief
Many thieves across Ansalon belong to guilds consider themselves needed now
a widespread guild, described in the more than ever before, and their devo-
sidebar on the next page. The behavior tion to bringing freedom to Ansalon
of these guild thieves is governed by the grows stronger every year.
organization’s Articles of Conduct, a Note: Guild thieves frequently
code that contains almost three hun- adopt false roles, either to infiltrate the
dred points. All these guidelines feed their foes’ organizations or to conceal
into four main principles, however: the fact that they make a living by
Practice one’s craft honorably. stealing from and tormenting the pow-
Steal only from those who have erful of Ansalon. (See “False Roles” on
more than they need. page 28.)
Harm only those who would harm
you or the defenseless.
Requirements
Defy oppressors.
Guild thieves train from childhood to
serve as equalizers between the haves
Usha learned the ways of a Palanthas
and the have–nots. Therefore, each
guild thief in Dragons of Summer Flame.
guild member must have at least a “B”
code in one or more of the following
Role-Playing abilities: Dexterity, Reason, or Percep-
A guild thief, ever proud of his ancient tion. This is not to say that guild
profession, sees no insult in someone thieves are all master marksmen or
calling him a thief. These heroes usually hedge-wizards (although many are).
follow in the footsteps of their parents Instead, these code minimums indicate
and have trained since childhood to that years of practicing their trade have
enter the family occupation. Guild given guild thieves a high degree of
thieves are expert locksmiths, masters at manual dexterity from lockpicking or a
building and disarming small mechani- keen mind from building and disarm-
cal traps, and almost as stealthy in cities ing intricate mechanical traps.
as elves are in woodlands. Although they Further, guild thieves must have a
freely admit they rob, cheat, and steal, nature derived from a card with a value
these heroes target only those who of 5 or less.
deserve such treatment according to
their guilds Articles of Conduct. Advantages
Guild thieves tend to refer to them-
Guild thieves receive an automatic
selves as “eveners.” They seek out the
trump bonus when performing any
extravagantly rich and teach them the
thieflike actions that rely on Reason,
folly of showing off their wealth by tak-
Perception, or Dexterity. Examples
ing it from them. They identify those
include picking pockets, climbing
who would take away the freedoms. of
walls, searching for traps, and picking
others and free the oppressed from
locks. A hero might also include inter-
their yoke by punishing the oppressors.
preting clues and interrogating a wit-
In the process, guild thieves invariably
ness or rival, if the Narrator agrees.
gain for themselves a bit of wealth or
Further, these heroes know a special
power, thus making everyone a little
sign language called “hand talk,” which
more equal. Hence the nickname
only other guild thieves know.
“eveners.”
A hero with the proper connections
Many of these heroes hope to make
can acquire this role during play.
life on Ansalon more pleasant for
everyone in the long run—to reach a
day when no one actively seeks to bet-

Roguish Roles II
Thief Guilds whomever they like whenever they feel like
it, commoners believe. Thus the guilds have
become semisecret organizations in nearly
Thief guilds in Ansalon are an ancient tra-
every realm of Ansalon—except for Ergoth,
dition, dating back to the early days of the
where the organization remains more or
Ergothian Empire almost three thousand
less an institution. These covert thief
years, ago. During the Age of Dreams,
Emperor Ackal II attempted through law to guilds, autonomous chapters of a single
limit the exploration and looting of ancient organization, operate with a secrecy few
ogre ruins to the empire’s growing ruling other large groups can manage. Some
class. (See Chapter Four for details of examples of their activities include the fol-
Ergoth's history.) When adventures lowing:
banded together to defeat this unjust law, The Thief Guild of Flotsam remains a
the emperor's sheriffs took to calling their strong supporter of the ruling coalition
unions “guilds of thieves.” In time, that's of goblins, gnolls, humans, and kender
indeed what they became. constantly trying to rebuild the city.
As corrupt Ergoth began to rot from Sanction’s guild members have thrown
within, the adventurers turned to banditry. in their lot with the Legion of Steel.
By the time of the Rose Rebellion, which Members of the Palanthas Thieves’
sundered the empire, the thief guilds had
Guild play a constant cat-and-mouse
become a greater source of woe to citizens
game with the Dark Knights, while rob-
than were dishonest tax collectors and
insane governors. However, deep in the bing both them and the agents of Khel-
guilds’ mire of corruption were men and lendros the Blue.
women of good hearts. Their names have
long since been forgotten, but their legacy Guild thieves get along relatively well
lives on. During or shortly after the Rose with the Legion of Steel; in fact, many
Rebellion, the thief, guilds began to return people work actively for both factions.
to principles more in step with their found- Members of both parties can usually set
ing precepts. Two millennia later, the thief aside the philosophical differences between
guilds remain staunch opponents to dicta- the ancient Ergothian ideals and the
Legion’s more modern principles when it is
torial force everywhere on Ansalon.
clear they seek the same goal.
A strong enmity exists between the
The Guilds Today guilds and the Solamnic Knighthood, how-
ever. The rivalry remains first a traditional
In recent times, thief guilds have evolved to
one: Legends hold that it was guild mem-
hold a specific place in society-not only in
bers who opened Vinas Solamnus’s eyes to
Ergoth, but across the continent. During
the Evil of the empire he then served, yet
the War of the Lance, for instance, many
the guilds receive no credit in historical
famous freedom fighters in dragonarmy
accounts of the Rose Rebellion. Secondly,
territories belonged to thief guilds. The
guild members take great exception to the
most renowned of these is the Silver Fox of
Solamnics’ penchant for proclaiming
Flotsam, an aging half-elf who now sits on
themselves symbols of moral virtue-a
the ruling council of that beleaguered city.
morality that they’ve forced upon other
The guilds today are governed by
peoples time and again.
Articles of Conduct dating from around
Scholars who have studied both the
the time of the Cataclysm, when the thieves
Solamnic Measure and the guilds’ Articles
of the day fought the oppression of Istar’s
of Conduct have found similarities leading
Kingpriest. These Articles define guild
them to suspect the documents have com-
thieves’ behavior according to the ancient
mon roots. As citizens of Ergoth founded
Ergothian tradition: to protect the com-
both organizations in order to further jus-
mon man from the abuses and excesses of
tice in Ansalon, this conclusion is perhaps
his “betters.”
not surprising. However, both guild mem-
In many places, however, the notion of bers and Solamnics take great exception to
thief guilds is not one the folk of Ansalon
the comparison and continue to oppose
care to envision: Thieves just want to rob
each other’s pursuits.

I2 Chapter One
Disadvantages thies they may have must take a back
seat to maintaining their livelihood.
Most guild thieves act cocky and self-
Note: A merchant’s vulnerable spot
assured and seem possessed by a strong
is his business. The Narrator can use
sense of purpose. This combination
threats to his establishment to generate
can lead them to act rashly, despite a
adventures-anything from a smug-
general nature to the contrary. When-
gling mission to avoid unfair taxes to a
ever confronted with a blatant example
battle against thugs trying to collect
of injustice or oppression (for example,
protection money from the heroes. The
a jewel-bedecked merchant throwing
Narrator also can change the face of the
water in the face of a beggar who asked
game by dealing a crippling blow to the
for a drink, then proceeding to beat
merchant’s business, causing the hero’s
him), the hero must attempt a challeng-
wealth score to fall 2 points until he
ing Reason action to resist taking
rebuilds his livelihood, a process that
immediate steps to stop the abuse,
leads to more adventures.
heedless of any danger that might arise
from lack of planning.
Requirements
The Merchant Merchant heroes must have Percep-
tion, Presence, and Reason scores of 3
From the Ergothian isles to the forested or higher to even hope to conduct suc-
domain of the Green Dragon Beryl, cessful business transactions.
commerce and trade have remained an Further, a merchant may not have
important part of life in Ansalon. Even derived his nature from a card with a
in this dark and chaotic time—dragons white aura. This type of hero must
claiming large swaths of the land, Dark remain somewhat cold-hearted to keep
Knights once again trying to subjugate his business profitable.
the populace, and new weather patterns
making sea travel in the west nearly Advantages
impossible—the merchants of Ansalon
The primary advantage of playing a mer-
continue to ply their trades. By covering
chant hero is that he owns a small shop
their caravan routes, merchants spread
or possibly a caravan business. Together,
goods and knowledge and make cultural
the Narrator and the player should estab-
contacts across Ansalon.
lish the nature and size of this business,
At the same time that merchants
as well as its number of employees and
enjoy a spot at the center of activity
their personalities. This business can
in a town—their business—they
serve as a cover for the hero’s secret activ-
frequently find reason to travel far and
ities or as a central meeting point for the
wide in search of trade goods. Often
heroes and their allies. The group can
they even carry news from distant
easily make contacts here.
lands and may even spy for the lords
Additionally, merchants always
of a particular realm.
receive a trump bonus for actions
The dwarf Sonnus Ironmill, a
involving trade, bartering, appraising,
Haven merchant, personified this role
or haggling (usually Presence actions
in the novel Steel and Stone.
opposed by the character’s Reason).
This advantage can neutralize the
Role-Playing racial Presence disadvantage for mino-
Merchant heroes are generally moti- taurs, elves, half-elves, and dwarves.
vated by whatever will earn them A hero with appropriate resources
money. Other factors may influence can acquire this role during play.
them as well, but without profit, mer-
chants can’t keep their businesses
going. Therefore, any political sympa-

Roguish Roles I3
Disadvantages vessel support each other in times of
need. Occasionally, two or three genera-
Once again, because merchants concern
tions may live on the same boat, as
themselves primarily with profit, they
pirates tend to marry at an early age.
rarely bother with such sentimentalities
However, the community will not treat
as charity work or similar compassion-
pirate heroes as adults until they have
ate goals. Therefore, merchants never
become masters of their own riverboats.
receive a trump bonus to Presence
From their base in the ruined town of
actions for a charitable or selfless goal.
Vingaard, the pirates tax merchants ply-
ing the Vingaard River between Kalaman
The River Pirate and points south. Most traders would
rather pay the tariffs than risk attack.
The massive Vingaard River has long
served as a major trade vein in north-
central Ansalon. And, of course, with Role-Playing
commerce come thieves. Along the The independent-minded river pirates
Vingaard, these thieves have sprung up all respect the matriarchs of their fami-
from their Solamnian roots into a lies, as well as the matriarchs’ hus-
unique culture—that of river pirates. bands. However, these heroes have no
Most river pirates live and die on their use or patience for those who try to
boats; these vessels represent to members lord over others based on the false
of this culture what farms mean to authority conveyed by titles or by the
Solamnian peasants. Unlike said peas- steel-shod weight of armed force.
ants, however, pirates are strongly inde- With the coming of the Great Dra-
pendent, recognizing no leader higher gons, river pirates—like all peoples—
than the matriarch of a family. Basically, face an even greater force of repression.
each riverboat operates independently, Though they levy no armies against the
although families with more than one dragons, they operate several “under-

I4 Chapter One
ground” routes leading from the realms
of Khellendros and Fenalysten to free
Upper-Class Roles
lands. Further, ships carrying supplies or The upper social classes—members of
troops meant to oppose a dragon lord the aristocracy, nobility, and royalty—
often fall under the protection of every comprise a fairly small segment of the
riverboat along the way. (Of course, the cross-section of Ansalon. Still, many of
vessels still are subject to tax.) their number involve themselves in
Considering their free-spirited subtle opposition to the forces of Evil,
nature, though, not all river pirates while others, remaining true only to
oppose the dragons. Many remain neu- themselves, sometimes stand against
tral, some hire themselves out to the the forces of Good.
highest bidder, and others pretend to
take a side, all the while serving as Ambassador
secret moles. It’s never easy to identify a
riverboat’s pirate crew as friend or foe. Few people generally want to wage war. It
This fact has led many powerful is a costly activity, both in lives and in
folk-both Good and Evil—to label the steel pieces, and by its end, whatever the
river pirates a complication that ought parties fought over likely has been
to be removed. Even their dedication to destroyed or severely devalued. Now that
exterminating the undead river pirates gods no longer remain to spark wars, free
of Nightlund has not offset this trouble- realms seek more and more to avoid
some reputation. (See Nightlund’s conflicts with each other-and especially
entry in Chapter Two of Dusk or Dawn with the Great Dragons. This attitude has
in the FIFTH AGE boxed set for details.) led to an increase in exchanges of emis-
saries among governments and multina-
Requirements tional fighting forces, like the Knights
River pirate heroes-neither the purest of Takhisis or the Legion of Steel.
The ambassador hero dedicates his
nor the vilest of individuals—should
life to serving his realm or cause
have a nature derived from a card with
through words rather than deeds. Of
a red aura.
course, few heroes are all talk and no
action; ambassadors specialize in
Advantages underhanded exploits, such as spying,
Since they grew up on riverboats, these thieving, kidnapping, or even murder.
pirate heroes enjoy a trump bonus for Such duplicitous heroes, particularly
all actions relating to operating a vessel those in the service of Dragon Realms,
on the relatively calm waters of a river. can smile while getting ready to back-
True, the Vingaard stretches to more stab those at the negotiation table.
than a mile wide at points, so it can get
quite choppy. However, the nautical Role-Playing
skills of its pirates cannot rival those of
sea barbarians or mariners when it While ambassadors believe in the cause
comes to the open sea. or nation they support, most have
enough experience to realize that
Disadvantages alliances shift and political outlooks
change. Therefore, in public they
Due to their untrustworthy reputation, express their personal opinions very
river pirate heroes never gain a trump carefully. They always appear thought-
bonus for Presence actions to deal with ful and polite, even to individuals who
people outside their own culture. oppose their own stance. Masters of
In addition, those not born into the oratory, ambassadors usually consider
culture of the Vingaard river pirates physical conflict the last option when it
cannot acquire this role during play. comes to resolving differences. Further,

Roguish Roles I5
these experts at character reading can (wealth of 1 to 3). Such “common” folk
sometimes even spot a foe claiming to have seen too much hardship from
be a friend. smooth-talking nobles like the ambas-
sador to easily trust anything he says.
Requirements
Ambassador heroes must have a The fop
demeanor derived from a card with a
Even in a world as harsh as Ansalon has
red aura. Additionally, they need at
become in recent centuries, some men
least a “C” code in Presence.
and women manage to grow soft inside
their fancy mansions and walled palaces.
Advantages Fops are decadent, silly hedonists
Ambassadors enjoy a trump bonus who pose a great source of annoyance
when engaging in negotiations with to warrior nobles. They don’t care
heads-of-state, lords, or military offi- about politics and nebulous notions
cers (Presence or Reason actions, like “right” and “wrong” Instead, fops
depending on the circumstances). worry about fashions, social gatherings,
In addition, ambassadors may and writing poetry-which they recite
attempt the action below while con- frequently, whether their audience
versing with a character or hero to fig- wishes to hear it or not. They often
ure out what he is really thinking: engage in trysts for the romance of it,
and they keep a perfumed handkerchief
Discern True Thoughts nearby to ward off any offending odors.
Heroes who adopt this role are actu-
Difficulty: Varies
ally cut of much sterner stuff than it
Action ability: Perception
Reason would seem at first. They adopt this
Opposition ability:
pampered, useless air merely to make
Comments: Success at this action gives potential enemies think them harmless.
the hero an insight into another’s true In actuality, the mask of the fool hides a
intentions and feelings by observing keen mind, well-honed skills, and dedi-
his body language. The difficulty cation to the cause he supports.
depends on the hero’s distance from
the subject: Role-Playing
Easy (4) at melee range.
Fops tell lots of tasteless jokes, brag
Challenging (12) at near missile range.
about famous people they’ve met, and
Daunting (16) at far missile range.
find reason to recite bad poetry on
Naturally, the hero must be able to almost every occasion. They swoon
see the character in order to attempt often and frequently faint when some-
this action. Narrators may increase the one levels threats at them, waving their
difficulty to account for dim lighting perfumed handkerchiefs theatrically as
or other visual obstructions. they slump into a nearby chair.
Mishap: The subject senses the hero’s In all, the fop is a comic
suspicions and may react with varying figure---except when it comes time for
degrees of annoyance. real action. Then the hero seems to
transform into a grim, amazingly skillful
Heroes with appropriate back- individual whom opponents invariably
grounds may adopt this role during play. regret having tangled with.

Disadvantages Requirements
Ambassadors never enjoy a trump Fops are highly capable heroes hiding
bonus for Presence or Reason actions behind a veil of incompetence. Thus,
to interact with lower-class individuals such heroes cannot have any ability

I6 Chapter One
scores lower than 5, and at least four of Disadvantages
their codes must be “B” or better.
Just like the villains do, most potential
allies consider fop heroes just empty–
Advantages headed fools. Should the fop reveal his
Most characters (even most heroes) con- true capabilities, of course, the ally will
sider fops mere bubble-heads. People act never doubt him again.
less cautious around fops than they oth- However, if the hero lets too many
erwise would-even regarding activities people in on his secret, word of his
they wish to keep secret. duplicity will get out. Eventually, so
Ideally, the Narrator should let clues many people will learn of his facade that
slip at moments appropriate to the villains will act particularly careful
story. To determine randomly whether a around him. Therefore, if the hero
character gets careless around a hero he shows his true nature to anyone but a
views as a buffoon, the player can draw a select few other heroes and characters,
card from the Fate Deck: A card with a he loses the role’s advantage.
white or red aura means the hero gains Heroes cannot acquire this role dur-
some useful information-the character ing play unless they have just moved to
makes a revealing comment or leaves a new realm where no one knows them.
evidence relating to his activities where
the fop can find it. A black-aura result, The ‘Staunch Supporter’
on the other hand, indicates the charac-
ter keeps his wits about him. Turning Since the Second Cataclysm, events
over the Ten of Dragons might mean the have swept up Ansalon in wave upon
character becomes suspicious of the wave of change. Dynasties have toppled
hero, perhaps beginning to suspect that and entire nations have vanished.
his foppishness is just an act. Often, nobles and royals find them–

Roguish Roles I7
selves cast aside, landless, penniless, hero must perform a challenging Rea-
and hunted. Others have managed to son (Spirit) action, opposed by the
roll with the punches, retaining their leader of those he seeks to convince of
holdings and social standing by imme- his true intentions. Mishaps range from
diately becoming vocal and active sup- potential imprisonment to an attack,
porters of the new regime-even that depending on the situation.
of a dragon or the Dark Knights. Heroes cannot acquire this role dur-
The “staunch supporter” sticks close ing play unless they find themselves in
to the realm’s ruler, quick with advice the circumstances of entering a realm
and even quicker to suppress even the with a new government.
slightest whisper against the regime.
The ruler, depending on his nature,
may view such a hero as either a syco- Other Roles
phantic lapdog or as a loyal adviser,
Not all roguish roles depend on a hero’s
worthy of both friendship and trust.
social status. Some are open primarily
One might think these men and
to heroes of a certain race, while others
women have traded in their principles
can apply to any hero at all.
for wealth and comfort. However, those
who adopt this role actually have made
deception a way of life. They have put The Bard
everything on the line for their principles
Where learned men such as those in
by pretending to be all that they are not.
Astinus’s order of Aesthetics in Palan-
The Qualinesti Speaker of the Sun,
thas devote their lives to chronicling
Gilthas, exemplifies this role.
the major events of history in books,
the bards of Ansalon wander from vil-
Role-Playing lage to village collecting songs and local
This hero always seems friendly toward folktales. Historians concern them-
his overlord, ever eager to please and selves with kings and truth, while bards
assist him. This is only a facade, though. pay more attention to the common
His friendly appearance stems from his man and ripping-good yarns.
desire to stay close to the action, so he Bards-an important but seldom
can secretly thwart the lords plans. recognized part of society-rarely
appear in big cities like Palanthas or
Requirements Solanthus. They leave those stomping
grounds to the younger street perform-
It takes a fair amount of mental stamina
ers, and hence often go unnoticed by
to act friendly toward those one actually
“authoritative” (and urban) historians.
opposes-perhaps even despises. So,
Ansalon’s bards come in many dif-
heroes who adopt this role must have
ferent stripes. In the desert land of Khur
Spirit and Reason scores of at least 4.
and the polar Icewall Glacier they often
serve as tribal shamans as well as story-
Advantages tellers, lending a moral significance to
A “staunch supporter” always enjoys a most of their tales. Bards of Abanasinia
trump bonus when dealing with the and the Plains of Dust specialize in
servants and minions of the ruler he romances and love ballads. Many popu-
supposedly supports. lar songs of the last fifty years revolve
around the War of the Lance, a time
Disadvantages now viewed as an age of grand heroism.
In Solamnia, the Estwilde, and
This hero has difficulty convincing
among minotaurs and goblins, the
those who share his true sympathies
bards—generally former street per-
that he is on their side. Whenever try-
formers—specialize in supposedly
ing to deal with the “good guys,” the

I8 Chapter One
historical sagas filled with exaggerated taneous performances to children on
accounts of heroic deeds. Kender and street corners or entertain a village of
gnomish bards create tales and songs poor peasants for free. A bard’s life is
even more fantastic. Popular kender all about the telling of the tale, and the
tunes include: wonderment, sorrow, or amusement
“Toede of Flotsam,” which chron- that goes hand-in-hand with it.
icles a trip to the Abyss and back, Note: As bards travel from place to
supposedly taken by the aging hob- place, groups like the Legion of Steel
goblin general-turned-poet- often recruit them to carry messages
philosopher-ruler; from cell to cell.
“Go for the Toe,” the tale of how
Hero of the Lance Tasslehoff Burr- Requirements
foot defeated the Chaos god by stab-
To sing their songs and tell their tales
bing him in the big toe; and
with passion, bards must have a mini-
“The Kender Cleric of Chemosh,”
mum Spirit score of 4. In addition,
a tale of a kender hero who bluffed
they require a Presence score of at least
his way in and out of Sanction at
5 to hold an audience’s attention.
the height of the Dark Queen’s
power during the War of the Lance.
Advantages
Bards in Ergoth and Saifhum study As inveterate travelers and lore-lovers,
at bard colleges (see sidebar, next page), bards most likely know a little bit
where they learn something from the about every important or mystic place
repertoire of all the other bardic types. on Ansalon. While visiting a significant
The elf Quevalin Soth, mentioned site, a bardic hero enjoys a trump
in Chapter One of Dusk or Dawn, is bonus to any Reason action he
one of Analson’s best-known bards. attempts to recall stories or songs he’s
heard about the place (the Narrator
Role-Playing determines the action’s difficulty).
Additionally, these effective story-
Bardic heroes can be varied as the
tellers can hold an audience virtually in
songs they sing. The most famous
thrall with their tales:
bards can command hundreds of steel
pieces for a single night’s performance
at a lord’s party, while others wander Enthrall an Audience
the countryside, telling tales in Difficulty: Varies
exchange for food and a place to sleep. Action ability: Presence
All of them, however, share a love for Opposition ability: Perception
storytelling and an almost insatiable
Comments: Succeeding at this action
curiosity about legendary sites, fabled
while telling a story or performing a
heroes, and current events.
song means that characters within
Almost without fail, these heroes
earshot become absolutely engrossed.
love to gossip even more than old
During the performance, they fail to
maids. For this reason, small, isolated
pay attention to minor events around
villages welcome them with open arms,
them-such as heroes sneaking into
viewing their tales as news—even if
an off-limits room, picking pockets, or
they hold only a fraction of truth.
quietly abducting someone at the edge
Generally speaking, these heroes
of the crowd. The Narrator determines
have gregarious and outgoing personal-
the difficulty according to the circum-
ities. No bard has ever been known to
stances. The listener who would be
turn away an eager audience unless he
hardest to distract (highest Percep-
had pressing business elsewhere. Even
tion, acute senses, etc.) provides the
the richest, best-paid bards give spon-
opposition.

Roguish Roles I9
Mishap: The listeners find the bard’s
The Bard College rendition unappealing or in poor taste.
Their exact reaction depends on their
Ergoth is one of the few realms where
disposition before the performance
bards receive formal training beyond a
started. Friendly characters merely
mere apprenticeship. The small Bard
chide the hero, while hostile ones may
College, dating back to the days of the
attack him. Narrators can determine
Quevalin dynasty, still stands today in
the listeners’ reactions using the aura of
the town of Lancton.
a random draw from the Fate Deck.
For many centuries now, the Bard
College has admitted no more than ten
students at any one time. As part of the
Heroes with the proper training can
six-year program, students commit to
adopt this role during play, although
memory hundreds of legends, songs, those from Ergoth or Saifhum should
and epic poems and become proficient first attend their realm’s bard college.
in a variety of musical instruments.
Although the foundation of this Disadvantages
training program is centuries old, the Like their kindred spirits, the street
school’s Master Bards convene to update performers, bards are frequently looked
the curriculum every twelve years. They down upon by the rich and powerful.
drop songs and legends that have
Although these heroes may perform at
become so widespread even the buf-
parties and festivals-sometimes for
foons that pass for goblin bards can
enormous sums—many Ansalonians
recite them accurately and add several
disapprove of their lack of roots.
that have emerged during the decade
Consequently, bards never enjoy a
just past. The result is an ever-growing
trump bonus for Presence actions
repertoire that preserves ancient tales
(other than when performing) involv-
without growing stagnant.
ing those with a wealth of 8 or higher.
With Ergoth re-emerging as a cultural
center, other realms may well attempt to
create colleges that follow this model. The Con Artist
Istar attempted to do so in the century
before its destruction and, in fact, Certain individuals are gifted with the
allowed only those bards formally ability to offer convincing theatrical
trained at schools approved by the King- performances, to head the masses, or to
priest to give public performances. Such make profound argunments on the
past efforts ultimately failed, however, as strength of their personality alone.
free-spirited bards refused to limit Some such folk become entertainers or
themselves to an accepted canon of politicians, using their skills at least
works. Even some Ergothian bards reject partially to benefit others. On the other
their own college but, much like thief hand, some choose to use their talents
guilds (see page l2), it remains a part of for purely selfish means. These individ-
their culture. uals become con artists.
Some travelers note with surprise that Con artists make their living by
the cheerful, independent mariners of creating scams, playing sleight-of-hand
Saifhum have a bard college in their cap- tricks, and preying on the superstitions
ital of Sea Reach whose organization of the ignorant. These tricksters devote
mirrors the Ergothian model (though themselves to swindling up a fortune,
the curricula differ). Scholars call this copper by copper. Sorcerers dislike
institution a holdover from the years their phony magic tricks, mystics take
just after the first Cataclysm, when offense at their false spiritual claims,
Ergothian expatriates arrived in the healers resent their take salve, war-
Blood Sea to settle this isle alongside the riors distrust their underhanded ways
surviving Istarans already there. and thieves hate them for using their

20 Chapter One
con games to steal from them. hard to trust him again-this may
Tika Waylan Majere’s father, Alleran apply to other heroes, too. When deal-
Waylan, was a con artist who targeted ing with characters wise to his games,
only rich lords. the con artist receives no trump bonus
for Presence actions. (Races that nor-
Role-Playing mally do not receive a trump bonus to
Presence actions involving other races
Happy-go-lucky sorts at heart, most
instead suffer a -3 action penalty for
con artists view the world in the context
such actions.)
of what they can squeeze out of it. A
rare few focus their efforts only on
those who can afford to lose their The Displaced Noble
money, such as lords in their opulent
With all the upheaval Ansalon has seen
palaces, but most five little or no
in recent years, many nobles and royals
thought to whom they con. Of course,
have found themselves stripped of land
these con artists stand at the top of their
and title. Some of these people are
fields and often spend hundreds of steel
kind-hearted folk who refused to sub-
pieces to plan a heist that will net them
mit to evil overlords, while others are
thousands of steel pieces. These elite
greedy oppressors forced to flee in the
can pick and choose their targets at
face of peasant uprisings. Many such
leisure. As con artist heroes represent
displaced nobles hope to some day
the cream of the crop, most of them are
reclaim their land and title. Others just
too big to take a peasant’s last copper.
try to adjust to their new lot in life
A discussion of staging cons appears
while keeping themselves and their
in Chapter Two.
families safe.
The dark elf and former Silvanesti
Requirements Queen Alhana Starbreeze is an example
Con artists must have a Presence code of a displaced noble in the Fifth Age.
of “B” or better to seem trustworthy
while running their cons. Additionally, Role-Playing
they cannot have a nature drawn from
A hero with this role once enjoyed a
a card with a white aura. Even the most
much better station in life. He frequently
conscientious con artist, one who tar-
attempts to issue orders to those now
gets only other blackguards, isn’t that
“above” him and occasionally may even
sensitive toward others.
act imperious with other heroes. More
often than not, the hero quickly realizes
Advantages his mistake and apologizes. As he has
Heroes with this role have a way of seen everything his family owned taken
making others feel at ease, easily earn- away, he wants to make sure to keep
ing their trust. Con artists enjoy a what few comrades and allies he has left.
trump bonus to any Presence action Note: Many displaced noble
they attempt to convince a mark they heroes—like the woman pictured on
really are selling bottled dragon page I7—choose to assume one of the
breath-or whatever their con of the upper-class roles described earlier as a
day. (This benefit cancels out racial dis- false role (see that section on page 29).
advantages regarding Presence actions.)
Inspired heroes can acquire the role Requirements
of a con artist during play.
Heroes with this role may not have a
wealth greater than 6. Once, they might
Disadvantages have had a higher score, but those days
Once characters discover what the con are gone. The player and Narrator can
artist does for a living, they will find it either choose the hero’s former social

Roguish Roles 2I
status or determine it through a ran- Moreso than any others of his race, this
dom draw from the Fate Deck: hero always seems to know when to seek
Curd value of 1 to 2: Aristocrat (7). adventure, where to find neat stuff, and
Card value of 3 to 4: Nobility (8). how to extract himself from trouble. He
Card value of 5 to 6: Royalty (9+). is truly a kender’s kender.
Card values above 6: A wealth score Most even-tempered individuals
equal to the face value. know kender don’t steal purposely—
they just forget what is and isn’t theirs.
Advantages As with all kender, curiosity and an
insatiable hunger for new experiences
The hero still has a few highly placed
motivate handlers to action. They
sympathizers in the region he or his
prove more capable than most kender
family used to rule. The Narrator and
at satisfying their curiosity, however: It
player should define these sympathiz-
is a rare lock or magical ward that a
ers, who can offer any reasonable aid to
handler can’t get around. Once he sets
the hero and his friends as long as it
his heart on obtaining an object, he
doesn’t endanger them or their status.
invariably will get his hands on it—
In addition, regardless of his cur-
unless something more interesting
rent standing, the hero gains an auto-
comes along, of course.
matic trump bonus when assuming the
guise of an individual of his former
social status. Role-Playing
At the Narrator’s option, the dis- While kender handlers live to purloin,
placed noble ultimately can regain his they do not purloin to live. Unlike
lost social status. Accomplishing this thieves and bandits, handlers do not act
goal should be the result of several out of greed, but out of curiosity. The
quests. more forbidden and protected an item
is, the more curious the handler
Disadvantages becomes.
Once he has obtained and examined
Just as some folks want to help the hero,
it, however, he often loses interest.
others want him dead. At least once per
Thereafter, he may absent–mindedly
quest, the displaced noble should come
lose the item or pass it along to friends
face to face with an agent of his ene-
with an interest in such things. (This is
mies, or perhaps find some sign of their
why the Legion of Steel makes a con-
continued interest in destroying him.
certed effort to befriend kender: One
This need not turn into a combat
never knows when a handler might tire
scene-it might not even be a life-and-
of a set of secret battle plans he has
death situation—but it should feel tense
secured from a Knight of Takhisis.) A
and threatening. A hero’s enemies may
handler has absolutely no interest in
range from nobles who betrayed him to
the financial value of an item. An
peasants once oppressed by his family.
ornate brass-plated clay statue will hold
A hero may adopt this role during
his attention far longer than a priceless
play only if circumstances in the cam-
but boring raw diamond.
paign robbed him of his birthright.
Tasslehoff Burrfoot was a notorious
handler. (Just ask anyone who ever met
The Handler this legend what he lost!)
Of all the types of kender, one is
admired above all by his fellows. The Requirements
kender themselves don’t really have a Although not all kender are handlers,
name for such an individual, except per- all handlers are kender. As only true or
haps “role model” or “hero.” The rest of afflicted kender may adopt this role,
Ansalon, however calls him a handler. they must meet the basic requirements

22 Chapter One
for that race, as outlined in Chapter To see whether others recognize a
One of the Book of the Fifth Age. Addi- handler for what he is, the player turns
tionally, in order to be a handler, a hero over a card from the Fate Deck. Drawin
must have a score of 8 or better in both a Dragons card means someone in the
Agility and Dexterity. community has either witnessed him
“handling” or has, by a strange coinci-
Advantages dence, encountered the hero elsewhere.
In most cases, recognition proves
Regardless of his actual background,
merely inconvenient for the kender and
the hero is considered nobility (wealth
his friends—for instance, the local law
8) when interacting with kender who
follows them around during their visit.
know him—they try to please him in
However, if the heroes find themselves in
pretty much any way they can. He also
a town harboring a group of covert
enjoys a trump bonus for Presence
Knights of Takhisis, a clandestine circle
actions directed at such kender.
of Solamnic Knights, or (worst of all) a
Whenever the handler meets a new
gang of cutthroats about to conduct a
group of kender, his player turns over a
major heist, the heroes may find them-
card from the Fate Deck to see whether
selves in grave danger: All three of these
they recognize him. (Any kender who
groups would rather not risk a handler,
recognize him treat him as detailed
renowned for his ability to get at things
above.) Drawing a card with a white
hidden, getting wind of their activities.
aura means the new kender know him
Handlers also receive the kender
by sight. A red aura indicates that they
racial disadvantages. Heroes can’t
recognize his name, while a black aura
adopt this role during play—handlers
suggests that they are unfamiliar with
are born, not bred.
him. Of course, handlers who don’t
want to be recognized can disguise
themselves with average Reason (Per- The healer
ception) actions. They can also attempt
For millennia in Ansalon, gods granted
average Presence (Perception) actions to
their priests the power to create mira-
deny that they are who the new kender
cles of healing. But at the end of the
think they are.
Age of Might, they sent the Cataclysm
Handlers also receive the advantages
down upon the corrupt land. It took
listed for their race in Chapter One of
more than three hundred years for the
the Book of the Fifth Age.
gods to return, only to remain a scant
thirty years before abandoning their
Disadvantages world again—this time to save the
While handlers are treated like heroes people rather than punish them.
among their own kind, most other folk Thanks to the long periods without
are less than thrilled with them. Once a divine healing assistance, healers have
handler has been identified as such by become fairly common in Ansalon. Vil-
a community of nonkender, he no lages have at least one man or woman
longer enjoys a trump bonus for Pres- who can effectively treat injuries and
ence actions and he suffers a -2 cure certain ailments. Cities may have
penalty to all his action scores there. five, ten, or even a dozen such physi-
Furthermore, innkeepers and mer- cians. No army or mercenary company
chants will keep an extra close eye on marches without its doctor.
the handler and overcharge him to These heroes range from dirt poor
make up for any items he has “han- to filthy rich and from obscure in
dled” while in their establishment. stature to relatively famous. Of course,
Regardless of the handler’s back- they vary just as greatly in talent and
ground, his effective social status falls skill. Some healers seem like true mir-
to that of a peasant (wealth 2). acle workers able to heal any injury

Roguish Roles 23
short of regenerating diseased organs, A healer’s in-depth training pre-
while others are merely incompetent vents most heroes from acquiring this
fools whose cures often prove worse role during play.
than the ailments.
Stunbog from the novel Murder in The Legionnaire Scout
Tarsis exemplifies this concept of healer.
Perhaps the least understood figures in
Role-Playing the Legion of Steel are the Legionnaire
scouts. Folks say that in the wilderness
Heroes with this role devote their lives
these heroes—expert woodsmen and
to easing pain and suffering. Needless
trackers—can be found only when they
to say, some healers seem more selfless
wish it. However, they feel equally at
than others. Many heal the sick and
home in urban settings. They can skulk
injured to assuage guilty consciences,
in the shadows like murderous cut-
while others—always seeking to be well
throats or pass themselves off as mer-
compensated—treat only the wealthy
chants or locals with little effort.
or those who pay in advance.
These scouts serve as the eyes and ears
of the Legion of Steel. Before the Order
Requirements prepares an assault or establishes a pres-
Healers must attune themselves to the ence in a new town, its scouts arrive on
needs of their patients and have a the scene. They skillfully-note weak spots
working knowledge of common ail- in an enemy’s defenses, determine a local
ments and treatments. Therefore, commander’s or lord’s secret advisers,
heroes must have at least a “C” code in and identify potential sources of support
Perception and Reason to play this role. and recruits. They might pose as Knights
However, healers may never have of Takhisis or some equally unsavory
Strength and Dexterity codes better types in an effort to become intimately
than “B.” These heroes spend so much familiar with an enemy organization.
time healing wounds inflicted by melee These scouts face the challenge of making
and missile weapons, they have little friends among the Legion’s enemies,
desire to learn to use them with skill. learning as much as possible about their
Heroes need not have access to the plans, and then betraying them.
mystic sphere of healing for this role.
Role-Playing
Advantages Generally, Legionnaire scouts are with-
For actions involving the treatment of drawn and private people. They don’t
injuries, wounds, and diseases, healers make true friends easily because they
always enjoy a trump bonus (Dexterity tend to distrust others—those who
actions to apply splints, Reason or Per- regularly betray people find it hard to
ception actions to diagnose an illness). shake the feeling that someone’s going
to do the same to them. As long as the
Disadvantages scout keeps everyone at arm’s length,
however, the betrayal will never come.
More than most heroes, healers shy
away from inflicting harm in combat.
Therefore, they never enjoy a trump Requirements
bonus when attacking an opponent to Needless to say, a hero must belong to
cause serious injury, either magically the Legion of Steel in order to play this
or with weapons. This disadvantage role. The Legion requires its members to
does not apply in nonlethal combat, have a demeanor and nature drawn
however (as described in Chapter from cards with values of 6 or less. In
Three of Night and Day from Heroes addition, a scout cannot derive his
of Steel ). nature from a card with a white aura.

24 Chapter One
As a full Legionnaire, a scout must of his own wealth and is responsible for
have a reputation of Adventurer or above turning him into a fully trained
(less experienced Legionnaires are still in Legionnaire. While he might not want
training). He should not have a wealth to take the apprentice with him on the
score beyond 5, as the Legion’s goals do most dangerous undercover missions,
not involve amassing personal riches. he mustn’t neglect him, either. When
The scout must have scores of 3 or the Narrator deems the hero’s overpro-
better in all his abilities, and a Perception tection is hindering his apprentice’s
code of no less than “B.” Because this training, the player must attempt an
hero would rather skulk in the back- average Presence (Presence) action,
ground than serve as a leader, he needs a opposed by the apprentice character, to
Presence code of “C” at maximum. prevent the youngster from quitting the
Legion. Failure at the action means
Advantages the scout’s player must immedi-
ately turn over the top card of
Every card played by a Legion-
the Fate Deck and reduce his
naire scout trying to conceal
hero’s Presence score by
himself in an urban or
one-third the value of
forest setting is auto-
the card (rounded
matically considered
up), to represent
trump. Addition-
his loss of face
ally, the scout
in the organi-
always enjoys a
zation. Drawing
trump bonus to
a Dragons card
track an animal or an
means the hero loses
individual in natural sur-
a category of reputation
roundings.
as well. The Legionnaire
The scout, more adept
scout faces the same random
than most heroes at adopting
draw if he lets his apprentice die
facades, can acquire any false role he
in the line of duty.
chooses, disregarding the normal limi-
A disadvantage of all Legionnaires
tations mentioned in the “False Roles”
is that their great rivals, the Knights of
section on page 29.
Takhisis, usually execute any members
Like all Legionnaires, the scout must
of the Legion they capture.
train an apprentice: a character of
Unknown reputation with scores and
codes each 1 point or rating below the The Qualinesti Rebel
hero’s own. This character—essentially
Since the Summer of Chaos, Qualinesti
a second hero for the player—assists the
has been an occupied land. First, it was
scout in his Legion missions as part of
conquered by the Knights of Takhisis,
his training until he becomes a Novice.
then by the Green Peril. The office of
Heroes with the proper background
the Speaker of the Sun has become but
may acquire this role during play.
a mouthpiece for the land’s oppressors.
Many elves simply hope that time
Disadvantages will wash away their hardships. Others
The slightly paranoid air about a fight back. Qualinesti rebels take up
Legionnaire scout makes him a less- weapons to drive the enemy from their
than-inspirational leader. Thus, he may land—or at least make the occupation
never gain a trump bonus for Presence as costly and difficult possible.
actions that involve leadership attempts. Porthios of House Solostaran, one-
Having an apprentice has its draw- time Speaker of the Sun, now leads a
backs as well as its good points. The band of Qualinesti rebels.
scout must support the apprentice out

Roguish Roles 25
Role-Playing rogues dedicated to freeing the elves
from bondage. Much of this network
In the Fifth Age, one might encounter
actually exists beyond the boundaries
many different shades of the Qualinesti
of Qualinesti, where elves and half-
freedom fighter: the disgusted mother
elves secure weapons and supplies they
who lost a child to the abuses of the Dark
then smuggle into the nation.
Knights; the idealistic youth who wants
This hero knows a variety of secret
to drive out the invaders so his people
signs and recognition codes that allow
can act as masters of their own fate again;
him to contact other members of the
and battle-hardened veterans who have
resistance inside or outside of Qua-
seen more brutality than any elf ever
linesti. He may contact any of his free-
should. The two unifying elements
dom fighter acquaintances
among all these character types are their
automatically; the hero knows a num-
hatred for Dark Knights and dragons,
ber of resistance members equal to
and their desire to return Qualinesti to
twice his total completed quests. (The
elven control at virtually any cost.
Narrator and player should detail
these contacts together).
Requirements Further, if a freedom fighter wants
As heroes with this role all belong to to contact resistance members in
the race of Qualinesti elf or half-elf, unfamiliar areas, he can seek out
they must meet the basic requirements favorable locations-a seedy bar in a
for those races as described in Chapter city’s elven neighborhood, for
One of the Book of the Fifth Age. example—and use the secret signs.
The player should then turn over the
Advantages top card of the Fate Deck. If the value
of the card he draws equals or falls
Qualinesti rebels form part of an
below the hero’s current Quests score,
underground network of warriors and

26 Chapter One
he has successfully contacted another virtually as many different motiva-
resistance member. (The Narrator can tions as there are thieves. Heroes with
use the card’s aura, portrait, or this role generally focus their efforts
inscription to determine the other on stealing from high-ranking Evil
freedom fighter’s disposition.) characters.
Qualinesti rebels also receive the In general, thieves seem a self-
advantages listed for their race in assured bunch. However, the magical
Chapter One of the Book of the Fifth skill of a spellfilch usually makes him
Age. Elf or half-elf heroes can acquire ten times as cocky as the average thief.
this role during play. Many of them leave “signatures”
behind at the scenes of their crimes.
Disadvantages For example, one infamous spellfilch
known as the Ice Lady takes her name
Freedom fighters lead brutal lives.
from the tiny, intricately carved ice fig-
They are engaged in a guerrilla war
urines of an elf maiden she always
where neither side takes prisoners.
leaves at her robbery sites.
And, on top of everything else, these
These heroes generally know their
elves often find themselves opposing
limitations, but they invariably try to
their own neighbors or family mem-
take charge of any group they join. A
bers who chose to either support the
spellfilch knows he’s the best there is.
Green Dragon or to remain neutral.
Note: Most thieves do not steal
One cannot lead such a life and
from friends and allies. Realizing that
remain unaffected. After completing
everyone needs someone to draw upon
two quests in which the Qualinesti
in times of need, these heroes should
rebel has faced other elves in mortal
never intentionally alienate those who
combat, his nature undergoes a
could lend them such support.
change. To reflect these harrowing
experiences, the player must select a
new nature for his hero from a card Requirements
whose face value exceeds that of the Spellfilches must have at least a “B”
card previously used. This rule simu- code in Reason or Spirit and a Dexter-
lates the progression many freedom ity score of at least 4.
fighters go through-they start out as Furthermore, the player must
idealistic souls but end up bitter and define his hero’s “signature.” It should
full of hate. be something small and relatively
Qualinesti rebels also receive their simple yet entirely distinctive, to show
normal racial disadvantages. the world who committed the crime.

The Spellfilch Advantages


Any card played for the hero to use a
Recent years have seen the emergence
spell in thief activities-such as pick
of a new stripe of thief, who draws
ing locks, disarming traps, and so on
upon sorcery and mysticism to increase
is considered automatic trump.
his thieving skill. From spells that make
victims temporarily forget a robbery to
castings that make walls as insubstan- Disadvantages
tial as air, these spellfilches devote their Due to their flamboyant nature, spell-
arcane talents to helping them make a filches tend to make enemies. One
living off other people’s property. such enemy doggedly tries hunting
the hero down. Although this charac-
Role-Playing ter might not know what the hero
looks like, he may nonetheless close
The reasons for thievery vary from
by following the trail of signature
thief to thief; one might discover

Roguish Roles 27
crimes. The Narrator and player same can be said of female thugs).
should work together to determine Protests from the object of affection
this pursuer’s identity. mean nothing to the thug, unless
Heroes can adopt this role during backed up by someone even tougher
play only after previously playing a dif- than himself. An angry thug, fearsome
ferent roguish role. for an unarmed victim to behold,
becomes all rage and fury.
The Thug
Requirements
Thugs form the backbone of any crim-
A thug must have a demeanor drawn
inal organization, but they also can
from a card with a value of 6 or better.
prove violent and cunning enough to
get by on their own. These folks liter-
ally would just as soon break your legs
Advantages
as look at you. While the common Thugs are very good at intimidating
stereotype of thugs calls up images of people. Facing a weaker opponent
unwashed, lower-class thieves, one (one with a lower Strength or
might meet thugs of high breeding as Physique score), a thug can intimidate
well. However, they usually employ with merely an easy Presence (Spirit)
other thugs to do their dirty work. action.
Most thugs were bullies as children Heroes can acquire this role during
and now manage to make a living play, as long as previous role-playing
intimidating others. Most of them feel matches the requisite personality.
bigger and stronger while inflicting
pain or suffering on a weaker victim. Disadvantages
Some thugs work as strong-arms
Most adventurers tend to look down
for crime bosses. Even the relatively
upon thugs as bullying cowards.
benign thief guilds have thugs in their
Should an honorable character (such
ranks-without them, they might
as a Knight of Solamnia) see a thug
actually have to steal from Palanthian
threatening a weaker person, the char-
merchants rather than politely collect-
acter will challenge the hero to a duel.
ing their protection money. Other
Even if the hero was beating up a con
thugs prowl the back streets of Ansa-
artist who had taken the last copper of
lon’s cities in search of lost visitors,
a poor blind woman, the Knight may
drunks, or others unfortunate enough
see only a poor victim.
to cross their path.
If he wishes to avoid the conflict,
The rarest breed of thugs are those
the hero must succeed in a challenging
who embrace the criminal life because
Presence (Spirit) action to convince the
they have nowhere else to turn—
Knight not to duel. The Narrator can
adventurers down on their luck or
dispense with this action if the hero
warriors who were drummed out of
had acted particularly vicious.
their mercenary company or army.
Generally, such circumstances pro-
duce the heroes who adopt this role,
making a living the only way they
False Roles
know how. In adventure fiction-fantasy and oth-
erwise-heroes frequently pose as
Role-Playing something they’re not. Some conduct
simple deceptions, such as blufIing a
At his friendliest, a thug is loud, over-
couple guards by claiming to be the
bearing, and charming in a crude kind
new military commander. Others are
of way. When around someone he
more pervasive, leading a double life,
finds desirable, he is all hands (the
even to the point where the hero’s

28 Chapter One
family thinks him a simple tailor matches their own social class or is just
when, in fact, he’s the greatest spell- one class removed from it. Clearly, a
filch in the land. barmaid (a lower-class role) will not
Role-playing such deceptive heroes fool anyone into thinking her an
is no easy matter. Once a player writes ambassador (an upper-class role). The
“guild thief” or “Solamnic Knight” on Legionnaire scout and displaced noble
his hero sheet, he tends to assume that roles have special advantages that make
all who meet him will automatically them exceptions, but players should
recognize his hero as such. Not true. adhere to this general rule in the inter-
In fact, deceptions form an important est of maintaining believability.
part of the Fifth Age, as many forces of Narrators will have to impose
Good have gone “underground.” Play- other logical limitations upon false
ers need to think a bit about this roles, too. Few barbarian heroes can
aspect of role-playing if they want to convincingly portray urban dwellers,
create heroes that are more than they and a native of equatorial Nordmaar
appear. cannot easily pass himself off as an
Icewall Glacier local.
Adopting a False Role The trickiest part of playing a false
role is knowing which role’s advan-
A hero can have many secrets. The tages and disadvantages to take on
biggest one of all might be his true Since the hero hasn’t actually acquired
role. An apparent Knight of Takhisis the false role in a strict rules sense
may, in fact, be a Legionnaire scout on just pretends he has, what benefits
a mission. The hero only has one role and liabilities (if any) does he incur?
at any given time, but he gives the Players and Narrators should work
impression of a completely different together to answer this question, tak-
one. The concept of a false role takes ing two things into account: whether
the duplicity inherent in roles like the the hero adopting the false role meets
“staunch supporter” and the “loyal the requirements to fulfill that role
servant” a step further. and whether its inherent advantages
A player can give his hero a false and disadvantages grow from training
role simply by telling the Narrator that or from public perception. For
the hero will make an effort to pass example, a hero posing as a barmaid
himself off as something he’s not, like might find characters sufficiently
the Legionnaire scout posing as a oblivious to her presence that she can
Knight of Takhisis in the example eavesdrop on their conversations. A
above. The Narrator should make a hero pretending to be a bard, however,
note of the false role and ensure that, does not automatically gain the bard’s
from that point forward, characters in knack for knowing a little bit about
the adventure treat the hero accord- every place he visits.
ingly. In addition, the Narrator and Playing a false role along with a
player can lead any new players join- false demeanor or hidden agenda can
ing the campaign (as well as their make a role-playing experience even
heroes) to consider the false role the more exciting. Chapter Three
true one. describes these optional rules.

Playing a False Role


Putting on a front can get complicated,
as the player must remain ever mindful
that he is role-playing a hero who is
playing a role. Most heroes can play a
false role convincingly only when it

Roguish Roles 29
Chapter Two
e can’t just sonality should reflect the game’s
stay here desired tone. Should a Narrator choose
a dangerous schemer over a seductive
skulking in
vixen or an honorable powermonger?
the alley,” All of the above would make excellent
Palin master villains but they would produce
whispered.... campaigns very different in mood.
“We should In any case, the chosen villain
leave now, should have complex motivations. Pure
greed isn’t very interesting, but the
while it’s
twisted ravings of a madman can be
quiet, before too hard for the heroes to relate to. The
the knights rational villain is often the most inter-
come back.” esting. Next the Narrator must ask,
Usha was what does a villain with these motiva-
silent long moments, then said, tions really want? What’s his goal?
As deception is key to intrigue, the
“There’s another way, a safer
villain often conceals his identity, moti-
way, but you won’t like it.”
vation, and nature. He may purposely
“Why?” Palin asked, chilled. adopt an inoffensive appearance and
“What is it?” benign personality just to throw the
Usha tossed her silver hair. heroes off guard. He may even set up
“The Thieves’ Way, it’s one of his own minions to look like the
called....” real mastermind. In any case, the heroes
must wade through many layers of
—Into the sewers of Palanthas, duplicity to learn who their foe really is.
Dragons of Summer Flame
From the docks of Sanction to the sew- Structuring the Intrigue
ers beneath Palanthas, Ansalon is criss- Once the Narrator has selected the vil-
crossed with signs of defiance. This lain, he needs to decide, based on the
chapter describes how to introduce character’s goal, what does he do? Of
these elements into FIFTH AGE games
course, he won’t go about achieving his
and takes a look at the underground goal in a straightforward manner. What
activity raging throughout the land. tricks does he use to cover up his activi-
ties? How does he direct attention away
Treating Intrigue from himself? How do the heroes
stumble onto his scheme? What is his
The unique nature of adventures that backup plan if they foil Plan A? The
center around intrigue calls for a word answers to these questions come together
of advice to both Narrators and players. to form the adventure’s main plot.
Subplots can derive from the villains
Selecting The Villain misdirections. For instance, a dupe the
villain uses as a cover for some of his
In choosing a villain for a game of activities might find his fate in some way
intrigue, a Narrator must think about linked to that of one of the heroes. And
more than just whether to use a master, a no plan is perfect, either—a minion in
minion, or a few of each (as described in charge of creating a diversion might
Chapter Two of the Book of the Fifth Age). make a crucial mistake and provide the
The villain’s background and per- heroes with a clue, as they peel away

30 Chapter Two
A Land Defiant
layer after layer of the mystery. than not choose to trick their way past
The consequences of the foes actions characters rather than take them on in a
also can inspire interesting subplots. Plus, toe-to-toe fight. Con games and other
bringing the heroes face to face with the deceptions are part-and-parcel of game
effects of the Evil scheme can make them sessions revolving around rogues and
feel personally involved in fighting the other disreputable types. At the heart or
villain-what better motivation do they any con lies the ability to convince some-
need than the abuse of innocents or the one that a hero can make good on some-
death of a beloved character? thing that seems too good to be true.
When heroes attempt to use trick-
Narrating the Intrigue ery, the Narrator should keep one thing
in mind: He is not matching wits with
A Narrator must set a mood of mystery the players, the characters are. The
appropriate to an intrigue—and that heroes’ con—such as tricking a mer-
means doing more than just dimming chant in league with the Dark Knights
the lights and playing spooky music. to give them evidence of his nefarious
One technique is to make the heroes entanglements—might temporarily
unsure of whom they can trust. Is the derail the Narrator’s plans for a por-
innkeep really what he seems? Why did tion of the game. Nonetheless, if the
that knight give them a funny look? heroes act cleverly and the merchant
When everyone they meet seems to have has no reason to doubt them, the con
a motive to oppose them, the heroes get might succeed. As the Narrator is not
paranoid, and tension mounts. playing to win or lose, it’s okay for the
However, limiting betrayals and heroes to pull the wool over a charac-
secret agendas to characters quickly leads ter’s eyes—as long as their story could
the players to distrust only them. The reasonably convince that character.
Narrator should also encourage heroes A Narrator should use card play only
to conspire among themselves. While to augment the drama of a con. For
players shouldn’t seek to undermine instance, he could let the aura of a ran-
each other’s heroes, a few hidden agen- domly drawn card determine whethera
das or false demeanors (as described in character catches on, but it would be
the next chapter) can create that “trust better to just let the con succeed if the
no one” atmosphere to great effect. role-playing seems convincing. Having
Pacing is another important point the heroes attempt Presence actions
to consider. After all, players will get opposed by a character’s Reason (or
frustrated if their heroes keep running Intellect) can speed up the pace.
into dead ends or face a lack of action. Below are some ideas for con game
On the other hand, Narrators should heroes might pull on their adversaries
not rely too heavily on combat in this or just to make a quick steel piece or
kind of adventure. They instead should two.
force the heroes—and players—to Conning the conner: Con artists can
think. A major discovery at the right be easy marks, as they’re always
time makes them feel as though they looking to make some quick coin
have outsmarted the villain and will and, as crooks themselves, they can't
spur them on like no battle ever could. exactly run to the law after getting
taken. The best way for heroes to
Staging Cons con a con artist is to turn his own
scam against him, such as convinc-
Roguish heroes, who frequently have to ing a phony seer that he has incurred
survive on their wits alone, more often the wrath of spirits for his trickery.

A Land Defiant 3I
Swindles: After convincing a mark he’s Beryllinthranox the Green
getting a product for a certain sum, To the casual observer, Speaker Gilthas
the hero fails to deliver. Say a hero and his mother Laurana seem staunch
sells the Dark Knights fifty crates of supporters of the Green Dragon who
dwarven weapons. However, only two occupies Qualinesti and the Dark
crates contain the goods-the rest Knights that serve her. In truth, the two
hold rocks. The trick is ensuring secretly lead the elven resistance. Many
that the Knights check only the right nights find Laurana (Qualinesti adult
boxes, then making a fast escape. female, inspiring demeanor, Legend, 2 )
Quackery: Some heroes sell potions sneaking from the Tower of the Sun in
with supposed healing powers that in Qualinost to help teams cause “accidents”
fact do nothing at all-they may at enemy strongholds or to communicate
even do harm. Usually, these schemes plans to loyalists in other realms.
require the con artist to have an Gilthas (Qualinesti young male, seri-
accomplice who appears to suffer ous demeanor, Hero, 2 ) does his part
from an ailment the treatment cures. as well. His secret plans to evacuate his
Forgery: Counterfeiting, falsifying people through the new dwarven tun-
identity papers, even replacing nel system proceed as fast as Thor-
stolen jewelry with replicas—these bardin’s miners can delve escape routes
forgeries force a hero to attempt to secure positions in Abanasinia and
Reason and Dexterity actions to elsewhere. With the completion of the
apply the necessary craftsmanship. tunnel system, Gil plans to stage an
The difficulty varies based on work- exodus right out from under the boots
ing conditions and the job’s com- and claws of Qualinesti’s oppressors.
plexity. The Speaker also coordinates more
immediate, if slower, evacuation efforts
Underground with the Master of the Tower (human
adult male, thoughtful demeanor, Legend)
Ansalon in nearby Wayreth Forest. For several
years, Beryl has used elven search parties
This section takes a look at major cen- in her attempts to locate the last Tower of
ters of resistance in Fifth Age Ansalon. High Sorcery. However, most groups van-
While not a complete tally of potential ish into the mysterious Wayreth Forest
underground groups, the survey pro- never to be heard from again The
vides a sampling to inspire Narrators. Master offers them passage to free lands
Each entry identifies the leaders of the from which they can launch attacks.
groups at a particular location (locales Annoyed with the disappearances, Beryl
in italics are referenced on the map on has begun to take the searchers’ families
page 33) and details their objectives. hostage before they depart.
This latest move has spurred rebels
loyal to the dark elf Porthios (Qua-
The Dragon Realms linesti adult male, distant demeanor,
Life in some draconic realms remains Hero, 6 ) to step up their hit-and-
nearly unchanged from past ages— run attacks on Beryl’s minions. The
many peasants in Skie’s realm feel they former Speaker knows Gilthas secretly
have merely traded one lord for opposes the Green Dragon but none-
another. Elsewhere, such as in Malys’s theless keeps a close eye on his nephew;
realm, life has become unbearable. Yet if he should ever come to suspect that
each land harbors those who chafe at Gil and Laurana have failed to act in
the yoke of oppression and work to the best interest of their people, he will
throw it off. devote all his efforts to destroying them
both.

32 Chapter Two
Khellendros the Blue job both harder and easier. The Blue
The adventure The Storm Over Krynn rescinded the Dark Knights’ mandatory
introduces Shen Korras (half-elf adult death sentence for all crimes, but also
male, shrewd demeanor, Hero), a mer- took other steps to restore the city to
chant and sorcerer headquartered in normalcy-a move that led some thieves
the town of Relgoth. In addition to his to desert the guild. Legionnaire scout
covert activities there, Korras has long Rindia Rolanta (human adult female,
supported the Citadel of Light. His cynical demeanor, Adventurer) suggested
agents in all major towns of the Blue’s a plan to once again galvanize the city’s
realm offer safe havens to Citadel mys- underworld: assassinating Knight–
tics who have run afoul of the dragon’s Officer Elstone Kinsaid (human adult
male, decisive demeanor, Adventurer),
minions. Rumor says Korras even has
Dark Knight spies, as he often knows a commander of the local garrison. The
mystic has been marked for capture ensuing brutal crackdown will undoubt-
before the mystic himself does. edly restore the guilds motivation.
As discussed in Chapter One, many
The Dark Knights’ iron-fisted rule
during the Summer of Chaos mobi- Vingaard river pirates provide ready aid
lized the cutthroats, murderers, and to rebels traveling by boat.
extortionists of the Palanthas Thieves
Guild into action. They were aided by Malystryx the Red
Daavyd Nelgard (human adult male, The city of Flotsam became a true
motivated demeanor, Champion), an hodgepodge of races and cultures after
Ergothian master thief dispatched from the War of the Lance. Humans, kender,
Gwynned to help the Palanthian resis- gnolls, and hobgoblins all lived
tance after Lord Ariakan executed local together in harmony under the leader
guild leader Lynched Geoffrey. ship of Toede (hobgoblin elder male,
The coming of Skie made Nelgard’s inspiring demeanor, Legend, 8 ), who

A Land Defiant 33
emerged from the war something of a Onysablet the Black
philosopher-statesman (to the surprise Legion of Steel members working near
of those who “knew him when”). The
the City of Morning Dew on the border
inhabitants of Flotsam, loosely orga-
with Iyesta’s realm frequently intercept
nized under the Silver Fox (half-elf
the raiding parties that capture victims
elder male, open demeanor, Master), for her experiments. The Citadel of Light
have managed to accomplish some dispatches healers and animists to reverse
remarkable feats, such as the destruc- the unnatural transformations the Black
tion of the Great Red’s secondary lair heaps upon the land and her victims.
along the Blood Sea coast. Currently
they plan a strike against Hollintress
(red adult female dragon, murderous The Free Realms
demeanor), Malys’s favorite aide. Most planning for rebel activity takes
While bards across eastern Ansalon place in free lands. In fact, some former
sing light-hearted songs of the exploits
backwaters have emerged as centers for
of the motley Flotsam crew, there’s
the struggle against the dragons.
nothing funny about the struggles of a
local enclave of afflicted kender trying
Abanasinia
to regain their former homeland. The
attacks of Kronn Thistleknot (kender At the Academy of Sorcery near Solace,
adult male, motivated demeanor, Master) efforts are underway to unlock the
on the Great Red’s draconian minions secrets of the dragon overlords’ ability to
and his efforts to map the Desolation shape the land. Palin Majere (human
(and identify dragon lairs) give hope to adult male, impulsive demeanor, Legend,
all in the realm. Heroes can often con- 1 ordered the study as part of his
tact Kronn’s band in Port Balifor. goal to expand his knowledge of Krynn’s
new magic. If sorcerers can understand

34 Chapter Two
the dragons’ methods, they can undo Teyr
much of the damage to the land.
The citizens of Teyr, Ansalon’s only
In Solace as well as in Haven, the
draconian realm, hate both their loss of
Legion of Steel works in an uneasy
freedom to Neraka and their forced
truce with Solamnic Knights to see
participation in its coming invasion of
Qualinesti refugees safely relocated.
the Estwilde and Nordmaar. Not long
ago, Lord Kang (Bozak, practical
Neraka demeanor, Champion) dispatched
Under Nels Dargand (human adult emissaries to the Solamnic Knights at
male, observant demeanor, Adventurer), North Keep in Nordmaar, seeking aid
he Legion of Steel has placed a cell in against the Dark Knights. Certain the
the town of Neraka. Nels also has request would fail, Kang set his second-
befriended one of the top aides to in-command, Slith (Sivak, resource
Governor-General Mirielle Abrena demeanor, Adventurer), to work
(human middle-aged female, command- covertly sabotaging Dark Knight
ing demeanor, Master, 6 ) and now equipment to slow down war efforts
seeks access to her invasion plans. While the Solamnics’ response was
negative, Sir Reynol uth Sabar (human
Sanction young adult male, impulsive demeanor,
Adventurer) took pity upon the draco-
Despite the firm grip Lord Governor
nians. Resigning his place among North
Hogan Bight (human adult male,
Keep’s Sword Knights, Reynol took his
indomitable demeanor, Master) has on
retainers to Teyr. There, posing as an
Sanction, both the Legion and the
arms merchant, he secretly plans a mas-
Solamnics have managed to infiltrate
sive strike with Kang and some human
the city. Neither group sees how Bight
barbarians who prefer draconians to
can fend off the Great Dragons and
Dark Knights. Reynol hopes that once
Dark Knights without help. He must be
the Solamnics at North Keep see that
a minion of the dragons, they surmise;
Teyr genuinely opposes Neraka, they
work to expose him proceeds.
will support him. Anything else means
Their biggest hindrance, however, is
death for Reynol and those with him
each other. Whenever the clandestine
Solamnic Knights think they’ve uncov-
ered spies of the Lord Governor, they Throt
invariably find themselves on the trail of Goblin freedom fighters originally from
the covert Legionnaires, and vice-versa. Sikk’et Hul in Northern Ergoth (see
The leaders of each group—Xavier Chapter Four) have hooked up with
Kross of the Legion (human adult male, members of the Legion of Steel in Hali-
fierce demeanor, Champion) and Karine goth. The Legionnaires would like to see
Thasally of the Solamnics (half-elf a more stable buffer state between Ner-
young adult female, confident demeanor, aka and Solamnia—one not predis-
Champion) — try to inform each other posed to doing the Dark Knights’
of their plans, but they still manage to bidding. This combined group hopes to
trip over each other. Often they use assassinate King Uhkrin of Throt (hob-
Rose Knight Linsha Majere (human goblin adult male, uncaring demeanor
young adult female, confident demeanor, Champion) and take control of the
Adventurer, 3 ) as a go-between, as realm. Each night they free a few more
she is the only Knight known to most of goblins from the hobaoblins’ slave pens
the Legionnaires. Both Orders have for- and steal a few more weapons for their
bidden their people in Sanction to work fighting force.
together, as their incautious zeal in the
last attempt allowed the Dark Knights
to wipe out both forces.

A Land Defiant 35
Chapter Three
t had become Gully Dwarves
obvious to the
Highbulp as a Hero Race
that he was The FIFTH AGE boxed set described a
dealing with variety of hero races, from gnomes to
thieves and kender and elves to centaurs. Neverthe-
liars, not the less, these races only scratch the surface
heroes he had of the many races that inhabit Ansalon.
expected.... Gully dwarves make an interesting
additional hero race for intrigue-laced
He needed
campaigns. As the passage at left illus-
some heroes, trates, this race of little thieves has a
and if he had remarkable gift for plotting and duplic-
to create some ity. Despite their less-than-sterling
out of whatever scum came intellect, gully dwarves can always be
along, then he would do so. If counted on to do the unexpected.
they died, it was no great loss. Beneath their groveling appearance lies
a surprisingly strong backbone that has
If they succeeded in killing the
allowed this beleaguered race to thrive
dragon, so much the better. The for thousands of years.
gully dwarves would get what
was—to them—more precious A Note of Caution
than all the pretty rocks in
Krynn: a return to the sweet, The description of dwarves in Chapter
One of the Book of the Fifth Age recom-
halcyon days of freedom! And
mends that readers not select the race of
so, enough of this nonsense gully dwarf for their heroes, with good
about sneaking around. reason: Playing a gully dwarf can be a
—In Xak Tsaroth, thankless experience. While other heroes
receive lauds after a successful quest,
Dragons of Autumn Twilight
gully dwarf heroes find themselves
ignored and shunted aside. In fact, play-
Not only can Narrators weave the magic ers of gully dwarves should count on
of intrigue into FIFTH AGE adventures, such heroes getting more abuse than
players can create heroes shrouded in respect from characters in Ansalon. Of
mystery. Deceit and lies are acceptable course, Narrators should not go out of
tools to achieve a Good end, as long as their way to make the game a miserable
the heroes never sacrifice their principles. experience for players who choose gully
More often than not, however, they dwarf heroes—after all, the Narrator’s
carefully conceal these principles job is to help players have fun. However,
behind a veil of falsehoods. playing this race does carry with it the
Chapter One introduced the con- burden of being an outcast.
cept of false roles. This chapter offers Therefore, Narrators need to con-
some new twists on the normal SAGA sider both the campaign and the play-
rules to enhance campaigns of defiance. ers before permitting this optional hero
These rules are optional, of course, but race. Only experienced role-players
they can provide extra challenges for should embrace gully dwarves as a hero
players and Narrators as they explore race. Further, Narrators should reserve
new facets of the DRAGONLANCE Saga. this race for campaigns that focus on

36 Chapter Three
Optional Rules
stealth and guile rather than brawn— some cheek down at most. Their eyes
flashy heroics just isn’t in the gully are watery blue or hazel. Aghar lucky
dwarf nature. In the wrong campaign, enough to possess jewelry wear it con-
these heroes will either seem out of spicuously and garishly. Most are
place or find themselves reduced to smeared with enough grime an
mere comic relief. plant a small garden, and their be-
draggled clothes are home to a variety
A Bit of History of parasites. All told, all the filth,
and mismatched jewelry can cast the
The history of the gully dwarves-or gender of a gully dwarf in doubt.
the Aghar, as they call themselves-is The Aghar have crude and primitive
one of suffering. Arising from the societies “led” by the individual who can
unwanted offspring of humans and best bully the rest of the clan. Their Sub
dwarves, these pathetic creatures live in jects address these leaders by the clan
the refuse pits and abandoned ruins of name, preceded by the honorific
the civilized races, despised, mistreated, “High,” such as the “Highbulp” of the
and looked down upon by even the Bulp clan. The clan leader usually enjoys
lowly goblins. adopting a grand title as well, like
The Cataclysm that doomed other “Master of All You Survey,” “Emperor
civilizations more than four hundred of Everything,” and even “King.”
years ago saved the gully dwarves. The thought processes of gully
Destruction of Ansalon’s high civiliza- dwarves differ from those of all other
tions created dozens of ruined settle- races in Ansalon. They have no sense of
ments where gully dwarves could dwell numbers—two is as high as most of
unmolested. Once-mighty cities like them can count—and they speak in a
Xak Tsaroth in Abanasinia and Fav in language made up of an ever-changing
Northern Ergoth became havens for patchwork or words borrowed and
the Aghar. Undisturbed by their tor- mutilated from other tongues. The
mentors, they settled down to establish combination of these traits leave gully
their own culture. such as it is. dwarves with no sense of history and
no sense of tomorrow. They never plan
Description for the future, yet they always find
themselves running from the past.
A gully dwarf does not exactly cut an
imposing figure. Members of this race Role-Playing
average four feet in height and have
narrow fingers with overly large knuck- Aghar are proud, long-suffering sur-
les. Both sexes carry pot-bellies and vivors. Beneath the the cheerful and hap-
develop wrinkles soon after the age of less exterior of a gully dwarf beats a
twenty-five. More often than not, these tenacious heart. This race has survived,
creatures are knock-kneed. Poor living even thrived, under conditions that
conditions mar their skin with scars, would destroy most peoples.
boils, and sores. The fact that they Gully dwarves have a very simple
hardly ever bathe leads to an assort- outlook on the world: We live, we win,
ment of interesting odors always hang- We die, we lose. In keeping with this phi-
ing in the air around them. losophy, they generally flee from even the
Both genders have unkempt hair of faintest hint of physical violence. Failing
dirty blond, brown, rust, gray, or dull that, they will plead, beg, grovel, and
black. The men wear long scruffy even hide in ostrichlike fashion. They
beards, while the women may have only fight when the foe turns his back.

Optional Rules 37
Other races may brand this behavior Requirements
shameless cowardice and treachery, but
gully dwarves see no shame, cowardice, Living in filth has given gully dwarves a
or treachery in survival. strong constitution. Therefore, a hero
Despite their glaring faults, gully of this race must have a score of 7 or
dwarves take themselves very seriously. better in Endurance.
Their continued escape from disaster Gully dwarves are good climbers,
has imbued them with a sense of and learn from childhood how to
rugged pride in themselves. Others may dodge cruel blows. This talent requires
view an Aghar as foolish and stupid, of these heroes a high Agility—a score
but he feels secure in his own cunning of 6 or better.
and brilliance. He is more than happy Finally, the Aghar seem incapable of
to let the “intelligent” folk underesti- the focused mental energy required to
mate him—giving him the opportunity wield sorcery. They may never have a
to get the drop on them (or run away, if Reason score higher than 4 or a Reason
that course seems more prudent). code better than “C.” However, their
Never will a gully dwarf sell out a strong faith in themselves gives them
friend of family member. If a non- the potential to be excellent mystics.
Aghar treats a gully dwarf well, he has A gully dwarf’s life is one of abject
made a loyal friend for life, a friend poverty. Even when they manage to
willing to make great sacrifices for him secure some wealth, they either lose it
It is in trying to preserve himself and through sloppiness and forgetfulness or
his friends that an Aghar's true cun- they spend it on baubles and delicacies.
ning comes out. These heroes may never have wealth
scores higher than 2.

38 Chapter Three
Advantages Finally, gully dwarves are everyone’s
whipping post. They never get a trump
Gully dwarves are harder to kill than bonus for Presence actions, except
cockroaches. They always enjoy a those that involve other gully dwarves.
trump bonus when attempting to fight Also, their reputation for stupidity
off the effects of poison and disease. In means that few characters will believe a
addition, they are hardy to the point of word they say. An eavesdropping gully
surviving death itself. dwarf who learns of a plot to kill the
When the player of a gully dwarf Solamnic Grand Master will get no
hero has lost the last card from his response but laughter when he tells
Hand of Fate, he turns over a card from someone what he heard. Only with a
the Fate Deck. If the card’s face value successful average Presence (Reason)
equals or exceeds the hero’s Endurance action can the hero convince his listen-
score, or if it belongs to the Suit of
Helms (the trump suit for Endurance),
the hero has managed to cling to life.
The player may draw a card in this way False Demeanors
after each combat exchange until either
he draws one that doesn’t meet the The DRAGONLANCE Saga has introduce
above criteria (in which case, the hero memorable heroes and villains who
dies) or until someone performs a chal- hide their true intentions for reasons
lenging first aid action to restore the known only to them. These characters
player’s hand to one card. all shaped their behavior to tit the false
The tendency of characters to fronts they had created (see “False
underestimate gully dwarves also Roles” in Chapter One). For instance:
comes across as an advantage for an In order to protect the Irda who
Aghar hero. After a successful easy Pres- raised her, the orphaned Usha pre
ence (Perception) action, a gully dwarf tended to be Raistlin’s daughter
hero can become essentially invisible to when she arrived in Ansalon.
the characters in a scene—as long as The traitor Eben Shatterstone from
the hero doesn’t get close enough for Dragons of Autumn Twilight claimed
them to smell him. They will speak to be an innocent escapee from
freely about even the most dastardly imprisonment in the fortress of Pax
deeds, considering the hero too dumb Tharkas, when he actually worked
to comprehend their discussion. with Dragon Highlord Verminaard
to conquer Abanasinia.
In the classic DRAGONLANCE adven-
Disadvantages ture Dragons of Faith, a character
Gully dwarves are innumerate and have calling himself Sevil claimed to be a
no sense of time. To recall dates, report member of the underground and
the size of an enemy force, or remember pretended to assist the heroes in
the time of a scheduled rendezvous their quest. Sevil was, in fact, a dis-
with any accuracy, the hero must graced Dragon Highlord who had
attempt a daunting Reason action. survived an encounter with the
A highly superstitious people, the heroes earlier in the storyline and
Aghar are easily frightened by magic. now sought to regain the good favor
Whenever a sorcerer or mystic casts a of the Dark Queen.
spell that has a dramatic effect upon a Who can forget the surprising reve-
gully dwarf’s immediate environment, lations during the War of the Lance
the hero must succeed at a Reason of the one-time hero Kitiara as a
action or flee in terror. The Narrator Dragon Highlord, or of the Kagon-
can make the action’s difficulty match esti elf Silvara as a mighty silver
the point cost of the spell. dragon?

Optional Rules 39
Creating and playing this type of choice as to how his hero will try to
hero—or featuring such a character as appear. As with the Knights of Takhisis
a protagonist or antagonist in a ongo- example above, the hero can embrace a
ing game’s storyline—becomes some- false demeanor of “cruel,” knowing it
what more involved than creating most will convince that Order of brutal
FIFTH AGE figures. Others have to pene- oppressors that he is one of them.
trate layers of falsity before these heroes A hero may in this fashion select
and characters reveal their true faces. any false demeanor that appears as an
This section describes the idea of such inscription on a Fate Card. He may
false demeanors, how to arrive at them, even choose an extra false demeanor to
and how to use the concept in play. pass off as his “nature” to those he
seeks to befriend. Of course, a hero can
have only one true nature.
Creating a False
Demeanor Playing a False
The cornerstone of any phony identity Demeanor
is a false demeanor. A hero with a mis-
sion to infiltrate the Knights of Takhisis Taking on a hero with a false demeanor
will have little luck in his charade if he can prove quite a role-playing challenge.
broadcasts his open-minded nature and The player must always keep in mind
thoughtful demeanor. Such a hero his hero’s true nature, since that is what
would have to hide his true personality ultimately motivates his actions.
behind a veil of cruelty and dogmatic Yet keeping a hero’s true personality
attitudes. In fact, the hero must keep up and goals under wraps gets taxing—
his ruse to the point where even the especially when he has to, in order to
Dark Knights who “get to know him” exist among enemies for extended peri-
think that they know his true nature. Of ods and earn their friendship and trust.
course, it’s just another false demeanor. Remembering the following points can
There are a couple different ways to help the hero act convincing even
give a hero a false demeanor. For new under the greatest pressure:
heroes, the player can simply start the Make the false demeanor straight-
hero creation process (described in forward, not overly complex. The
Chapter One of the Book of the Fifth hero’s friends and enemies both
Age) with thirteen cards from the Fate ought to think there is little mystery
Deck instead of twelve. After he has to the hero. Trying to play a multi-
selected a card for the hero’s (true) layered false demeanor likely will
demeanor, he should also assign one to trip up a hero at a crucial moment.
his false demeanor, thus adding a layer Always keep the ultimate goal in mind.
of deceit to the emerging hero. The A hero who appears to be a steadfast
player then proceeds normally with the Knight of Takhisis, yet hates every-
rest of hero creation. Players who want thing they stand for, can bear up
their heroes to have two different false under the burden of the false role
demeanors (for different situations in more easily if he reminds himself
the game) should start out with four- every day how his duplicity will help
teen cards and allot two of them to bring down the dark Order.
false demeanors. Make it count. Heroes with false
The second, and perhaps preferred, demeanors have to be people of
manner of creating a false demeanor is action. An elf who seems a simper-
to intentionally assume one that ing lackey of Qualinesti’s Green
matches a false role. Rather than simply Dragon might actually be the leader
applying a false nature to the hero at of a group of daring heroes smug-
random, the player makes a conscious gling elf children out of the forest

40 Chapter Three
and weapons in. That’s a goal worth bad blood among players, and the cam-
the price of fawning to the overlord. paign dies with the players’ friendship.
One might argue that the rogues
Of course, the danger to living this and spies of Ansalon exist in a shadowy
kind of life is that friends may turn into world of trickery and betrayal where
enemies, should they ever discover the alliances last only long enough for an
hero’s false demeanor and mistakenly individual hero to achieve his personal
interpret it as the real one. Likewise, the goal. Indeed, many shortsighted or Evil
hero will find himself in grave danger if individuals have no compulsion about
his enemies find out his true motiva- burning their bridges behind them
tions. Clandestine Solamnic Knights, once they have what they want. How-
Legion of Steel members, smugglers, and ever, a hero with foresight will main
pirates are types of potential heroes who tain an alliance long enough for his
lead double lives almost by definition. companions to reach their desired ends
Yet sorcerers, mystics, or even humble also—as long as these goals do not
serving wenches may be playing similar conflict with his reason for joining
dangerous games-either for the sake of them in the first place. In a dangerous
morals, financial gain, or survival. world, it’s important to have friends.
Often, heroes with false demeanors
also make use of another optional
addition to the SAGA hero creation
When to Pursue a
rules: hidden agendas. Hidden Agenda
Not every hero needs a hidden agenda.
Hidden Agendas For some, a false demeanor or role will
suffice-and some heroes may be
Secrets form a unifying theme among played straightforward, for contrast.
all the hero types described in this The idea of certain heroes having
book. Few such heroes actually are secret goals is more appropriate for
what they seem on the surface, and some game groups than others. Before
hand-in-hand with such hidden identi- implementing these optional rules in a
ties come hidden agendas. campaign, the Narrator should car
The character Sevil from Dragons of fully consider the temperament of his
Faith, mentioned earlier, offers an players. Will they enjoy the intrigue
example of a character with a hidden and plot twists, or will they find the
agenda. He had dragonarmy agents and mystery annoying and frustrating?
heroes alike believing him a reliable Narrators should ask themselves the
source of information and aid. In truth, following questions before deciding
however, Sevil geared his every action whether hidden agendas will suit any
toward advancing a secret goal: regain- or all of their players.
ing the favor of Takhisis and returning
to the ranks of the Highlords. Can the player keep a secret?
Of course, players should make sure
A hidden agenda is a part of hero's
not to pursue their heroes’ hidden
background that he does not want
agendas to the detriment of the group
exposed. Therefore, the player must
as a whole. Role-playing games are a
keep the hidden agenda hidden! In a
cooperative activity, so the heroes
ongoing campaign, it may take weeks
should have the same general goal
or months of game sessions before a
when adventuring-whether to make
hero’s hidden agenda becomes impor-
some fast money or to permanently
tant. The player will have to wait
quell the Storm Over Krynn. Heroes
patiently for that moment without giv-
ignoring the needs of the group to act in
ing his hero’s secrets away.
their own interests almost always causes

Optional Rules 4I
Can the Narrator keep a secret? offended if he didn’t confide in them.
In addition, certain types of hidden
The need for secrecy works both ways.
agendas lead the heroes to face moral
The Narrator might feel the urge to
dilemmas. Do I strike at the villain who
drop hints about a hero’s dirty secret—
betrayed my father, or do I save my
characters “mistaking him for someone
companions? Such angst can be a use-
else,” other heroes getting a chance to
ful story element in small doses.
notice their duplicitous comrade sneak-
Bottom line: If the impulses of the
ing off to secret meetings, and the like.
group members lean toward swinging
After all, cool secrets are one of the
swords first and asking questions later,
hardest things to keep to oneself. How-
hidden agendas may not be for them.
ever, the Narrator must resist the temp-
tation of revealing the hidden agenda
before it’s dramatically appropriate. Can the group roll
Carelessness might lead him to blow with the punches?
dramatic opportunities by saying too Hidden agendas can sometimes lead to
much at or away from the gaming table. unexpected results (see “Defining Hid-
den Agendas,” below). Narrators and
Does the group enjoy intrigue? players alike will have to think quickly
Different playing groups like different if the revelation of a hero’s hidden
kinds of games. Some groups like cam- agenda changes the face of a campaign.
paigns that clearly define Good and Evil. Sometimes revealing a secret can have
Others enjoy more complex approaches far-reaching effects.
that make it hard for the heroes to tell
friends and enemies apart—a character Narrators who answered the above
might even be their ally in some respects questions with at least a conditional
and their enemy in others. “Yes” might want to urge certain play-
Most hidden agendas blur the line ers to adopt hidden agendas for their
between friend and foe. If the players heroes. But above all, these agendas
will get annoyed at shifting alliances should always exist to serve the adven-
within their adventures, then the Nar- ture’s plot and help a player more
rator should think twice about incor- clearly define his not-quite-who-he-
porating hidden agendas. seems hero. They provide the potential
for an additional layer of tension that
might not exist in a campaign where all
Does the group like
the cards (so to speak) are face up on
role-playing? the table.
This might seem like a silly question—if
the group members didn’t like role- Defining Hidden
playing, they would never have joined a
DRAGONLANCE: FIFTH AGE game, right? Agendas
The point is, there are different
The SAGA game rules are designed to
styles of play. Using hidden agendas in
allow players to create any kind of
campaigns often results in extensive
heroes they can imagine. Still, the Nar-
conversation between the heroes, or
rator needs to control heroes’ hidden
between the heroes and the characters.
agendas to some extent. If too many of
Narrators should expect short bursts of
members of an adventuring group have
combat followed by long periods of
conflicting agendas, they could spend
hero-to-hero or hero-to-character
more time outmaneuvering each other
interaction. After all, sometimes a hero
than the enemy. Hidden agendas,
has to justify an apparent or outright
though they can lead to power plays
betrayal to his longtime friends and
and backstabbing among the heroes,
companions. They might feel hurt or

42 Chapter Three
should never invite players to create What follows is a step-by-step run-
random mayhem in a game. down of that sheet. (Players might want
The Narrator should work with the to photocopy the form right onto the
player to define the nature of a hero’s back of their hero sheets so that, over
hidden agenda. (Establishing the hero’s tune, they won’t lose track of their
personality and motivations remains hero's various deceptions.) By filling out
up to the player, of course.) Before any- this sheet together, the Narrator and
one decides whether to give his hero a player can build aspects into the hero's
false demeanor or role, the Narrator personality that not only support the
should spend time with each individual hidden agenda but also serve as a source
player to complete the hidden agenda of adventurer motivators and plot ideas.
sheet on the back cover of this book. The Narrator should retain a copy
Putting these details in writing gives of his players’ completed sheet for his
both the player and Narrator a clear own reference.
picture of a hero’s hidden motivations,
preventing the need for clarification at True Name and Alias
the game table that might give secrets The player writes the hero's real name,
away. as well as any aliases, at the top of the
hidden agenda sheet. He should list
The Hidden Agenda Sheet next to each alias the place or context
in which the hero goes by that name, as
A hidden agenda can be something as
well as the supposed wealth score of
simple as secretly supplying, food to the
that persona and any other pertinent
local orphans or as grand as plotting the
facts. (The player may choose fictitious
downfall of a Great Dragon. It might
wealth scores for the fictitious names,
even emerge naturally out of the player’s
but none may exceed the hero's actual
discussion with the Narrator while he
fill out the hidden agenda sheet. wealth score.)

Optional Rules 43
Nature between two heroes may be known
In the next spot, the player can record only to them; in that case, the Narrator
his hero’s nature, as determined during should allow the players involved to
hero creation. A hero can have only decide when to reveal the connection-
one true nature. or whether to do so at all. If the hero
has a tie to a character, however, the
True Demeanor and True Role Narrator can choose to reveal the rela-
The next lines are for the hero’s tionship through the character at a dra-
demeanor and role, as determined dur- matically appropriate moment.
ing hero creation, as well as notes on the However, it’s a good idea to rely on the
role’s advantages and disadvantages. player to reveal the connection.
Narrators should carefully evaluate
General Outlook players’ ideas for their heroes’ special
How does the hero view the world and relationships. Some might contradict
the people in it? The “General Out- each other in ways that may affect the
look” entry makes the player consider storyline negatively. Others might give
what his hero’s nature and demeanor the hero an unfair advantage. While the
mean, and how they interact to form nature of a “good” special relationship
his personality. Is the hero optimistic varies from group to group, Narrators
about the future? Does he like the should try to limit the benefits derived
people he lives among? Is he fond of from these ties to plot hooks, sources of
his own people and homeland? How dramatic moments, and role-playing
does he feel about the other heroes? opportunities.
What are his loves and hates?
False Demeanor(s) and False Role(s)
Allies and Enemies As explained earlier in this chapter, a
What friends and foes does the hero hero’s false demeanor often stems from
believe he has? The “Allies and Ene- the identity of his friends and enemies.
mies” listing can include anything from It might even change depending on the
very specific individuals to large hero’s current quest or location. A par-
groups or entire races. Against whom ticularly deceptive or widely traveled
does the hero carry a grudge, and who hero, for example, might have three or
might carry one against him? Who four false demeanors. (People in Tarsis
might he turn to in a desperate cir- know him as a tight-lipped and surly
cumstance? Do the other heroes fall mercenary, but in Palanthas he becomes
into either of these categories? an outspoken, hedonistic bard.) Legion-
Note that those listed may or may naires and other heroes who dwell hid-
not actually be the hero’s friends or den among their mortal enemies have
foes—it’s all from his point of view. false demeanors. If the hero uses one of
the false demeanors as his “false nature,”
Special Relationships the player should note it on his sheet.
Does the hero have a past with one of False demeanors often derive from
the other heroes, or with a character false roles, as described in Chapter
who might pop up later? Possible rela- One. Players should make sure to write
tionships include blood relatives, a down the advantages and disadvan-
spouse, former lovers, former partners tages of each false role, and whether or
or competitors, and all sorts of other not the hero acquires them while in his
personal acquaintances. disguise.
As this section might involve
another hero, the Narrator should Hidden Agenda
make sure that the past relationship tits From all the above springs the hidden
with each player’s idea of his own agenda—the hero’s ultimate ulterior
hero’s personality. A relationship motive and possibly the prime motiva–

44 Chapter Three
tion for everything he does. magic) and learn its secrets.
The Narrator and the player should Win a lost or unrequited love.
define a hidden agenda for a hero Find release from a secret curse.
together. As the player conceives of Achieve a longtime goal of personal
each new idea or aspect, the Narrator ambition—perhaps even rulership.
should watch for ideas that run con-
trary to his overall plan for the cam- Other Secrets and Personal Goals
paign. In addition, the agenda should In two catch-all categories near the bot-
not diametrically oppose the objectives tom of the agenda sheet, the player can
of the party, either. No agenda should make notes regarding ideas for future
threaten to disrupt the overall cam- goals and hidden agendas, or odd quirks
paign. Of course, some groups may of a hero’s background or personality.
thrive on unraveling a conspiracy that Once again, the Narrator and player can
involves one of their own number, but collaborate on these goals and secrets.
most will not look kindly upon the The Narrator might even choose to
player whose hero’s hidden agenda has reserve the “Other Secrets” entry for as-
caused the death of all the other heroes. pects of the hero’s background that not
The following examples of hidden even the player knows. The hero might
agendas might spark ideas in players as be the heir to a throne, for example, or
they complete their hero’s sheet: perhaps the agent of prophecy.
Seek the downfall of a powerful See the guidelines starting on the
character. next page for information on creating
Reclaim lost family honor. and using a variety of hero secrets.
Gain vengeance upon a character
who has wronged the hero. The Narrator’s Duty
Uncover the lost history of a myste-
Occasionally, the Narrator should refer
rious object (perhaps an item of
to his copy of a hero’s hidden agenda

Optional Rules 45
sheet, to make sure he doesn’t forget Haunted
important facts over time. The spirit of a deceased relative, friend,
For instance, say that one hero
or enemy is an important part of the
secretly hates the Solamnic Knights for haunted hero’s life. The spirit can be
not being there to save his family dur- recently deceased or a ghost that has
ing the Dragon Purge. In order to crush followed members of the hero’s family
them, the hero has infiltrated one of for generations. The Narrator should
their clandestine circles. If the Narrator, determine the nature of the spirit,
forgetting that the hero is not a genuine
though the suit, portrait, or inscription
Knight, eventually creates a scenario
of the card drawn might provide hints
that exposes the circle’s Senior Knight to to the spirit’s nature or identity.
assassination, the hero may shock him
Depending on its motivation, the
by helping the assassins—and in doing spirit either aids or hinders the hero
so, ruins the Narrator’s carefully con- and his companions during tense
ceived storyline. moments. It may visit the hero in his
If the Narrator had remembered the dreams, providing hints or filling his
hero’s hidden agenda, he could have nights with terror. Should the adven-
injected elements into the scenario to turers choose to rid themselves of the
give the hero serious moral qualms spirit, they can do so only through a
about aiding in the Senior Knight’s
dramatic quest.
death. Instead, the Narrator’s shock
Berem Everman, the Gemstone Man
and indignation might force the player from the DRAGONLANCE Chronicles
to reveal something about the hero
series of novels, can be considered a
that would have come out better
haunted character.
through play.

Second Sight
Hero Secrets A hero with second sight has limited
Like all the other elements recorded on precognitive abilities. He receives
the hidden agenda sheet, a hero’s secrets visions, prophetic dreams, and some-
should serve to feed the Narrator’s plot times even sees omens and portents in
and storyline. However, a player might seemingly everyday events.
instead prefer to draw a card from the Second sight differs substantially
Fate Deck and consult the chart below from both the sorcerous school of div-
to randomly generate a secret for his ination and the mystic sphere of sensi-
hero. Regardless of how the secret is tivity. It is not something the hero can
designed into the hero’s background or control. In fact, his visions and dreams
chosen randomly, though, it generally often make sense only as the event they
remains out of the hero’s control. The describe has begun to unfold. A hero
Narrator decides how and when the may dream about a specific sword but
secret manifests itself. he has no idea whether that sword
Descriptions of the secrets follow spells his doom or will prove his means
the chart of achieving a glorious victory.
The Narrator should create occa-
Card Value Hero Secret sional prophecies for a hero gifted with
1 Haunted second sight to experience. A dream
2 Second sight might feature shadow-draped figures
3 Shared body who implore the hero to seek out cer-
4—5 Illegitimate child tain individuals or objects. During a
6—7 Traitor quest, a hero may suddenly and inex-
8 Enemy plicably know that the three ravens he
9 Shapechanger sees perched on a tombstone signify
10 Predestined that a trio of necromancers will seek,

46 Chapter Three
are seeking, or have sought to harness other or consider each other friends—
the Evil in Nightlund. Perhaps a vision they may not even have the same goal
appears to the hero as he looks at him- forcing them into a constant struggle
self in the mirror in the morning. The for dominance of the body.
glimpses afforded of the past, present, Some event-determined by the
or future—for the hero never really Narrator—triggers the switch in control
knows which—always seem confusing of the hero’s body. Possible triggers
and disturbing. include stressful situations, the full
Prophetic visions and dreams are moon, certain odors, or the player’s use
excellent tools to get the heroes of a Dragons card to attempt an action.
involved in an adventure. Using second A successful challenging Spirit or Reason
sight in a campaign may require addi- action from the hero may allow the cur-
tional planning on the Narrator’s part, rent dominant spirit to retain control of
but in the end it is often worth it. the body. To keep the circumstances
Larken, an ancestor of Goldmoon surrounding the switch from becoming
from the novel The Dark Queen, pos- obvious to the players, the Narrator may
sessed second sight. One also finds it wish to define multiple triggers or
frequently among barbarian shamans ensure that the switch does not take
and soothsayers. (They do not keep the place every time the trigger event occurs.
ability secret, however.) Waylorn Wyvernsbane, as seen in
the classic DRAGONLANCE adventure
Shared Body Dragons of Dreams, may have shared his
body with the spirit of the legendary
Though he may appear insane to those
Solamnic Knight Huma Dragonbane.
who know him, a hero might harbor
On the other hand, he may just have
two distinct spirits in his body. Control
been suffering from a mental disorder.
of this shared body switches back and
forth between the two. In most cases,
however, the spirits share the knowl- Illegitimate Child
edge they gain, so the hero rarely finds A hero might be the illegitimate child
himself at a disadvantage when the of a royal character or someone else
change comes over him. that holds power and influence. Then
Still, the two spirits have distinct again, perhaps the hero himself has
personalities, likes, and dislikes. This parented a child out of wedlock, either
means that players of a hero with this unknowingly or purposely.
secret need to generate a second hero to In either case, the hero may remain
represent the second spirit. The two unaware of his status until certain
heroes have different demeanors, events in the game take place. (The
natures, roles, and other background player should probably stay kept in the
details. Their Physical ability scores dark, as well.) Perhaps the royal parent
remain the same but the codes may dies, leaving the unknowing hero heir
change—one spirit may belong to a to a throne—unknowing, anyway, until
weapons master, while the other may assassins suddenly come after him for
barely know how to wield a dagger no apparent reason. Or maybe a young
without doing itself harm. All Mental woman shows up one day and pro-
ability scores and codes must be drawn claims herself the offspring of a fling
anew for the second spirit. The player the hero had in his youth.
should use his original hero’s wealth On the other hand, the hero may
score and number of quests. know his status and seek out his lost par-
The player and Narrator together ent or child. (The search then becomes
should determine the relationship an aspect of the hero’s hidden agenda.)
between the two spirits inhabiting the The Dark Knight Steel Brightblade,
shared body. They may resent each from the novel Dragons of Summer

Optional Rules 47
Flame, was the illegitimate son of (lycanthropy does not exist on Krynn),
Dragon Highlord Kitiara uth Matar and but rather an inborn power that runs
Solamnic Knight Sturm Brightblade. in certain lineages. Members of such
families can change only into the form
Traitor of a specific type of animal, determined
At some point in his past, a traitor hero by the suit of the card drawn to gener-
betrayed a cause. Perhaps the scandal ate this secret (or a random draw).
arose from something as simple as not Suit Animal
following the family tradition and Shields Crocodile
becoming a carpenter, or perhaps the Arrows Panther
hero perpetrated a double-cross that led Helms Grizzly bear
to the deaths of hundreds. If other heroes Swords Leopard
or important characters learn this secret, Moons Giant owl
the hero may face severe difficulties. Orbs Dolphin
Whatever the betrayal (decided by Hearts Wolf
the Narrator and player) there is a cer- Crowns Kingfisher
tain place or group of characters the Dragons Giant lizard
hero feels compelled to avoid.
Dhamon Grimwulf from The The hero gains all the attributes and
Dawning of a New Age considers him- combat abilities of the animal form, as
self a traitor to the Knights of Takhisis. listed under “Animals of Ansalod’ in
Chapter Six of the Book of the Fifth Age.
Enemy Unlike the “shared body” secret, the hero
can will the change to happen but, upon
An unfortunate hero might discover
returning to his normal form, he retains
himself the subject of great hatred from
no memories of his prior activities.
a powerful enemy. The Narrator and
The mercenary El-Nahvar from the
player can decide upon the details, but
novel Dark Heart is a shapechanger.
the enemy should constitute a group of
people—a family or clan that has reason
Predestined
to hate or distrust the hero simply
because of his family, perhaps as the The powers of Fate (or the will of the
result of a generational blood feud. gods before they withdrew from Krynn),
Members of this group should show up have decreed a special task for a predes-
at inopportune moments, either seeking tined hero. Perhaps someone has recently
to even the ancient score or as powerful uncovered prophecies referring to a sav-
figures who can make life difficult for ior (or destroyer) who bears an uncanny
the entire adventuring group. resemblance to the hero. Those with sec-
The secret of the enemy’s dogged ond sight may even have strange dreams
pursuit of the hero might involve the about the hero battling some titanic
origin of the hatred between the two force. This individual is meant to fulfill
families. Uncovering the history behind his special destiny, and until he has, his
the feud, then finding a way to resolve it life will not be his own. No matter what
seems a quest worthy of any group. he does, he cannot escape his destiny.
Heroes who gain an enemy as a The secret of or predestination is one
result of their role (such as the dis- the Narrator muit keep to himself.
placed noble) should choose a different Although the hero may have heard about
secret, for better variety. vague prophecies made at his birth or
have come across one during play (as
Shapechanger mentioned above), he should never find
any evidence of the omens truth.
Some rare heroes in Krynn can
The hero’s destiny should become
shapechange into the form of an ani-
clear only at the threshold of whatever
mal. This ability is no curse or disease

48 Chapter Three
great event he is fated to influence. For the heart. Not only was she the first
example, say a former Wizard of the priestess of Mishakal during the gods’
Black Robes tries to contact the god brief return to Ansalon toward the end
Nuitari to regain his lost magical power. of the Fourth Age, it was she who first
He fails, but manages instead to open a mastered the new powers of mysticism.
dimensional rift to the Abyss-in spe- In fact, Goldmoon’s birth is prophesied
cific, to the infernal realm where, prior in the novel The Dark Queen.
to the War of the Lance, Takhisis har-
vested spirits to infuse into the new dra-
conian race. Now more Evil spirits Putting It All
threaten to come through the rift and
invade Krynn. Having long ago foreseen
Together
this calamity, Nuitari orchestrated the Narrators who incorporate any of the
events that led to the birth of the hero, optional rules described in this chapter
the one person who can seal the rift. should keep in mind that they are
If the above example took place as intended as tools to heighten the player
part of a campaign, the villain trying to enjoyment of the game. The new hero
reach Nuitari would surface every two race and the concepts of false demeanors
or three quests to confront the predes- and hidden agendas also are meant to
tined hero. He manages to escape every inspire players to create interesting hero
time—or at the very least, dies an backgrounds and personalities and Nar-
obscure death (falls into a river, gets rators to build story ideas that revolve
buried under a collapsing wall, etc.). around one or more of the heroes.
Gradually, the heroes see that the wiz- When using these new rules, how-
ard lives and seeks to attempt a power- ever, Narrators need to remain flexible.
ful ritual that will destroy the world. Not every element will suit every hero
Only they know enough about his and as the campaign progresses, both
plans to stop him…. Thus the predes- heroes and the storyline will evolve
tined hero meets his fate. naturally. Conflicts will get resolved,
The Narrator should avoid gearing and secrets will be revealed. Narrators
every quest in a campaign around the should just allow this development to
prefated figure—every hero ought to get happen, and watch as other agendas
a chance to be the “star” for a while. and secrets grow from the changes.
However, the campaign’s climax should All characters in good stories grow
center around the predestined hero, with and change, and so will the heroes.
each of the others having his own impor- One might go from a river pirate to a
tant role to play. After all, if the gods beloved liberator; perhaps a noble
established that one hero would perform woman finds herself forced to assume
a great deed, might they not also have the role of a serving wench to hide from
hand-picked those who would come assassins. Narrators should embrace
together with him in a band? such transformations, for rogues thrive
The Herald, mentioned in Chapter on changing circumstances—it is not
One of Dusk or Dawn, is a predestined their nature to feel satisfied by a stag-
character. When he was a child, Pala- nant status quo. Evolution is at the
dine himself proclaimed that he would heart of every quest undertaken by
one day perform an important task. these heroes of defiance.
(An event from the Herald’s childhood The description of Linsha Majere on
appears in “The Missing Master Lor,” the next pages combines false demean
from the classic DRAGONLANCE adven- ors and hidden agendas with the con-
ture anthology The World of Krynn.) cept of false roles introduced in Chap
One might also argue that the Hero One to create a multifaceted character
of the Lance Goldmoon was predes- harboring a number of secrets.
tined to be the center of the power of

Optional Rules 49
Linsha Majere * Linsha Majere has adopted a false role and
several false demeanors. Her true personality
and profession appear in italics, as do the
Description Human female
armor and weapons she bears when standing
(civilized), openly side-by-side with other Knights.
thug role
Knight of the Rose “Most of the people I meet think
Demeanor Immoral (9 ) * I’m a cutpurse and an alleybasher—not
Aggressive (7 )* suitable jobs for a woman. I don’t do
Confident (3 ) anything to discourage that impression,
Nature Vigilant (5 ) because living that lie is how I attend to
Reputation Adventurer matters of honor.
(Quests 6, Hand 4) “As a girl I went, at my parents’
Social status Commoner behest, to study with Goldmoon at the
(Wealth 3) Citadel of Light. There, I discovered
Agility 8A Reason 6D within me the power to speak with ani-
Dexterity 7C Perception 6C mals and plants, to read the auras of
Endurance 3A Spirit 7A (49) men and women, and to communicate
Strength 4A Presence 6B with the spirits of the dead. These mys-
tic powers aid me in my efforts to gather
Melee weapon Short sword (+3) information for the Knighthood.
Broad sword (+6) “A few years ago, I caused quite a stir
Missile weapon Sling (+2) by becoming the first woman to ever
Crossbow (+5) join the Order of the Rose. The fact
Armor Leather (-2) that my family isn’t Solamnian made
Plate (-5) an even bigger splash. My parents, Usha
Shield Target (-3) and Palin Majere, and my grandfather,
Caramon, were so proud of me. I wish

50 Chapter Three
I could serve my Order today in a fash- mism, sensitivity, and spiritualism.
ion that would continue to make them “Lynn” demonstrates her “aggressive”
proud. But duty requires a different demeanor as a false nature to those she
kind of service from me. becomes acquainted with in her work.
“I belong to a clandestine circle of When necessary, Linsha will reveal
Knights established in Sanction to keep her true identity to another Knight of
watch over that city’s mysterious lord, Solamnia. When recognized as a mem-
Hogan Bight. We remain ready to act ber of the Order, she gains the benefits
should he ever reveal an allegiance with and drawbacks of a Rose Knight
the Dark Knights and the Great (described fully in Heroes of Steel):
Dragons. The people in Sanction know Enjoys a trump bonus to close with
me as Lynn, a greedy and violent the enemy, for combat with Legion-
woman of loose morals. However, naires or Dark Knights, and for
despite the charade, my heart and soul melee attacks while mounted.
still belong to the Order of the Rose, Can petition for an increase in Pres-
and I always repay honor with honor. ence after increasing in reputation.
“Although I know that my work Can draw from Solamnic treasury
aids the cause of Good, I often feel as using her Presence score instead of
though the pretense I engage in does her wealth score.
neither my brave parents and grand- Receives no trump bonus to achieve
parents nor the Knighthood the honor surprise before combat.
they deserve. When last I visited Presence score drops 1 point if she
Solace, Grandfather told me how fails in a petition for advancement.
proud he was of me. The Grand Bound by the Solamnic Measure.
Master himself has impressed upon me Can abandon or refuse a fair fight
the necessity of my task and the honor only after a daunting Reason (Pres-
inherent in my goal. Still, when I am ence) action.
alone with my thoughts, I wish I could Gives sixty days’ service to the Order.
live a more honorable life-like that Personal wealth falls 1 point with
led by others in my family, or by each increase in reputation (due to
famous Knights like Huma Drag- donations to the Order).
onbane and Riva Silvercrown.
While she does not currently pos-
“However, as long as I maintain my
sess any of the trappings of a Knight of
personal honor and perform my duty
the Rose, Linsha’s custom-made plate
to my utmost, I live up to the Measure.
armor and the broad sword given to
For now, that will have to do.
her by her grandfather, Caramon, upon
“But someday, Linsha Majere will
her induction to the Order of the Rose
honor her family name with valor.”
wait for her back home in Solace.
Game Information
Appearance
Linsha (3 ) has assumed the false role
Linsha seems the spitting image of her
of a thug. Reputedly she often seduces
grandmother, Tika, when she was
victims, then kills them (she actually
young: stunning green eyes, rich
has killed only rarely). She enjoys a
auburn hair, high cheekbones, and a
trump bonus to use improvised weap-
supple, lithe body. Slightly smaller in
ons—a legacy of helping her mother,
stature than her grandmother, she has
grandmother, and aunts around the Inn
short-cropped hair and plentiful freck-
of the Last Home as a girl. It becomes a
les, which help her to appear younger
handy skill when subduing a would-be
than she actually is. At age twenty-
paramour as part of her cover identity.
seven, Linsha still can pass for a teen,
This Knight of the Rose can cast
which makes her even more valuable as
mystic spells from the spheres of ani-
a covert Solamnic operative.

Optional Rules 5I
Chapter Four
teel’s thoughts tion provided in the FIFTH AGE boxed
were centered set about the island of Northern
on Trevalin, Ergoth. As one of the few realms in
Ansalon relatively free of threat from
on his talon.
the Great Dragons, Narrators can
He imagined choose this locale for campaigns fea-
his comrades turing different themes. This island
flying into contains barbarian and civilized cul-
what was tures, kender, gully dwarves, ancient
bound to be a ruins, and forgotten remnants of lost
civilizations—all the makings of an
challenging
exciting campaign. In addition, it is a
fight with the land rife with political intrigue, and
Ergothians, thieves and diplomats alike thrive in
humans of Gwynned, Ergoth’s large capital city.
enormous courage and prowess, Heroes can attempt a variety of quests
who had held their lands all without ever leaving the island.
during the War of the Lance
and who were determined to Geography
hold them now.
The island of Northern Ergoth, just
—Steel Brightblade imprisoned, west of mainland Ansalon, was in fact
Dragons of Summer Flame part of the mainland in the ages before
the first Cataclysm rent the land. Schol-
ars from the Empire of Ergoth divide the
One of the oldest realms in Ansalon,
island into two distinct realms: the
the Empire of Ergoth introduced many
Empire in the west and the kender
traditions of intrigue and roguery now
nation of Hylo in east.
widely accepted across the land. For
In truth, the island contains three
instance, the folk of Ansalon know
other distinct realms, which the empire
Ergoth as the birthplace of thief guilds
has claimed in its bid to regain a frac-
and the home of the Bard College. In
tion of its former size. The goblin- and
addition, the people of Ergoth them-
gully dwarf-infested land of Sikk’et Hul
selves embody the very spirit of defi-
in the south and the barbaric Ackal
ance. As the passage above indicates,
region in the north continue to ignore
Ergothians are made of strong stuff—
the Empire’s claim of sovereignty. The
strong enough to keep their land intact
marshy northeastern area of Ogaral—
through countless wars, two Cata-
also considered a province of the
clysms, and even the Summer of Chaos.
Empire (in name only)—remains
Despite its three thousand years of
home to a naga and a clan of dis-
culture and history, though, very little
turbingly intelligent trolls. All these
has been written about Ergoth, primar-
realms appear on the color poster map
ily because the Empire had become
of Ergoth.
quite a backwater after the Cataclysm.
Despite the island’s position at the
Now, the decline of the former
same longitude as tropical Nordmaar
Solamnian lands under the shadow of
far to the east, it enjoys much more
dragon and Dark Knight sees Ergoth
temperate weather. Its relatively mild
once again emerging as the center of
summers last from Corij to Sirrimont,
culture and learning on Ansalon.
and the winters extend from Phoenix
This chapter expands the informa-
to Rannmont. (See the Ansalonian Cal-
52 Chapter Four
Northern Ergoth
endar on the back cover of Dusk or
Dawn.) Currents from the southern
Empire of Ergoth
Sirrion Sea cool the island during the Volumes in the ancient library of the
summer months and bring to the Imperial University in Gwynned detail
island some of the chill of winter. the history of the people, places, and
The Sentinel range runs the length races of the Empire of Ergoth from its
of Northern Ergoth from north to earliest days to the present. Long scoffed
south, dividing the island in two. Steep at by scholars of other realms, the uni-
passes lead through the mountains in versity today enjoys a renaissance,
several places. thanks to the influx of scholars fleeing
The island’s western and northern occupied Palanthas. Academics across
regions, which contain the Empire Ansalon have begun to reevaluate
proper and the province of Ackal, fea- Gwynned’s library, which outsiders had
ture lush, grassy plains. Ages ago forests long considered nothing but a collec-
covered this land, but as the Ergothian tion of outdated tomes and inflated leg-
Empire expanded, its citizens felled ends about the empire’s lost glory days.
them to build ships and the cities of This section summarizes the history
Truth, Gulfport, Lancton, Gwynned, of Ergoth proper and its “provinces” up
and points even farther west and south to the year 31sc and describes their cul-
(now part of the mainland or the isle of ture and current happenings as well.
Southern Ergoth). These forests pro- The university library’s vast historical
duced the finest quality wood on the section provided the source of this
continent. information; where it contradicts
The southern end of the island established accounts, both versions
comprises a hilly desert of scrub and have been included to allow the reader
sage. This harsh land is home to the to decide the truth for himself.
goblin and Aghar nation of Sikk’et Hul.
Since the White Dragon buried most of
Southern Ergoth in snow, these folk
Ergoth Proper
have had to struggle even harder for Ergoth is enjoying a population boom
survival in their chilly land. and cultural resurgence during the Fifth
The eastern part of the island Age, thanks to the influx of immigrants
remains awash in lush old-growth from former Solamnian provinces now
forests. Since before the rise of the held by Khellendros the Blue.
Ergothian Empire, the territory from
the eastern coast to the foothills of the
Sentinel Mountains has been inhabited
by kender. While they call their home-
land Hylo, other Ergothians know it as
Kenderhome, as do many of Ansalon’s
cartographers. This forested land, like
the rest of the island, enjoys a far
cooler climate than one might suppose
based on its proximity to the equator.
Summer weather remains cool and
pleasant, and in winter the mild cli- Important Holdings
mate results in wet snow that is just The variety of civilized settlements,
right for packing. magical sites, and ancient ruins makes
Ergoth proper a popular place for
adventurers seeking their fortunes.

Northern Ergoth 53
Noteworthy Settlements since 567PC, and new shafts delve ever
All across Ergoth, new towns have deeper into Krynn’s surface.
popped up to serve the needs of new- Tantyvil. South of Gulfport lies the
comers, and established towns have hamlet of Tantyvil, a living monument
swelled beyond their city walls. to the battle of wills between a father
Hillfal. The most important settle- and son around 300AC. The elder son of
ment in the northern part of Ergoth, Gulfport’s aging lord was eager to
the fortress town of Hillfal stands assume power, but the old man would
perched on the steep banks of the Alu- not step down. The son, already grown
natal River, guarding both it and the wealthy from New Sea trade, decided to
nearby mountain pass from invasion break his father and Gulfport by con-
by the barbaric Ackalite tribes to the structing a city of his own.
north. This austere fortress started out He named it Tantyvil after his wife
as just a small toll station, established and spent his entire fortune building
to collect fees from caravans traveling homes, docks, stables, inns, smithies,
from Gulfport through the mountain shops, and defenses. When finished, he
pass toward Solamnia, or returning had constructed one of the most aes-
through the pass. The Ackalites razed thetically pleasing towns in the empire,
the station in an uprising during the for it was planned, not grown. He even
reign of Emperor Redic I, though the had he had the blessings of the
empire ultimately managed to beat emperor—Redic IV believed Ergoth
them back to the northern tip of the could never have enough port towns. Yet
island. Hillfal’s ruins formed the foun- Tantyvil never attracted more than a
dation for a new, strong fort. handful of sea barbarian traders and
Completed in 230AC, Hillfal is the some fishermen. Old habits die hard,
newest fortress of Ergothian build in and Tantyvil lacked Gulfport’s primary
the empire. No less than a legion feature: its link with Wind Dancer Mine.
remains stationed here at any given Today, much of Tantyvil lies in dis-
time. The village of two hundred repair. Rumors call the town the secret
people just south of the fort consists headquarters of the thief guilds, but
mostly of shops, houses of ill repute, otherwise it remains a fishing commu-
gladiatorial pits, and even shadier nity of about three hundred.
establishments that imperial troops Castle Crimson. Continuing south
frequent for an evening’s diversion. along the Emperor’s Road leads to one of
Gulfport. A remnant of the ancient the oldest buildings in Ansalon. The
Emperor’s Road leads south from Hill- blocky Castle Crimson takes its name
fal to Gulfport. Once a major center of from its spires of red stone, imported
commerce, Gulfport remains Ergoth’s from the Khalkist Mountains. From the
largest merchant harbor. (The imperial road, one can see the castle sitting upon a
fleet and the Solamnian warships that hill that rises sharply from the surround-
escaped Palanthas after the coming of ing plains. However, as invaders discover,
the Blue fill the harbor at Gwynned.) the hill itself is part of the fortress, cov-
Ergothians also know Gulfport as ered with traps and hidden arrow slits
the empire’s primary metalworking and doors that defenders can tire through
site. The realm’s finest artisans and or emerge from without warning.
weaponsmiths live here, working with Built around 2300PC, the castle was
metals imported from Sancrist or cut a gift to a human noblewoman from
from nearby Wind Dancer Mine (so her noble dwarf husband. Unfortu-
named for the long-abandoned abodes nately, the relationship ended in
of the lost Kyrie, located on the moun- embarrassment when she gave birth to
tain’s least accessible peaks). This twin gully dwarves (the reason why so
mine—perhaps the richest in all of few dwarf—human pairings last).
Ansaon—has remained productive The Lord of Castle Crimson, who

54 Chapter Four
traditionally occupies a seat in the Northern Ergoth. To save their own
imperial Senate, is the head of the lives during the Shadow Years follow-
Shadowlark family, half-elves of Qua- ing the first Cataclysm, Werim’s village
linesti stock. They make bards, guild elders legally gave up their children
thieves, and Qualinesti refugees wel- and their descendants to an invading
come in their home, but seem to have a warlord. Even now, everyone born
strange disdain for anything Solamnic. Werim is still considered a slave, the
Lancton. In sight of Castle Crimson property of the local lord.
stands the fortified city of Lancton. The For centuries, the folk of Werim
city was founded in 1940PC as a combi- have fed the glory of local tyrants. The
nation toll station, guard post, and car- current lord is Governor Seta Eyt
avan stop at the only fordable section (human adult male, cruel demeanor,
of the Dermount River. However, the Adventurer) a harsh and greedy man.
completion of the Quevalin Bridge in The Thief Guild has long targeted this
930PC removed the need for the city’s unfit ruler, but his alliance with the
garrison function, as caravans were no cunning Li tribe, a group of disaffected
longer as easy to ambush. Ackalite barbarians who act as his
Today, Lancton remains a trade hub. bodyguards, has kept Eyt alive through
The section of the river between it and seven assassination attempts.
the capital serves as a portion of the Gwynned. Downriver from Lanc-
Emperor’s Road. An extension of this ton lies Gwynned, the city that be
road allows traders to rapidly carry ore the imperial capital when the old capi-
from the mines of Werim to the south tal, Daltigoth (in Southern Ergoth), fell
to Lancton, and from there to Gulfport to ruin and ogres after the Cataclysm.
and Gwynned. Almost daily, oxen trod Seaside Gwynned had been a
the well-worn riverside paths to draw favorite summer retreat of emperors
loaded barges along the waterway, since the Quivalin dynasty. It featured a
Even more important than its trade palace, although less glorious than the
status is Lancton’s significance as the Golden Palace of Daltigoth, suitable
source of the finest Ergothian art, music, accommodations for the Senate, glad-
and songwriting. Graduates of the torial arenas, opera houses, the Imper-
empire’s Bard College, located here, are ial University, and many other basic
known throughout the continent for amenities for the life of an emperor.
their famous works celebrating the Redic I established his capital here and
Heroes of the Lance and other great fig- renamed the town Gwynned to evoke
ures in Ansalon’s history. The renowned the memory of that extinguished in
elf bard Quevalin Soth (Qualinesti elder rial line and give his own reign an a
male, artistic demeanor, Legend) legitimacy (see “History”).
attended and graduated from the school Since then, emperors have expanded
and currently serves as its headmaster. Gwynned's defenses and harbor several
Lancton is also the acknowledged times, helping the city evolve into a
headquarters of the Ergothian thief cosmopolitan of inequity. A visitor
guilds—which causes many people to can find any serve here—as well as
doubt the story, for why would a semi- any pleasure. The bouts in the local
secret organization like the guilds make gladiatorial arena enjoy a place among
known the location of their headquar- the strangest and bloodiest in the
ters? Nonetheless, someone looking to empire. (Citizens still talk about the
make contact with the guild ought to fight between a lightning-breathing
start in Lancton, specifically at a tavern behir and five condemned criminals
called “The Emperor’s Clothier.” dressed in full plate mail and armed
Werim. From Lancton, travelers can with steel rods.)
follow the Emperor’s Road south to Landfall. Northwest of Gwynned
Werim, the largest mining town on stands a coastal fortification built around

Northern Ergoth 55
an ancient tower of gnomish origin. Tra- town of Vocalion on Southern Ergoth,
dition holds that this tower marked the a site now buried beneath Gellidus’s
spot where the gnomes reached main- glacier. Still, the insistence of Thonvil’s
land Ansalon during their quest for the populace makes some scholars grant a
Graygem in the Age of Dreams. Landfall grain of truth to the tales of the spirit,
takes its name from that myth. While the though no educated man thinks the
tower still holds the gears, levers, and ghost is that of the long-dead Highlord.
other odd manifestations of gnomish Attendance at the Wooden Weapons
technology, the salty dampness of the Annual has tripled in the past few
ocean has long since fused the metal into years, as Solamnian refugees find it
an unworkable mass. reminiscent of their honorable tourna-
In 1770PC, after the Solamnians had ments from back home. Of course, the
established their presence on Sancrist, influx of newcomers is altering some of
the Ergothians turned the gnomish the myths surrounding the Annual. For
tower into a sprawling fortification— example, a version of the legend of the
just in case Solamnus intended to use Highlord now circulating claims the
Sancrist as a staging area for invasion. ghost shows itself only to braggarts
Today, the empire maintains the fortress who will lose the competition.
as a last-ditch defense. Not only did it The Solamnian South. The southern
stand throughout the Ackalite invasion portion of Ergoth proper is the area most
immediately following the Cataclysm, it heavily settled by Solamnian refugees.
contributed to the eventual defeat of The farming community of New Win-
these rebels at the hands of Redic I. terholm, the largest settlement there,
Thonvil. Almost due south of got its start thanks to a land grant to Sir
Gwynned, on the island’s southern Wilhelm Tankreed (human adult male,
coast, is Thonvil. This relatively unre- honorable demeanor, Champion). As
markable fishing village plays host to Khellendros descended upon northern
the “Wooden Weapons Annual,” a non- Solamnia, this lord fled with the peasant
lethal version of the gladiatorial bouts population for whom he felt responsible.
held in other towns. Throughout the Solamnian South,
A popular local story claims the the immigrants have settled in fairly
infamous Dragon Highlord Kitiara uth well, but a few cultural difficulties seem
Matar attended the Annual and took inevitable. First, farmers and herders on
the championship when she was but a the Sikk’et Hul border have a difficult
strip of a lass (naturally, Ergoth’s male- time seeing the goblins of that province
dominated society forced her to dis- as peaceful neighbors (see page 81). The
guise herself as a boy). Supposedly she same holds true for the Solamnian fish-
returned to the Annual every few years, ermen. Border attacks by land and sea
always disguised as a man and always have increased on both sides, as the
walking away with the championship newcomers “defend themselves” and the
and the purse of gold that came with it. goblins’ patience wears thin.
Even after her death, the legend goes, Second, Solamnians entering into
she continues to attend the Wooden military service to the empire have a
Weapons Annual on occasion. If her hard time adjusting to the Ergothian
spirit shows itself to a contestant, he mentality. For instance, a Solamnian
can be almost certain to win—or he named Brevin Gantalian (human young
can be certain to lose. adult male, modest demeanor, Adven-
Almost without exception, however, turer) who helped uncover a plot to kid-
historians of the War of Lance agree nap the emperor’s son was awarded the
that the Blue Lady never visited North- command of Hillfort, a fortress origi-
ern Ergoth. In fact, her own diaries nally built to guard a nearby mine and
indicate that she regularly competed in the Emperor’s Road. The new comman-
the Wooden Weapons Annual in the der appointed Marla uth Furstan

56 Chapter Four
(human adult female, honest demeanor, The last member of this line, the
Adventurer), a female Solamnic Knight, White-Robed Wizard Bram DiThon,
as his second-in-command—which vanished during the Chaos War. Ever
many Ergothian warriors viewed as a since, locals have claimed that fairy
personal insult. Further, he has launched folk inhabit the grounds and spirits
expeditions into neighboring Sikk’et haunt the castle itself. All who attempt
Hul to “keep the provincial borders to investigate the place have vanished
safe.“ Although such a move would seem without a trace, just as Bram DiThon
reasonable along the Gaardlund-Throtl did. (The Defenders of Magic novel tril-
frontier in his native land, in Northern ogy recounts Bram’s earlier adventures.)
Ergoth it disrupts a centuries-old peace.
Main Populace
Major Ruins
Native Ergothians are humans with dark
Ogre ruins pepper the Sentinel Moun-
skin and black hair. They typically have
tains along the Hylo-Ergoth border.
brown eyes, but occasionally a child is
Most have been thoroughly explored at
born with startling bright blue eyes. A
the urging of the cash-strapped empire,
growing Solamnian human minority
though goblin scouts and adventurers
also calls Ergoth proper home. This
do occasionally find new sites.
population has fairer skin, hair ranging
Wind Dancer. One of Northern
from honey-colored to black, and eyes
Ergoth’s more mysterious structures, the
of blue, brown, or green. Children of
Wind Dancer ruins appear virtually
mixed parentage invariably favor their
inaccessible to anyone without flight.
Ergothian blood in appearance.
The few who have reached this ancient
Local languages include Ergot,
Kyrie dwelling describe it as a bewilder-
Kenderspeak (thanks to visitors from
ing complex of hallways, staircases,
neighboring Hylo), and Solamnic.
identical rooms, and open courtyards.
The only damage to the structure seems
to have been wrought by the passage of Description
time. It looks as though every resident Ergothians like every aspect of their
simply vanished. The empire encourages lives highly structured and regimented.
expeditions to the Wind Dancer peaks, These people believe in order and will
hoping to solve this mystery as well as fight to destroy any threat to their
claim any treasure hidden within. established lifestyle. History has shown
Even. Unlike the Wind Dancer site, that this battle urge generally breeds
the fate of the ruined town of Even only more chaos, but it has become so
holds little mystery. In the decades after ingrained in the Ergothian nature that
the Cataclysm, rampaging Ackalites everyone tends to overlook this fact.
razed this town—once a supplier of The rigidity of this society is perhaps
delicacies like caviar and honey-baked best illustrated by the fact that the
fish filets to Gwynned and other realm still clings to its traditional
northern cities-and slaughtered every governmental structure-a Senate
citizen. All attempts to resettle the town overseen by an emperor-even though
(or loot whatever the Ackalites missed) for centuries the “empire” has been
have failed: The ghosts of dozens of smaller than a Solamnian province.
murdered citizens haunt the area still. Ergothians also consider an indi-
vidual born to his station in life and
Mystic Places believe it his responsibility to fulfill the
A site not traditionally associated with duties of that station. When someone
mystical occurrences in Ergoth proper fails to live up to his responsibilities, it
is the abandoned hulk of Castle is traditional for another of equal or
DiThon near Thonvil, once home to an slightly lower status to assume them
ancient and noble family. instead. This custom has led to periods

Northern Ergoth 57
of numerous successive coups and Culture
assassinations of emperors. The influx of refugees from Solamnia
Ergoth is a highly feudal society. The has provided Ergoth with a much–
rich and powerful own the land, and needed population boost. The fresh
peasants work it in exchange for the infusion of new creative expression—in
roof over their heads and a small the form of Solamnian tapestries and
amount of the food they grow or the sculpture—has touched off something
livestock they tend. The empire is also of an artistic renaissance. The one
heavily patriarchal, a cultural point that medium in which the Ergothians
causes conflict with the refugees from remain unmatched is epic verse and
Solamnia, which has granted increased music composition.
status and opportunity for women for While elves may produce the best
decades. Virtually since the founding of instruments in Ansalon, none can
the empire, Ergothians have believed match the skill of an Ergothian bard
that women belonged at home, raising when it comes to penning new works.
children and tending to the needs of Unlike the flowing nature of elven
their husbands and families. music, which relies heavily upon
Any woman unhappy with this exis- improvisation, local bards compose
tence generally leaves Ergoth proper, as highly structured and measured music.
a variety of laws restrict her ability to Lyrics, though less rigid, also follow
hold property or to profit as an adven- specific formats. (However, the Bard
turer, warrior, or in any other tradi- College in Lancton identifies over three
tionally “male” field. Unless she passes hundred verse formats, so only the
herself off as a man, a woman who is most discerning listeners can recognize
not a matron can work as either a serv- that bards work within set parameters.)
ing wench, maid, street dancer, or at an Throughout Ergoth proper, commoner
occupation of even lower standing. A and noble alike love music and verse.
very few women become bards, but In stark contrast, Ergothians are
they usually start out as street per- equally fond of bloodsports. Virtually
formers “discovered” by an established every settlement has some kind of gladi-
and respected male bard. atorial arena: from simple pits in small
Women are not the only Ergothians villages to the vast sprawling stadium of
legislated into particular roles, although Gwynned. Locals flock to these arenas to
they certainly take the brunt of it. The watch man fighting beast or man fight-
empire has laws that apply to virtually ing man. The purpose of these bouts
every other person, too. Each citizen ranges from settling scores or punishing
has his place in the world-and it’s criminals to just plain having fun (such
important to society that he stay there. as Thonvil’s Wooden Weapons Annual).
This view (aided by a large national Gladiatorial combats represent to
ego) has caused the Ergothians to retain Ergothians what county fairs mean to
both emperor and Senate past the point the rest of Ansalon. Bards or dancers
where they are really needed. These usually perform between each combat.
people genuinely believe their empire
will rise again, as it is Ergoth’s duty to be Trade
first among nations. Ergoth—never The empire exports copper, brass, and
Istar or Solamnia—is the center of steel tools and weapons; ogre relics; and
culture, arts, and human civilization on cut stone to nearby Gunthar on the isle of
Krynn. For centuries, emperors, nobles, Sancrist and to Coastlund in the realm of
and scholars have tried to recapture that Khellendros. In return, Ergoth imports
lost glory. It seems that the devastation precious metals from Gunthar, carved
of the Dragon Purge, which brought wooden figures and cut wood from
low so many other realms, was just the Kenderhome, and fruits and leather from
catalyst Ergoth needed. dragon-occupied Qualinesti.

58 Chapter Four
The rapidly growing city of The Formation of Empire
Gwynned has seen increased trade of History of the World tells of an adven-
late, thanks to Solamnian immigration. turesome youth named Ackal Ergot,
who reportedly slew an entire tribe of
History bakali—a lost race of lizard men—
because if they had captured him, he
The earliest history of Ergoth remains
would have missed the celebration of
all but lost to the mists of time, little
his fourteenth birthday and his ascen-
more than a collection of legends in an
sion rite to adulthood.
ancient tome called History of the
Ackal Ergot was born around
World. The title of this work is highly
2650PC in the village of Sanction, far
misleading—“the world” of the
from the lands that today take his
unknown authors extended no farther
name. Many of his youthful exploits in
east than the Khalkist Mountains and
the aftermath of the Second Dragon
the Silvanesti forest. Yet enough of the
War appear in the History of the World,
lore corresponds with tales collected by
including his journey to the Sentinel
scholars in Palanthas that one can glean
Mountains, where he became the first
some facts from it.
human in fifteen centuries to venture
Although the History of the World
into an ogre city. There he encountered
includes no dates, loremasters have cor-
vast treasures and the mystical artifact
related events with the Iconochronos of
known as the World’s Heart. A vision
the historian Astinus. For simplicity’s
came upon him then—a vision that
sake, this section uses the method of
would drive him to forge the barbaric
reckoning common among historians
human tribes into a mighty empire.
in the Fifth Age (Pre Cataclius, Alt Cat-
Upon returning to Sanction, he led
aclius, and Saer Cataclius).
expeditions into the ruins of the ogre
cities in the Khalkist Mountains. With

Northern Ergoth 59
the wealth gained from these forays, he believing himself worthy of the throne.
began bribing tribal chieftains for their During this quick succession of four
loyalty. Those who could not be Quivalin emperors, some managed to
bought, he exterminated with sword expand the borders slightly—Ergoth’s
and flame. By 2600PC, Ackal Ergot had frontier now reached the border of Sil-
united all the human tribes from the vanesti in the east and the very north-
Khalkist Mountains to the far western ern tip of the Sentinel Mountains in the
edge of Ansalon. On his seventieth west. However, this expansion could not
birthday, he declared Daltigoth, the equal the growth achieved under Ackal.
former stronghold of a particularly The empire grew into a brutal, bestial
powerful tribal chieftain, the capital of realm ruled by tyrants consumed by
the Empire of Ergoth and commanded their egos and lack of vision.
scribes to pen the History of the World. Although the History of the World
Five years later, as his armies pressed ends with the beginning of this period,
into the southern lands where the the lconochronos and recent Ergothian
remaining free human tribes had banded history texts provide further details.
together under the woman warrior
known as Kharolis, Ackal Ergot fell down Ergoth Rising
a flight of stairs in the newly completed In 2480PC, the warlord Ackal Dermount
Golden Palace and died. (The History of claimed the throne. He had long con-
the World claims he was pushed by assas- sidered war-internal and external—
sins, but the Iconochronos implies that the detrimental to the empire’s welfare.
self-made emperor tripped on his own Upon destroying the last of his oppo-
cape while in a drunken stupor.) nents, Emperor Ackal IV set aside the
sword of Ergot and began trade with the
Growing Pains Silvanesti elves in the east and the fledg-
For the next century, the empire ling kender nation of Hylo in the north.
teetered on the brink of disaster. Ackal’s Peace reigned for more than one hur-
sons proved stupid, petty, and self-cen- dred years, throughout the rule of Ackal
tered. One by one, they ascended to the IV and his successors Ackal V and Ackal
throne and assassinated each other. VI. Humans and elves intermarried, and
(For example, the only official act taken the first half-elves became assimilated
by Ackal II before his death was to into the empire. Humans and dwarves
require imperial permission to explore also intermarried. However, historians
ogre ruins; see the thief guilds sidebar indicate that, unlike half-elves, who
on page 12.) The last of Ergot’s sons seemed a product of the best that the
was assassinated by his own daughter human and elf races had to offer, the off-
when he tried to make slaves of all who spring of human and dwarf unions were
dwelled west of the southern Sentinel ugly, simpleminded creatures fit for little
Mountains. (He planned to set them to more than removing garbage or cleaning
work carving the tallest peak into his stables. New laws forbade dwarf–
own likeness.) When the young woman human interbreeding and marriages,
attempted to claim the throne, she was and the unfortunate products of these
slain by angry priests and warriors unions-called “dirt eaters,” “muckers,”
who, thanks to their experience with or “dump men”—found themselves
Kharolis in the south, believed that cast out of Ergothian settlements. Most
female rulers could only lead the historians consider these creatures the
empire to ruin. first gully dwarves (or Aghar, as they
With the end of the Ergot line, the have christened themselves).
Quivalin line ascended to the throne Ackal Dermount’s grandson, Ackal
and proceeded to rule ineffectively. For VII, ascended to the throne in 2240pc.
the next several decades Ergothian war- In 2200pc he declared Hylo a vassal
lords fought among themselves, each state of Ergoth. During the reign of
60 Chapter Four
Ackal VII, stories of human—kender his people to begin mining in the
marriages are common (including a Kharolis Mountains near Thorbardin.
few involving the emperor supposedly A border dispute arose: The dwarves
having a kender wife). However, most claimed the mountains as their terri-
serious historians consider these tory, while the governor, backed by
merely tales of political satire spawned Imperial Court, held that they had
by the fact that the emperor never quite claim on the mountains. After all,
got the kender to understand the con- Thorbardin had been built only thanks
cept of paying taxes and providing to the empire’s generosity in permitting
troops for the Ergothian army. Tax col- the dwarves access to their mountains.
lectors in Hylo had to contend with By 2128pc, negotiations had ended.
carved wooden figurines and polished The dwarves ceased trading with
rocks, while military officers found Ergoth and began harassing the miners,
themselves commanding bands of as well as caravans heading to western
kender ready to go explore the empire. Silvanesti. When Quivalin VI assumed
the throne in 2120pc, skirmishes
Troubled Times between dwarf warriors and Ergothian
The reign of Ackal VII is marked by border patrols were the order of the
increasing tension among humans, day. With Quivalin VII’s ascension at
elves, and dwarves. After his death, the the age of thirteen in 2075pc, a full-
young Emperor Quivalin V ascended to blown war raged in the Kharolis Moun-
the throne—Ackal’s wife was barren, so tains, with the settlers in western
he had named a member of the Quiv- Silvanesti caught in the middle.
alin line his successor. Three months Young Quivalin VII summoned
later, rising racial tensions exploded Kith-Kanan to Daltigoth, and the elf
when human hunters accidentally slew leader set about negotiating a truce
the Silvanesti ruler, Sithel. between the warring factions, just as he
Suspecting the death was no acci- had for the emperor’s grandfather. In
dent, Sithel’s older son, Sithas, declared 2073pc, Kith-Kanan engineered a peace
war on Ergoth. This campaign, dubbed treaty between elves, dwarves, and
the Kinslayer War by historians, lasted Ergoth. His new elf nation of Qua-
more than fifty years. The legendary linesti would serve as a buffer state
unaging wizard General Giarna com- between Ergoth and Thorbardin. The
manded the empire’s legions, while humans stopped mining the Kharolis
Kith-Kanan, twin brother of Sithas, led Mountains and the dwarves lifted their
the elf armies. ban on trade. Further, the dwarves
Only the first five years of the war forged a replica of the Hammer of
saw any loss or gain of territory; the Reorx and presented it to the Ergoth-
rest devolved into a long, bloody stale- ian emperor as a peace offering.
mate. The final battle of the war During peace negotiations, the wise
claimed the life of Giarna, the human young ruler made a show of breaking
wife and half-elf children of Kith- with the past by changing his name;
Kanan, and thousands upon thousands thereafter, emperors of his line would
of elves and humans. Kith-Kanan nego- be called “Quevalin.” He also began a
tiated a truce with Emperor Quivalin V. tradition of passing the gift of the
Soon after, western Silvanesti declared dwarven hammer from nation to
its independence, becoming a land nation on an annual basis, to reinforce
where elves, half-elves, and humans the spirit of the treaty known as the
could live together in peace. Swordsheath Scroll.
In the years following the Kinslayer
War, the empire found itself at odds Golden Years
with its dwarf neighbors. The governor With Quevalin VII’s reign, the empire
of the southeastern province authorized entered a cultural golden age. All the
Northern Ergoth 6I
classic forms of Ergothian song, music, brother, the brother’s son, a male cousin
and poetry appeared in their early or nephew, and then to any other male
stages between 2080pc and 1900pc. blood relative. Quevalin XI sought to
Quevalin VII took steps to encourage require that the emperor also belong to
and preserve the performing arts by the brotherhood of wizards before he
founding the Bard College of Lancton. could take the throne.
His son, Quevalin VIII, established the This attempt not only frightened
Imperial University in Gwynned and potential Quevalin heirs with no talent
also began assembling a large library of for the arcane arts, it also disturbed
literature and history from all the races and angered warlords and nobles who
of the world. For the first time, an suspected that the emperor ultimately
emperor encouraged sanctioned loot- hoped to elevate sorcerers to an elite
ers to retrieve something other than status above all others in the empire. In
gold from ogre ruins. At the time of his 1900PC, General Macqui Hellman,
death in 1997pc, Quevalin VIII worked commander of the Imperial Guard, led
personally to translate ogre texts into a military coup that ended the Que-
Ergot. Sadly, his work, as well as the valin dynasty and placed him on the
original ogre tablets, has been lost. throne. Depending on which text one
Ergothians remember Quevalin IX chooses to believe, Macqui Hellmann
as the emperor who created the Senate, was either a patriot who believed he
a body to which nobles and wealthy cit- was doing the best thing for his coun-
izens from across the empire could try or a sadistic madman whose hunger
elect representatives. The Senate’s pri- for power and personal glory set the
mary duties involved advising the empire on the road to ruin.
emperor, supervising the army, funding
large construction projects, and ensur- Sundering of Empire
ing that capable and fair governors Either way, Hellmann’s coup marked
ruled in the many provinces of Ergoth. the end of just rulership in the empire.
Some of the light of this golden age The usurper became the first in a line of
shone on Ergoth’s neighbors as well. brutal, exploitive emperors, most of
Dwarven and elven culture prospered whom appear to have been driven from
during these years, and in 2000PC, Kith- their thrones by assassins or court
Kanan urged further steps to reinforce intrigue. Taxes grew ever more unrea-
the idea of peace in the minds of gener- sonable, as petty tyrant after petty
ations to come. Dwarves, humans, and tyrant built elaborate monuments to
elves came together to build the fortress himself and increasingly corrupt
of Pax Tharkas (an elven name that regional governors lined their deepen-
means “peace among friends”). Kith- ing pockets. The throne exploited the
Kanan and Quevalin X both died dur- resources and riches of the northern
ing the monument’s construction, and and eastern provinces. The laws against
both were laid to rest in secret tombs looting ogre rums without imperial
within the mighty fortress. permission grew even harsher: anyone
Quevalin XI took the throne in caught near an ogre city without the
I905pc, five years before the comple- proper papers would be killed on sight.
tion of Pax Tharkas. A wizard of the Throughout the reign of Hell-
White Robes, this emperor began ambi- mann’s successors, the Quisling emper-
tious expansion projects of Daltigoth’s ors, small rebellions arose in the north.
Tower of High Sorcery and of the The Quislings were also known to dis-
library his great-grandfather had built. regard the Swordsheath Scroll when it
He also attempted to alter the line of served their purposes. Imperial legions
succession. For centuries, the throne swiftly crushed all resistance, however.
had passed from father to son and, in During this time, the thief guilds grew
the case of a childless emperor, to a stronger and more powerful in most

62 Chapter Four
Ergothian cities, struggling to break the swords they hardly knew how to Use
empire’s ever-tightening grip on the In an effort to avoid an endles
throat of its people. of massacres, Solamnus visited the
In 1812PC, Emperor Emann Quis- rebel headquarters at Vingaard Keep
ling appointed the distinguished and under flag of truce. There he learned
skilled commander Vinas Solamnus to the truth: The empire had provoked
position of praetor, the highest military the Vingaard Uprising and the other
office in the empire. From the moment recent revolts through repressive
he saved the emperor from assassina- treatment of its citizens.
tion on his wedding day, Solamnus had In a period that historians refer to
earned the respect of both the empire’s as The Year of Waiting,” Solamnus
military and political leaders. However, reviewed the details of the peasants’
he had a reputation of being somewhat cause, all the while doing what he
naive when it came to politics. Quisling could to ease their plight. He did his
hoped to manipulate Solamnus and best to stall the emperor’s inquiries of
control those who admired him. progress and diverted the attentions of
Solamnus served Quisling loyally couriers from Daltigoth who came to
for eleven years. His most notable check on his status. However, in
achievements during this time include: 1798pc, Solamnus learned that the
Leading the force that in 1808PC emperor had refused his request for
destroyed a band of half-elf cut- permanent assignment to Vinggaarad
throats that had been attacking and and planned to send his grand-nephew
looting caravans around Caergoth; to take over the post. The time had
Risking life and limb when, in come to act. In a stirring speech, the
1804Pc, crazed priests of Takhisis praetor announced his intention to
abducted Quisling’s sister. With the lead the rebellion against the empire
aid of a band of adventurers (includ- and inspired most of his army to do
ing a mage named Fistandantilus), the same. Those who would not join
Solamnus saved the royal lady from him, he allowed to leave.
being thrown into Raekel’s Pit to The provinces of northern Ergoth
complete some dark ritual (the pit is rallied to Solamnus’s banner, and the
described in “Sikk’et Hul Province”). peasants trained in the ways of soldier
ing. Nonetheless, Solamnus knew his
However, in 1801PC, events were set in forces were not ready to take on the
motion that would forever turn Solam- imperial legions that would be sent to
nus away from the empire he had relieve him of command once his for
devoted his life to defend. mer followers told the emperor of the
The peasant revolts that came to be events at Vingaard. Rather than rush
known as the Solanthian Troubles took forward with poorly traioned troops,
place in the empire’s northeastern Solamnus's army fought to keep the
provinces surrounding Vingaard and legions from gaining too much strength
Solanthus in the spring of 1801PC. in the north, while the peasant forces
Local outpost commanders could not grew in size and competence.
contain the rebels, so Solamnus was By early 1794PC, Solamnus declared
sent with a large body of troops to his forces ready to go on the offensive.
quell the rebellion personally. For three years, they fought in north-
The insurrectionists and their ern Ergoth, primarily on the plains
peasant army were no match for a between Vingaard and Thelgaard.
skilled commander like Solamnus, so None of the emperor’s commanders
initial victories came swiftly—yet they had Solamnus’s command of tactics.
yielded no results. Solamnus’s army sense of purpose, or skill in oratory.
slaughtered hundreds of peasants, Historians estimate that Solamnus
armed with pitchforks and stolen caused as many legions to join his

Northern Ergoth 63
“Rose Rebellion” as he defeated on the A New Era
battlefields. Even troops from other Ergoth’s time as the dominant nation
Swordsheath nations joined his army. of the world had come to an end. As
In 1792pc, Vinas Solamnus’s Sword- the new realms in the north and east
sheath Army marched on Daltigoth. grew strong and prospered, Ergoth
With skill and daring, he evaded or foundered under a string of incompe-
defeated Ergoth’s remaining legions. As tent, corrupt, and even insane emper-
winter was about to set in, he laid siege to ors. The thief guilds began to emerge as
the imperial capital itself. However, a foul a major force in many Ergothian cities.
trick lured Solamnus into the city and, By 1480pc, the nation of Solamnia had
victim of a ruse, he accidentally killed the replaced Ergoth as Ansalon’s major
empress. He was captured and sentenced military power, while Istar, a dynamic
to die in midwinter. However, on the day union of city-states beyond the Khalk-
of his hanging, local peasants loyal to ist Mountains, had become the center
Solamnus helped his army breach the of trade.
city walls, rescue the praetor, and take With increasing trade competition
the capital. Quisling fled. from Istar, Emperor Theolonius Lekaer
By early spring, Emperor Quisling II renewed the Swordsheath Scroll in
surrendered, agreeing to permit prov- an elaborate ceremony with the rulers
inces unhappy with imperial rule to of Qualinesti and Thorbardin in
forge their own nations. Many western 1234PC. The three nations prospered
provinces, close to Daltigoth, remained through trade and cultural exchanges
loyal to the empire. Most northeastern once again, and the Lekaers became the
provinces and Hylo asserted their inde- first dynasty since the fall of the Que-
pendence. The human nations declared valin line almost seven hundred years
Solamnus their lord, and he signed the prior. However, this relatively brief
Swordsheath Scroll on their behalf. period of prosperity came to an end

64 Chapter Four
when Ergoth became one of the pri- property. Ergoth, the mightiest nation
mary battlegrounds for the Third in Ansalon, will never be the slave of
Dragon War. merchants who want to be kings.”
In 1060PC, plots by the Dark Queen Lekaer’s words angered many of
came to fruition, and hundreds of Ansalon’s rulers, but a century later his
dragons filled the skies of Ansalon, rav- words appeared prophetic. In 850pc,
aging cities and sweeping smaller Istar began imposing and aggressively
realms from the map. Emperor Lekaer enforcing trade standards upon all
IV marshalled what forces he could, other realms. By 673pc, when Istar
but even Solamnia could not withstand attempted to gain exclusive control
the onslaught of the dragons. For four over trade lanes and key ports—
decades, the Evil wyrms wreaked havoc including many Silvanesti and Ergothian
upon the land. The faith of the Ergoth- cities-the trade capital began waging
ians in their emperor and in the gods open war against the empire and the elf
began to fade as nothing seemed able kingdom. Ergothian war galleys
to stop the dragons. attacked Istaran privateers and mer-
It was Lekaer IV and his primary chant vessels, while the elven fleet
magical adviser and instructor, Fistan- blockaded Istar’s harbor, preventing all
dantilus (an apprentice of Giarna from vessels from entering or leaving.
the Kinslayer War, well-versed in matters When Istar appealed to Solamnia for
of war as well as immortality) who aid, the militaristic realm convinced the
spurred the Orders of High Sorcery to signers of the Swordsheath Scroll to let
create mighty magical weapons to use Istar add its name. The mercantile
against the dragons. The wizards met at realm proceeded to sign additional
the Tower of High Sorcery in Palanthas treaties with the kender and dwarves.
and created the fabled Dragon Orbs. Increasingly over the next years, Istar
In the end, the war was won by a became the dictator of Swordsheath
single man: A young Solamnic Knight Scroll nations and policies. Soon every
named Huma Dragonbane personally realm in Ansalon had signed it and, by
confronted and defeated Takhisis, forc- the middle of the fourth century PC,
ing her to take her dragons from the the Swordsheath Scroll also had become
world once again. Although the records known as the Istaran Greatmeld. Ergoth
from most realms during this time are and Silvanesti were the only two nations
spotty or confused, most historians who had refused to join. Although the
agree that Huma’s legendary battle took Imperial Court maintained cordial rela-
place in 1018PC. tions with Istar, Ergoth traded only with
Silvanesti and Thorbardin.
The Road to Cataclysm In 280PC, however, even cordial
Ergoth was slow to rebuild after the relations ceased. That year, Istar
Third Dragon War. Other nations declared itself the moral center of the
eagerly accepted aid from the growing world and installed its first Kingpriest.
realm of Istar, but Lekaer V and his The move outraged Ergothian priests
successors forever hoped to return their and offended Emperor Gwynned II of
empire to the glory days it had once the dynasty that followed the Lekaer
known without any such charity. In emperors. He issued a proclamation
947pc, shortly after ascending to the that no one realm could be considered
throne, Lekaer VII wrote, “Istar comes the moral center of the world, since
with smiles and open purses. But under that center existed with the gods, not
her robes she hides poisoned daggers, with man. However, when Solamnia
which she will drive into the hearts of swiftly applauded the effort, Ergoth
those who will not accept her over- severed all relations with Istar.
tures. Such is not friendship, but the Over the next two centuries, Istar
relation of a would-be slavemaster to became more corrupt with power than

Northern Ergoth 65
the empire had been at its worst. Mili- had declared independence, like the
taristic Solamnia served as Istar’s pri- region that would become Ackal, even
mary fighting force, most of the rejoined the empire.
Knights believing the Kingpriest a Meanwhile, Istar declared wizardry
supreme agent of Good. Only Ergoth’s Evil and attempted to disband the
priests continued to speak out against Orders of High Sorcery. When the
the Kingpriest, and their voices were actions of the Kingpriest’s followers in
weakening: Istaran religion had taken Daltigoth resulted in the destruction of
hold even in Ergoth. People were shift- the Tower of High Sorcery there (and
ing away from the traditional view that the neighborhoods around it) in 19pc,
each individual enjoyed a personal local religious fervor rose to a fanatical
relationship with his god of choice, level. Gwynned VI fanned the fires. The
facilitated by priests. Instead, they corrupt ruler of Istar had declared war
began to see the Kingpriest of Istar as upon Ergoth, he said, and now Ergoth
the only true source of divine knowl- would strike back!
edge from gods too distant to worry Weakened by Solamnian and
about each individual on Krynn. Istaran trade sanctions, however, the
A succession of Kingpriests contin- empire’s “war” amounted to only a few
ued to pass increasingly harsh, restric- skirmishes at first. Meanwhile, the
tive edicts. With the Proclamation of Kingpriest in distant Istar proclaimed
Manifest Virtue in 118PC, Istar Emperor Gwynned VI an agent of Evil.
asserted its moral outlook upon all of However, increasing armed resistance
Ansalon with a list of “evils.” One of by goblins, minotaurs, elves, kender,
those evils was directed squarely at the and other races declared Evil by the
Emperor of Ergoth: “It is a sin to Proclamation of Manifest Virtue kept
adopt a title more grand than ‘king.’ Istar’s forces too busy in the East to act
Paladine is the Emperor of Dragons, on the pronouncement. Even the
and any who would adopt a similar Solamnic Knights began to feel disen-
title do belittle him.” chanted with Istar’s oppressive edicts.
Gwynned V issued a proclamation of Gradually, Gwynned VI built an
his own: The Istaran document held no army large enough to strike against
meaning to Ergothian citizens. In the Solamnia, and from there against Istar
empire, it stated, only the gods can truly itself. By 8PC, the border skirmishes had
judge virtue. Still, the Kingpriest contin- erupted into full-fledged warfare. By
ued to gain followers, even in Ergoth. 1PC, the Ergothian army had laid siege
Then, after almost a thousand years to Thelgaard and Solanthus in the
of ceaseless decline, Ergoth saw a rise in north, while combined human and
both cultural activity and religious fer- dwarf forces occupied Xak Tsaroth in
vor. In 39PC, the empire’s priests-of the south, preparing a push toward the
Good, Evil, and Neutral gods-received Khalkist Mountains.
visions that the mighty Istar would fall But then Gwynned VI died sud-
due to the corruption of the Kingpriest. denly while his son, Gwynned VII, was
They began speaking this prophecy, barely in his teens. This gentle soul
ignoring Istaran and Solamnian threats despised war and harbored deep-seated
to punish them for such heresy. Their superstitions. He also feared the power
sermons boosted national pride of the Kingpriest so, even as his armies
throughout the empire and filled the made ready to press toward victory,
temples like they hadn’t been since Gwynned VII ordered a halt.
Solamnia split from the empire. New Less than one month later, the Cata-
works of art centered not around clysm struck. Thousands of Ergothians
emperors and governors but instead died, including Gwynned VII and most
around the glorious achievements of of the imperial legions, as the empire
Ergoth’s people. Some provinces that was ripped from mainland Ansalon.
66 Chapter Four
Tidal waves swept across the plains not ravaged by the Great Dragons or
where Ergoth’s armies battled the the Knights of Takhisis. And with the
Solamnians, drowning troops and cities relocation of some scholars from the
in what became the Straits of Algoni Great Library and the university in
and the New Sea. Palanthas, the empire has regained
place as Ansalon’s cultural capital.
Post-Cataclysm Ergoth
The centuries after the Cataclysm saw Current Happenings
Ergoth finally die as an empire, though
the emperor remains. The current Redic Emperor Mercadior Redic VI (human
dynasty succeeded a series of petty adult male, kind demeanor, Champion)
despots who attempted to claim the works today to engineer Ergpth's rise
throne during the Shadow Years. These from the ashes.
rulers have tried valiantly to pull Ergoth
Politics
together as a nation, but the dragon-
Ergoth is ruled by a dynastic emperor.
armies, internal divisions (see the “Ackal
Province” section), and the presence of A Senate comprised of wealthy
ogres and other races on the islands that landowners, merchants, and nobles
once made up the empire have rendered advises him, but the emperor remains
their efforts fruitless. the ultimate authority in all matters—
During the War of the Lance, including appointing and dismissing
Emperor Mercadior Redic V lent most members of the thirty-nine-seat Senate.
Today Redic VI presides over an
of the empire’s standing army to the
assault on Neraka. Yet even that laud- Ergoth with a changing political face.
able effort did not bring the attention The Solamnic Knights that have relo-
of the world back to Ergoth. cated to Ergoth proper form a strong
Ergoth escaped the Summer of deterrent against Dark Knight invasion
Chaos and the Dragon Purge virtually attempts. However, rumors hold that
untouched. The strength and fierce Redic VI has tried to push Solamnic
pride of the Ergothians staved off Dark leaders on Sancrist to commit their
support to aggressive action as well.
Knight attacks in Ergoth proper, while
goblins repelled an attempted landing Redic VI also seeks to bring
by the Knights of Takhisis in the south- inces of Ackal and Sikk’et Hul more
ern province of Sikk’et Hul. firmly under his control. So far, the
Today, many Ergothians think their Knights have not stated whether they
current Emperor Redic VI has more or wish to involve themselves in such ven-
less handed the empire over to the tures, but they have appeared at more
Solamnians. They applaud the magnani- and more Senate meetings of late.
mous gesture of allowing refugees from One important semiofficial political
the Blue Dragon’s realm to settle in force in the empire is the thief guilds
Northern Ergoth’s hinterlands, and they (see sidebar on page 12). These soci-
know the influx of settlers has given the eties have emerged as guardians against
empire a much-needed population abuse of power in the hands of the rul-
boost. However, they find it disturbing ing class. The guilds don’t trust the
that the Knights of Solamnia, with their Solamnic Knights and fear that Redic
tradition of shortsightedness and siding VI’s desire to restore glory to the
with Ergoth’s enemies, now outnumber empire may cause him to cede too
imperial legions in military strength. much control of Ergoth’s destiny to
Nonetheless, most Ergothians feel them. In the past, thief guilds have
that the events of the last few decades moved against even emperors, and they
have set the stage for their empire’s stand poised to do so again if necessary.
return to Krynn’s center stage. Today,
Northern Ergoth remains the only land

Northern Ergoth 67
Today in Ergoth Ackal Province
Throughout Ergoth proper, rumors
abound of an imminent attack on the Most of Ansalon, having only the
unruly northern province of Ackal. empire’s word on the state of affairs in
Whispered conversations around Northern Ergoth, has no idea of the
Gwynned hold that spies, scouts, and separatist nature of Ackal province.
assassins have moved into Ackal on a This loose federation of barbarian
variety of missions. Redic VI’s minis- tribes long ago rejected Ergothian civi-
ters have increased the incentives to lization and returned to the ways of
explore the ogre ruins in the Sentinel
Mountains to search for treasure,
apparently seeking to use the empire’s
cut of any finds to fund a new venture.
On a more academic front, scholars
from Ergoth and Solamnia have com-
pared texts from each others’ libraries,
revealing little-known facts about the
conflicts between their nations, the ori- Ackal Ergot, seeking to regain the power
gin of Solamnia, and the founding of and glory he enjoyed at the dawn of his
the Solamnic orders. In fact, Gwynned empire. Each of the nine families that
tavern tales say that a pair of scholars— led the initial departure four hundred
a Solamnian named Strom Vintein and years ago gave its name to a tribe.
an Ergothian named Terras Fellician— Today, three tribes have left Northern
recently uncovered forgotten details Ergoth to settle elsewhere and two have
about Vinas Solamnus’s Quest of departed Ackal. The remaining tribes of
Honor, which led him to found his Brindal, Karthan, Tran, and Vakt look to
Knighthood. The Solamnian reportedly the leadership of their overchief rather
told a friend that what they had uncov- than any emperor and fiercely patrol
ered would change the way the world their province, killing any outsider who
viewed Solamnus and the Knighthood. violates their territory.
Before they could reveal any details,
however, they vanished with their notes Important Holdings
and reference books. Their mutilated Wild Ackal, in the northern region of the
bodies were dragged from Gwynned’s island, has no capital city. Instead, each of
harbor a few days later, but the books the province’s four major tribes takes a
and notes remain missing. small stronghold as its seat of power.
In the interest of maintaining These holdings consist of a keep belong-
peaceful relations between the Solamn- ing to the chief and a village built around
ian refugees and native Ergothians, the it which, in turn, is encircled by stone
Solamnic Grand Master and the walls and moats. These structures, built
Ergothian Praetor have offered a joint in the first and second centuries after the
bounty to learn who killed the scholars Cataclysm, have been scrupulously main-
and why. Gwynned’s Thieves’ Guild has tained by generations of Ackalites.
also issued a bounty—to recover the While the defenses of Ackal’s vil-
missing notes and books. They think lages remain as sound as the day they
these notes hold secrets so awful that were built, most of them could not
the Knights of Solamnia will do any- withstand a concerted assault using
thing to suppress them. Thus, if the magic or modern warfare techniques.
Thieves’ Guild can get that informa- (The one exception is Ker-Vakt, whose
tion, they can control the Solamnics. citizens continuously upgrade and
expand its defenses due to its position
on the border with Ergoth proper.)

68 Chapter Four
Noteworthy Settlements four hundred people. Before trader
Unlike most longstanding communities, from Saifhum more or less surrendered
the villages of Ackal have not grown Beacon to the Ackahtes, Ker-Brindal
over the years, instead ranging in size was one of two main staging areas for
from three hundred to eight hundred. pirate activity (Ker-Karthan being the
The population has remained more or other). These days, Ker-Brindal has
less constant for the past two centuries, become primarily an agricultural vi
thanks to a number of factors, such as: lage. Surrounding fields reach as far
Losing inhabitants who leave to inland as the ruins of Truth, and local
form new tribes; herdsmen tend their sheep and horses
The nation’s warlike nature; and on the plain between Ker-Brindal and
A high infant mortality rate, partic- Beacon. Ackalite mystics have learned
ularly among baby girls. to make the sandy soil more fertile
magically, allowing this region to sup-
Beacon. The most modern settle- ply food for the entire province. Sheep
ment in Ackal is Beacon, a lighthouse provide wool that traders barter to the
and fortified port built around 310AC kender of Hylo for wood.
by mariners from Saithum to reinforce The Brindal chief, Dal Quenalen
their ties with Ackal. (Saifhum was (human young adult male, determined
settled in part by seafaring Ackalites demeanor, Adventurer), assumed lead-
who left Ergoth to seek a home free of ership of his tribe only recently, follow-
imperial threat.) Although far more ing the death of his father in an
progressive than their prickly Ackalite unsuccessful attack on a merchant ship
cousins, the mariners try to nourish a bound for Gunthar. Dal feels very
bond between the two peoples. unsatisfied with his tribe’s current
The Saifhum settlers sought to use direction. He doesn’t believe his people
Beacon as a waystation near their should be rooting in the dirt or tend’
Solamnian trading partners, thus animals-they are warriors, and war-
allowing them to bypass river pirate riors take what they need from the
tariffs on the Vingaard. However, they weak. He tried to convince Overchief
quickly tired of the constant arguments Tambov Reknal to give his tribe control
with the Ackalites, who insisted on over Beacon’s lighthouse and port, so
applying their restrictive social codes to the Brindals can regain their former
Saithum’s women-many of whom warrior status. The overchief refuse
captained their own ships. the request, so Dal intends to challenge
Now, Beacon serves primarily as a him for his position next year.
staging point for Ackalite pirate activ- Ker-Tran. A tribe more than happy
ity, while the lighthouse-featuring a to leave the warrior’s life behind them is
light that, through the wonders of mag- the Tran—although without them, there
ical technology, cuts through even the could be no warfare. In the village of
thickest fog-serves as a reference Ker-Tran live the vast majority of Ackal’s
point for ship captains attempting to metalworkers and weaponsmiths. For
round the island’s north tip on the way countless generations-since well before
to the realm of Gunthar at night. the Cataclysm—Tran ancestors worked
While other settlements consist of a as master smiths. Before the rise of the
single tribe and chieftain, Beacon is Ackalites, they tended their forges in
home to about three hundred people Truth. However, when the lord of that
from various tribes, all of whom look city refused to bend to the fanatics, they
for leadership to Ackal’s overchief, made an example of the town by level-
Tambov Reknal (human elder male, vig- ing it. The Ackahtes shortly after the
ilant demeanor, Master). Cataclysm thought themselves unstop
Ker-Brindal. South of Beacon lies pable, since they could destroy a city
Ker-Brindal, a community of some produced the empire’s finest weapon

Northern Ergoth 69
never mind that most of its citizens were bloodthirsty buccaneer who leaves just
craftsmen and miners, not warriors. a single survivor on any ship he attacks,
The same holds true of Ker-Tran to help his reputation grow. He care-
today-it is a community of craftsmen, fully balances his tribe’s activities
who pass their art from father to son. among pirating, ship building, and
Other chieftains scoff at Chief Oklar (surprisingly) scholarly efforts to
Tran (human adult male, resolute improve ship-building techniques and
demeanor, Champion) and his tribes- further the science of navigation. While
men behind their backs for their con- he shares the Ackalite belief in attaining
sistent poor showing during festival glory by following the ways of Ackal
tournaments. However, the scoffing Ergot, Chief Nord doesn’t consider
goes only so far. Everyone remembers advancing the technologies of war con-
twenty years ago when, to earn respect trary to that philosophy.
or his people, Oklar’s father halted all Ker-Vakt. The settlement that sums
mining, let the forges lay idle, and up the Ackalite nature as perceived by
refused to mend armor. Other chiefs other Ergothians is Ker-Vakt. This mas-
launched an armed assault on Ker- sive fortress consists of a stone keep sur-
Tran, only to find the walls defended rounded by moats and earthen works
by a variety of built-in mechanical fraught with pit traps, archer positions
traps and defenses—not to mention by concealed by brambles, and false gates
he village’s men and boys, not as help- that lead to killing zones. Ackalite troops
less with weapons as other chieftains drill constantly on and around the
liked to think. When it mattered, they defensive structures, and large work
defended Ker-Tran and their honor crews consisting of slaves and convicted
with great skill and ferocity. criminals work constantly to expand the
Afterward, it was three months fortress and change trap locations. The
before Ker-Tran would mine ore or rotting bodies of spies, traitors, and Ack-
make or repair weapons for anyone but alite warriors who just couldn’t meet the
members of their own tribe. Other vil- commander’s high standards serve as
ages tried to use their own smiths, with grisly ornamentations, impaled on
less than stellar results. The fact that the wooden and metal spikes.
Tran tribe controlled the only unspent While Overchief Reknal resides in
nine in Ackal made matters even more Beacon, his son, Sorath (human adult
difficult. Tran’s father got the acknowl- male, inventive demeanor, Adventurer),
edgment he wanted, and the tribe went handles tribal concerns in Ker-Vakt.
back to work. Tran has continued in his Built in response to Castle Hillfal, this
father’s footsteps, and his people have fortress town provides a formidable
suffered no open disrespect. defense. Though not as impressive in
Ker-Karthan. Southeast of Ker-Tran appearance as the Solamnic citadels on
es coastal Ker-Karthan. In this sea bar- the mainland, it remains impenetrable—
barian village, the Ackalites build most as commanders who have attempted
of their ships. Locals trade weapons strikes against Ackal can attest. The Alu-
and small metal items for lumber from natal River, impassible on both banks,
kenderhome, then float the logs down forms another impressive barrier.
the Moon River to Serpent Bay, where
the community’s master ship builders Major Ruins
turn them into some of the finest and In addition to the ruins of the lost ogre
fastest sloops Ansalon has ever known. civilization that dot the Sentinel Moun-
Only the ships of Saifhum can outdis- tains are the remnants of human cities.
tance Ackalite sloops. Such a site, called Truth, lies in the
The chief of the Karthan tribe is northern tip of the range.
Sarkhem Nord (human middle-aged Before the first Cataclysm, this
male, brutal demeanor, Champion), a bustling city of fifteen thousand held a

70 Chapter Four
place of honor in the empire as a major According to legend, Ackal Ergot
religious center. Every one of Krynn’s became the first human to lay eyes on
gods had a temple here, whether the the city since the ancient humans shed
government officially endorsed the reli- their ogre bonds. While exploring, he
gion or not. Further, Truth housed came upon an immense stone that
countless shrines to lesser entities, such pulsed with a reddish glow and gave off
as the nature spirits honored by some a faint sound not unlike a heartbeat. It
Kagonesti and barbarian tribes. At the is said that World’s Heart inspired a
empire’s zenith, Truth served as a rest- vision in the barbarian warrior that
ing stop for pilgrims on their way to encouraged him to embark upon the
World’s Heart. Only Daltigoth rivaled it path of empire building.
as a cultural center. World’s Heart sits in a large are-
All that ended with the Kingpriest’s nalike structure. The weatherworn
ill-fated attempt to command the gods. fragments of the arena’s dome lie scat-
The city’s priests all vanished on the eve tered about, yet the stone remains
of Istar’s destruction, one seer claiming untouched by wind and weather. Even
moments before she vanished: “The in winter, snow never falls upon it.
black Knight of the Rose has doomed Pilgrims used to journey to World’s
Istar, the empire, and even his own Heart in the hopes of receiving a
homeland. Draco Paladin chose ill when vision, as Ackal did. One must place
he put his trust in a man of Solamnia.” one’s hands upon the stone and clear
Truth escaped the Cataclysm one’s mind, they believed; visions will
unscathed, but fell a few short years come to the worthy. Unfortunately, this
later when a murderous army of Ack- tradition ended when the Ackalites
alites descended upon the city to loot destroyed Truth after the first Cata-
the temples and take revenge upon gods clysm. Now, World’s Heart serves as the
who had devastated the world. Histori- site for Ackalite council meetings and
ans estimate that the invaders merci- challenges to the overchief. Powerful
lessly slaughtered ten thousand men, mystics and warriors guard the site at
women, and children. Vengeful Ackalite all times, emerging from the ogre ruins
leaders had the fields sown with salt, to slay trespassing explorers, adventur-
and their shamans placed powerful ers, and seekers of knowledge.
curses upon each and every temple. World’s Heart does not seem affected
To this day, guards still patrol the by the departure of the gods or any other
city to drive off the occasional treasure madness of the events three decades ago.
seeker. Legend holds, however, that It continues to pulse rhythmically, and
Truth was the site of the return of the overchiefs of the modern age still
Manthus, the Ergothian god of war and claim it guides them with visions.
scholarship, after an adventurer recon- The Moon Steps. Ackal’s second
secrated the temple here in the early mystical site once held one of Ansalon’s
days of the War of the Lance. “celestial ladders” (the most famous
being the Silver Stair on Schallsea).
Mystic Places Essentially, celestial ladders are steps
Ackal boasts two confirmed mystic sites, that seem suspended in midair, wind-
both in the Sentinel Mountains. (Some ing around an invisible post up into
suspect that the ruins of Truth contain the sky. Purportedly, these mystical
at least one more, but this is uncertain.) conveyances would transport the wor-
World’s Heart. The best-known thies who climbed them to Godshome,
mystic place is World’s Heart. Located and those found lacking to the Abyss.
at the center of the remains of an ogre When the gods left Ansalon, the
city, on a plateau overlooking Truth, three moons that had hung in the night
World’s Heart has been a fabled site sky for millennia vanished. At the same
since the founding of the empire. moment, the Moon Steps collapsed,

Northern Ergoth 7I
tumbling down on the shrines devoted roots back to Ackal Ergot or some
to the gods of magic at their base. How- other hero of Ergoth’s glory days.
ever, after a visit there some years back, Ackal province and its people
representatives of the Citadel of Light embody all that is negative about the
say the ruined Moon Steps remain rife Ergothian mind-set. Since the first Cat-
with arcane energy. Even sorcerers find aclysm, they have engaged in violence
their magic much easier to use here, for its own sake and for conquest.
especially when the pale moon that However, they remain highly orga-
replaced the old ones is full. nized and exist within a rigid set of
laws and behavioral codes supposedly
Main Populace handed down from Ackal Ergot him-
The human barbarians of Ergoth’s self. These codes contain guidelines on
northernmost province are known as everything from how a woman should
Ackalites. Most have dark skin, black care for her man’s boots to the proper
hair, and brown eyes. way of dividing loot from raids. In
Like their neighbors in Ergoth truth, however, these laws only vaguely
proper, Ackalites speak Ergot. resemble ancient Ergothian legal codes.
Several varieties of bloodsports, sim-
Description ilar to those practiced in Ergoth proper,
enjoy popularity in Ackal as well.
Men of Ackal commonly dress in
leathers when not expecting battle.
Trade
When preparing for war or meeting to
The Ackalites consider raiding and
discuss tribal business, most wear
piracy the honorable way of sustaining
ornately filigreed or engraved leather
themselves. The only realm they trade
or scale armor. Men wear their hair
with regularly is Hylo. The tribes prac-
cropped close to the head and always
tice a strict barter system among their
carry at least one weapon.
towns, each of which specializes in a
Women wear loose-fitting cloth
different craft. This way of doing busi-
robes and veils in public. Tradition for-
ness suits the kender just fine. In par-
bids them to cut their hair, which they
ticular, the Ackalites trade a variety of
wear in dozens of braids arranged in
objects-which they plundered or
complex patterns.
crafted themselves—for the right to cut
lumber in northern Kenderhome.
Culture
Ackalite tribes have grown even more
History
patriarchal than the larger segment of
Ergothian society. Females are consid- In 8PC, Emperor Gwynned VI invaded
ered the property of their fathers until Solamnia, vassal state of reviled Istar. At
they bear a child-when they become the height of the campaign, however, the
the property of the baby’s father. The emperor died and his young successor,
single exception is the daughter of a Gwynned VII, ordered the legions to
man with no sons. This Ackalite daugl- halt. Not long after, the Cataclysm struck.
ter, raised to carry on the family line as The coincidence of these events led
a son would, may crew a ship, or prac- many Ergothians to believe the gods
tice a trade, or even join a war band. were punishing them for becoming soft.
Marriage is an unknown institution This notion led a vast segment of the
among the Ackalites, though extended surviving population to return to the
families hold great importance, partic- barbaric ways of Ackal Ergot, the violent
ularly when one of the frequent blood nomadic chief who had founded the
feuds erupt. Both men and women empire more than two thousand years
enjoy genealogical study as a pastime, earlier. Arming themselves, these folk
and most chiefs claim to trace their went on killing sprees, “conquering”

72 Chapter Four
neighboring villages, “vanquishing” northern bank of the Alunatal River,
unsuspecting travelers, and looting and freeing the towns they had enslaved and
pillaging everywhere they went. ending their reign of terror. After break-
Of course, these “Ackalites” bore no ing the tribes as an effective fighting
resemblance to their ancient forebears; force, Redic began rebuilding the freed
they became nothing more than vicious cities. He also ordered the construction
killers. Still, with each passing month, of Castle Hillfal, from which he could
their numbers swelled. By 30AC, a sec- personally watch over the Ackalites to
ond generation of Ackalites had come ensure that they would never again
of age, and all land north of the Der- threaten civilization.
mount River and Hylo had fallen to Today, the emperor allows the prov-
them. More interested in power and ince of Ackal to exist virtually as a sov-
wealth than wanton slaughter, these ereign realm. Every few years, Ergothian
younger warriors seemed closer in spirit troops make a show of force and the
to Ackal Ergot than their twisted par- imperial fleet blockades the harbors of
ents had been. They even defeated the Ker-Brindal and Ker-Karthan to remind
coastal city of Gulfport, which the pre- the wayward tribes that, like it or not,
vious generation had never been able to they remain a part of the empire.
do. With ships at their disposal, the
Ackalites set their sights on Gwynned Current Happenings
and the rest of the world, intending to Over the centuries, the Ackalites have
bring back the glory of Ergoth from the continued to cling to the belief that they
ashes of a world sundered by the gods. are what Ackal Ergot intended for his
The Ackalites might have succeeded if people. Ironically, as time has passed,
not for Baridor Redic, an aging warrior the tribes have drifted further from the
who would one day become emperor. traditions of their beloved ancestor than
Redic beat the Ackalites back to the most of them would like to admit.

Northern Ergoth 73
Politics Today in Ackal
Ackal is ruled by the Council of Chiefs. Overchief Reknal knows he will face chal-
Each chief rules his tribe for life, and lenges from several lesser chiefs when his
his word is law for his tribe and its term expires at next year’s solstice. Whis-
lands. The leader of the council, the pered rumors hold that, rather than wait
overchief, mediates disputes among the for the challenge at World’s Heart, he
tribes and may command all warriors uses covert violence to force would-be
when Ackal comes under attack. challengers back into line.
An overchief holds his title for three Each tribe traditionally provides the
years, after which time he must prove he overchief with a dozen men for annual
remains worthy of the honor. At the service in Beacon. Recently, Reknal has
summer solstice of the appointed year, ordered each tribe to provide half again
the overchief travels to World’s Heart as many additional warriors and has
along with tribal shamans and anyone begun massing ships. Troop comman-
wishing to contest his right to lead ders have been training the men harder
hem. The overchief fights each con- than usual, which makes the Imperial
tender in single combat to the death. Court in Gwynned increasingly con-
The victor of the day becomes overchief. cerned that the overchief plans to
While it may not seem fair that the launch an assault against Ergoth proper.
reigning overchief must fight several Another rumor holds that Chief
fresh opponents in short succession, the Nord of the Karthan tribe is not as
Ackalites believe their chief must be like interested in furthering the art of war
Ackal Ergot—able to fend off attacks at sea as he is in treasure seeking. Some
from all sides and still have the strength claim that he discovered references to a
to lead his people on to glory. An over- land west of Ansalon while investigat-
chief incapable of meeting this standard ing a little-known section of ogre ruins
would rather die in battle than permit his at the head of the Moon River. Suppos-
weakness to endanger all the tribes. edly, this land holds untold riches and
The present overchief. Tambov Nord wants to send his ships to raid it.
Reknal (human elder male, vigilant
demeanor, Master), comes from the Vakt Ogaral Province
tribe. His reputation for shrewd and
ruthless behavior has sparked rumors Like Ackal, Ogaral is a province that
that he has entertained emissaries from enjoys rather a “hands-off” policy from
the Dark Knights of Palanthas. Other the empire. Emperor Redic VI seems
reports indicate that Reknal seeks to more interested in assimilating
forge tighter alliances among the tribes of Solamnian refugees and trying to pre-
Ackal. Of course, either one of these cir- dict the Dark Knights’ next move than
cumstances would raise concerns in the in bringing the monster-ridden prov-
Imperial Court. However, the coinci- ince back under his firm control.
dence of the stories has imperial advisers
and generals agitating for swift, fierce
action to prevent Reknal from bringing
the horrors of the mainland to Ergoth.
For now, however, the emperor has
agreed merely to send representatives
to open discussions with Tambov Rek-
nal. The overchief graciously received Important Holdings
them, listened to their accounts of the In truth, Ogaral is hardly a province
emperor’s concerns, then sent them even in name. This tiny northeastern
back to Gwynned with not the faintest region just north of Hylo has no major
hint as to his long-term goals. cities. In fact, it contains no towns at all,

74 Chapter Four
nor mystic sites—just one prominent sounds of raspy voices raised in weird
ruin on the Isle of the Serpent and song float out over the sea.
some scattered settlements of trolls. Clearly, the trolls visit the island each
The only large structure in the entire month to perform some manner of rit-
province is an offshore tower—all that ual, but no one knows its purpose. Nei-
remains of Fort Ogaral, once the mighti- ther have observers discerned any
est citadel in the northern empire. The apparent result of this practice, but they
Cataclysm washed away most of the do note that the odd behavior seemed to
fortress, leaving only a single tower cling- begin only after the Second Cataclysm.
ing to a wave-battered, rocky island.
The rest of the province comprises a Culture
small tract of rocky high ground along Trolls generally don’t have a culture or
Northern Ergoth’s coast and some society outside their immediate pack, but
swampy territory along the east bank of somehow T’ragna has instilled within
the Moon River. Trolls make their homes these stupid creatures a basic sense of
in makeshift shelters. The broken bones honor and kinship. The two troll packs
of thousands of trollish dinners litter the now cooperate in patrolling and watch-
area around their dwellings, jutting from ing over their swampy little domain.
the ground like spikes. To approach these
Trade
settlements without injuring feet or
T’ragna has been known to foretell the
footwear, one must approach very
future or use sorcerous powers in
carefully—or wear hard boots.
exchange for slaves or rare gems. Dark
Main Populace Knights, Ackalites, and minotaurs who
have visited the naga over recent
Two distinct packs of trolls populate decades report that the creature seems
the province of Ogaral. None of the unerring in its prophecies. What
local folk speak a language other than T’ragna does with these people and
their native Troll. items is unknown, but some link their
The trolls’ effective ruler is a naga, a fate to the apparent increase in the
snakelike monster with a human head local trolls’ intelligence. The monster’s
and great intelligence and magical preferred slave stock includes dwarves,
powers (see Chapter Six of the Book of goblins, kender, and sea elves.
the Fifth Age). It purportedly dwells in
the ruin of Fort Ogaral’s one remaining History
tower. This creature, known as T’ragna
Prior to the first Cataclysm, Ogaral was a
to those outside the province, has the
marshy, bug-infested lowland. As it
following game characteristics:
proved impossible to move heavy cav-
T’ragna: A naga. Co 8, Ph 30, In 8,
alry or siege engines through this
Es 8, Dmg +7, Def —3, also spit
morass, imperial troops stationed at Fort
poison, sensitivity, necromancy,
Ogaral incorporated the terrain into
mediation, sorcery (divination,
their defenses—they basically fortified
transmutation, enchantment).
the entire region. The trolls, on the other
Description hand, were a local feature that the
Ergothian warriors did not find as useful
Most of the time, little of interest takes but could never completely exterminate.
place in Ogaral province. However, at When the Cataclysm created the
every full moon, all the trolls in both Straits of Algoni, much of Fort Ogaral
packs swim across the narrow channel sank under the new waters. The empire
from their homes to the ruined tower abandoned the province, and for cen-
on the Isle of the Serpent. There they turies neither the kender of Hylo to the
remain for three days, during which south nor the Ackalites to the north felt
time eerie howls and the haunting inclined to challenge the trolls or the

Northern Ergoth 75
mountains that hindered passage into However, the afflicted kender who now
the region. Explorers that finally ven- live in the area-far more belligerent
tured into the area in 5SC found them- and martial than Kenderhome’s tradi-
selves captured by trolls and taken to tional residents—talk of mounting an
the tower on the Isle of the Serpent. expedition at the next sign of raiders.
There they met the resident naga, who
warned them that any of the “lesser Politics
races” who attempted to settle the prov- T’ragna remains the undisputed lord of
ince or invade Ogaral’s tower would be Ogaral and the land’s troll inhabitants.
destroyed. Then the creature freed a Its existence is not widely known
prisoner to spread its message. beyond its foul slaver clientele and the
So far, the naga has made good on its folk of Northern Ergoth.
threat; many kender expeditions have Today in Ogaral
died at the hands of its servant trolls or
According to some minotaur sea cap-
through bizarre magical effects. The
tains, the naga has recently offered
trolls prosper in the small area.
greater payments for slaves, particularly
goblins and kender. Reportedly, it also
Current Happenings
has grown quite short-tempered over
During harsh summers, when the marsh the last few months. Slavers who have
along the Moon River begins to dry out, worked with T’ragna for many years
the trolls have been known to raid speculate that this may not be the same
kender farms near the Hylo border for creature they’ve dealt with in the past.
livestock. In the past, the kender usually The empire’s remote scouts report
just battled them back to their marsh, that the trolls also have seemed restless
heeding the naga’s orders to not trespass lately—as though they sense that some-
(enough kender had lost their lives that thing is about to happen.
way for the border folk to get the point).

76 Chapter Four
Sikk’ett Hul Province it to merchants from Saifhum.
Maniac. Both the capital and the
The Empire of Ergoth’s southern prov- heart of Sikk’et Hul, Manic contains siz-
ince, Sikk’et Hul, is an inhospitable able human and kender enclaves as well
region of badlands. Over the centuries, as its resident goblins. The province lord
the race of surprisingly civilized gob- dwells here in an opulent (by goblin
lins who live there have become part of standards) manor house down the street
life in Northern Ergoth. In fact, Sikk’et from the library that helped civilize local
Hul has a better relationship with the goblins after the first Cataclysm.
Imperial Court than either of the Knowledgeable adventurers traveling
empire’s other two provinces. to Northern Ergoth in search of ogre
treasure generally hire a goblin guide in
Manic before heading north into the
mountains. The sea barbarians of this
coastal city work both as traders and as
innkeepers. Visitors will find two types
of establishments in Sikk’et Hul: one for
those returning from a successful expe-
Important Holdings dition (and can afford virtually any
Sikk’et Hul boasts among its significant comfort or pleasure), and one for those
holdings three multi-ethnic settlements who either were unsuccessful or plan to
plus a scattering of ruins and mystic sites. embark upon a treasure hunt soon.
Ker-Manth. A barbarian village far-
Noteworthy Settlements ther north than the three goblin cities,
Residents of Sikk’et Hul built their Ker-Manth consists of about a dozen
major settlements on the abandoned families. These humans live much more
husks of human towns. The villages of peaceably than the Ackalites but trade in
Lusid and Depré each house three hun- items of war: They barter swords and
dred goblins and a small number of other metal items to the goblins of Depré
kender, while the province’s capital, for supplies of metal raw materials. A
Manic, is home to fifteen hundred gob- surplus of these swords go to Kender-
lins, one hundred kender, and a hand- home in exchange for food and wood.
ful of human sea barbarians.
Lusid. Citizens of Lusid on the south-
ern coast make their living from fishing Ergoth’s Gods
and farming. Unfortunately, fishing is
not as good as it used to be, thanks to Citizens of the Empire of Ergoth
the rough waters stirred up by the winds know Krynn’s vanished pantheon
off the coast of chilly Southern Ergoth. by different names than those the
Even more problems have sprung up for scribes in Palanthas use to refer to
Lusid’s fishermen of late, as Solamnian the deities. The chart below offers
settlers from Thonvil in Ergoth proper the Ergothian names for some of
have taken to harassing goblin boats. the major gods, and their better-
Depré. The folk of Depré focus known Solamnian equivalents:
their efforts on mining a cache in the
Solamnian Ergothian
southernmost tip of the Sentinel
Name Name
Mountains and forging the ore into
Chemosh Aeleth
strong alloys. The small tribe of human
Habbakuk The Blue Phoenix
barbarians living in Ker-Manth to the
Kiri-Jolith Corij
north trade for the metal, which they
Majere Manthus
use to make weapons. More of these
Sargonnas Argon
metals go to members of the sea bar-
Takhisis Dragon Queen
barian enclave in Manic, who then sell

Northern Ergoth 77
Major Ruins to the Abyss. All the while, the three
The ruined city of Fav, located between gods of Good combat the three gods
the southernmost arms of the Sentinel of Evil.
range, has lain in ruins since just The gods may have withdrawn from
before the Cataclysm. The local gob- Krynn in the Fifth Age, but Raekel’s Pit
lins’ one exploration effort ended when remains open. The shaft, two hundred
they discovered the gully dwarves who feet across, overflows with boiling mists
had claimed the ruins and found and howling shadows. Its location at
themselves quickly taken hostage. the crux of the southern arms of the
The gully dwarves remain the only Sentinel Mountains makes it fairly
known inhabitants of Fav. Enticing inaccessible to those outside Sikk’et
rumors persist to this day of the city’s Hul—and locals never go there.
fabulous treasures, their true value Since the Chaos War, stories have
unknown to Fav’s simple inhabitants. circulated that on the darkest, longest
night of each year, a ten-year-old child
Mystic Places crawls from Raekel’s Pit. The tales go
The province of Sikk’et Hul contains on to predict that when these children
two ancient and mysterious sites: one have all come of age, they will form a
long associated with the Dark Queen conclave of thirty-three mystics with
and her followers and the other a the power to complete the ritual Raekel
legacy of the lost huldre race. started so many centuries ago. If these
Raekel’s Pit. A terrible mark left stories are true, then only one more
upon Krynn by one of Takhisis’s most child will emerge from the pit. In
Evil priests, Raekel’s Pit continues in roughly ten years, that child will come
the Fifth Age to fester like an open sore. of age and join with his otherworldly
At some point after the Second kin to complete Raekel’s dark ritual.
Dragon War but before Ackal Ergot The Monolith. Another place where
conquered Daltigoth, legend has it that Sikk’et Hul natives never go (well,
a priest known as Raekel plotted except for the odd kender now and
against Ergot. Although he claimed to then) is the Monolith, on the west side
be a servant of Manthus the Mighty, of Huldre Bay. An ancient huldrefolk
Raekel in fact honored a triumvirate of site, the Monolith has reportedly emit-
Evil gods-the Dragon Queen; her con- ted strange lights and sounds, notice-
sort, Aeleth; and Argon, god of dark able even far from shore. More than
vengeance. These deities promised to one kender, after going to investigate,
give Ergot’s fledgling empire to Raekel has never been heard from again.
if he would perform rituals to grant
them ultimate power over Ansalon. Main Populace
Somehow, three gods of Good—
Sikk’et Hul’s diverse population includes
Manthus the Mighty, Corij the Blade,
goblins, kender, gully dwarves, and
and the Blue Phoenix-uncovered the
humans. Most residents speak Goblin,
plot and sent their own champion to
Kenderspeak, Gully Talk, or Ergot-and
oppose Raekel. The champion’s iden-
many speak more than one language.
tity varies from story to story: Some
cast Ackal Ergot in the role (the most
popular versions in the empire), while Description
others name the elf leader Silvanos or By goblin standards, the inhabitants of
even a lowly kender or gnome. Sikk’et Hul are remarkably civilized.
In all versions, however, the hero While still clannish scavengers lacking
arrives too late to stop Raekel from the creative spark to construct their
performing the sacrifices that begin own technologies, these goblins have
the ritual, but instead manages to overcome the short-sightedness and
throw him into the gap he has opened insatiable drive for conflict that histori-

78 Chapter Four
cally has made their mainland cousins someone with a weapon happens by.
into the pawns of Evil forces. The peaceful human barbarian resi-
dents of Sikk’et Hul keep to themselves.
Culture The kender living along the border
Uncharitable souls say the Sikk’et Hul between Sikk’et Hul and Kenderhome
goblins became docile after breeding also coexist peacefully with the goblins,
with gully dwarves and kender. The gob- although the afflicted kender of Hylo
lins themselves credit their early leaders cause some problems (see “Hylo”).
with their success as a society. These
goblin ancestors did something few Trade
other goblins had ever done: They read The goblins don’t really produce much
the works of literature and philosophy worth trading for. The metals refined
in the cities they looted. From the basis from the ore in the mines near Depré
of Pre Cataclius Ergothian philosophy— constitute the bulk of local trade goods.
mostly the teachings of the scholar- The goblins also let adventurers loot
monks who followed the Ergothian god the ogre ruins in the southern Sentinel
Manthus, the goblins learned organiza- Mountains (even without the empire’s
tion, industry, meditation, dream inter- permits), provided they take nothing
pretation, and the martial arts. that might be a book or other source of
Over the last four centuries, the information or instruction. A goblin
goblins of this province have built a “guide” always escorts these parties to
society that revolves around carefully make sure they adhere to the deal.
contemplating each idea before acting Groups that prove untrustworthy find
on it. This revolutionary development themselves facing not only the wrathful
arguably marks the first truly indepen- goblins, but also irritated kender and
dent goblin culture on Ansalon. angry human barbarians-the friend-
However, they still lack the imagina- and allies of these unusual folk.
tion to create their own tools, weapons,
and buildings. Repeated attempts all History
meet with failure—although they have
Goblin history is hard to recount fac-
managed to invent a selection of less-
tually. After all, goblins rarely write
than-effective weapons, such as razor
anything down (few can write at all
boomerangs and exploding mace heads.
so all scholars have to draw upon are
Still, bards from Lancton have
goblin oral histories and the histories
observed goblins in Sikk’et Hul per-
of other nations. The most likely his
forming ancient Ergothian tunes. At
tory of Sikk’et Hul follows.
first, the visitors winced at the singers’
squeaky voices, poor renditions of tradi-
Snagglefang and the Sentinel Treaty
tional arrangements, and out-of-tune
In issuing his Proclamation of Manifest
instruments. Then, slowly they realized
Virtue in 118PC, the Kingpriest unwit-
the instruments weren’t out of tune—
tingly encouraged a strange alliance.
the goblins had adapted them to better
For centuries, the Empire of Ergoth
suit their voices. Likewise, the goblins
had tried to exterminate the goblin
had created new arrangements to make
tribes of the Sentinel range. However,
the Ergothian work their own. Perhaps
the edict united these two factions
the next step is original goblin composi-
against a common enemy.
tions. Whatever the case, a unique gob-
Shortly after the proclamation,
lin culture is emerging in Sikk’et Hul.
famed goblin chieftain General Snag
The gully dwarves of ruined Fav live
glefang approached the Ergothian gar-
much like gully dwarves do anywhere
rison commander at Even and asked
else—in the dirt. They scavenge for food
him to carry a message to the emperor.
and clothing in the long-dead ruins,
The commander chased the goblin del-
hiding or groveling for mercy whenever

Northern Ergoth 79
egation back into the hills, but the and his delegation were nearly killed at
message nonetheless made its way to the gate), Deathwielder provided
the emperor. It was an offer of alliance Gwynned V with a breakdown of his
from several goblin tribes. After the troops, intelligence on the forces
members of the Imperial Court had a arrayed along the Solamnia—Hylo—
good laugh, they went back to plotting Ergoth border. Finally, he announced
the downfall of the Kingpriest. that he and his Sentinel Warriors stood
Meanwhile, Solamnia stood on the ready to do their part for the alliance.
empire’s doorstep, rattling sabers on While the diminutive creatures had
Istar’s behalf. Ergoth had more impor- simply amused Gwynned and his
tant things to worry about than the advisers up to that point, mention of
goblin raiders in the Sentinel range, so an alliance surprised the emperor. A
the emperor diverted those legions to search of imperial records uncovered
more constructive pursuits. Snaggle– Snagglefang’s original offer.
fang, however, assumed that the end of To Gwynned’s credit, he dismissed
the goblin hunts meant that the Empire the guards (waiting to slay the emis-
of Ergoth had accepted his proposal. He saries as soon as they ceased to be
immediately began preparing his tribes amusing) and ordered a scribe to put
for war against Solamnia. the “Sentinel Treaty” into a more
Modern historians know very little respectable format; while Snagglefang
about Snagglefang. He appears to have had been able to write-an unusual
been an unusual member of his species, trait for a goblin—he had managed
as he directed most of his efforts only a barely legible, childish scrawl.
toward the long-term survival of his’ Gwynned and Deathwielder each put
people rather than self-gratification their mark on the new document, mak-
and personal aggrandizement. One the- ing official a treaty the goblins had
ory states that the empire’s active hunt- adhered to for two generations.
ing of Ergoth’s goblins over a period of
centuries in fact produced a stronger Battle Begins
and smarter breed of goblin by killing The emperor then instructed Death-
the weaker members of the race. wielder to begin raiding the Solamnic
Snagglefang had spent years clawing line—enough to make the Knights’
his way to the top of the western goblins lives miserable, but not enough to make
and, in Ackal Ergot-like fashion, united them chase the goblins into the moun-
several tribes under him to form a small tains. Gwynned promised Deathwielder
kingdom in the Sentinel Mountains. that once he and his military advisers
Some historians speculate that he con- had formulated a solid battle plan, his
trolled these tribes by giving them legions would march north to help the
riches from a secret ogre ruin, known goblins smash the Knights.
only to him and his heirs, which made The goblins resumed their habits of
them wealthy beyond imagination. several centuries, focusing their raids
Others posit that Snagglefang somehow against Solamnic watch posts.
secured the services of fey creatures liv- Gwynned V, however, had no intention
ing near Raekel’s Pit and controlled the of sending an army to support them.
Sentinel goblins through their magic. But when the Tower of High Sorcery in
Snagglefang apparently passed his Daltigoth fell to the fanaticism of the
astounding leadership abilities on to Kingpriest’s Ergothian followers in
his son, Deathwielder, who assumed 19pc, Gwynned VI decided the time for
control of the tribes some time before all-out war with Istar and her allies had
38pc. This aging goblin contacted the come. Refusing to join Istar’s Great-
Imperial Court in the spring of that meld had made the empire weak,
year to discuss their alliance. though—Gwynned VI had to move
After sneaking into Daltigoth (he very carefully. Enter the goblins.

80 Chapter Four
While Senators and agitators wrong with the spell; it devastated
worked to stir up public opinion entire Fav valley, destroyed his own army
against Istar, Gwynned VI and his top almost to a man, and inflicted terrible
military advisers carefully conceived losses upon the Ergothian defender
their battle plans. Among the emperor’s Over the next few decades, it would
advisers was General Shadowstalker the become apparent that the spell had
Younger, Deathwielder’s grandson. somehow poisoned the land. Never again
Over the last fifty years, his people had would it be fertile south of the Sentinels.
gathered a great deal of information on While survivors assessed the dam
the evolution of Solamnic tactics, as well ages, the Cataclysm struck. At first, the
as their strengths and weaknesses—plus combatants thought it another spell, but
they had become familiar with the bor- when the extent of the devastation
der region. Diaries of high-ranking became clear, General Shadowstalker
Ergothian generals reveal that Shadow- recalled the words he had heard priests
stalker had earned their respect. of Manthus foretell when last he visited
Adapting the goblins’ tactics, the Daltigoth: The gods would destroy Istar
Ergothian legions began harassing for its sins. From what his scouts told
Solamnic border outposts. The results him, it seemed to Shadowstalker that the
so delighted Gwynned VI that he gods had destroyed a lot of other people
promised Shadowstalker the Younger in the process.
that when Istar fell he would reward Still, Shadowstalker felt an obliga-
the Sentinel goblins with a province as tion to report to his imperial comman-
their homeland. The territory in ques- ders. So, he gathered the remains of his
tion would one day become Sikk’et Hul. army and the survivors from Fav
When full war erupted in 8PC, the (reduced to smoking ruins by the wiz-
goblin troops were among the most ard’s magic) and marched toward
lethal on the northern frontier-so nearby Hillfort. There he discovered
lethal, in fact, that a Solamnic com- the soldiers had abandoned their post,
mander chose to violate the Ring- so he pushed on to Gwynned.
priest’s ban on magic and call upon the Amid the confusion at the death of
skills of a wizard. No one knows this heirless young Emperor Gwynned VI
spellcaster’s identity, but his mighty no one wanted to deal with the goblin
magic helped Solamnic troops push and his troops, so the praetor told him to
southwest to the city of Fav, even amid leave. Shadowstalker mentioned that
stalemates on all other fronts. Gwynned VI had promised that once
war was over the empire would reward
The Cataclysm his tribes with what was now the south-
In the year of Cataclysm, a Solamnic ern province of Northern Ergoth. Was
army stood poised to conquer Fav. The the war over? he asked. Just to get rid of
diary of a survivor indicates that this him, the military commander said yes
force encountered a combined army of So Shadowstalker departed to claim his
goblins, humans—many just common- land. Returning to the blasted southern
ers wielding clubs and pitchforks-and territory, the general sent scouts into the
kender who crossed the mountains mountains with a message: Their people
from the Hylo town of Thisway to help finally had a land to call their own.
defend the city. The ferocity of their
resistance worried the Solamnics, who The New Homeland
feared they might lose the battle. In the first years after the Cataclysm
Rather than face such disgrace, the the goblin land became known as
commander ordered his wizard to use his Sikk'et Hul (“The Place,” in a northern
most powerful magic to destroy the peasant dialect of Ergot). Goblins
enemies of Good. The spellcaster descended from the Sentinel Moun-
obeyed, but something must have gone tains and settled in the cities now

Northern Ergoth 8I
largely abandon by humans. The few dant food source, the overgrown preda-
remaining humans always fled at the tors made hunting very dangerous. In
sight of an approaching goblin horde. the winter, it was not uncommon for
In Lusid, Depré and Manic, the Manic to be menaced by giant wolves.
goblins found some artifacts of human Despite its proximity to these magi-
culture that the Catadlysm had left cally mutated animals, Manic grew into
intact. Most of the goblins heeded the Sikk’et Hul’s largest settlement. Fur-
words of Shadowstalker the Younger ther, it boasted farmable surrounding
(who got the idea from the kneder he land and a favorable coastal location
had fought with in the great battle): for easy trade with Kenderhome. These
Why destroy what you might use? factors cemented a relationship that
For more than twenty years, the gob- had begun at the Battle of Fav. The
lins lived peacefully in Sikk'et Hul. When kender helped the goblins build docks
they grew curious about the books they and even gave them a ship. Using books
found in their cities, the kender of Hylo they had found, the goblins attempted
taught them to read. From books, they to build more ships, but achieved suc-
learned to mine and slowly began to cess only with kender assistance.
conceive of a completely different kind In 89AC, Sikk’et Hul faced its first
of life than what they were used to. outside threat: A band of Ackalites
In 23AC as one of his last acts as attempted to invade the province from
Lord of Sikke'et Hul, Shadowstalker the sea. They sailed two war galleys into
organized a joint goblin–kender effort Manic’s harbor and stormed the city,
to restart the mines near Hillfort and but met with such fierce resistance that
Depré. While achieved great success they never made it out of town. The
with the Depré mines efforts at Hill- goblins claimed the war galleys and
fort failed immediately, as the fortress's have used them ever since, repairing
new imperial commander chased off them with wood from Hylo Forest.
the would-be miners. He and his men
pursued them as far east as Lusid at Settling In
which point the decided that having to Over the centuries that followed, Sikk’et
live in that wasteland was punishment Hul became a recognized part of North-
enough for the goblins, as long as they ern Ergoth. The goblins remained the
didn't try to plunder his mine again. best guides for travel in the Sentinel
The venerable Shadowstalker died range, and the cash-strapped post-
in the chase. After fending off chal- Cataclysm emperors found their coffers
lengas from tribal leaders, his son filled with ogre treasure-tithes from
Wolfkin assumed the leadership of the goblin province.
Sikk’et Hul. Wolfkin’s experience In 128AC, the goblins finally got
showed him that such obstacles forced around to exploring the still-smoldering
a ruler to prove himself wrothy to lead, ruins of Fav. To their amazement, they
so he declared the lord of the province found the city inhabited by Aghar. Where
would hereafter undergo these chal- they had come from, no one could say,
lenges in an annual event. With the but they clearly intended to stay. The first
help of tribal shamans, he laid down a group of goblin explorers were taken
set of guidelines to govern the contest. hostage by the gully dwarves, who issued
The primary threat to the fledging the following demands to Manic: “Two
goblin nation in these early years shoos, one pottatoe, two knifes, two gob-
emanated from the magic that had sat- lin wimmen, two pretty jems. If not here
rated the land. In the mountains in two days, goblins die.“
between Sikk’et Hul and Kenderhome The goblin Lord Slasher responded
lived wild animals that grew to two or to the ultimatum by leading two hun-
three times their normal size. While the dred of his warriors into the city. As the
giant game animals proved an abun- gully dwarves cowered, Slasher killed

82 Chapter Four
their king (the “Highfav”) as punish- aground in Ogaral. As the army tried
ment for the extortion attempt, then to march south through Hylo, the
demanded an annual tribute of two kender attacked and destroyed it.
hundred steel pieces in exchange for
letting the Aghar live in peace. The Summer of Chaos
To this day, Manic receives tribute During the Dark Knight invasion of
ranging from three steel pieces to five Ansalon not many years later, the gob-
thousand steel pieces annually; the lins of Sikk’et Hul returned the favor
amount depends upon how many and proved instrumental in preventing
forgotten caches the gully dwarves dis- the Knights of Takhisis from conquer-
cover within their city and whether the ing Northern Ergoth.
Highfav remembers to gather the When the ghost of the Tower (see
annual tribute. The Sikk’et Hul goblins, “Hylo”) alerted the kender that an
in typical ungoblinlike fashion, don’t invasion fleet approached, they sent
seem concerned about the amount of messengers to warn Ergoth proper and
coin they receive. the empire’s three provinces. The Ackal
In 340AC, Nerakan emissaries of fleet was engaged in raiding, and
Takhisis’s growing dragonarmies Ergoth’s forces had their hands full
arrived in Manic with greetings from with invaders swarming in from the
the Dark Queen and a request for the west. The kender had no vessels capable
province to devote itself to her cause. of defeating the dragon-prowed war
The ecstatic goblin shamans, who had galleys looming in the east. Only
continued to honor the goddess during Sikk’et Hul had a ready fleet.
her absence, prepared to whip the pop- Lord Fleshrender launched any-
ulation into a war-hungry frenzy— thing seaworthy in the direction of the
until Lord Sunchaser the Steadfast had the warships’ approach. Virtually every
them imprisoned within his Great Hall. combat-able goblin of Sikk’et Hul took
He then asked his council of advisers to the sea that day, as shown in the
for their opinions. All seemed in accord illustration on the next page. Sunset
on the issue: The gods almost destroyed over Northern Ergoth found the Dark
the world with their Cataclysm, then Knights and their galleys at the bottom
turned their back on it. If the gods want of the Straits of Algoni. The Knights
to fight, they can do so without Sikk’et made no further attempt at landings
Hul. And so, Sunchaser sent the goblin on the island’s east or south shores.
shamans to the emissaries’ ship with the
message that Sikk’et Hul and its citizens Current Happenings
would not fight in a war expressly
Although the goblins have earned the
geared toward the glory of a deity.
gratitude of the peoples of Northern
As all in Ansalon well know, the
Ergoth, the Age of Mortals continues
dragonarmies got along quite well
to pose new challenges for Sikk’et Hul.
without Sikk’et Hul and, had it not
The influx of refugees from Solam-
been for the actions of a brave few,
nia and Kendermore threatens the
Takhisis certainly would have tri-
southern province’s friendly relations
umphed. However, in 352AC, an expe-
with its neighbors: When the folk of
dition consisting of hobgoblins and
mainland Ansalon see a goblin, they
goblins (including some of the
see an enemy. To make matters worse,
shamans that Lord Sunchaser had dri-
recent goblin immigrants to Sikk’et
ven out twelve years earlier) set out for
Hul from the south too often prove
Manic to punish the goblins for not
them right. These savage goblins (by
heeding the Dark Queen’s call to arms.
local standards), forced from Southern
However, whether through Fate or
Ergoth by the White Dragon’s reshap-
divine intervention, a storm blew the
ing of the land into a glacier, cannot set
attacking fleet north, causing it to run

Northern Ergoth 83
aside a thousand years of ceaseless con- Politics
flict. The belligerent afflicted kender in Goblin and gully dwarf political struc-
Hylo, ironically believing all local gob- tures closely resemble each other. In
lins in league with the White Dragon, both cultures, the strong rule-this
frequently raid northeast Sikk’et Hul, element of life in Sikk’et Hul follows
while in the northwest, Solamnian set- the pattern of goblins elsewhere.
tlers unlawfully seize land to homestead. As with the Ackalites, the goblin and
The Lord of Sikk’et Hul has gully dwarf kings must withstand chal-
appealed to the Imperial Court and lenges from clan leaders who would
issued threats to the kender govern- replace them. Unlike the Ackal contes-
ment. However, the afflicted kender tants, however, combatants in Sikk’et
only grudgingly accept sovereignty Hul do not fight to the death. Instead,
claims from goblins (who, back in their those who would challenge the lord
homeland, serve Malys), and the must match him in tests of strength,
emperor seems unwilling or unable to endurance, swiftness, and-most
control the Solamnian squatters. importantly—wits; the goblins of
Already the goblins have threatened to Sikk’et Hul value intelligence and cun-
end their centuries-long tradition of ning as much as they value force. If
tithing ogre gold and steel. The next defeated, the lord steps aside, though he
step will be to attack any Solamnian can join the contest the following year.
who attempts to settle in Sikk’et Hul Naturally, goblin lordship contests
without permission. Such a state of are somewhat more serious than those
war already threatens in the northeast- conducted by the gully dwarves,
ern part of the province, where the although the humor in the Aghar chal-
afflicted kender have attacked goblin lenges is purely unintentional. Last year,
farms. at the urging of a visiting goblin, the
Highfav announced a wrestling match

84 Chapter Four
to decide the challenge: “Best two out of
three,” in the goblin’s words. Unfortu-
Hylo (Kenderhome)
nately, it took the combatants several In the Age of Mortals, Hylo's secondary
days to deduce the meaning of “three.” name, Kenderhome, seems more mean-
It perhaps goes without saying, but ingful than ever. The Red Dragon’s
in both the goblin and gully dwarf cul- destruction of Kendermore far to the
tures, contestants have been known to has brought thousands of kender
cheat by fighting dirty or utilizing mag- grants to this land in recent decades.
ical aid. In these cases, the victor still
receives the lordly title, but he rarely
manages to accomplish anything dur-
ing his tenure—other goblins are too
busy watching their backs to cooperate
with him on new projects. Although
such treacherous creatures would rise
straight to the top among the rest of
Ansalon’s goblins, in Sikk’et Hul they
usually resign at the end of their terms
without even attempting to answer Important Holdings
challenges. (Among the gully dwarves,
though, the strongest and most deceit- Hylo boasts both some of the oldest and
ful kings generally end up ruling the newest settlements in Northern Ergoth.
longest.) Ruins and supposedly mystic sites dot
the countryside—and stories of new
Today in Sokk’et Hul sites pop up with great frequency.
As tension grows from both inside and
out, Sikk’et Hul’s goblin leader, Lord Noteworthy Settlements
Chaosbane (goblin young adult male, Hylo residents live in quaint, pastoral
cunning demeanor, Adventurer), seeks villages and towns. These settlements
new ways to maintain relative indepen- look like collections of incomplete
dence for his province. He knows that dwellings; whether they live in a snug
war on Northern Ergoth would weaken little burrow or a spacious tree house,
all provinces and nations, making them kender love to rebuild and renovate.
vulnerable to attacks from the Knights Afflicted kender tend to construct
of Takhisis and the dragons. Goblin wooden palisades or stone walls around
ambassadors have visited Ackal, Hylo, their homes, while other kender rely on
Gwynned, and even New Winterholm hedges and gullies for defense. Twisting
and Fav. They carry messages of peace stairs and rope ladders link the rooftops
and urge the island’s leaders to come of buildings to each other and to the
together in understanding, lest their ground.
differences destroy them all. The local
cells and circles of the Legion of Steel Lemon
assist in these attempts to ease discord. Hylo’s northernmost settlement is the
At the same time, rumors hold that port town of Lemon, so named for an
Chaosbane has infiltrated the ranks of orchard of lemon trees that once stood
the goblin refugees—as well as those of in a valley that the Cataclysm turned
the natives fed up with human and into Lemon Bay. The town is home to
kender aggression—to identify their about two hundred true kender and
leaders. If he can’t convince them to three hundred afflicted kender. In addi-
stop agitating for war, he will eliminate tion to its harbor traffic, Lemon also
them permanently. has seen some major logging business
over the years; Ackalites and others buy
wood and miscellaneous goods here.

Northern Ergoth 85
The afflicted kender recently forti- mine for “pretty rocks” in the Sentinels.
fied the town and decided to charge Merchants who visit Ocean Town call its
import/export tariffs like human cities docks a wondrous sight—not for their
do. This move has caused strain splendor, but for the oddity of their
between Lemon and area merchants, as placement on a mountainside.
the tariffs keep changing. Another new
project is the construction of a new Safehold
warship in Lemon harbor; the afflicted Due south of Hidal stands Safehold, a
kender hero Nikki Firestopper (aflicted fortress town constructed by afflicted
kender adult female, roguish demeanor, kender. part cave complex, part
Champion) has hired a band of thinker immense tree house, Safehold sur-
gnomes to build the mighty vessel to rounds a portion of the Lookit River.
help Kenderhome defend itself at sea. Moats, hedges, and stone walls encircle
the town’s ten or so huge trees, each of
Hidal which holds a dozen tree houses and
Southeast of Lemon is the fortified many archer platforms built into its
town of Hidal, home to more than one boughs. Only the two hundred afflicted
hundred true kender and three times kender that dwell here know the safe
as many afflicted kender. These kender way past the defenses of their city.
find Hidal particularly attractive for its Needless to say, they don’t interact
location atop a steep hill rising from much with the rest of the realm.
the floor of a broad valley. Caves and
Legup
tunnels honeycomb the hillside—
ancient dwellings of huldrefolk, kender West of Safehold, pressed up against
historians like to claim. True kender the Sentinel range is Legup, a small vil-
find the caves a wonderful playground, lage inhabited largely by relatives and
while afflicted kender see them as shel- descendants of Kronin Thistleknot, a
ters from possible air attacks. hero of the War of the Lance. Built
around ancient ogre ruins, Legup is
Ocean Town one of the realm’s most splendid places
Inland from Hidal is one of Kender- to play hide-and-seek. It also guards
home’s strangest enclaves, the curiously Kenderhome’s only mountain pass into
named Ocean Town. The settlement, the Empire of Ergoth.
home to more than one hundred true The security-conscious afflicted
kender and only two dozen afflicted kender have tried to take control of
kender, clings to the side of a mountain Legup, but the town’s true kender resi-
right along the Ergothian border. dents here (who share Kronin’s legendary
Shortly after the first Cataclysm, a feistiness) fought them off. This rebuff
kender whose mind had been addled hurt the afflicted kender’s feelings: After
by shock and grief had a “vision” that all, they’d only had everyone’s best inter-
another tidal wave would wash away ests in mind. Of course, the true kender
the rest of Hylo, leaving only the felt bad about hurting their feelings, so
mountains. Frightened of more devas- they put their cousins from Kendermore
tation, many kender followed him into in charge of a nearby iron mine. Today,
the Sentinel Mountains, where they Legup—home to some sixty true kender
built Ocean Town. They labored with and as many afflicted kender-remains
amazing concentration for kender, and Hylo’s only settlement where the two
when they were done, they had built a subraces coexist without conflict.
small town with docks from which
they could launch fishing boats. Lookit
But the disaster never came. South along the Lookit River from Safe-
By 5AC, the kender began to abandon hold stands Hylo’s second oldest settle-
Ocean Town, though some remained to ment, Lookit. The town is built along

86 Chapter Four
the banks of the river, on the plateaus of tain the ghost is the famed wizard Mag-
a three-tiered waterfall that creates a ius, bound to the Tower by a curse that
complex series of rainbows visible all will be lifted only if someone brings him
the way from the center of the town. his famous staff. The ghost of the Tower
Many kender consider Lookit Falls has become an oracle for the kender,
the most beautiful place in all Hylo. As warning them of imminent disasters. For
testament to this fact, six hundred example, the spirit alerted them to the
kender live here. None of this number approach of the Dark Knights’ fleet dur-
are afflicted kender, however; they do ing the Summer of Chaos.
not consider the town easily defensible. Three hundred true kender live near
However, they visit the falls frequently— the Tower, protecting it from would-be
perhaps even more than others, for the looters while exploring and fingering
beauty helps dull the constant ache they the items within to their heart’s content.
feel over the loss of their homeland and
loved ones to the Red Dragon. Gobwatch and Thisway
Southeast of the Tower stands the
Hylo fortress of Gobwatch, a squat stone
Almost due east of Legup, at the end of building constructed by afflicted
the realm’s only road able to handle kender ostensibly to protect Hylo from
wagons and carts, lies Hylo. The kender invasion by the goblins-clearly agents
capital is home to twelve hundred true of the White Dragon seeking to expand
kender and roughly fifteen hundred of his realm. But rather than assume a
their afflicted cousins. defensive stance, the forty to eighty
Hylo was built around the flying afflicted kender living here have taken
citadel that brought the kender to this to launching pre-emptive strikes
northern forest three thousand years against the “enemy” to the south.
ago (see “History”). The citadel crashed The kender from the nearby village
into a steep hillside, making this area by of Thisway have tried to explain that the
far the most defensible spot in Kender- goblins of Sikk’et Hul are friends, but to
home-which explains why the afflicted no avail. In fact, Thisway’s residents
kender have settled here in great num- have gotten so annoyed by all the unrest
bers. True kender stay here more or less the Gobwatch fortress has caused that
out of the inertia of tradition. have begun to abandon their town and
The kender have overbuilt the build a new one on the far side of the
citadel to the point where it resembles pass, in Sikk’et Hul. About one hundred
the castle of a frothing madman. true kender still live in Thisway.
Homes exist within homes in this archi-
tect’s nightmare, and stairs and hallways Major Ruins
lead nowhere-or to hundred-foot The many ogre ruins along the Sentinel
drops. The many hidden tunnels and range in Kenderhome are assumed to
concealed arrow slits would allow the have been long since explored and
kender to turn the entire town into a looted by the exuberant kender and
tremendous, exceedingly deadly killing goblins. Of course, the kender seem
ground, should it ever face invasion. eager to visit the ruins over and over
again, just for fun. So far, no adventur-
The Tower
ers have visited one of the ruins with-
Across the bay from Hylo stands an
out running into kender explorers,
obsidian structure known simply as the
who cheerfully invite them to lunch.
Tower. A wide variety of kender tales
Hylo also contains a few ruined
revolve around this building, but they all
kender cities as well as ogre sites. Of
agree it houses the spirit of a powerful
course, many of them lie beneath the
sorcerer and the best friend Kenderhome
choppy waters of the Straits of Algoni,
has ever known. Some stories even main-
but the ancient town of Lost sprawls

Northern Ergoth 87
the length of a valley that still bears the guage, though visitors frequently hear
scars of a mighty magical battle. Ergot and Goblin spoken as well.
The original name of Lost has long
since vanished down the River of Time,
but kender legends still recount how
Description
the mighty Magius and two other sor- The foundation of kender society is the
cerers slew two ancient red dragons on family—usually consisting of close rela-
that site during the Third Dragon War. tives and two or three children. Some-
The trio had arrived too late to save the time around the age of twenty, kender
town, but they saw to it that those are possessed by an urge to see the world.
dragons would destroy no more. These youths travel for years, exploring
Kender occasionally visit the ruins of the mysteries of Krynn. Some kender
Lost, but they rarely stay long. The grim draw maps of their journeys, which
air of foreboding hanging over the become even more detailed and trust-
entire valley subdues even the irrepress- worthy after the kender have fiddled
ible kender spirit. Stories hold that the with them for years. Once the wander-
two red dragons’ spirits still linger lust subsides, the kender become rooted
somewhere in the ruins, unable to find to the land and raise their families.
their way to the Abyss and their Queen.
The living who visit Lost feel the despair Culture
and rage of these spirits, locals say.
The folk of Hylo are oblivious to matters
of ownership. If a kender needs some-
Mystic Places thing that another person is not using, he
Many kender tales focus on the mysti- innocently borrows the item and puts it
cal qualities of the rainbows of Lookit to use. Curious kender often pick up
Falls. For instance, gazing upon them objects for closer examination and, if dis-
supposedly causes the viewer to have tracted, may forget to put them back. But
visions of the past, present, and future kender do not steal—ask any of them.
that provide vast insight. However, While many human realms have
most mystics and scholars dismiss turned away from the gods in the thirty
these claims as flights of fancy-or years since the Second Cataclysm, true
perhaps kender “visionaries” were so kender continue to honor Bran the
awestruck by the beauty of the water- Songmaster (known as Branchala to
fall that they just forgot to breathe. other races) in weekly ceremonies in
Other apparently mystic places in wooded groves. The afflicted kender
Hylo Forest include certain rocky refuse to take part in such silliness,
groves where a mushroom unique to blaming the Songmaster—the highest
the realm grows. Once again, those who of gods in the kender pantheon-for
spend time in these groves reportedly not protecting them from the Red
experience visions of a supernatural Marauder. The Hylo kender and their
nature. Most, however, attribute these priests still believe they should honor
“visions” to eating the mushrooms. Bran, for while he no longer enables the
priests to perform miracles, the music
Main Populace he created for the world still remains.

Both true and afflicted kender dwell in Trade


Hylo—usually not altogether peace-
The craftsmen of Hylo produce exquis-
fully. Most visitors can tell the two
itely carved wooden objects that,
groups apart mainly by their attitudes,
together with ebony, wood, flint, and
though Hylo kender tend to wear their
raw gems, provide a thriving trade
hair short, unlike their Kendermore
with Ackal, Ergoth proper, and Gun-
kin. Kenderspeak is the national lan-
thar. The kender import metal and

88 Chapter Four
weapons from all three trading part- due the Khalkist tribes, by a kender
ners. They also import gram from the clan serving a group of wizards near
city-state of Caergoth. Balifor. Kender historians call the
Finally, Hylos kender have a long members of this clan “trusted advis-
tradition of working as “finders.” Their ers” while others believe they were
ability to locate missing persons and more likely slaves.
objects is renowned throughout Ansa- The wizards were building one of
lon. With the influx of dark-hearted the early Towers of High Sorcery,
kender from ravaged Kendermore, the intending to make it a citadel that
Hylo “finding” business has taken on a could fly through the air. Somehow,
vicious taint, in the form of afflicted the kender got trapped inside the
kender bounty hunters and assassins. structure, and in their efforts to find a
way out, they caused it to take flight. It
History traversed the continent and eventually
crashed in the foothills of the Sentinel
Kender scholars have always emphasized Mountains. The kender named their
the “story” part of “history,” rather than new land Hylo, because the citadel that
getting bogged down in boring things had brought them there was first high,
like “facts.” Of course, this attitude pre- then low, and in honor of the high
sents a unique problem for outsiders try- mountains and the low forestland.
ing to relay the history of Hylo. As local The kender lived here, undisturbed
sources are almost certainly unreliable, by humans, for almost two hundred
historians must decide which are true years. They spread throughout the for-
and which are just kender tall tales. est on both sides of the bay near their
crashed citadel. They named this body
Early Hylo the Bay of Monsters—not because it
Hylo Forest was settled in 2600pc, the held an unusual number of beasts, but
same time Ackal Ergot fought to sub- because they wished it did.

Northern Ergoth 89
Imperial Hylo home was a greater source of revenue for
imperial coffers than ever before.
During this early period of Hylo’s his-
In 1801PC, Hylo officially asserted its
tory, sgveral emperors looked toward
independence from the empire. Its resi-
the kender land intending conquest, but
dents had watched Vinas Solarrums’s
for some reason, none seemed able to.
rebellion with awe and (not realizing
In 2200pc, Emperor Ackal VII finally
that they had, in effect, done the exact
annexed Hylo, officially renaming it
same thing a decade earlier) declared
Kenderhome in all imperial documents.
that they too wanted independence.
Their inclusion in the empire intro-
The “Statement of Rebellion” that
duced the kender to concepts such as
arrived from Hylo as the eastern prov-
taxes and forced conscriptions. How-
inces were completing their secession
ever, they never minded sharing their
bewildered imperial bureaucrats, since
food and goods with all the interesting
the empire had considered Kenderhome
new people in their land. In addition,
an independent territory for ten years.
they looked forward to meeting excit-
ing new people in faraway places as
art of the imperial legions. Free Hylo
Throughout the Age of Dreams, the In 1634pc, Kenderhome found itself at
increasingly brutal nature of the Empire odds with Solamnia. The kender had
of Ergoth went unnoticed by most long admired the Solamnic Knights,
kender. In fact, Ackal VII remains some- due to their “fancy armor” and “neat
thing of a legend in Hylo. According to ways of doing stuff with swords.” How-
the kender, they taught the empire how ever, as the kender did not hail from
to wage war, and in return, Ackal VII Solamnia and could not meet the
saw to it that they traveled to all kinds of Order’s strict behavioral codes, the
new places. Naturally, the kender think Knights would not admit them.
they got the better end of the deal. So the kender started their own
It’s not until 1886PC that the kender knightly order, the Knights of Balif,
grew disenchanted with Ergoth. Too named for a kender historic figure. The
many tax collectors arrived in Hylo with Solamnic Grand Master at the time, Gre-
violent and negative attitudes, and the gori uth Telan, hailed from the province
military commanders no longer treated of Lemish and was unfamiliar with the
the kender with the respect they felt they kender and their ways. He considered
deserved. So the kender told the imperial their action an attempt to belittle the
governor (who hardly left his palace and Solamnic Order, so he sent emissaries to
ever let them inside) that they no Hylo requesting that the kender stop
longer had any use for him and his their mockery. Instead of complying, the
humorless troopers and tax collectors. kender offered the Knights a chance to
The governor responded by executing join the Order of the Acorn. Grand
he kender delegation and hanging their Master Gregori ordered an invasion of
bodies from his palace wall. Kenderhome, against the recommenda-
After a brief period of shock, all of tion of his advisers.
Hylo rose up in rebellion and waged a The confused kender watched as
fierce guerrilla war against the Ergothian columns of Knights marched into Hylo
occupation force. Their battles lasted and surrounded the citadel at the city’s
until 1810PC, when Emperor Emann heart. The siege lasted roughly three
Quisling decided Kenderhome wasn’t weeks, although the kender never actu-
worth the trouble it cost him to main- ally realized their town was besieged.
tain troops there and withdrew to his Instead, they swarmed around the
own borders. Once the Ergothian troops “enemy camp,” heaping admiration
had left Hylo Forest, the kender resumed upon the Knights and relieving them of
trade with the empire. Soon Kender- many interesting objects.

90 Chapter Four
Eventually, the commander of the Twilight Before Cataclysm
force attempted to explain to the kender
Historians noted that around 350PC
what the Grand Master found offensive
kender in Hylo began worshipping
about the Knights of Balif. The kind-
deities other than Branchala and Reorx,
hearted kender realized they had “hurt
their race’s traditional gods. These new
the Grand Master’s feelings,” and so
kender priests and followers of Pala-
they disbanded their knighthood, which
dine, Mishakal, and other gods arose
was beginning to bore them anyway.
due to the influence of Istaran mis-
The Solamnic force returned home
sionaries. By 150PC, however, kender
without a single life lost.
interest in these new gods had waned,
The Third Dragon War was far
as the missionaries made it increas-
more bloody, however. The kender had
ingly difficult for them to stomach reli-
managed to gather roughly a dozen of
gion: The Istarans insisted on ever
the dragon eggs Thoradin’s dwarves
more rigid ways of honoring the gods,
had mistaken for gems. Most of these
and ever higher tithes to the Kingpriest.
wound up in underpopulated areas,
The Istaran presence in Hylo ended
but three had been taken to the citadel
once and for all in 123PC, when a visit-
at the center of Hylo.
ing priest flogged kender leader Tickle-
When these three eggs hatched, the
foot Sunflower for declaring himself
kender tried keeping the dragons-a
the Kingpriest of Kenderhome. A
blue and two greens—as pets. The
devout follower of Mishakal and a
arrangement lasted for about a century,
powerful priest in his own right, the
after which time the two young green
kender (like the founders of the
dragons went berserk. They laid waste
Knights of Balif in centuries past) did
to part of the citadel and a good por-
not understand the offense he had
tion of town, killing hundreds before
caused. He did understand that he had
they were themselves slam. Exactly
been attacked. In response, he ordered
what happened to the blue dragon is
every Istaran priest driven from Hylo
unknown, but kender histories tell that
Forest, declaring they obviously were
the creature rose up to defend Hylo
not the holy men they claimed to be.
during the Third Dragon War, saving it
The Istaran priests went to the High
from destruction in an attack in
Clerist’s Tower and asked the Solamnic
1030PC. In an ending uncharacteristic
Knights to invade Hylo, to avenge their
of kender history, the dragon’s story
honor and set the heathen kender in
concludes with his death in 1019PC at
their place. Records show that the High
the hands of Solamnic Knights, who
Clerist and High Warrior guaranteed
failed to realize he was friendly.
the priests that they would launch an
The possible death of their pet
attack as soon as winter ended. How-
dragon aside, the kender appreciated
ever, when the time came, they neither
Solamnia’s aid during the war. By
mustered an army nor conducted any
1000PC, that gratitude had manifested
punitive raids or invasion.
itself as a formal alliance between
In 118PC, Istar issued the Proclama-
Solamnia and Kenderhome. While
tion of Manifest Virtue, which declared
some assert that only the kender actu-
the kender, among other races, inher-
ally benefited from this alliance, the
ently Evil. By 115PC, Solamnia had an
point is arguable. For instance, about
army arrayed on Hylo’s eastern border.
that same time, Palanthas was emerging
However, despite repeated insistence
as a major port, its fleet of merchant
from Istar, the army never invaded.
vessels and warships built with Kender-
A variety of songs and stories from
home’s wood. With the alliance in place,
this time detail how the Knights and
the production of ships doubled in
kender would gather on the border
speed and, by 900PC, the Palanthian
during holidays, get drunk, and com-
fleet was second only to Istar’s.

Northern Ergoth 9I
miserate about the nonsense issuing The Shadow Years
from Istar. Other tales tell of attempted The Cataclysm devastated Hylo more
invasions repelled by brave kender.
than just physically—it scarred the
Records discovered in the High
kender emotionally as well. They could
Clerist’s Tower after the War of the not figure out why the gods had pun-
Lance reveal that no high-ranking ished them along with Istar. For the first
Knight really believed the kender Evil. century after the rending of their land,
The biggest conflict along the Hylo— the kender seemed very subdued. In
Solamnia border occurred in 83PC, when addition to mourning their lost friends
an Istaran priest convinced a division and relatives, they became fanatically
commander to disobey his orders and religious. Their days and nights revolved
launch a direct strike at Hylo. Casualties
around making offerings at altars that
mounted on both sides but in the end,
sprang up all throughout the realm. They
the kender won the day. They took the
also defended their borders fiercely from
Istaran priest to Hylo, allowing surviving
the advances of violent Ackal in the
Knights to return to Solamnia in dis-
north, and the goblins in the south, fear-
grace. The priest was locked in a tower
ing it might have been their friendliness
high above the city where he had quite a
with the Solamnic army camped on their
view. “You can sit up there until you get
border that caused the gods to punish
tired of looking at Hylo,” said Sam Half-
them. Doomsday cults were also preva-
Finger, Mayor of Hylo, in passing judg-
lent among kender during this period.
ment, “or until we get tired of listening
Within three generations, however,
to you whine.” In 70PC, the Solamnic
the folk of Hylo had lost any personal
High Justice finally managed to negoti-
connection with the tragedy of the Cat-
ate for the priest’s release.
aclysm. By 250AC, the typical, happy-
As Kenderhome’s relationship with
go-lucky kender was once again
Solamnia deteriorated due to Istar’s
sticking his nose where it didn’t belong.
influence, relations with Ergoth
improved. The kender’s unwillingness
The War of the Lance
to allow Solamnia access to their forest
permitted Ergothian loggers to harvest Isolated on their island, the playful
more wood. Additionally, the growing kender thrived in relative peace, forging
feeling among Ergothians that the gods relationships with the provinces of
would soon bring Istar low appealed to Ackal and Sikk’et Hul. Soon goblins
the kender. While they wished no one and kender were living peacefully on
ill, a good many tales from this time both sides of Hylo’s southern border.
feature Reorx beating the Kingpriest Kenderhome was the site of the only
with his hammer. battle of consequence to occur in
When war broke out between Ergoth Northern Ergoth during the War of the
and Solamnia in 8PC, the kender stood Lance. Details are sketchy and, of
firmly on the side of Ergoth, skirmish- course, kender tales surrounding this
ing with the Knights on their border but event are plentiful and contradictory.
never engaging in the kind of violent In 352AC, a dragonarmy expedi-
conflicts taking place south of them. tionary force of goblins and hobgoblins
Still, if they had not tied down several landed in Ogaral, just north of Hylo.
units of Knights along their eastern Some kender tales relate that the force
border, Gwynned VI’s war effort might was led by Highlord Toede, but more
have proven far less successful. reliable sources identify the comman-
Of course, the Cataclysm rendered der as Toade, a human so hideous he
this triumph moot. Kenderhome’s was often mistaken for a hobgoblin.
eastern border vanished under the sea, The same tales recount that the force
as the lush valley there became part of had come to punish the goblins of Sikk’et
the Straits of Algoni. Hul for not heeding the Dark Queen’s

92 Chapter Four
call to battle, but that the ship’s pilot had relate well to each other. Gradually, the
lost his way during the night. The famed kender population split into two fac-
Solamnic Grand Master Gunthar uth tions. The refugees—called aftlicted
Wistan happened to be in Hylo when the kender—built walls around the towns
dragonarmy’s force marched south they settled and caused strife with the
toward the kender capital. His journal suspicious goblins of Sikk’et Hul.
records how Kronn Thistleknot (kender Windseed tried to open talks with
adult male, motivated demeanor, Master), the kender leading the goblin
son of the kender who defeated the real young woman named Belladonna
Lord Toede near Flotsam, and other (afflicted kender adult female, lawles
kender taunted the Toade and his force demeanor, Master, 5 ). To her sur-
into charging at the city in a blind rage, at prise, Windseed found herself take
which point hidden kender forces flanked captive and forced to surrender the
the goblins and massacred the attackers. leadership of Hylo to Belladonna.
After the War of the Lance, Kender-
home returned to pleasant obscurity. Current Happenings
Kronn ruled the land briefly, during
which he presided over the “Gnome- Since 13SC, Belladonna has encouraged
talks,” an effort to forge Hylo and Mount all in Hylo to fortify their settlements
Nevermind into a united force. However, and prepare for dragon assaults. Most
he got bored with ruling, and handed the of the native kender are less than coop-
“reins of power” to Km Thrashen Wind- erative, thinking that Belladonna’s trick
seed, who declared herself Meistersinger on Fallana Windseed was very unfair.
of Hylo. She insisted ton conducting all Today, Hylo remains a land divided.
government meetings in song. Soon after,
she cancelled the Gnometalks, because Politics
the gnomes could not carry a tune.
Hylo has seen every conceivable form of
government come and go throughout its
The Age of Mortals history-several times, and sometimes
During the Summer of Chaos, Kender- in the space of a week. Traditionally, it is
home went untouched by both Dark an omnigarchy, meaning rulership by
Knights and Chaos creatures, thanks to everyone. Everybody does as they please,
the kender’s goblin allies in the south so long as they do not harm each other.
(see “Sikk’et Hul Province”). However, the afflicted kender find it dif-
When word reached Hylo in 4SC ficult to let the old ways stand when
about the dragon ravaging Kendermore, there are dragons to defeat.
the realm’s new leader, Fallana Windseed
(kender elder female, distracted demeanor, Today in Hylo
Adventurer), sent emissaries east to offer
Belladonna and her followers constantly
her displaced cousins aid and an invita-
attempt to convince the true kender to
tion to resettle in Hylo. Over the next few
engage in military drills, build defenses,
years, thousands of grim kender—the
and otherwise prepare for invasion.
survivors of Malystryx’s fiery scourge of
However, even afflicted kender do not
Kendermore—reached Hylo with little
follow orders unless they find it either
more than the clothes on their backs.
amusing or to their clear advantage.
The last wave arrived in 12AC, just before
Despite their lack of law, common
Frost’s transformation of Southern
threats bring kender into quick cooper-
Ergoth made the Straits of Algoni navi-
ation. With little preparation, Hylo can
gable by only the most skilled seamen.
field a formidable army or dozens of
The kender of Northern Ergoth did
covert units. As soon as her troops are
their best to welcome the newcomers,
ready Belladonna reportedly plans to
but the two populations just didn’t
send them against the White Dragon.
Northern Ergoth 93
Appendix
Ambassador
Ability scores Ability codes Other Req’s Advantages Disadvantages
Any. PR “C” min. Demeanor Trump bonus No trump bonus for
from red for negotiation; RE or PR actions to deal
aura card; action to discern with the lower classes.
wealth 7 min. thoughts; can adopt
role during play.

Barmaid
Ability scores Ability Codes Other Req’s Advantages Disadvantages
Any. St “C” max. Wealth 3 max. Eavesdropping; RE action to avoid
Pr “C” min. trump bonus to being recognized
put on false face; outside of work.
can acquire the
role during play.

Bard
Ability Scores Ability Codes Other Req’s Advantages Disadvantages
SP 4 min. Any. Trump bonus to No trump bonus to
None.
PR 5 min. RE actions to recall PR actions involving
details of a place; those of wealth 8 or
action to enthrall; higher (other than
can acquire role performances).
during play.

Con Artist
Ability Scores Ability Codes Other Req’s Advantages Disadvantages
Any. PR “B” min. Nature from Trump bonus for No trump bonus for PR
black or red actions to convince actions involving people
aura card. a mark; can adopt wise to his scam (elves
role during play. get a -3 action penalty).
Displaced Noble

Ability Scores Ability Codes Other Req’s Advantages Disadvantages


Any. Wealth 6 max. Sympathizers; Encounter enemy once
trump bonus to per quest; difficult to
imitate old status; acquire the role
can regain status. during play.

Fop
Ability Scores Ability Codes Other Req’s Advantages Disadvantages
All must Four must Wealth 7 min. Others let infor- Lose advantage if hero’s
be 5 min. be “B” min. mation slip. secret gets out; only
newcomers can acquire
role during play.

Guild Thief
Ability Scores Ability Codes Other Req’s Advantages Disadvantages
Any. “B” min. Nature 5 max.; Trump bonus for Challenging Reason
in DX or wealth RE, PE, or DX thief action to avoid rash
R E or P E between actions; hand talk; behavior to oppose
4 and 6. can acquire the injustice or oppression.
role during play.

94 Appendix
Roles Quick Reference
Ability Scores Ability Codes Other Req’s Advantages Disadvantages
AG 8 min. A G “D”max. Kender only; Effective wealth 8 No trump bonus for PR
DX 8 min. EN “D”max. acute eyesight; and tromp bonus actions, —2 action penalty,
EN 6 max. (true) or others by to PR actions and effective wealth 2
ST 6 max. E N “C”max. subrace. with kender who with nonkender recog-
PE 6 min. or (afflicted) recognize him; nizing role; recognition
PR 6 min. PE “B” min. handling; trump among foes endangers
bonus for sleight- friends; short concen-
of-hand (true) or tration; “A” code allow
sneaky (afflicted) only for PE; cannot
actions. acquire role during play.
Healer
Ability Scores Ability Codes Other Req’s Advantages Disadvantages
Any. ST “B” max. None. Trump bonus to No trump bonus for
DX “B” max. healing actions. attacks meant to injure
RE “C” min. difficult to acquire the
PE “C” min. role during play.

Legionnaire Scout
Ability Scores AbilityCodes Other Req’s Advantages Disadvantages
All must PE “B” min. Demeanor Trump bonus to No trump bonus for
be 3 min. PR “C” max. 6 max.; hide and to track PR actions that involve
nature from in nature; no leadership attempts;
red aura card; restrictions to false death if captured by
Adventurer roles; apprentice; a Dark Knight;
or better; can acquire role apprentice.
wealth 5 max. during play.

Loyal Servant
Ability Scores Ability Codes Other Req’s Advantages Disadvantages
RE 4 min. Any. Wealth 3 max. Trump bonus for RE action to
SP 4 min. eavesdropping; convince others
can acquire role of sincerity.
during play.
Merchant
Ability Scores Ability Codes Other Req’s Advantages Disadvantages
RE 3 min. Any. Nature 4 min.; Owns a business; No trump bonus
PE 3 min. wealth trump bonus for to PR actions for
PR 3 min. between trade; can acquire charitable or
4 and 6. role during play. selfless goal.

Qualinesti Rebel
Ability Scores Ability codes Other Req’s Advantages † Disadvantages
AG 6 min. ** AG “C” max. * Qualinesti Secret signs and Change in nature after
DX 6 min. ** DX “B” min. * elves or codes; resistance two quests that involve
EN 8 max. ** EN “C” max. * half-elves. acquaintances; fighting elves; full elves
ST 8 max. ** ST “B” min. * can contact other get no trump bonus for
PR 6 min. ** rebels; trump non-elf-related P R
bonus in sword actions while half-elves
combat and when get no trump bonus for
using PE in forest; elf-related PR actions
can acquire role (except for resisting
during play. mystic magic).
** Listed scores reflect elf requirements. Half-elves take two minimums and one maximum.
* Listed codes reflect elf requirements. Half-elves take one minimum and neither maximum.
† Half-elves enjoy only one of the two advantages

Roles Quick Reference 95


Appendix
River Pirate
Ability Scores Ability Codes Other Req’s Advantages Disadvantages
Any. Any. Nature from Trump bonus No trump bonus to
red aura card; for actions PR actions involving
wealth between involving river other cultures;
4 and 6. traval. outsiders can’t adopt
the role during play.

Spellfilch
Ability scores Ability Codes other Req's Advantages Disadvantages
Dx 4 min. RE “B” min. Unique thief Trump bonus for Enemy; must have had
or “signature.” spells involving past roguish role to
SP “B” min. thief activities. acquire role in play.

‘Staunch Supporter’
Ability Scores Ability Codes other Req's Advantages Disadvantages
RE 4 min. Any. Wealth of 7 min. Trump bonus Challenging Reason
SP 4 min. to deal with (Spirit) action to con-
lord’s servants vince others of true
and minions. sympathies; can adopt
role during play only
under a new regime.

Street Performer
Ability Scores Ability Codes Other Req's Advantages Disadvantages
AC 4 min. AC “C” min. Wealth 3 max. Can play/dance No trump bonus to
PR 4 min. PR “C” min. automatically PR actions to deal
SP “C” min. or with a trump with middle or
bonus; easy upper classes.
Presence action to
learn information;
heroes with musi-
cal skill can acquire
role during play.

Street Urchin
Ability Codes Other Req’s Advantages Disadvantages
Ability Scores
Must explain Wealth 3 max.; Can find hideout PR actions to deal
Any.
any code three quests in home city; with known foes
beyond “C.” or less; child. network of friends; must be daunting or
eavesdropping; higher; cannot acquire
trump bonus role during play.
to steal.

Thug
Ability scores Ability codes Other Req’s Advantages Disadvantages
Any. Any. Demeanor Easy Presence Honorable characters
6 min. (Spirit) action to will challenge
intimidate foe bullying thugs
foe with lower to a duel.
ST (or PH) score;
proper personality
types can acquire
role during play.

96 Appendix
True Name:
Aliases:
Nature:
True Demeanor:
True Role:
General Outlook:

Allies and Enemies:

Special Relationships:

False Demeanor(s):
False Role(s):
Hidden Agenda:

Other Secrets:

Personal Goals:
STORM OVER
KRYNN
Dragons of a New Age, Part Two

By Steve Miller

With Contributions From Skip Williams


Editor Sue Weinlein Cook Proofreader Carrie A. Bebris
Creative Director Harold Johnson Typographer Angelika Lokotz
Graphic Designer Shan Ren Cartographer Rob Lazzaretti
Interior Illustrators Jason Burrows, Storn A. Cook, and James A. Crabtree
Graphics Coordinators S. Daniele, Paul Hanchette, and Dawn Murin
Special Thanks To Jean Rabe and Dave Gross for story ideas.

The FIFTH AGE authors gratefully acknowledge the original pioneers of Krynn:
Larry Elmore, Jeff Grubb, Harold Johnson, Douglas Niles, Carl Smith,
Michael Williams-and of course, Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman.

TSR, Inc. TSR Ltd.


201 Sheridan Springs Rd. 120 Church End
Lake Geneva Cherry Hinton
WI 53 147 Cambridge CB1 3LB
U.S.A. United Kingdom
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DRAGONLANCE and the TSR logo are registered trademarks owned by TSR, Inc. F IFTH A GE and S AGA are
trademarks owned by TSR, Inc. All TSR characters, character names, and the distinctive likenesses thereof are
trademarks owned by TSR, Inc. ©1997 TSR, Inc. All rights reserved. Made in the U.S.A.
Distributed to the book trade in the United States by Random House, Inc. and in Canada by Random House of
Canada, Ltd. Distributed in the United Kingdom by TSR Ltd. Distributed to the toy and hobby trade by regional
distributors. This material is protected under the copyright laws of the United States of America. Any
reproduction or unauthorized use of the material or artwork contained herein is prohibited
without the express written permission of TSR, Inc.

Permission granted to photocopy or


print this product for personal use.
Author’s Foreword

Storm Over Krynn is the second in the five-part adventure series Dragons of a
New Age. Groups can play it as a stand-alone scenario or weave it into the story-
line that began with The Rising Storm in the Heroes of Steel dramatic supple-
ment.That adventured featured Dhamon Grimwulf, Feril Dawnsprinter, and
other heroes on a mission from Goldmoon, mistress of the Citadel of Light
During their quest, they discovered a link between the disappearance of vil-
lagers from the Blue Dragon’s realm and a sinister plot by Khellendros himself.
In the process, they learn the horrifying truth regarding the kidnapped towns-
folk: Through some unknown magical process the Great Dragon transforms
them into “dragonspawn”, a twisted draconic-human hybird
This adventure, inspired by Jean Rabe’s FIFTH AGE™ novel. The Day of the
Tempest, provides a group of pregenerated heroes from the novel. Players who
do not wish to adopt these Heroes of the Heart can continue using the ones
they played in The Rising Storm or create new ones.

Adventure Synopsis
Storm Over Krynn not only features adventurous battle with the forces of Evil,
it also requires deciet, stealth, and other types of covert behavior discussed in
Book one, Cloak and Dagger. Heroes must use their wits and their roguish tal-
ents to triumph in this scenario of discovery.
The adventure begins when the group stumbles upon the remnants of Dark
Knight scouting expedition and learns the locations of a lair of the Blue Dragon
and of a key site in the spawn transformation process. The heroes can visit the lair if
they dare, then travel to Relgoth, a holding site for captives destined to become
spawn. After infiltrating the bizarre stronghold-a magical castle made from
black sand-will the group free the prisoners or get captured themselves? The
quest also might lead the heroes to Vingaard, where pirates set sail with them
up an undead-infested river. At a bend in the river, they come upon a haunted
swamp guarded by a sinister black dragon who serves Khellendros. Here, the
heroes learn the most horrifying secret about the nature of spawn.
During the adventure, the Narrator can answer one of the D RAGONLANCE®
Saga’s great mysteries: What happened to Gilthanas, a tragic figure lost after the
War of the Lance? Ultimately, the quest ends with some strange revelations
from an old scholar and a showdown between the heroes and the Blue
Table of Contents

Prologue
Heroes Old and New ……………………………………………………4

Act One: It Begins


Scene One: The Scouting Party …………………………………………10
Scene Two: The Dragon's Lair ……………………………………………12

Act Two: Relgoth Mysteries


Scene One: Arrival ………………………………………………………14
Scene Two: The Streets of Relgoth ………………………………………16
Sidebar: Areas of the City ………………………………………………18
Map: Relgoth ………………………………………………………… .19
Scene Three: Into the Darkness …………………………………………22
Scene Four: A Talk with Lord Sivaan ……………………………………24
Scene Five: Dark Wanderings ……………………………………………26
Scene Six: The Prisoners ………………………………………………28

Act Three: Vingaard Horrors


Scene One: Marda’s Vision ……………………………………………30
SceneTwo:Vingaard……………………………………………32
Map: Vingaard …………………………………………………………33
Sidebar: Areas of Town ……………………………………………….34
Scene Three: Up the River ………………………………………………36
Scene Four: Valley of Lost Souls ………………………………………38
Scene Five: The Spawning Ground ……………………………………40

Epilogue
Scene One: Meeting Gilthanas ………………………………………42
Scene Two: The Storm Descends ………………………………………44
Afterword …………………………………………………………………46
PROLOGUE
ictory rarely all Great Dragons; Dhamon Grimwulf,
comes without a warrior trying in vain to put his past
behind him.
a considerable
These are only a few of the figures fea-
cost,” the
tured in The Rising Storm, the precursor
mariner said, to this adventure. In that scenario, which
finally break- paralleled Jean Rabe’s novel The Dawn-
ing the ing of a New Age, each hero found him-
silence.... self tested in ways he’d never expected.
“I’m going to
honor Shaon Heroes Old and New
and Dhamon
by continuing In the course of their fight against the
the struggle— Blue Dragon, the Heroes of the Heart
may see new companions take the
whatever the cost.”
place of old. This Prologue describes
—Rig’s reflections on loss, not only the familiar Rig, Feril, and
The Dawning of a New Age Jasper, it also introduces two new
heroes: the Silvanesti elf Ladine and
In the Fifth Age of Krynn, Fate calls to the afflicted kender Pax. Of course,
the Heroes of the Heart: The mariner players may continue with the other
Rig Mer-Krel, afraid of nothing— heroes from The Rising Storm, such as
except his true feelings; Ferilleeagh Dhamon, Blister, Raph, and Shaon of
Dawnsprinter, Kagonesti elf and foe of Istar, if the story permits.

4 Prologue
PROLOGUE
Rig Mer-Krel back to the sea some day, but not until
I’ve avenged Shaon. The Storm Over
Description Human male Krynn will pay dearly for her death.”
(barbarian),
mariner role Game Information
Demeanor Roguish (8 )
Clever (5 ) As a mariner, Rig ( 8 ) enjoys a trump
Nature
Reputation Adventurer bonus for any action he attempts
(Quests 6, Hand 4) involving combat at sea or an act of sea-
Social status Guildsman manship. In land combat, however, he
(Wealth 5) suffers a -3 action penalty. (The
mariner role appears in Heroes of Steel.)
Agility SC Reason 5D Rig is always ready for a fight.
Dexterity 6A Perception 5A Besides his two primary weapons, he
Endurance 9C Spirit 4C conceals several others: a weighted sash
Strength 7C Presence 4B that looks like a bit of normal clothing,
Sabre of renown (+9) two daggers in his boots, and two more
Melee weapon
Missile weapon Fang (+2) * hidden under his shirt. He wears a
Additional weapon Lesser dragonlance fancy hat with a garrote concealed in
Padded silk (-1) the headband and conceals razor-sharp
Armor
Shield None blades in the soles of his boots. He even
wears a dagger-shaped earring that
* Weapon introduced in Heroes of Steel. doubles as a lockpick.
In a recent trip to Palanthas, the sor-
“Rig is just a nickname, but it suits me. cerer Palin Majere retrieved the last piece
I picked it up as a kid doing odd jobs to the footman’s dragonlance once
on the docks in Sea Reach. I’ve wielded by Sturm Brightblade
been a sailor ever since I cele- and gave it to the heroes.
brated my twelfth birth- Unless Dhamon Grimwulf
day by sowing away on a remains with them, Rig
ship. The home I left was now carries this lance.
not a happy one, but I The mariner has devel-
joined a much larger fam- oped such a strong hatred
ily-the brotherhood of for blue dragons that he
sailors. Now I’m in my has grown immune to the
mid-twenties and the helmsman on the effects of dragonawe. (This immunity
Wind Chaser, which runs between New applies only if Shaon appeared as either
Ports and the island of Schallsea. a hero or a character in the Narrator’s
“I’ve steered a ferry in the New Sea, campaign and was slain by the blue
and I’ve sailed the open sea as a pirate. dragon Gale, as occurred in The Dawn-
A few months ago, I found myself ing of a New Age.)
drawn into a fight against Khellendros Rig enjoys acute eyesight and
the Blue, and I haven’t felt a deck taste-no one will ever get a poisoned
beneath my feet for some time. meal past him.
“I’m at my best when I have salt
water in sight. If I’d been in my ele-
Appearance
ment, I could have saved Shaon, a
bright-eyed lass who’d sailed with me Tall and muscular Rig has brown skin
for years. Instead, this beautiful girl and short, dark hair that mark him as
died at the claws of one of Skie’s blue an Ergothian. He favors bright, flashy
dragons, cut down in her prime. I’ll go clothes.

Prologue 5
Jasper Fireforge kender are around—can’t they appreci-
ate a kender’s quick wit? I’ll admit that
Description Male Neidar dwarf I seem to ‘lose’ things more often when
Demeanor Decisive (3 ) there’s a kender nearby, but that’s no
Nature Honest (2 ) problem, because the kender always
Reputation Champion find my things for me. It would be rude
(Quests 8, Hand 5) to call a kender a thief or demand my
Social status Gentry property back: Harsh words are for
(Wealth 6) enemies, not friends.
Agility 6B Reason 6D “That’s a truth I learned from
Dexterity 5C Perception 5B Goldmoon, First Master of Mysticism.
Endurance 7B Spirit 8A (64) I’m a student of hers at the Citadel of
Strength 7A Presence 7B Light on Schallsea. Not only is she my
spiritual instructor, she’s a personal
Melee weapon Battle axe of fame friend of mine. She even saved my life
(+12) once, back during the Dragon Purge,
Missile weapon Crossbow (+5) before anyone even knew what mysti-
Armor Scale armor of cism was. I just might be the first per-
renown (-8) son in Ansalon ever to benefit from
Shield Horse shield of mystic healing.
distinction (-6) “The world is lucky to have Gold-
moon around—she’s brought the gift
I’m Flint Fireforge’s nephew. That’s of healing back to a world that has lost
right: Flint Fireforge, Hero of the it twice now. The power of her spirit
Lance, was my uncle. It seems that Fate has made her an ageless beauty, at least
has cast the Fireforges as saviors of to my eyes (I understand that less
Krynn, or at least of Ansalon. Now it’s enlightened folk see her differently).
my time to be a hero, and I’ll do my Goldmoon is a wonderful teacher, and
best to fill the role Fate has set for me. I never tire of working under her guid-
“I've inherited my uncle’s tolerance ance. I could happily spend all my days
for other races, particularly elves and studying with her, but she has
kender. Don’t laugh—Uncle Flint’s best reminded me that I have more impor-
friends were Tanis Half-Elven and tant work do and ought not spend all
Tasslehoff Burrfoot. I know elves are a my time at the Citadel.”
bit full of themselves, so I just let them
walk around with their noses in the air. Game Information
Why should I let myself be offended by
their behavior? I also don't understand As a dwarf, Jasper (2 ) is resistant to
poisons and sorcery in the form of a
why other people get so upset when
trump bonus to any actions to counter
a poison or block a sorcerous attack.
Jasper can employ three spheres of
mysticism: healing, mentalism, and
sensitivity. In addition, he has an acute
sense of smell.

Appearance
Though well into his middle age, Jasper
has a jovial nature that makes him seem
much younger. He keeps his reddish-
brown hair and beard neatly trimmed,
as befits a dwarf of his station.

6 Prologue
Ferilleeagh Dawnsprinter to stay where they belong: at the poles!
Other chromatic dragons have wreaked
Description Female Kagonesti elf similar havoc in their territories, but I
Demeanor Curious (2 ) have made it my job to find a way to
Nature Wild (7 ) thwart their schemes.
Reputation Champion “I try not to let my grim task keep me
(Quests 7, Hand 5) from enjoying the wonders I see around
Social status Commoner me, however. There is beauty almost
(Wealth 3) everywhere you look, from the simple
Reason 7A (49) grace of a butterfly to the crisp geome-
Agility 6D
Perception 5A try of a dwarven building. Whenever I
Dexterity 6B
Spirit 6A (36) find myself somewhere I haven’t been
Endurance 4D
Presence 6C before, I can’t help stopping to drink in
Strength 7B
all the sights, sounds, and smells.”
Melee weapon Broad sword (+6)
Missile weapon Long bow (+6) Game Information
Armor Leather (-2)
Kite (-2) As an elf, Feril (7 ) is skilled with a
Shield
sword and perceptive in woodland set-
tings. Any card she plays to resolve an
“I’m usually not one to take sides
attack with a sword or to resolve a
in an argument. Even among
Perception action in a forest
my own people, the wild and
becomes automatic trump.
independent Kagonesti, I've
However, like others of her
always been a loner. I enjoy race, Feril can seem
solitude, and I admire— haughty to non-elves.
even envy—wild creatures.
Therefore, she never
They live free of the con-
enjoys a trump bonus
straints of society. Animals
for Presence action
have pure motives: They
involving a non-elf.
are never treacherous and
(Cards played to resist
kill only for food, taking
magic are an exception.)
nothing more than they
This Kagonesti shaman
need. And for all their
can employ three schools
purity, animals also know
of sorcery: pyromancy, geo-
how to enjoy simple plea-
mancy, and aeromancy. She
sures. Overall, I would prefer a solitary
also can cast spells from three mystic
life in the wilderness with them to just
spheres: animism, alteration, and heal-
about anything else.
ing. Her two acute senses are sight and
“Now, however, I’ve gotten involved
hearing.
in one of the greatest struggles ever to
face Krynn: the battle between mortals
and the Great Dragons. I know how to Appearance
pick enemies, don’t I? Feril is beautiful, tanned, and wildly
“I love the wilderness and would sac- exotic. Her brown hair falls in waves to
rifice anything to save it—even my life, her shoulders, like a lion’s mane. Even
fighting those affronts to nature, the though she has not recently been
Great Dragons. The White Dragon, Gel- among her people, the Kagonesti, she
lidus, has transformed my home isle of proudly wears the strange and colorful
Southern Ergoth into a vast glacier: All tattoos of this race of wild elves. Feril
it took was the touch of Frost to turn a bears a tattoo of an orange and yellow
land of temperate plains and forests oak leaf on one cheek and another of a
into a polar desert. I have nothing red lightning bolt across her forehead.
against polar deserts, but I want them

Prologue 7
Ladine Dralathalas
Description Female Silvanesti elf,
displaced noble role
Demeanor Bigoted (7 )
Nature Reserved (1 )
Reputation Adventurer
(Qurdyd 4, Hand 4)
Social status Commoner
(Wealth 3)
Aristocracy *
(Wealth 7)
Agility 7C Reason 8B (64)
Dexterity 9A Perception 7B
Endurance 8C Spirit 5C ciation for these races, but I refuse to
Presence 7C show weakness before them. I will
Strength 6B
stand by them in their struggles against
Melee weapon Long sword (+7) the dragon overlords and even aid
Missile weapon Arbalest (+9) them on their personal quests. But my
Armor Leather (-2) isolation from my beloved land is my
Shield None plight alone.”
* The social status and wealth score in italics are
Ladine’s standing in Silvanesti. Game Information
“I come from the long line of diplo- Ladine has an elf’s skill with a sword,
mats in House Advocate. Immediately which offers her a trump bonus for
after the War of the Lance I served my attacks with that weapon. Likewise, her
queen, Speaker of the Stars Alhana excellent elven perception in the forest
Starbreeze, in negotiations with the gives her a similar bonus to woodland
Qualinesti and Kagonesti to ensure fair Perception actions. She remains aloof
treatment of Silvanesti refugees on toward other races, which means she
Southern Ergoth. Later I worked long never receives a trump bonus in Pres-
and hard to clear up the misunder- ence actions involving non-elves. (Cards
standing that led to my liege becoming played to resist magic are an exception.)
dark elf-in vain, of course. Her role as a displaced noble allows
“It was a long and distinguished Ladine a trump bonus to imitate her
service to the Tower of Stars, and it former rank. She has contact with vari-
came to an end twenty years ago when ous Silvanesti elves also trapped outside
I discovered that I could not return to their homeland, who can lend her aid.
my beloved Silvanesti, recently restored However, other such exiles know of her
through the efforts of Porthios of Qua- loyalty to Alhana Starbreeze and seek
linesti and Speaker Alhana. her death (once per quest).
“Somehow, someone has encased Ladine can employ spells from the
my homeland in a magical shield that sorcerous school of summoning and
nothing can penetrate. Even my tele- has an acute sense of eyesight.
portation powers prove useless against
the Silvanesti Shield. Appearance
“I have spent the past twenty years” Ladine carries herself with an icy for-
trying to unlock this-mystery. Some of mality, accentuated by her pale gray
my brothers and sisters have sought aid eyes set within a white, expressionless
from humans, which I refuse to do. My face. She wears her long, silvery tresses
ears among humans and the Kagon- in a series of complex braids, a typical
esti savages have granted me an appre- fashion among Silvanesti nobles.

8 Prologue
Par Killburn to someone. I try to be friendly, but
more often than not they just treat me
Description Male afflicted like garbage—telling me to get lost,
kender calling me a thief, or even trying to run
Demeanor Domineering (9 ) me out of town.
Nature Realistic (7 ) “But I’ve taught more than one
Reputation Adventurer human to have more respect for
(Quests 4, Hand 4) kender. And I’ll teach the same lesson
Social status Commoner to all the others who get in my face. If
(Wealth 3) only more people could be like Jasper,
Agility 9D Reason 7D we could all band together and fight
Dexterity 7B Perception 8B the dragons instead of each other.”
Endurance 5C Spirit 3X
Strength 5C Presence 7B Game Information
Melee weapon Hoopak (+4) * As a kender, Pax enjoys a trump bonus
Second weapon Stiletto of for covert actions such as hiding,
distinction (+3) climbing, and moving noiselessly. He
Armor Leather (-2) has acute eyesight and a short concen-
Shield None tration span, like others of his kind.
Not surprisingly, Pax carries with
* Weapon introduced in Heroes of Steel.
him a collection of pouches stuffed
“You know, I get really tired of the way with the odds and ends he’s picked up.
some people treat kender. But my Unlike his fellow kender, he does not
mother did warn me. She told me that typically feel a need to check out some-
the world outside Hylo was a rough one else’s pouches and pockets. How-
place and that I would spend half my ever, when he does wish to make use of
time out here running from stupid the infamous kender handling ability,
humans who consider kender thieves any card played for him is trump.
and fair game from their nasty bigotry.
Well, in the few short years I’ve been Appearance
away from Hylo, I’ve realized how right Pax favors dark clothing and wears his
she was. I’ve also decided I’m not going blond hair cropped close to his head.
to take it anymore. His face, though as expressive as any
“The Great Dragons drove her and kender’s, generally stays set in a dour
my father away from Kenderhome or defiant expression.
when I was still just a baby. Sometimes
when I lay awake at night, I think I can
hear the roar of the dragon who
destroyed our home. Someday, I’m
going to kill that dragon-that’s why I
took the name ‘Killburn.’
“I want to explore the world and I
want the Great Dragons gone, and no
human, elf, or anything else I meet is
going to tell me I can’t. I know I’m not
going to change the world, but at least I
can make things a little easier for any
kender who might follow in my foot-
steps, as my reputation grows.
“Don’t get me wrong. I like other
people. I really do. Sometimes I get
lonely and bored and just want to talk

Prologue 9
ACT ONE
Scene One: The Story Begins
The Scouting Party As the heroes finish setting up camp,
the Narrator should read the following:
A new quest begins as the heroes come
face to face with a group of Dark Knights. A scream echoes across the country-
side. It’s hard to tell where it came
Overview from, but it sounded like the voice of a
woman in great pain. The scream rises
While setting up camp for the evening, again, this time followed by sobs, as
the hero's hear a woman’s scream. though from one pleading for mercy.
Upon investigating, they discover the Then, as suddenly as it broke the still
remnants of a Dark Knight scouting of the evening, the sobbing stops.
party with one lone prisoner.
A search reveals that the scream
Getting Started came from behind a slight ridge west of
camp. Heroes who investigate find that
The beginning of this adventure finds other travelers have been set up camp
the heroes just east of the Vingaard nearby-sinister travelers, from the
Mountains, deep in the territory held looks of them. Below, a Knight of
by Khellendros the Blue. (See the map Takhisis in ornate plate mail stands
on the back of this booklet.) Those over the form of a young woman
who have just concluded The Rising sprawled on the ground, dead or
Storm have recently traveled from unconscious. Nearby stands another
Palanthas, where they retrieved from woman, clad in leather armor and grin-
the sorcerer Palin Majere the final piece ning widely. In a sarcastic tone, she says
to a footman’s dragonlance-the one to her comrade, “Nice going, Knight–
carried by the legendary Sturm Bright- Warrior. I’m confident she’ll talk now.”
blade during the War of the Lance. “Quit your silly act,” the Knight
For those just joining the Dragons of barks at the prone figure, “or I warn
a New Age cycle, Narrators should you, your blood will flow freely!”
explain that the heroes have ventured
into the dragon’s realm to investigate The Battle
villagers’ disappearances—reportedly As heroes, the group members should
kidnapped to further a sinister scheme want to protect an innocent prisoner
of Khellendros and his Dark Knights. from harm. They might try a sneak
One hero has a lesser dragonlance with attack or rush the warriors, in which
them (a family heirloom or a treasure case they gain surprise—the two had
acquired on a previous quest). not expected trouble. Both warriors
tight to the death when attacked but,
First Impressions should the heroes try to subdue rather
than kill them, they can be captured.
A windswept, arid plain unfolds east-
ward as far as the eye can see. No signs of The Terrible Tales
civilization break the landscape’s monot-
If the heroes capture the Knight, his
ony, but here and there, small hills jut
fanatical devotion to the Dark Queen
from the dry ground. You have begun
prevents all coercion to talk, magical or
making camp on the leeward side of one
otherwise. The woman in leather
such hill. In the west, the Vingaard
armor, a tracker named Ainia, proves
Mountains rise into the darkening sky.
more talkative.

I0 Act One
IT BEGINS
Ainia tells the heroes that a talon of Actions
Dark Knights hired her to track down
villagers in the area who escaped earlier Determining where the scream came
sweeps. Her scouting party was assailed at from is an average Perception action for
dusk the previous night by a strange those with acute hearing, but challeng-
dragon-shaped beast that swooped down ing for other heroes. Before launching a
upon their blue dragon mount. The surprise attack on the camp, the heroes
mount and the rest of the talon died in might attempt average Dexterity (Per-
the terrifying assault—she says the ception) actions opposed by the scout
attacker looked like a wyrm made of pure to move to a more favorable position.
shadow and breathed a cloud of blinding On hearing Ainia’s story, a hero who
blackness. They were on their way to succeeds at a daunting Reason action can
report the attack to the Knight’s supe- guess that the scouting party ran afoul
rior (she can offer directions). of one of the legendary shadow dragons.
A splash of water on her face brings
the prisoner around: a dark-haired, Characters
dark-skinned barbarian wearing a hal-
The uncommunicative Knight of the
ter top and colorful, multitiered skirts.
Lily seems surprisingly encouraged if
A bruise darkening on her face shows
the heroes decide to pay a visit on his
where the Knight struck her. This tired,
superior by following Ainia’s directions.
hungry young woman tells the heroes
Knight-Warrior Ruanall: Human adult
her name is Marda, but seems distant.
male, fierce demeanor, Champion. Co 9,
She can confirm Ainia’s story about the
Ph 7, In 7, Es 5, Dmg +6 (broad sword),
dragon attack, adding that she had
Def —8 (target shield and plate mail).
escaped with the other prisoners dur-
Ainia: Human adultfemale, cynical
ing the onslaught but was apprehended
demeanor, Adventurer. Co 8, Ph 5, In 6,
earlier today. Tearfully, she offers the
Es 7 (49), Dmg +5 (scimitar), Def —2
heroes only this tale about herself:
(leather), also mysticism (alteration).
Marda: Human adult female, reserved
“Some time ago, my clan was destroyed
demeanor, Adventurer. Ag SA, Dx 9B,
by Sable the Black. Only my little
St 5C, En 5B, Re 8X, Pe 7C, Sp 9X, Pr 7A,
brother and I survived. I was captured
Dmg +2 (dagger or sling), Def 0 (common
by the trustees of her zoo and tortured,
clothing), also uncontrolled mystic power
but Wilie helped me escape. For the last
(see Act Three, Scene One for details).
few years we’ve traveled from city to city
telling fortunes. In Palanthas, a Dark
Knight bound for Vingaard Keep decided
Outcome
he needed a personal slave. He took my Alter thanking them for their aid, Marda
brother and tried to lock me in jail, but I begs the heroes to help locate her brother.
escaped, only to be captured again by this Regardless of their decision, Ainia uses
group. Without Wilie, I am all alone.” her alteration magic to slip free later
that night, leaving no sign of her trail.
Atmosphere Heroes who agree to seek Marda’s
brother in Vingaard, more than a
It is early evening. The setting sun has week’s travel away on the shores of
turned the cloudy sky into a brilliant the Vingaard River, begin their
sea of fire slowly dying over the moun- search in Act Three, Scene One.
tains in the west. Narrators should A trip to see the Knight’s superior,
emphasize the serene surroundings in according to Ainia’s directions, takes
contrast to the sharply pained scream. the heroes to Scene Two.

It Begins II
Scene Two: Three rings of distinction offering
their wearers -2 defense bonuses.
The Dragon’s Lair Two short swords of renown.
Two suits of Solamnic plate armor
The heroes may have thought the scout’s of fame and one suit of Dark Knight
directions would lead them to a senior plate armor of fame.
Dark Knight. Actually, this “superior” is One horse shield of glory that all
not a Knight at all; the heroes’ trip takes recognize to be the Shield of Huma.
them to one of the Blue Dragon’s lairs.
Although the items of magic appear
Overview unguarded, they are in fact protected
by three wards. First, a unique form of
Khellendros is absent, giving the heroes lichen covers the floor around the dis-
the chance to steal several items from play. This magical growth, which Khel-
his hoard and learn a valuable secret lendros discovered while exploring the
about the dragon’s stronghold. First, Gray and the vast Abyss beyond Krynn,
however, they must bypass various causes anyone who steps on it to risk
traps and fight a couple dragonspawn falling victim to total amnesia.
and a semi-intelligent wyvern. Second, an enchantment upon the
items alerts one of Khellendros’s magi-
Getting Started cally enhanced wyvern servitors that
someone has touched them.
Information about the items of magic The third and most subtle enchant-
mentioned in this scene appears in the ment of all is that the Great Blue can
Book of the Fifth Age, Chapter Five. sense the location of each of these
items at will. Further, by concentrating
on one of them, he can see through the
First Impressions eyes of the individual carrying it.
As you crest yet another sandy hill in Once someone has touched or
the Blue Waste, you come upon an recovered one item, a voice calls from
immense cave mouth hidden mostly in the darkness, “Master! You’re home!”
the shadows of the surrounding dunes. and a large wyvern comes bounding
The area seems just as desolate as the from the darkness. It looks at the
miles of arid terrain you have already heroes with a quizzical expression and
crossed—certainly not a bustling Dark mutters, “Nope, nope, nope. None of
Knight center of operations. you little ones is my Master! You look
more like prisoners. Why aren’t prison-
The Story Continues ers at the stronghold?”
With proper cajoling, the dopey
As they enter the cavern, heroes can wyvern sentry reveals the following:
easily make out a number of claw He serves the Storm Over Krynn.
marks on the floor. Some are the size of The “stronghold,” called the Bastion
large lizard tracks, while others are of Darkness, is located in the town
immense. Clever heroes might deduce of Relgoth, several days’ journey
that they were formed by the cave’s res- from their current location.
ident dragon and his servants. Someone named Lord Sivaan over-
A cavern just off the cave entrance sees the captive villagers brought
holds the dragon’s hoard. Braziers light there for “spawning” by the Master’s
the area enough for the heroes to make Dark Knights.
out a large selection of coins, jewels,
weapons, armor, and other items. This The dim wyvern answers a few such
collection includes the following magi- questions before noticing that the heroes
cal trinkets, treasures, and artifacts: have taken items from the dragon’s

I2 Act One
hoard. “Thieves!” it yelps. “Spawn, spawn! about traps, the alien lichen Khellendros
Help me catch little thieves!” Not wait- has planted around his hoard sucks men-
ing for help, the creature attacks. tal energy from any hero who steps on it.
All appearances to the contrary, As soon as a hero is about to take an
Khellendros has received word that the item, the Narrator should call for a chal-
heroes have interfered with his plans; the lenging Reason action. Success means that
dragon fully expects the heroes to visit nothing happens to the hero at the
his lair at some point. In fact, he actually moment, but he must make another sim-
wants them to abscond with some of the ilar action for each item he tries to take.
items of magic from his hoard—he just Failing at any of them makes the hero
doesn’t want to make it too easy. Once forget who he is and why he is on this
they have the treasures, he can use them quest. The amnesia lasts for a number of
to spy on the heroes as they continue to days equal to the total action score value
oppose his spawning efforts. of all cards played that minute-a bad
situation if all the heroes just rush up to
The Battle the artifacts. A mishap means the hero
The wyvern attacks the heroes with its permanently forgets who he is.
claws and poisonous stinger. The com- An average Presence or Spirit (Reason)
motion draws the attention of two blue action convinces the wyvern to talk.
dragonspawn, horrifying lizard-men
hybrids almost seven feet tall, with Characters
enormous wings and wicked claws. The
enraged spawn launch themselves at In addition to the creatures the heroes
the strongest individuals in the group. battle in this scene, they may interact
with the Dark Knight from Scene One.
Intelligent wyvern: A monster. Co 12,
Atmosphere Ph 28, In 7 Es 7, Dmg +11, Def —4, also
The dragon’s lair should give the heroes dive, poison.
the feeling of impending doom, even Two blue spawn: Hostile nonhumans.
though Khellendros does not appear. Co 8, Ph 12, In 5 (25), Es 8, Dmg +10,
Def —5, also dragon breath, sorcery
(electromancy), dissolves into an elec-
Actions trically charged cloud at its death.
Heroes can spot the claw marks in the
cavern automatically, but deducing Outcome
their origin requires a challenging Rea-
son action. Succeeding at a desperate If the heroes have learned about the
Reason action tells a hero that only one Relgoth stronghold from the wyvern,
blue dragon on Krynn could make they find a set of orders (on the body of
tracks this large—Khellendros himself. one of the spawn or tucked into a
When the group goes to loot the leather satchel in the hoard) naming the
hoard, the Narrator should permit heroes city as a major holding site for captive
with acute eyesight, or those who men- villagers destined to become spawn.
tion a concern over traps, to attempt a Of course, Marda urges the heroes
challenging Perception action. If they suc- to help her seek her brother in Vin-
ceed, they notice the cave floor around gaard. If they agree, the adventure
the pile has a different texture than the continues in Act Three, Scene One.
rest of the sandy floor. To get the items Heroes deciding to visit Relgoth can
without stepping on the floor, the group go on to Act Two, Scene One. Marda
needs to use a lasso, a hook on a rope, concedes that rescuing the prisoners
or perhaps summoning magic. is a noble goal and decides to join
If no hero has acute eyesight or thinks them, hoping to get to Vingaard later.

It Begins I3
ACT TWO
Scene One: The Story Continues
Arrival After they have taken in the sight of the
Bastion of Darkness, the heroes can
It is several days after the end of the pre- observe the rest of Relgoth from their
vious act. The heroes have had an vantage point. The dirty walls are heav-
uneventful trip to Relgoth, a city in Skie’s ily patrolled, and Dark Knights stop
realm occupied by Knights of Takhisis. everyone entering or leaving the city
through the gates on the southwest and
Overview southeast walls. Perceptive heroes can
even see that the Knights search and
In this scene, the heroes stealthily enter question each individual.
Relgoth—a major collection point of The heroes need to formulate a plan
human spawn fodder. The poor folk to get into the city. They can try:
left here serve as Dark Knight slaves. Bluffing their way through the gates;
Scaling the wall after nightfall;
Getting Started Stowing away in an arriving mer-
chant caravan; or
The Narrator can check Dusk or Dawn, Creatively employing magic.
Chapter Three, for details on the Dark
Knights. in case the heroes meet a Should the heroes try to pass
guard while trying to enter the city. through the city gates, the guards ask
their business in Relgoth. The heroes
First Impressions need a convincing story. Marda might
suggest that nonhuman heroes pretend
AS the scene begins, the heroes stand to be bounty hunters delivering prison-
atop the crest of a dry, bowl-shaped ers to Lord Sivaan, overseer of this
valley, looking down upon a walled spawning site (if the heroes learned of
town from a mile or so away. It is noon. him in Act One), and that the humans
pose as their prisoners. The heroes also
The feature dominating Relgoth is a could disguise themselves as locals to
towering, misshapen structure that get in, but the guards will not let them
looks like some form of castle. From enter without giving a password.
your vantage point, it resembles a giant If the heroes try to climb the twenty-
black anthill rising from the sandy five-foot city wall, they must avoid the
ground, its highest peak soaring at least notice of the Dark Knights patrolling it.
one hundred fifty feet into the air. This Of course, if the guards spot the heroes,
sprawling dark fortress spills over and they will try to apprehend them.
around the walls of city, covering a siz- In any case, Marda conceals herself
able section of town. The bizarre struc- outside of town, explaining that if she’s
ture seems lowest to the south, and captured again, she’ll never find Wilie.
there you can see the top of a tower ris-
ing from the curious structure. The Battle
“The Bastion of Darkness,” Marda Three Dark Knight guards stand duty at
whispers, “one of the strongholds of Relgoth’s gates at all times, and Knights
Khellendros. My captors said it took a also patrol the city walls in groups of
talon of Thorn Knights a year to build two. Should a fight break out, ten more
it, even with a huldre to bolster their will arrive within five minutes. Heroes
magic. I had no idea what they were who fail to act fast in a fight soon
talking about at the time.” become hopelessly outnumbered.

I4 Act Two
RELGOTH MYSTERIES
Although the guards remain alert, Convincing a merchant to hide the
they can’t possibly account for every heroes is a challenging Presence (Reason
contingency the heroes might dream up. or Spirit) action; stowing away in a cara-
If the group has a solid plan for getting van proves an average Reason action. In
into the city, it ought to have a chance to either case, a mishap means the mer-
succeed-as long as the heroes don’t chant sends someone for the guards.
botch the job. Should the worst happen
and one or more of them get captured, Over the Wall
the others can stage a rescue attempt. Climbing the wall requires each hero to
perform a successful average Dexterity
Atmosphere action. A mishap means he falls, suffering
3 damage points. At night, a hero climb-
The Narrator should strive for a feeling ing must make a second average Dexterity
of tension in this scene, making the action to avoid detection by the guards
heroes feel as though they are about to (daunting in daylight). Either way, a
be discovered any moment. mishap means the hero falls from the
wall and incurs 5 damage points. If the
Actions mishap action card had an odd-num-
bered face value, he tumbles to the out-
An average Perception action lets the side; if it was even, he falls into the city.
heroes see the Dark Knight guards
questioning and searching everyone
they stop. Marda can confirm this fact,
Characters
should the heroes fail to detect it. In addition to Marda, this scene also
Other actions needed in this scene involves Dark Knights and locals.
will depend on how the heroes choose Marda: Human adult female, reserved
to enter the city. Descriptions of two demeanor, Adventurer. Ag 8A, Dx 9B,
possible scenarios follow. St 5C, En 5B, Re 8X, Pe 7C, Sp 9X, Pr 7A,
Dmg +2 (dagger or sling), Def 0 (common
Through the Gate clothing), also uncontrolled mystic power
The guards will accept the bounty (see Act Three, Scene One for details).
hunter story if the hero posing as the Dark Knight guards: Humans of varied
lead bounty hunter succeeds at an easy age and demeanor, Adventurers. Co 7,
Presence (Reason) action. Ph 8, In 7, Es 6, Dmg +8 (two-handed
Heroes wanting to enter Relgoth sword), Def —5 (plate mail), also missile
undisguised can obtain the password weapons (crossbow/+5).
by intercepting peasants or merchants Townsfolk or merchants: Humans of
leaving the city. Threatening or bribing varied age and demeanor, Unknown and
them for the password requires a suc- Rabble. Co 5, Ph 5, In 6, Es 4, Dmg 0
cessful average Presence (Reason) (unarmed), Def 0 (common clothing).
action, but a mishap means the charac-
ter gives the heroes a false password. Outcome
Disguising themselves as locals is an
easy Presence (Reason) action for This scene’s outcome depends on
human heroes, but challenging for non- whether the group managed to enter
humans. Failure means the guards turn Relgoth without being caught.
the hero away, believing him a beggar or Once inside the city, free heroes
errant adventurer. However, a mishap (even those pursued by Dark Knight
arouses their suspicions and leads them guards) can begin Scene Two.
to attempt to capture the hero. Captured heroes go to Scene Three.

Relgoth Mysteries I5
Scene Two: The The Old City seems quite populated,
although many of the buildings here
Streets of Relgoth appear to have been turned into bar-
racks for Dark Knights, mercenaries,
This scene be gins as the heroes get their draconians, brutes, and other unsavory
first close-up look at Relgoth and meet types. Civilians in this area include
some of the people who live there. street performers and merchants run-
ning open-air stalls. These haggard folk
Overview give the heroes frightened glances and
shrink from the gaze of the Knights.
This scene gives Narrators a quick look
at the city’s different quarters and per- The Story Continues
sonalities. It is by no means a complete
or exhaustive description, but it offers Most of Relgoth’s population lives in
threads the Narrator can use to weave the Old City, once the merchant and
side adventures for the heroes as they noble quarter. Today, weary townsfolk
head toward the Bastion of Darkness. of all social levels share the manors and
Narrators also can use the information stores. They exist in the shadows of
in this scene as foundations for action Castle Rel, home to the Knight of Takhi-
and intrigue of their own devising, sis who administers the city, and the
should the heroes ever return here— Bastion of Darkness, a strange, other-
perhaps in an effort to liberate the city. worldly stronghold overseen by Lord
Sivaan. Heroes can find most kinds of
Getting Started stores in this area, although they can-
not openly buy weapons or armor.
Narrators should review the sidebar The heroes, fearing that dallying
starting on page 18 and the map on will only endanger them, may decide to
page 19 for details about specific areas in head straight for the Bastion of Dark-
Relgoth. If the heroes meet a draconian ness to save the prisoners. On the other
during their visit to Relgoth, Narrators hand, they want to look around the city
can review their powers by turning to before heading into the stronghold.
Chapter Six in the Book of the Fifth Age. The sidebar starting on page 18 exam-
ines Relgoth in greater detail for
First Impressions explorers.

Narrators should read the appropriate


text aloud as the heroes enter each sec- Atmosphere
tion of Relgoth, a city once home to far Relgoth exists under a heavy weight of
more people than currently dwell here. oppression. Its people, unwilling slaves
Heroes entering Relgoth through to the minions of a Great Dragon, have
the gates pass into the New City. served as a source of spawn for several
years. However, the Knights have
Most of the buildings here stand vacant drawn fewer and fewer victims from
and ruined, their windows and doors the populace of late, as if they seek to
gaping toward the cloudy sky. All preserve the servitor population.
around you see sickly, crippled beggars, The locals exude an aura of fear and
rail-thin street urchins, and Dark despair so strong as to seem almost
Knight patrols. tangible. Most of them know their days
are numbered—sooner or later they
After walking through the New City will fall victim either to the pique of a
(or climbing the north or northeast short-tempered Knight or to the Blue
sections of the city wall), heroes find Dragon’s need for spawn.
themselves in the Old City.

I6 Act Two
Actions
Heroes moving about the city in dis-
guise should attempt periodic actions
to maintain their facades: easy Presence
(Reason) actions for human heroes,
average ones for nonhumans. Failure
causes suspicion in locals and leads
guards to attempt to seize the hero.

Characters
Heroes wandering the streets of Rel- Only an impossible Presence (Spirit)
goth may meet a variety of characters. action and threats of violence or use of
The spirit of most Relgoth citizens, magic can penetrate a Knight’s fanatic
and perhaps even their will to live, has loyalty to his Order and the dragon.
been broken (giving them a low Spirit Dark Knights: Humans of varied age and
score). They scurry through the heavily demeanor, Adventurers. Co 7, Ph 8, In 7,
patrolled streets, trying to avoid atten- Es 6, Dmg +8 (two-handed sword),
tion from anyone. They act fearful of Def —5 (plate mail).
the heroes, believing them mercenaries.
Townsfolk: Humans of varied age and A Dark Knight officer walks with every
demeanor, Unknown and Rabble. Co 5, brute patrol and often stays with the
Ph 5, In 6, Es 4, Dmg 0 (unarmed) guards at the gates between the various
Def 0 (common clothing). quarters. (Picking a card with a black
aura in a random draw might mean an
Tall, blue-painted brutes travel the officer is present.) All Presence actions
streets in groups of three, usually under the heroes attempt involving lies or con
the command of a Dark Knight. They games become one degree more diffi-
serve as the Blue’s muscle. cult when an officer is around, even if
Two hundred brutes: Hostile non- the heroes don’t speak to him directly.
humans. Co 6, Ph 11, In 6, Es 8, Dmg +8, Knight-Officer: Humans of varied age
Def —5, also missile weapons. and demeanor, Adventurers. Co 7, Ph 8,
In 7, Es 7, Dmg +8 (two-handed sword),
Knights of Takhisis patrol the city streets Def —5 (plate armor).
in groups of ten. Should a fight break
out, a second patrol arrives within five Throughout Relgoth, Baaz draconians
minutes. Other Knights guard the gates enjoy terrorizing townsfolk just because
in threes and patrol the city walls in they can. Sivaks, in turn, bully the Baaz.
pairs. All guards carry crossbows. Forty Baaz: Draconians of varied
Few Dark Knights here know any- demeanors, Novices. Co 8, Ph 6, In 6,
thing specific about Khellendros’s Es 7, Dmg +4, Def —3, also can glide,
plans, nor do most realize what he does turn to stone on their death.
with prisoners brought into the Bastion Forty Sivaks: Draconians of varied
of Darkness (they assume he eats demeanors, Novices. Co 10, Ph 12, In 7,
them). When the heroes question a Es 7, Dmg +12, Def —5, also can fly,
Dark Knight about matters involving shapechange, explode on their death.
the prisoners, spawn, or artifacts, the
Narrator should turn a card from the
top of the Fate Deck. Only if the result-
Outcome
ing card belongs to the Suit of Dragons When the heroes have tired of explor-
and has a value of 5 or higher does the ing the city, they can approach the Bas-
Knight know the truth. tion of Darkness in Scene Three.

Relgoth Mysteries I7
Areas of the City on the run can rest for days in one of the
New City’s abandoned buildings with
The following pages offer description little risk of detection.) For food or cloth-
for heroes who explore Relgoth instead ing, these poor souls will tell the heroes
of heading straight to the Bastion of the New City’s tragic history.
Darkness. The locations refer to sites Cripples or beggars: Humans of
marked on the Relgoth map opposite. varied age and demeanor, Unknowns.
Co 4, Ph 3, In 6, Es 4, Dmg 0
The Gates (unarmed), Def 0 (common clothing).
Except for farmers on their way to till
the dry fields outside the city walls, most Heroes spending any time in the New
townsfolk stay away from the gates-it’s City should make random draws to see
too easy to unknowingly break one of whether local street urchins make off
the Knights’ many rules, with dire con- with any of their possessions. A black
sequences. Three Dark Knights guard aura on the resulting card means they’ve
each gate, possibly overseen by an offi- fallen victims to the little thieves.
cer (see “Characters” on page 17). Street urchins: Human children, varied
demeanors, Rabble. Co 7, Ph 4, In 5,
The New City Es 4, Dmg 0 (unarmed), Def 0 (com-
mon clothing).
In the years following the War of the
Lance, Relgoth experienced a boom.
The Old City
Locals had discovered mineral deposits
nearby, and the city’s proximity to the Relgoth was founded in 940PC by the
Vingaard Road made it an ideal resupply third son of a lord of Vingaard who,
point for caravans, since ruined Vin- knowing he would not inherit much
gaard was occupied by river pirates. See- from his father, struck out with several
ing nothing but a bright future ahead, other younger children of nobles and,
the optimistic city lords began expand- with serfs given to them by their par-
ing. Although the job nearly bankrupted ents, founded a new farming commu-
them, it paid off; by the Summer of nity near the Vingaard Mountains.
Chaos, merchants, farmers, and other The “Old City” was the entire city
newcomers packed the New City. until after the War of the Lance, and it
Then came the Chaos War. Shadow- had more or less grown to capacity by
wights wiped out many of Relgoth’s cit- 250PC when the city wall was built. The
izens, their names now forever lost to lord who ordered the construction of this
memory. A few years later, draconians circular, towerless wall died during its
and Dark Knights arrived, in the service construction. Legend has it that his
of Khellendros the Blue. spirit became part of the wall and
Now, the city that supposedly once ensured that the city would never fall to
rivaled Palanthas in beauty lies mostly invaders. The legend held true until Khel-
deserted, its buildings slowly falling to lendros came. Now, the Dark Knights
ruin. The Dark Knights and brutes administer Relgoth for the dragon and
patrol this New City only lightly, relying have buried a third of the Old City
upon the guards at the gates and on the beneath the Bastion of Darkness.
walls to spot any trouble. Today the Old City primarily con-
As the Knights have forced all able- tains barracks for Dark Knights and
bodied citizens into the Noble Quarter, mercenary forces in the area. Three
the New City now holds only the old, the hundred fifty Knights-in addition to
crippled, and the orphaned. Heroes pass- human and elf mercenaries, draconi-
ing through the New City will have to ans, brutes and a few goblins-live in
contend with swarms of filthy, emaciated this section. The townsfolk who also
folk begging for food. (However, anyone
Continued on page 20

I8 Act Two
Relgoth Mysteries 19
live here fill the soldiers’ entertainment of riffraff. These men and women con-
and mercantile needs. However, these duct kidnapping raids to secure spawn.
are an oppressed people. The dances of Most of them assume the captives serve
Relgoth’s street performers hold no as food for the dragon, though they
joy-many of these folk even sport really don’t care what happens to their
bruises, evidence of their hard lives. prisoners-as long as they get paid.
It might surprise some to learn of elf One hundred human mercenaries:
mercenaries working alongside Dark Human adults of varied demeanor,
Knights-the fact would surely disgust Adventurers. Co 6, Ph 6, In 5, Es 5,
other elves. However, the elves in Relgoth Dmg +6 (broad sword), Def —4 (scale).
are the remainder of a fighting force
stranded outside Silvanesti’s enchanted
The Noble Quarter
forest when the magical shield was In the Noble Quarter, Relgoth’s oldest
raised. This crew, bitter that they had neighborhood, citizens live in gilded
heard no call to come home before the cages. Roughly fifteen hundred men,
raising of the barrier, cut a deal with women, and children here reside in the
Khellendros the Blue. The dragon homes that once belonged to the privi-
promised that if they would agree to leged class.
defend Relgoth from attack, he would One individual who has thus far
bring down the Silvanesti Shield and managed to escape the Dark Knights’
permit them to go home. notice is Shen Korras, a half-elf mer-
These mercenaries know nothing of chant and sorcerer. He dresses in blue
the dragon’s spawning efforts. They are robes and wears a mustache similar to
not at all happy about serving a dragon, those popular among Solamnic Knights.
but considered the alternative-losing Korras alone among the townsfolk
all Silvanesti fellowship-much worse. still has spirit left. Should the heroes
Fifty elf mercenaries: Silvanesti adults end up on the run in the Noble Quar-
of varied demeanor, Adventurers. Co 6, ter, he can provide them with a place to
Ph 4, In 5, Es 5, Dmg +7 (long sword), hide. He will seem impressed by heroes
Def —2 (leather), also missile weapons seeking to rescue the prisoners in the
(self bow/+2). Bastion of Darkness and tells them that
a Sivak draconian named Lord Sivaan is
The Silvanesti mercenaries follow directly in charge of the prisoners in the
Alor Lightleaf, a handsome elf who has Bastion. He adds that the Bastion’s
led them since the War of the Lance, entrance lies in this quarter and will
when he formed part of the delegation even offer them food and weapons.
that negotiated peace between the Sil- Shen Korras: Half-elf adult male,
vanesti, Qualinesti, and Kagonesti on shrewd demeanor, Hero. Ag 9A, Dx 8B,
Southern Ergoth. Alor seems aloof and St 10A, En 8C, Re 10A (100), Pe 8B,
rather racist, frowning upon such Sp 8B (64), Pr 7A, Dmg +8 (great
things as half-elves and mixed mar- sword), Def -3 (chain mail), also
riages. Yet he burns with anger toward sorcery (spectramancy, electromancy,
the people who abandoned him. aeromancy) and mysticism (animism).
Alor Lightleaf, a mercenary leader:
Silvanesti adult male, bigoted demeanor, Locals know Korras as a merchant who
Master. Ag 9A, Dx 9B, St 6C, En 6C, fled to Relgoth when Palanthas fell to
Re 5D, Pe 7C, Sp 6X Pr 7A, Dmg +4 the Storm Over Krynn. He speaks little
(long sword), Def -7 (chain mail, ring of his past and isolates himself in his
of renown), also missile weapons (self home for weeks on end, conducting
bow/+2). research into sorcery and mysticism.
Many believe he seeks to drive the Great
Unlike the elves, Relgoth’s human
mercenaries are drawn from the basest Continued on page 21

20 Act Two
Dragons and Dark Knights from Ansa- for the secrecy or penetrate its veil.
lon, but no one—especially the Dark The truth is that all three ranking
Knights-has ever been able to prove Dark Knights in Relgoth are dark elves
his involvement in subversive activity. of Silvanesti stock. When Mirielle
Korras’s name is familiar to Jasper Abrena began rebuilding the Order
or any other Citadel hero. Korras was shortly after the Second Cataclysm, they
one of the Citadel of Light’s early sup- promised to assist her in an invasion of
porters, even if he never studied there. Silvanesti in return for the opportunity
He helped supply food to the dwarf to join the Knighthood as adults. Before
craftsmen building the Citadel, paid for they could enact this plan, however, the
much of the ornamentation inside the Silvanesti raised their mysterious shield.
structure, and purchased the ferry that These three govern the Knights in
services the island. His money also paid Relgoth at Khellendros’s request. They
for the War of the Lance monument must keep their identities secret, lest
raised on Schallsea in 16SC. Korras says they lose the respect of those they com-
his family died in a battle on that site, mand-after all, no elf may normally
and he wanted to mark their passing. wear the austere armor of a Knight of
He has a home on the island as well as Takhisis, and all other Knights must
in Relgoth. join the Order as children, not adults.
If anyone asks Korras why he lives Eventually, as these three oversee the
in Relgoth, the merchant explains he training of more and more young
came here to learn more of Skie plans, Knights of Takhisis, they may admit
as well as to assist any brave souls who more and more dark elves into the
dare stand up to the dragon. He has not ranks to pursue world domination in
yet uncovered what the Blue intends to the name of Takhisis.
do with his spawn, but he does know Although dark elves, these three—
that the dragon sends them out to do who will never give their names, even
his bidding all across his realm. if captured, as they do not wish to dis-
honor their families further—retain
Castle Rel the traditional Silvanesti attitudes and
A bulky fortress called Castle Rel outlooks ingrained within them.
crouches on a small hill between the The Lord Knight, Order of the Lily:
Noble Quarter and the Old City. Once Silvanesti adult, scheming demeanor,
impressive, the castle is now dwarfed by Master. Co 8, Ph 6, In 7, Es 8, Dmg +8
the otherworldly Bastion of Darkness. (two-handed sword), Def -5 (plate).
Ranking Dark Knights dwell here with Thorn Knight Commander: Silvanesti
their personal guard, a few dozen young adult, opinionated demeanor, Master.
people training for entry into the Co 8, Ph 6, In 8 (81), Es 8, Dmg +6
Knighthood, and their instructors. (broad sword), Def -5 (plate armor),
The identity and gender of the Lord also missile weapons (self bow/+2),
Knight in charge of Relgoth remains sorcery (divination).
unknown, although folks think him a Skull Knight Commander: Silvanesti
Knight of the Lily. He often is accompa- adult, grandiose demeanor, Master. Co 8,
nied by two equally enigmatic Com- Ph 6, In 7, Es 8, (64), Dmg +7 (long
manders: a Skull Knight and Thorn sword), Def -5 (plate armor), also
Knight. No one has yet seen this trio in mysticism (animism, mentalism,
public without full armor. The secrecy necromancy).
surrounding these three remains a sub-
ject of discussion among Solamnic The Bastion of Darkness
Knights, Legionnaires, guild thieves, This structure is described in Scenes
and others who offer organized resis- Three and Four.
tance to the Dark Knights. So far, no
one has been able to discern the reason

Relgoth Mysteries 2I
Scene Three: Although the structure appears solid,
heroes can scoop handfuls of sand
Into the Darkness from the floors and walls. The feat of
creating such an effect should disturb
By now, the heroes have made their way sorcerers even as it makes them marvel:
to the entrance to the Bastion of Dark- Apparently Khellendros, like the Sil-
ness in Relgoth’s Noble Quarter—either vanesti elves with their shield, discov-
freely or in an elephant-drawn prison ered how to create permanent magical
wagon (if captured in Act Three). effects using the new magic of the age.
Dark Knight guards order captive
Overview heroes out of their wagon and usher
them into the gaping maw of the
To find the prisoners, the heroes must citadel. If the heroes decide not go
either bluff or sneak past the Knights at along quietly, they could use magic or
the stronghold’s entrance. Of course, if muscle to make a break for freedom.
the heroes themselves are captives, they Free heroes must formulate a plan to
will be herded right into the Bastion— get into the citadel. For instance, they
they might see a chance to escape. might try using the same ruse that
worked for them at the city gates: pre-
Getting Started tending to be bounty hunters returning
with prisoners for Lord Sivaan. The
Narrators may wish to refer to the Rel- Narrator should let them work through
goth map on page 19 during this scene. their many options with minimal input.
As players formulate their plan, the
First Impressions Narrator should think about the
defenses the Dark Knights may have in
From near the entrance to the Bastion place to prevent someone from stealing
of Darkness, Relgoth’s dominant fea- into the stronghold that way. The
ture, the heroes can see the following: guards at the gate might ask all who try
to enter for a password and their busi-
The immense black stronghold towers ness within. They also might have addi-
over the city. It looks bizarre, like a giant tional guards posted near the windows
anthill. It spills over a third of the Old in case someone should try to climb the
City, absorbing everything it touches. It walls. But are they prepared for tres-
looks as though the fortress has some- passers who make creative use of spells?
how pushed its way up from below. The options below describe a few of
The sprawling walls, which appear the ways free heroes might try to enter
to be made of black sand, are dotted the Bastion of Darkness. As always, the
with openings of various sizes. The Narrator must keep in mind that his pri-
largest rests at ground level, a great, mary duty is to challenge the group with
gaping maw opening into darkness. a fun and interesting series of events—
This portal looks wide enough for two getting into the Bastion should not be
wagons to enter side by side. Dark impossible, but it’s no cakewalk, either.
Knights guard it vigilantly, stopping all Through the gate: The heroes can try
who approach and questioning them passing themselves off as merchants
thoroughly before letting them enter. or as mercenaries with their prisoners
again. As long as they mention Lord
The Story Continues Sivaan, the password that got them
into the city will get them into the
The heroes discover, as they approach stronghold, too. If they fail to mention
the walls (or once they’re inside) that Sivaan, the guards turn them away.
the Bastion of Darkness is made up of Once the heroes are admitted, a Dark
normal sand held together by magic. Knight escorts them to Lord Sivaan;

22 Act Two
those who want free run of the selves off as locals to get in requires the
citadel must dispose of this escort. leader to make a successful average Pres-
Climbing the wall: Anyone trying to ence (Reason) action for human heroes,
climb the exterior wall of the sandy but a daunting one for nonhumans. (The
structure finds the exercise much like Narrator can alter the difficulty based on
scaling a vertical sand dune: He has the credibility of the heroes’ story.)
next to nothing to grab onto or to Heroes must attempt a challenging
give him a foothold. Heroes who Agility action to begin scaling the wall (a
manage to climb fifty feet up the wall daunting action for centaur heroes).
(or otherwise gain access on one of They must then perform an additional
the upper levels) can enter the challenging (or daunting) Agility action
fortress through a window. to keep from sliding down the side of the
Digging: Once the heroes discover fortress in a cloud of sand. Heroes incur
this citadel’s sandy consistency, they no damage from this gradual fall, but
may attempt to tunnel in. Unless they they do attract the guards’ attention. If a
wield geomancy, though, any tunnel hero suffers a mishap while climbing, the
collapses before they can use it. wall suddenly gives way and sucks him in
like quicksand, smothering him into
Atmosphere unconsciousness. The others may try to
rescue him, but anyone who gets too
An air of menace hangs over this other- close risks being sucked in, too: A black
worldly black structure. Armored war- aura on a randomly drawn card means
riors patrol ledges that jut from oddly the would-be rescuer shares this fate.
angled openings. The looming strong-
hold dwarfs these figures, as well as the Characters
guards at the entrance, even while it
strengthens their malevolent appear- The Dark Knights around the citadel
ance. And who can say what fell crea- patrol and guard in groups of three.
tures might emerge from the Bastion of Dark Knights: Humans of varied age and
Darkness to defend the fortress? demeanor, Adventurers. Co 7, Ph 8, In 5,
Heroes standing in the shadow of Es 6, Dmg +8 (two-handed sword),
this dark citadel should experience a Def -5 (plate armor), also missile weap-
feeling of foreboding and insigniti- ons (crossbows/+5).
cance. Narrators can also mention that
lightning plays in the dark clouds over- Outcome
head and thunder rumbles far away.
From this scene, the adventure could
Actions veer off in one of several directions.
Heroes who bluff their way into the
Once let out of the prison wagon, a cap- citadel and go to Lord Sivaan con-
tive hero can bolt for freedom with a tinue with Scene Four.
successful challenging Agility (Percep- If the heroes scale the wall, ditch
tion) action, running either into the Bas- their Knight escort, or break free of
tion or away from it into town. Three their guards and run into the Bas-
Dark Knights immediately give chase. tion, the story moves to Scene Five.
Using the bounty hunter or merchant Should captive heroes escape their
story to win through the Bastion’s gate is guards and run from the Bastion,
harder than it was to enter the city: The they are pursued through the streets
group’s leader must succeed at an average of Relgoth in Scene Two.
Presence (Reason) action. The heroes Heroes captured or recaptured are
might obtain a necessary password by knocked unconscious by the guards.
bribing or threatening townsfolk, as They, as well as anyone drawn into
described in Scene One. Passing them- the sandy wall, awaken in Scene Six.

Relgoth Mysteries 23
Scene Four: A Talk The Story Continues
with Lord Sivaan The draconian introduces himself as
Lord Sivaan, overseer of the Bastion of
After bluffing their way into the Bas- Darkness. If the heroes try to bluff their
tion of Darkness in Scene Three, the way through this meeting, he asks their
heroes come face to face with one of names, their business with him, and/or
Khellendros’s chief henchmen. how they came to be in his employ-he
has no memory of hiring a band of their
Overview description. Sivaan appears to accept any
explanation with a toothy grin. How-
Their escort leads the heroes to Lord ever, the suspicious draconian doesn’t
Sivaan, a Sivak draconian. After a brief really believe a word of the group’s
conversation, the Sivak has Dark Knights story: He just wants to toy with the
attempt to subdue the heroes and throw heroes before calling the guards.
them in with the potential spawn. If they claim to have brought him
captives, he congratulates the “bounty
Getting Started hunter” hero(es). “Someone made a
wise choice in securing your services.
The Narrator can reference the Book of But it seems you have not been fully
the Fifth Age, Chapter Six, for back- instructed: I want the prisoners sub-
ground on Sivak draconians. dued. Guards!” Answering Sivaan’s call,
Dark Knights pour into the room.
Should all the heroes pose as
First Impressions bounty hunters, merchants, or other
From the entrance, the heroes follow subjects reporting to him, Lord Sivaan
their Dark Knight escort into a twisting listens politely to their stories and asks
maze of tunnels that exist—almost questions until they have grown obvi-
impossibly—within the loose black sand. ously uncomfortable. Then, with a
wicked, lizardlike grin, he calls for the
The floor beneath your feet shifts like guards and attacks.
the sand on a beach—some of it even
finds its way into your shoes. Flickering The Battle
braziers provide dim light in the The Knights of Takhisis who rush into
upward-slanting hall. Every so often, the office attempt to beat the heroes
you pass openings guarded by a trio of with clubs, continuing the assault until
Dark Knights, beyond which beckons they have rendered all of them uncon-
open sky. More frequently, you pass scious. If two of the Knights fall, they
closed doors that somehow manage to switch to their far more lethal swords.
stay upright, despite the fact the walls Sivaan hangs back, letting his guards
around them are barely solid. Muffled do the fighting for him, until the heroes
cries sound from behind the doors. appear to have the upper hand. When
Eventually, your escort stops out- he wades into battle, he focuses on the
side a wide door. He knocks twice, and particularly strong heroes, though not
a sibilant voice bids him enter. Inside, a as gently as the Dark Knights: The dra-
Sivak draconian—arge even compared conian counterattacks to kill.
to other members of his race—its
behind a hulking desk. His wings
slowly beat, stirring the air in the
Atmosphere
room. The office contains decorative The Narrator should strive to convey
stonework on the walls, a rich rug cov- the strangeness of the Bastion of Dark-
ering the floor, and several mounted ness by describing the sand running
human and elf heads. down the walls and the dancing shad-

24 Act Two
ows that twist their way across the sur- Characters
faces. Distant screams rise and fall
from various directions. When called, two Knights appear for
Once the heroes confront Sivaan, each hero and character in the party.
however, the atmosphere should change Dark Knights: Humans of varied age and
to one of immediate danger. Sivaan will demeanor, Adventurers. Co 7, Ph 8, In 5,
seem cordial even after he orders the Es 6, Dmg +4 (cudgel) or +7 (long
Dark Knights to subdue the heroes, but sword), Def -5 (plate armor).
the mounted heads staring blankly Sivaan: Sivak draconian, treacherous
down at the group should prove that his demeanor, Champion. Co 10, Ph 12, In 7
friendliness is only a facade. Sivaan Es 7, Dmg +12 (two-handed sword with
hates humans just as much as most serrated blade), Def -5, also can fly,
other draconians do, if not more. shapechange, explodes upon death.

Actions Outcome
Ultimately, the heroes’ only viable This scene has a variety of outcomes.
course of action in this scene is to flee, Heroes who escape Sivaan’s office or
fight, or cast spells. No attempt to bluff vanquish their foes there will be on
the savvy draconian can succeed. the run in the dark fortress, as
Should the heroes surrender then described in Scene Five.
attempt to escape, a successful challeng- The story also moves to Scene Five if
ing Agility (Perception) action allows the heroes break free of their escort
them to break free of their captors. The before they reach Sivaan’s office.
guards immediately give chase. Heroes who become prisoners in
this scene are knocked unconscious,
to reappear in Scene Six.

Relgoth Mysteries 25
Scene Five: red aura) or offices (a black aura on a
random draw; a Dragons card means
Dark Wanderings the office is occupied by three Dark
Knights). A white aura card, however,
The heroes wander the Bastion after lets the heroes find a dank prison cell
either entering through stealth, dis- with a number of captives equal to the
patching their Dark Knight escort, or card’s value. One of these frightened,
fleeing the battle in Lord Sivaan’s office. starving folk tells the heroes that
dozens of other prisoners are being
Overview held elsewhere in the Bastion.
This section suggests some of the
This scene takes the heroes though the characters the heroes might meet as
twisting halls of the black fortress, where they wander the dark citadel’s mazelike
they may chance upon interesting—but halls. Their game information appears
potentially deadly—individuals. in the “Characters” section at the end of
the scene. The Narrator can include as
Getting Started many such meetings as he desires.
Wench (noncombatant): A young
The Narrator can plan which charac- woman, the mistress of a brutal Dark
ters the heroes might meet in the Knight, walks to her lover’s quarters
stronghold’s sandy halls, or he can carrying food and drink for him.
make a random draw from the Fate Scribes (noncombatants): A pair of
Deck and consult the card’s value: If he local functionaries has come to per-
draws a One, the heroes meet the first form a count of prisoners on behalf
character listed at right. If he draws a of the Lord Knight of Relgoth.
two, they meet the second, and so on. If Mercenaries: A group of sellswords
the Narrator draws the Ten of Dragons, has just gotten done delivering pris-
the heroes move on to the next scene. oners to one of the holding pens.
One appears for each hero.
Dark Knight patrol: Knights patrol
First Impressions the corridors in groups of three.
Inductees: A group of black-clad
If the group has not played Scene Four,
children about twelve years of age are
Narrators should read the text below.
on their way to weapons practice.
The floor beneath your feet shifts like the Torturer: As a scarred man in black
sand on a beach—some of it even finds leather closes a door behind him,
its way into your shoes. Flickering bra- the heroes can hear voices in the
ziers provide dim light in the sloping hall. room pleading for mercy. Moments
Dotting the passages are openings later, screams drift into the hallway.
guarded by trios of Dark Knights, beyond Squire: A young member of the
which beckons open sky. You also spy Knighthood is running an errand for
closed doors that somehow manage to his liege. Eager to please his master,
stay upright, despite the fact the walls he will be suspicious of the heroes.
around them are barely solid. Muffled Baaz: Five draconians have lost their
cries sound from behind the doors. way in the twisting corridors. They
will try their best to get directions to
The Story Continues the holding pens without letting the
heroes know they are lost.
Should the heroes try to open some of Servants (noncombatants): Alone or
the doors in the hopes of finding the in pairs, these characters are per-
prisoners, they’ll have to get through forming menial tasks for the Dark
some tough locks (see “Actions”). Some Knights and draconians.
of the rooms serve as storage space (a

26 Act Two
When staging these encounters, the stronghold undetected, many encoun-
Narrator might decide based on the sit- ters may revolve strictly around role-
uation how a character reacts to the playing. However, for heroes on the
heroes’ presence (if he sees them). He run, the meetings will lead to combat.
also can use the inscription on a ran- In general, heroes likely will attempt
domly drawn Fate Card to determine Reason and/or Dexterity actions to move
an individual’s attitude, or even try through the halls undetected. Additional
checking its aura: Reason actions might allow them to find
White aura: The character seems hiding places, while Presence actions can
helpful and friendly. let them bluff their way past characters.
Red aura: Distrustful of the heroes, Picking a lock on a door requires a chal-
the character demands an explana- lenging Dexterity action, while breaking
tion for their presence. He turns the lock is a challenging Strength action.
hostile if he finds them unconvinc-
ing (determined by another random
draw), but might become helpful if
Characters
the heroes offer a persuasive story.
The characters on the previous page
Black aura: The character either
fall into one of the following categories:
Baaz: Draconians of varied demeanors,
attacks the heroes, attempts to
Novices. Co 8, Ph 6, In 6, Es 7, Dmg +4,
betray them, or calls for reinforce-
Def -3, also can glide, turn to stone
ments to help capture or kill them.
upon their deaths.
Dark Knights: Humans of varied age and
Characters listed above can feed the
demeanor, Adventurers. Co 7, Ph 8, In 5,
heroes information, too. For example, a
Es 6, Dmg +4 (cudgel) or +7 (long
friendly person might reveal the way to
sword), Def -5 (plate armor).
the prisoners in the holding pen (Scene
Noncombatants: Humans of varied age
Six) or tell the heroes that Knight-Officer
and demeanor, Unknowns. Co 5, Ph 4, In
Nikoles—the officer who has Marda’s
6, Es 6, Dmg +2 (dagger), Def 0 (com-
brother—is assigned to the Knight’s
mon clothing).
Spur encampment on the Vingaard
River (detailed in Act Three). The Narra- Mercenaries/Torturer: Human, elf; and
tor can even give the heroes clues leading half-elfadults of varied demeanor, Adven-
to adventures of his own devising. turers. Co 6, Ph 6, In 5, Es 5, Dmg +6
When the group has played through (broad sword), Def -3.
the desired encounters, the Narrator Inductees/Squire: Human youths of var-
should go to the “Outcome” section. ied demeanor, Unknowns. Co 5, Ph 4, In
6, Es 6, Dmg +2 (dagger), Def 0 (com-

Atmosphere mon clothing).


Prisoners: Humans of varied age and
The atmosphere in this scene can vary demeanor, Unknowns. Co 6, Ph 5, In 5,
from tense and otherworldly to hectic Es 5, Dmg +2 (rocks) or by captured
and nightmarish. If the heroes are being weapon, Def 0 (common clothing).
chased, the mood should be one of non-
stop action. And all the while, the Narra- Outcome
tor should emphasize the alienness of
the sandy hallways and the many unset- Eventually, the hallway the heroes are fol-
tling sounds coming from all directions. lowing ends in an unlocked door.
Opening it, they find themselves over-
Actions looking a scene of misery: a holding pen
for those slated for spawning. (Due to the
The variety of actions the heroes might mazelike effect of the twisting halls, they
attempt during this scene are too varied end up there no matter where they were
to mention. If they have gotten into the heading.) Now, Scene Six can begin.

Relgoth Mysteries 27
Scene Six: You awaken armorless and weaponless
as a pair of Dark Knights raps you with
The Prisoners the flat of their blades, ordering you to
get up. Around you, inside what
appears to be a small house, stands a
This scene opens in one of two ways:
collection of downtrodden, broken-
After roaming the citadel in the previ-
spirited townsfolk and adventurers.
ous scene, the heroes step through a
Some of them look like they’ve been
door that leads to a balcony overlooking
kept prisoner for weeks. A handful of
a holding pen. Heroes captured earlier
these captives are ushered outside with
find themselves led here to take their you into a rock-strewn courtyard. The
place among the prisoners instead. high sandy black walls of the fortress
Overview surround a tiny spot of sky high above.

Here, the heroes witness the first step in This final passage applies to all heroes:
the spawning process and perhaps free
two hundred captives-a group that One of the Dark Knights announces to
may include several of their comrades. those in the courtyard, “I am Knight-
Warrior DeValier. Do not bother asking
Getting Started why you are here or why this is hap-
pening to you. All you need to know is
The Book of the Fifth Age, Chapter Six, that some of you can leave this place
offers background on Baaz draconians, alive. How? By fighting your fellow
featured in this scene. prisoners and surviving until I call a
halt to the combat. Those who refuse to
First Impressions fight will be executed immediately.”
The other Knights and the draconi-
The Narrator should read the text ans take up positions in a wide half-
below aloud to players of free heroes: circle that curves along the courtyard
wall. “You make the choice,” the Knight
From your vantage point on the bal- continues. “You can fight bravely and
cony, you can see in the center of the possibly die honorably. Or you can die
rocky, open-air courtyard below a two- like cattle in a slaughterhouse.”
story house, its windows equipped with A brief silence falls over the court-
bars. Similar structures ring the court- yard. From far above the sandy walls
yard, partially crushed and absorbed comes the cheery chirping of a bird.
into the sandy black walls. Then a thin woman in ragged clothes
A pair of heavily armored Dark lets out a shriek and launches herself at
Knights enters the house, while several one of her fellow captives.
others remain outside with a handful of
Baaz draconians. They all appear watch-
ful, as though they expect trouble. The
The Story Continues
haggard faces of men and women press The Knights and Baaz force the dozen
against the windows of the building’s top selected prisoners to fight each other to
floor, despair reflecting deeply in their the death with their bare hands. Any
eyes and features. After a few moments, heroes captured earlier in this adventure
the Dark Knights emerge from the build- are among those brought outside to
ing herding a dozen men and women. fight. Should the heroes refuse to fight
the prisoners, they come under attack
Captured heroes arrived at the holding from one Dark Knight and one Baaz.
pen some time ago, unconscious, and Heroes chased onto the balcony at the
were thrown in the house. Their players start of this scene are captured, relieved
should now hear the following text: of their equipment, and marched down
28 Act Two
to take their places among those chosen Characters
to fight. If no heroes are prisoners, they
Aside from those forced to fight for
can watch as a bloody brawl ensues
their lives, one hundred eighty more
beneath the grim stares of the Knights
captives wait locked in the building in
and the reptilian grins of the Baaz.
the center of the courtyard. If freed,
they will all grab rocks and weapons
The Battle
from the ground, kill the Knights and
If possible, the ragged woman men- Baaz, then rush into the citadel in fury.
tioned earlier assails the hero with the Prisoners: Humans of varied age and
lowest Strength score and attempts to demeanor, Unknowns. Co 6, Ph 5, In 5,
claw out his eyes with her fingernails. Es 5, Dmg +2 (rocks) or by captured
The other captured heroes shortly find weapon, Def 0 (common clothing).
themselves attacked as well. Baaz: Draconians of varied demeanors,
Narrators can consider that charac- Novices. Co 8, Ph 6, In 6, Es 7, Dmg +4,
ters fighting characters kill each other at Def -3, also can glide, turn to stone
the rate of one every two minutes. Once upon on their deaths.
a character knocks a hero (or another Six Dark Knights: Humans of varied age
character) unconscious, he grabs a rock and demeanor, Adventurers. Co 7, Ph 8,
to bash the victim’s head in. In 5, Es 6, Dmg +4 (cudgel) or +7 (long
From the balcony, the heroes can sword), Def —5 (plate armor).
get off one surprise near-missile range Knight-Warrior DeValier, a Knight of
attack against the draconians and Dark the Thorn: Human adult male, fierce
Knights (if they weren’t pursued). Once demeanor, Champion. Co 9, Ph 7, In 7
they peg a couple guards, the fighting (49), Es 8, Dmg +8 (broad sword),
characters realize that they need not Def -8 (plate/target), also sorcery (aero-
kill each other and turn on their cap- mancy, electromancy, hydromancy).
tors instead. Heroes on the balcony
who want to attack at melee range can
jump down to the courtyard. Outcome
In any case, heroes among the pris- Before rushing off, one of the rougher-
oners or on the balcony should involve looking prisoners pauses to tell the
themselves in the battle; the captives can- heroes that the Knights hold a group of
not defeat the Knights and Baaz alone. elves prisoner in a cell down the hall from
the balcony entrance. (Narrators can
Atmosphere disregard this message if the heroes
already rescued elves in Act Three.)
Initially, a mood of crushing despair As they make their way back
and oppression hangs over this scene. through the Bastion, the heroes and
Once the fight begins, however, the prisoners may meet up with several of
Narrator should pick up the tempo and the characters mentioned in Scene Five.
create an atmosphere of desperate Should the group manage to escape
madness. Spectating heroes should feel the Bastion, they can wander Rel-
compelled to join the combat. goth a bit (Scene Two) or depart
(Act Three, Scene One), finding
Actions Marda waiting where they left her.
Heroes wishing to free the elves now
Jumping from the balcony requires a can go to the Epilogue, Scene One.
successful average Agility action. If the For those who have already rescued
hero fails, he stumbles and cannot the elves and played Act Three, the
attack for two minutes, though he can Narrator should move on to Scene
defend himself normally. A mishap Two of the Epilogue just as the
inflicts 1 damage point on him as well. heroes are exiting the Bastion.

Relgoth Mysteries 29
ACT THREE
Scene One: The Story Continues
Marda’s Vision Presumably, one or more of the heroes
will pursue Marda, who has run over
The scene, which details a key event on the crest of a hill, collapsed, and curled
the trip to Vingaard, occurs either into a fetal position. She lies shivering
directly following Act One or after the violently and sobbing softly, making no
heroes have left Relgoth at the end of response if anyone calls her name or
Act Two. touches her. Heroes with a Spirit code
of “A” or “B” can sense the turmoil
Overview within her. Even without casting a
spell, those practiced in the mentalism
While traveling toward Vingaard Keep, or sensitivity can feel her terror as a
Marda, the heroes’ barbarian compan- physical ache in their own bodies. It’s as
ion, seems gripped by a strange seizure. though Marda exudes psychic pain.
This episode may teach the group A Citadel mystic may have once seen
something about the spawning process. a comrade help someone in a similar
state. Another hero might attempt to
Getting Started assist Marda by using mentalism or sensi-
tivity to see into her mind, find out what
The map on the back of this book has terrorized her, and calm her. In doing
shows Vingaard’s location. The so, however, the hero opens himself up to
Knight’s High Road, several leagues an involuntary response from Marda’s
north of Relgoth (or the heroes’ camp) latent mystic powers: As mentioned in
offers the most direct route. Of course, Act One, she is a powerful spiritualist,
the group may wish to avoid com- but has no control over her abilities.
monly traveled roads, fearing Dark
Knight patrols. Marda’s Story
In time, Marda regains her senses, but
First Impressions remembers nothing of what set her off.
She had no idea she was conveying her
Unless the Narrator wants to create pain to anyone else, she moans.
other events to further a subplot of his At the heroes’ urging, Marda tear-
own devising, the journey unfolds fully reveals that when the Dark Knight
uneventfully until the party is one day who abducted her brother imprisoned
from Vingaard. Just before it becomes her, draconians subjected her to a vari-
time to camp for the night, Marda ety of tortures, claiming they wanted to
experiences some form of attack. “harden” her. If she hadn’t managed to
escape when she did, she’d have gone
As another splendid sunset lights the insane, she says-she had begun seeing
heavens of Krynn ablaze, Marda sud- and hearing things that weren’t there.
denly lets out a shriek and tumbles to
her knees. She scrambles across the dry
ground in apparent terror and panic, Atmosphere
entangling her thrashing legs in her As this scene unfolds, the Narrator
voluminous skirts. Finally she manages should shift the mood from serenity to
to get to her feet, then dashes off, run- confusion to terror to sympathy for
ning full tilt across the countryside and Marda’s plight. The final act of Storm of
screaming hysterically. Over Krynn will only get darker, and
this scene sets the stage.

30 Act Three
VINGAARD HORRORS
Actions warrior, but perhaps we may harden
you in a different way.”
Pursuing Marda automatically suc- A clawed hand comes into view. It
ceeds, assuming the heroes chase her holds a writhing creature that looks like
immediately. If not, the Narrator may an earthworm with tiny barbs all over
call for an average Perception action its body and a stinger on its tail. With
from those who attempt to track her. the other hand, the draconian forces
Should a mystic wish to reach out the hero’s mouth open and drops the
and touch her mind in an attempt to creature in. Pain sears the hero as the
soothe her or determine what is hap- barbed worm slithers down his throat.
pening to her, the Narrator should Then he tastes blood in his mouth….
require a random draw. What happens
next depends on the aura of the card
drawn.
Characters
White aura: Marda’s uncontrolled Marda plays an active part in this scene,
power of the heart has drawn the although the elves from the Epilogue,
hero into a vision of the events that Scene One, may be along if the heroes
awoke these powers and continue to rescued them in Act Two.
disturb her. The hero experiences Marda: Human adultfemale, reserved
the events recounted in “The demeanor, Adventurer. Ag 8A, Dx 9B, St 5c,
Vision,” below, as though he has been En 5B, Re 8x, Pe 7c, Sp 9x, Pr 7A, Dmg +2
transported to that very time and (dagger or sling), Def 0 (common cloth-
place. When the vision ends, he ing), also uncontrolled mystic power.
finds himself lying on the ground,
surrounded by concerned friends.
Outcome
Red aura: The hero, locked in a fight
with Marda’s subconscious will, sees The adventure continues in Scene Two.
a vague impression of the vision
described below. (The Narrator
chooses what to reveal.) Then he feels
a stab of pain and falls unconscious
for a number of minutes equal to the
card’s face value. He awakens disori-
ented, with terror filling his heart.
Black aura: The hero brings Marda
back to consciousness but he could
gain no clue to the cause of her
seizure.

The Vision
The smells of fear, human sweat, and
rotting flesh assault the hero. He feels
the tight leather restraints keeping him
tied to a hard, wooden plank, and the
cold metal of the brace that prevents
him from turning his head.
The horrid fanged visage of a Sivak
draconian comes into view. “My lord
wants to see how this little beauty
affects you,” it hisses. “You are not a

Vingaard Horrors 3I
Scene Two: jecting them to verbal abuse and chal-
lenges. However, if an outsider offers
Vingaard witty retorts or bravely stands his
ground, the hostile facade melts and
About a day after the events of Scene the pirates welcome the newcomer.
One, the heroes reach Vingaard.
Atmosphere
Overview
This port has the rough-and-tumble air
This scene describes a pirate haven on of a pirate town like those portrayed in
the Vingaard River, as well as meetings the movies Against All Flags, Cutthroat
with some potential allies there. Island, and Captain Blood.

Getting Started Actions


The “river pirate” role in Chapter One An easy Presence (Spirit) action lets a hero
of Cloak and Dagger offers insight into with a wealth score of 5 secure river pas-
the local character. sage for the party from a pirate captain.

First Impressions Characters


Most of Vingaard was destroyed in the Pirates’ flamboyant personalities make
War of the Lance. When the Blue Drag- them brash, demonstrative folk but,
onarmy withdrew, pirates claimed what oddly, they dress in practical styles and
was left. From a small rise nearby, subdued colors. Ship and family
heroes can get a look at this river town. remain the most important things to
them-if a hero really wants to insult a
Not much remains of Vingaard’s for- pirate, those are the prime targets.
mer glory: once grand neighborhoods Heroes may meet pirates, both men
fallen to rubble, shadowed by the bat- and women, almost anywhere in town.
tered, fire-blacked hulk of Vingaard Typical crews consist of adult and teen-
Keep perched high on a hill. It looks aged members of the same family, as
like new buildings have sprung up near well as spouses of children who have yet
the docks on the shore of the Vingaard to secure a ship of their own. These
River, but they are little more than tight-knit groups follow their captain-
shacks. “I’ve heard this called a pirate head of ship and family—in all things.
town,” Marda says. “They live and die Ship's captain: Human adults, independent
on their boats, not on land.” demeanors, Adventurers. Co 6, Ph 7, In 7,
Es 6, Dmg +5 (sabre), Def —2 (leather).
The Story Continues Ship’s crew: Human youths and adults,
loyal demeanors, Novices and Adventur-
While in town, Marda hopes to find ers. Co 6, Ph 5, In 5, Es 6, Dmg +5
Knight-Officer Nikoles, the Knight who (sabre), Def —2 (leather).
took her brother. Asking the right Marda: Human adult female, reserved
people reveals that he and his talon demeanor, Adventurer. Ag 8A, Dx 9B, St 5c,
recently took passage upriver to their En 5B, Re 8x, Pe 7c, Sp 9x, Pr 7A, Dmg +2
camp, the Knight’s Spur—with the lad (dagger or sling), Def 0 (common cloth-
a slave among their prisoners. The side- ing), also uncontrolled mystic power.
bar on pages 34 and 35 explains how
the heroes come by this information.
The fiercely independent pirates
Outcome
love to harass outsiders, be they dragon When the heroes have secured passage
minions or freedom fighters, by sub- upriver, they continue with Scene Three.
32 Act Three
Vingaard Horrors 33
Areas of Town Sir Connor Heth: Human middle-aged
male, determined demeanor, Champion.
This sidebar, divided into sections that Co 7, Ph 8, In 5, Es 6 (36), Dmg +8
correspond to the map on the previous (two-handed sword), Def -9
page, can help Narrators create the (plate/horse), also mysticism (healing).
heroes’ visit to Vingaard based on Twenty Knights: Human adult males,
where they decide to go first. various demeanors, Adventurers. Co 7,
Ph 8, In 5, Es 6, Dmg +8 (two-handed
Toll Station sword), Def —8 (plate/target).
Prior to the War of the Lance, those
Ruins of Vingaard
using the Knight’s High Road would
enter town at a small fort on the west Most of the town that once stood at the
side of town. At this toll station, tax col- base of the Vingaard Keep was destroyed
lectors would ask a fee from merchants during the War of the Lance. Here and
and travelers to maintain town coffers there in the section north of the toll sta-
and contribute to the Solamnic trea- tion, archways and corner towers once
sury. The river pirates have dispensed belonging to mansions still stand. But
with the practice, however, leaving the for the most part, the stones-and even
toll station abandoned. some of the dead-lie where they fell
more than fifty years ago.
Vingaard Keep While the pirates initially spent a
good deal of time searching the ruins for
South of the toll station lies the great
fortress called Vingaard Keep. It fell to treasure overlooked by the dragonarmy
the Blue Dragonarmy during the War during the war, the lurking undead there
of the Lance, early in the Blue Lady’s soon discouraged that practice. Hideous
efforts to conquer Solamnia. While it creatures such as ghouls, wights, and
was an important strategic goal, some shadows still populate these ruins. The
promise of undiscovered treasure contin-
said that taking the keep settled a per-
sonal score for the Highlord. Raderic ues to lure enough adventurers here to
Tankreed, then lord of Vingaard, keep the creatures adequately fed with-
reportedly surrendered the keep to the out bothering the folk on the waterfront.
Blue Lady without a fight, but she set it The pragmatic pirates even encourage
adventurers to explore the ruins. (Chap-
ablaze nonetheless, tore down parts of
ter Six of The Book of the Fifth Age fur-
its walls, and hung Tankreed and his
ther details undead creatures.)
immediate family along the Keep Road.
Ghoules: Undead creatures. Co 5,
A secret group of Solamnic Knights
operates out of the mostly-ruined keep, Ph 6, In 3, Es 6, Dmg +6, Def —2,
by the grace of the river pirates who also paralyze.
Shadows: Undead creatures. Co 6,
keep their presence secret from Skie’s
Ph 10, In 3, Es 4, Dmg +3, Def —3,
minions. These Knights watch
Nightlund’s unnerving shadows across also drain Strength.
Wights: Undead creatures. Co 6,
the river for clues to explain the
increase in roving undead monsters, Ph 12, In 5, Es 7, Dmg +4, Def —2,
which plagues travelers along the Vin- also drain Presence.
gaard today.
Sir Connor Heth, this group’s Sword Shanty Town
Knight leader, dislikes the rambunc- A collection of poorly constructed
tious pirates. If he thought he could do houses built from rubble stands along
so without incurring the wrath of the the river. Visitors who have seen Palan-
Blue Dragon, he would attempt to drive thas or Caergoth find this pirate town
them from the ruins of Vingaard and laughable and pathetic.
reclaim this former Solamnian river
port. Continued on page 35

34 Act Three
Despite their haphazard appear- The elf, Kalthanan, seems dour and
ance, most of the shanty-homes are standoffish, even to other elves. Actually,
large and well-appointed within. Many he is a loving father who raised his twin
contain enough rooms and beds to play daughters alone after his river pirate
host to several families, if need be. wife died in childbirth. If he hears that
Young pirate crew members patrol the heroes seek a group of Dark Knights
the shanty town in groups of three, with prisoners, he directs them to his
guarding against the rare wandering daughters. They captain a small vessel,
undead from the ruins or outsider Myrella’s Heart— one of the few ships
thieves who might try to take advan- that can get the heroes safely upriver to
tage of the pirates’ hospitality by mug- the Dark Knight camp, the Knight’s Spur.
ging citizens or robbing homes. Gnatch: Tinker gnome elder male,
Heroes asking about a recent visit innovative demeanor, Rabble. Co 7,
from Knight-Officer Nikoles—or Ph 6, In 6, Es 4, Dmg +3 (wind-driven
merely Dark Knights with a load of club), Def 0 (common clothing).
prisoners-are directed to the ferry Kalthanan: Qualinesti adult male, dis-
dock (see below). tant demeanor, Novice. Co 9, Ph 8, In 8,
The children of Vingaard who are Es 5, Dmg +4 (cutlass), Def —2 (leather).
too young to serve aboard ship often
hang about the shanty town and water- The Waterfront
front (at right). They look ragged but The waterfront remains the center of
well fed and well loved: Every child in life in Vingaard, although each year it
Vingaard has an adult to care for him. becomes less so. More and more, ships
These children will subject heroes to set out looking for merchant vessels to
attempts at begging and stealing in an raid, only to return with their crews
effort to imitate their parents’ treat- transformed into ravenous, flesh-eating
ment of outsiders. undead creatures.
Pirate children: Human children of As the pirate clans attempt to for-
varied demeanor, Unknown and Rabble. mulate a course of action, they look
Co 8, Ph 4, In 5, Es 4, Dmg +1 (impro- increasingly to the half-elf sisters,
vised weapons), Def 0 (common cloth- Myrelana and Leana for leadership.
ing). Their ship is one of the few that has
successfully fought the undead crews
Ferry Dock north of Vingaard, whose numbers
One Vingaard mainstay that predates continue to grow.
even the nation of Solamnia is an Not long ago, the sisters sailed ten
ancient waystation at the north end of Dark Knights and their prisoners
the shanty town, for passengers cross- (including Marda’s brother) to a camp
ing the river via ferry. The local ferry on the edge of the swamp at the Mael-
still provides one of the few ways for goth delta. The Knights were all hands
wagons and riders to cross the river, during the journey, the sisters recall. If
which measures one hundred yards the heroes explain that the prisoners
wide at this, one of its narrower points. included Marda’s kidnapped brother,
The operators of the ferry are an Wilie, the two captains will be happy to
odd pair: an elf and an aging gnome. sail the party upriver to the Knight’s
The gnome, Gnatch, is a surprisingly Spur free of charge—so long as the
skilled cook. Unfortunately, he’s no heroes agree to help defend the ship
thinker gnome-the oven and stove he against possible attack.
built take up roughly half the space Myrelana and Leana: Half-elf adult
inside the Ferry Dock Inn. Pirates come females, capable demeanors, Adventur-
to eat Gnatch’s cooking and watch the ers. Co 9, Ph 8, In 8, Es 7 (49), Dmg +3
stove in action, hoping it’ll blow up (short swords), Def -2 (leather), also
while they are present. So far, the oven mysticism (mentalism for a continual
has worked flawlessly. telepathic link with each other only).

Vingaard Horrors 35
Scene Three: In the predawn gloom, the ship’s two
captains consult with a couple crew
Up the River members on deck as another pirate
boat draws closer. One crew member
The heroes head up the Vingaard River signals the other ship by raising and
aboard Myrella’s Heart, or another ship lowering a lamp, and you can see the
of their choosing, for the three-day other ship echo the signal.
journey to the Knight’s Spur. “The Dragon’s Fear returned the sig-
nal,” Myrelana tells Leana. “The crew
Overview must be alive and well.”
As the ship draws closer, however,
The lookout sights a ship captained by you can make out the faces of the crew,
an ally. As the ship draws closer, how- and it’s clear they are no longer alive:
ever, it becomes clear that the vessel is Horrid flesh peels from their bones,
now a ship of the dead, and the heroes and their lips are drawn back from
must battle for their very lives. needle-sharp teeth. The sisters order
their ship brought around, but the
Getting Started Dragon’s Fear has drawn too close. It
looks like undead pirates will board
Although this scene is written assum- Myrella’s Heart in moments.
ing the heroes are aboard Myrella’s
Heart, the Narrator can adjust it easily
to suit a ship with only one captain.
The Story Continues
The map on the back of this book The undead pirates outnumber the
shows the span of river between Mael- crew of the Myrella’s Heart and the
goth and Vingaard, where this scene heroes two to one. If the heroes can’t
takes place. react instantly, the creatures pour on
deck and begin the attack.
First Impressions
The Battle
The Narrator can improvise some When combat begins, each hero must
role-playing interaction between the fight two undead pirates. During the
heroes and the crew members to till battle, it becomes clear that the creatures
the first and second days of the trip, or paralyze their victims with their taloned
possibly introduce a subplot or two of hands. As soon as one of them scores a
his own devising. hit, the injured character or hero has
time for one more action before falling
Initially, the journey up the Vingaard to the ground, twitching. The undead
just feels odd. Over the eastern side of creature then throws the paralyzed hero
the river hangs a persistent twilight, overboard, unless someone stops it.
even when the sun is shining in a clear Marda stands back from combat
sky. It’s as if the shadow of some and slings rocks at any undead pirates
immense creature has fallen over the attacking the heroes, a look of intense
entire land across the river. And at concentration on her face. She defends
night, even under the silvery light of a herself with her dagger as needed.
full moon, the Nightlund shore sinks The twin captains of the ship fight
into an impenetrable darkness. back to back, so well coordinated that
one might think they have one mind
On the third day, the action begins, split into two bodies. However, at the
when the watch lets out a cry of alarm. height of the battle, Leana gets raked
As the heroes emerge on deck, the Nar- across the face by the lethal claws.
rator can read the following text aloud: Myrelana goes into a berserker rage in

36 Act Three
defense of her sister, but unless a hero Marda: Human adult female, reserved
comes to her aide, she too will fall. demeanor, Adventurer. Ag 8A, Dx 9B, St 5C,
En 5B, Re 8x, Pe 7c, Sp 9x, pr 7A, Dmg +2

Atmosphere (dagger or sling), Def 0 (common cloth-


ing), also uncontrolled mystic power.
This scene starts out eerie but confu-
sion and panic sets in with the attack of Outcome
the blood-chilling undead foes. The
Narrator should let his voice and ges- The battle’s conclusion finds three crew
tures evoke the unnatural appearance members dead. If the heroes managed
of the walking dead. to save Leana, the twins agree to con-
tinue the journey to the Knight’s Spur.
Actions Additionally, the group will have
earned a pair of loyal allies emerging a:
Heroes might try a number of actions leaders among the river pirates.
to prevent the undead pirates from If the heroes could not save Leana,
boarding, but in only one combat the surviving twin falls into a state of
minute they are overcome and must catatonia. The last crew member is
attempt to defend themselves. unsure of the camp’s location and
The ripping claws of the undead wants to turn back. The heroes can
pirates inject a paralytic poison into the demand to continue the trip, but will
blood of their opponents. Once hit, the have to walk the last leg, searching the
victim has time for only one more countryside for the Knight’s Spur
action before he collapses for a number After defeating the undead pirates,
of minutes equal to his Endurance the heroes can board the Dragon’s Fear
score subtracted from twenty minutes. but a search reveals no valuables.
Anyone who succeeds in an average Going on with the trip to the camp
Perception action during the battle takes the adventure to Scene Four.
notices that Leana is down and can Turning back to Vingaard (against
move to assist her. Marda’s strenuous protests) sends
the heroes back to Scene Two.
Characters Groups that did not meet Gilthanas
in Act Two find him held prisoner
On the first two days of the trip, Myre- with five other elves in the hold on
lana and Leana seem friendly, outgo- the undead pirate ship, as described
ing, and very interested in hearing in the Epilogue, Scene One. (The
about the heroes’ experiences dealing last surviving crew member suggests
with undead. Their crew members, the searching the vessel, if no one else
captains’ cousins, likewise act conge- does.)
nial, although they steer the conversa-
tion toward more conventional topics.
Pirates: Undead creatures. Co 5, Ph 5, In 3,
Es 1, Dmg +2, Def -2, also poison claws.
Myrelana and Leana: Half-elf adult
females, capable demeanors, Adventurers.
Co 9, Ph 8, In 8, Es 7 (49), Dmg +3
(short swords), Def -2 (leather), also
mysticism (mentalism for a continual
telepathic link with each other only).
Four crew members: Human adults,
various demeanors, Novices. Co 6, Ph 5,
In 5, Es 6, Dmg +3 (short swords),
Def -2 (leather).

Vingaard Horrors 37
Scene Four: The The Story Continues
Valley of Lost Souls Ifthetheswamp,
heroes move carefully through
they might be able to avoid
This scene takes place roughly fifteen the sentries—the foes’ vantage point
hours after the undead pirates attacked would allow them to spot the approach
the heroes' ship. of a large force or flying creature, not
prevent small groups like the party
Overview from sneaking past. Unfortunately,
though, the sentries have an advantage.
Having left Myrella’s Heart behind, the The draconianlike creature is a blue
heroes head for the Knight’s Spur spawn with an exceptionally fine sense
camp. Wisps of mist drift across the of smell. Anyone who has seen a dragon-
swampy ground as they come upon a spawn before recognizes it at once.
Dark Knight sentry post. While dealing The heroes may decide to attack the
with the sentry, they realize that the sentry post, but if they play it safe and
mist is actually made of human spirits try to sneak past, the spawn may catch
and from them, the heroes discover the their scent in the air (see “Actions”). In
most tragic and horrifying aspect of that case, it sounds the alarm by send-
the spawning process. ing a blast of lightning into the sky.
This warning alerts the eight Knights
Getting Started and one other powerful guardian wait-
ing in the camp: An important ritual is
The special abilities of the ghosts the about to start, and everyone knows that
heroes meet here are described in the if anything disrupts it, they will face the
Book of the Fifth Age, Chapter Six. wrath of Khellendros.
If questioned after a battle, the gob-
lin sentry, named Nark, reveals that the
First Impressions Knights in the camp are about to per-
If both twins survived the river battle, form a ritual to create more spawn. He’s
Myrella’s Heart drops the heroes at the not sure what it entails, as the Knights
edge of a dense swamp, and Leana have never let him in the camp; they
points them in the direction of the ordered him to remain on the knoll,
Knight’s Spur. If one or both of the sis- and brought food and supplies out to
ters are dead, the heroes must wander him and the other sentries. He saw
the swamp for the better part of a day Marda’s brother when he arrived and
before finally finding the first sign of thinks he is in the camp. This revelation
the Dark Knights. horrifies Marda, who insists the party
head there immediately. The heroes can
A sentry post stands at the edge of a calm her somewhat, but she still wants
narrow valley. Beyond it lies a large to rush into the camp.
camp and a ring of standing stones. As the heroes talk with the goblin
The ridges along the valley have been (or as they begin making their way
cleared of vegetation, and you see signs through the valley), the mists at their
that someone is making an effort to feet rise and swirl around them. Several
clear the valley as well. strands pass through the dead or
Standing on a mound at the edge of unconscious Knight and spawn and
the valley are three sentries: a Dark issue soft moans. At this point, it
Knight, a goblin, and a misshapen should be clear that these are no ordi-
winged creature that bears a faint nary patches of mist. In fact, one of the
resemblance to a Sivak draconian— group may find himself taken over by
except that it has blue scales. the spirits (see “Actions”).

38 Act Three
“They stole my body,” your companion mishap means the hero gains the “shared
moans in a voice not his own. “The body” secret described in Chapter Three
Dark Ones forced the spirit of a mon- of Cloak and Dagger. The spirit is either
ster into my body, then bound my that of a hard-bitten, violent mercenary
spirit to this place. I did horrible things or a psychotic killer (Narrator’s choice).
in my life, but I don’t deserve this end. Heroes who can cast spiritualism
No one deserves this. You must stop spells may lay the spirits to rest with
them. They are about to deal this fate daunting Spirit actions. Each success lays
to others. Stop them. Stop them!” only one spirit to rest. Should a hero
embark upon this course, he soon finds
After so exhorting the group, the himself mobbed by well over one hun-
spirit releases the hero. dred displaced spirits who desperately
want release. They eventually get angry
The Battle in their impatience and attack the hero.
If the heroes attack the sentries, Nark
surrenders immediately and begs for Characters
his life. The others fight to the death,
the Knight employing her sword while The following characters appear in this
the spawn hits the heroes with electro- scene, as do the six rescued elves:
mantic spells and his lightning breath. Marda: Human adult female, reserved
demeanor, Adventurer. Ag 8A, Dx 9B, St 5c

Atmosphere En 5B, Re 8x, Pe 7c, Sp 9x, Pr 7A, Dmg +2


(dagger or sling), Def 0 (common cloth-
The swamp should exude despair, ing), also uncontrolled mystic power.
inspiring a strange, undefinable sensa- Countless displaced spirits: Ghosts. Co 5,
tion of dread in the heroes. Ph 6, In 7, Es 8, Dmg N/A, Def N/A, also
fear aura and drain Spirit.

Actions Nark: A goblin. Co 4, Ph 3, In 4, Es 5,


Dmg +3, Def —2, also missile weapons.
Should the heroes try to sneak past the Dark Knight: Human adult female,
sentries, the Narrator can make a ran- authoritative demeanor, Adventurer.
dom draw from the Fate Deck. If the Co 7, Ph 8, In 7, Es 6, Dmg +8 (two-
card’s aura is white or red, the heroes handed sword), Def -5 (plate mail), also
pass without incident. However, a black missile weapons (crossbow/+5).
aura means the spawn smells them Blue spawn: A hostile nonhuman. Co 8,
coming and sounds the alarm. Ph 12, In 5 (25), Es 8, Dmg +l0, Def —5,
When the mists begin to swirl up also dragon breath, sorcery (electro-
around them, the heroes may attempt mancy), dissolves into an electrically
an easy Perception action to determine charged cloud at its death.
that the wisps of fog are moaning softly
and look vaguely humanoid in shape Outcome
(automatic success for heroes with
acute hearing or vision). The scene has two possible outcomes.
Moments after a hero makes this Should the heroes go to the ritual,
realization, a spirit tries to enter one of the adventure moves to Scene Five.
their bodies. One at a time, in order of Heroes who turn back can hike back
ascending Spirit score, the heroes must to Vingaard, then travel to Relgoth (if
attempt an average Spirit (Spirit) action, they haven’t been there), continuing
opposed by the ghost. The first one to with Act Two. Those who have already
fail becomes temporary taken over by played that act go to Scene Two of
the spirit. (If they all succeed, the ghosts the Epilogue. In either case, Marda
seize control of Marda instead.) A refuses to leave her brother and head
for the camp alone, if she must.

Vingaard Horrors 39
Scene Five: The the foot of the cots, and weapons and
other gear arranged in an orderly fash-
Spawning Ground ion. The other two tents look like mere
collections of clutter. The first ten
This scene takes place at the Knight’s belong to the Dark Knights, of course,
Spur, immediately after Scene Four. and the other two to the draconians.
One Dark Knight tent holds
Overview Marda’s brother. (The Narrator can
make a random draw from the Fate
In this scene, the heroes may witness Deck to determine how many tents
the beginning of a spawning ritual and they search before they reach his.) The
rescue Marda’s brother. boy is chained hand and foot and is
polishing boots. Brother and sister are
Getting Started elated to see each other and will con-
verse excitedly in their own language as
The Rising Storm adventure m Heroes of soon as Marda has asked the heroes to
Steel offers a detailed description of the find a way to remove the chains.
transformation to spawn. The boy, Wilie, explains that
Knight-Officer Nikoles has kept him
First Impressions like a slave and treated him like an ani-
mal. Marda immediately wants revenge
As the heroes sneak up to the Knight’s on the officer, but Wilie says that he
Spur camp, the Narrator should read went with the other Knights and the
the following text aloud. draconians to the spawning ritual by
the standing stones some time ago.
The place looks like what one might
At this point, the heroes could
expect from a Dark Knight camp: a
simply try to sneak away again, against
dozen identical tents lined up in perfect
Marda’s urging. If they have already
rows, each row with its own cooking area.
played Act Two, Wilie tells them that
At the center of the camp sit several large
another tent holds an old man also
steel cages—large enough to hold man-
kept as a slave and urges the group to
sized prisoners. However, these cages
rescue him, too. The old man is
are presently empty. It looks virtually
Raalumar Sageth, a scholar from Palan-
deserted, but beyond it rises a circle of
thas (see the “Characters” section). If
standing stones. Several draconians and
they have not yet played Act Two, Wilie
Dark Knights stand at the edge of the cir-
tells the heroes of a stronghold in the
cle, facing away from the camp. A strange
city of Relgoth, where these spawning
chanting drifts toward you on the breeze.
subjects had been held captive until
their arrival here. Wilie saw the Bastion
Continuing the Story of Darkness when he passed through
Relgoth with Nikoles and heard that
If the spawn sounded the alarm in the
hundreds of prisoners were held there.
previous scene, the Dark Knights in the
If the heroes manage to sneak away
standing stone circle are ready for
from the camp, the Narrator can turn
trouble. The heroes can either search the
to the “Outcome” section. However, the
camp or head straight for the ritual site.
heroes most likely will want to scout
If they split up, they can do both at once.
out the ritual with Marda—a simple
Although the tents all look similar
task, if no one has sounded the alarm.
on the outside, ten of them are so neatly
arranged inside that one might wonder Before you is a chilling sight. At the cen-
whether anyone has used them. The ter of the stone circle stands a group of
blankets on the cots are spread neatly, twenty bruised and battered men and
the spare boots carefully positioned at women in chains. Ringing them around

40 Act Three
the edge of the circle, eight Dark Def —8, also dragon breath, swallow whole,
Knights repeat a foul chant, horrible to dragonawe, sorcery (hydromancy, aero-
hear. Four draconians stand motionless manq geomancy), mysticism (animism).
as wispy arcs of energy reach from them Twenty prisoners: Human adults of
to each of the the prisoners. The varied demeanor, Unknowns. Co 6, Ph 5,
screaming captives writhe in pain. In 5, Es 5, Dmg 0 (unarmed), Def 0
At that moment, an enormous black (common clothing).
shape emerges from the shadows of the Eight Dark Knights: Human adults of
swamp before the stone circle, its yellow varied demeanor, Adventurers. Co 7,
eyes glinting menacingly. “More spawn Ph 8, In 7, Es 6, Dmg +8 (two-handed
fodder,” the dragon hisses, arcing its sword), Def -5 (plate mail).
long neck down to be level with the Marda: Human adultfemale, reserved
demeanor, Adventurer. Ag 8A, Dx 9B, St 5c,
heroes. “Khellendros will be pleased.”
En 5B, Re 8x, Pe 7c, Sp 9x, pr 7A, Dmg +2
(dagger or sling), Def 0 (common cloth-
The Battle
ing), also uncontrolled mystic power.
If the heroes disrupt the ritual, the Wilie: Human young male, resourceful
black dragon attacks with an anguished demeanor, Rabble. Ag 5c, Dx 9B, St 3D,
cry and a wide spray of its acid breath. En 8B, Re 7D, Pe 8B, Sp 3c, Pr 6c, Dmg +2
The Knights fight to subdue the heroes, (sling), Def -0 (common clothing).
knowing they could serve as more Four Baaz: Draconians, belligerent
spawn, but the draconians are too demeanors, Novices. Co 8, Ph 6, In 6,
dazed to join the fight. If the heroes Es 7, Dmg +4, Def —3, also can glide,
have not yet played Act Two, the battle turn to stone on their death.
ends with the heroes taken prisoner. Raalumar Sageth: Human elder male,
eccentric demeanor, Unknown. Co 4, Ph 4,
Atmosphere In 8, Es 7, Dmg 0 (unarmed), Def 0
(common clothing).
To create a creepy mood, the Narrator
should focus his descriptions on the Outcome
swamp’s spooky shadows, the eerie
chanting, and the sudden appearance of If heroes rescue Wilie and sneak away,
the black dragon from the dark swamp. they escape the camp without incident.
They can then go to free the prison-
Actions ers in Relgoth, if they have not yet
done so, by continuing with Act Two.
If the alarm was sounded, the heroes Assuming they have been to Relgoth
need to succeed at easy Dexterity (Per- and also rescued the old man in this
ception) actions to sneak past the Dark scene, the story concludes with the
Knights and into the circle. In the event Epilogue, Scene Two, as Khellendros
thy haven’t realized they are witnessing arrives to perform the climax of the
the creation of dragonspawn, the party spawning ritual.
leader can attempt a Perception or Rea-
Other heroes may attack the Knights,
son action to figure it out.
giving a Narrator two different options:
If the group has played Act Two, he
Characters should let the battle run for several
exchanges, then turn to the Epilogue,
The following characters appear in this
Scene Two while the fight rages.
scene, in addition to the elves from the
However, heroes who have not yet
Epilogue. The unfortunate prisoners
been to Relgoth are taken captive
are wounded and very hungry.
and regain consciousness in a prison
Cauxillor: A young black dragon. Co 9,
wagon approaching the Bastion of
Ph 30, In 8 (64), Es 8 (64), Dmg +12,
Darkness (Act Two, Scene Three).

Vingaard Horrors 4I
EPILOGUE
Scene One: The elves’ long swords and leather
armor lie in a pile nearby.
Meeting Gilthanas
Atmosphere
This scene can take place after either Act
Two, Scene Six or Act Three, Scene Three. The atmosphere of this scene matches
that of its location, but the mood light-
Overview ens considerably when the heroes realize
they have just rescued a living legend.
Here, the players witness the return of
Gilthanas, a Qualinesti prince who has Actions
been missing since shortly after the
War of the Lance. Reaching the elves requires an easy
Dexterity action to pick the lock or an
Getting Started easy Strength action to break it.
Qualinesti elves more than seventy-
Before the heroes arrive at this scene, five years old or Silvanesti with a social
the Narraor should review Gilthanas's status of Aristocracy or higher may
description on the page opposite. challenging Reason actions to recognize
the elf who carries himself like royalty.
First Impressions Those who succeed realize he is
Gilthanas, long-lost uncle and namesake
of Qualinesti Speaker Gilthas. (A mishap
on board the pirate ship) can be easily leads the hero to think he is Gilthas.)
opened. The text below describes them. Gilthanas does not immediately
trust the heroes. Any elf hero who
In the dim light ahead, six elves lan- wants to convince him of the party’s
guish in a steel cage. They look bruised sincere intentions may make an easy
from repeated beatings, and most of Presence (Reason) action to gain his
them have an air of despair about them. trust (average for non-elves).
Only one appears to have an unbroken Heroes can pick the lock on the cage
spirit, a golden-haired elf who carries with a challenging Dexterity action,
himself like a born leader. assuming someone has the proper tools.
Without them, the action is daunting.
The Story Continues
Characters
As the heroes approach, the blond elf
glares at them defiantly. If he sees an elf In addition to Gilthanas, the heroes meet:
with them, he says, “We have nothing to Five elf prisoners: Qualinesti and Sil-
say to traitors of our race or their allies.” vanesti of varied age and demeanor,
Elves know him as a Qualinesti by his Novices. Co 7, Ph 6, In 5, Es 5, Dmg +0
accent and coloration. He refuses to (unarmed), Def —0 (common clothing).
give his name, but elf heroes might rec-
ognize him as Gilthanas (see “Actions”). Outcome
Once Gilthanas knows the heroes
aren’t enemies, he introduces himself From here, the story moves to either
and explains that he and his comrades Scene One or Scene Four of Act Three.
were betrayed by elves serving the Blue If the group has played both of these,

42 Epilogue
Epilogue
Gilthanas might have returned to Southern
Ergoth. He was on his way there when
Hazel-eyed Gilthanas is the second elves in the service the Dark Kinghts
child of Solostaran, former Qualinesti betrayed and imprisoned him.
Speaker of the Sun. His older brother These days, the elf favors practical
Porthios was to inherit the throne, and clothing—his long years away from his
Gilthanas looked forward to serving as family and his native land have taught
his aide and loyal supporter. But his life, him to dress like a human adventurer.
like that of so many others, was irrevo- Although he has but commoner status
cably changed by the War of the Lance. now, he would regain his position as a
While in exile with his people in member of the royal family if he ever
Southern Ergoth during the dragon- chose to return to Qualinesti.
army occupation of Qualinesti, Gilthanas can employ three schools
Gilthanas fell in love with Silvara. This of sorcery: divination, enchantment,
silver-haired beauty was a Kagonesti and aeromancy. He also owns an item
shaman—or so he believed. of magic known as the Amulet of Heal-
When Silvara revealed herself to be a ing Hands, a gift from Silvara. It can:
silver dragon named D’Argent, the young Create bright light once each day.
Gilthanas felt as though he had been Prevent him from succumbing to
tricked into loving someone that did not disease, helps him resist poison, and
really exist. Even though the dragon lets him heal from wounds at twice
returned his feelings, his hurt and the normal rate.
resentment ultimately drove her away. Allow him to heal others by touch
It took Gilthanas two years to realize four times per day, restore a poison-
that the emptiness and depression he ing victim to life (if dead only five
felt was his longing for Silvara, his only minutes), and remove a disease
true love. But by the time he had out- from a victim once per day.
grown his prejudice, she was long gone. Create a barrier between the wearer
So the elven youth set out to find her. and magically summoned or created
For years he remained a prisoner in creatures.
Silvanesti (the younger Qualinesti heir Form a circle of protection around
was captured shortly before the Chaos the wearer and four others, keeping
War, as was his older brother, Por- them safe from melee and personal
thios). When he finally escaped, attacks from those outside the circle.
Gilthanas searched for Silvara all across Offer a trump bonus to Presence
Ansalon. He has seen more turmoil and actions to promote harmony with
had more misadventures than most others (Gilthanas even enjoys this
elves do in a lifetime. magical effect against non–elves.
These adventures have
(The Last Tower dramatic supplemet
left their scars—both
contains additioronlal details on this and
physical and mental—
other magical items.)
upon the handsome
blond elf. And Silvara Gilthanas: Qualinesti adult male, cap
remains ever elusive. ble demeanor, Legend, 4 . Ag 8C,
Gilthanas has always Dx 6A, En 7c, St 6B, Re 7A (49), Pe 8B,
believed that Silvara Sp 7D, Pr 6B, Dmg +7 (long sword)
survived the Summer Def —3 (chain mad), also missile weap-
of Chaos, but recently ons (long bow/+6), sorcery (divination,
he has uncovered enchantment, aeromancy), Amulet of
evidence that she Healing Hands.

Epilogue 43
Scene Two: The The Story Concludes
Storm Descends After this threat, the dragon lets loose a
blast of his lightning breath. For show,
This scene can open with the heroes: the Narrator can turn a card from the top
battling the Knights from the end of of the Fate Deck, but the result is moot:
Act Three, having just escaped the Bas- the heroes all manage to leap out of the
tion of Darkness with the prisoners, or way or otherwise miraculously avoid
sneaking away from the Knight’s Spur. injury. However, all surviving foes in the
If this adventure is not being played area are incinerated as massive lightning
as part of a Dragons of a New Age cam- bolts slam into their bodies (or they get
paign, the Narrator can replace Khel- washed away in steaming streams of acid,
lendros here with another dragon in an assault from the black dragon).
(perhaps Cauxillor from Act Three). Then the dragon prepares to dive.

Overview Arcing toward the heavens, the dragon


bellows, “Run, puny creatures! Or pray
As part of a multilayered plot, Skie to the gods that have turned their backs
intentionally fails in an attack on the on you! Nothing can save you!”
heroes. Not only does he want them to “The dragonlance:’ Marda cries,
have the treasures they may have stolen “Use the dragonlance! He may kill you,
from his lair in Act One, he wants to but at least you’ll take him with you!”
give them the confidence to stand up to
a Great Dragon- for only then can he It will take nerves of steel to do as
use them as his pawns. Marda suggests, but unless the heroes
attempt to attack the dragon with their
Getting Started lance or other magic, it pursues them.
As long as the group fails to face him, the
Narrators can read more on dragon beast lays waste to the countryside, then
combat and the effects of dragonawe in kills their allied characters, and finally
Chapter Six of the Book of the Fifth Age exterminates the heroes themselves.
and about dragonlances in Chapter Five.
The Battle
First Impressions The dragon barrels toward the party,
seemingly oblivious to the lethal dragon–
The Narrator should adjust the passage lance pointed at it. It narrowly misses
below if the heroes face a dragon other the heroes with its dragon breath attack
than Khellendros. (For example, as it dives. The Narrator should call for
replace the thunder and lightning with Agility actions to resist the assault but,
another type of dragon breath attack.) regardless of the results, it causes a mere
10 damage points to each hero. The
Suddenly, the sound of thunder rolls lightning injures the characters as well,
toward you. Then, what can be only though not to the point of unconscious-
Khellendros, the Storm Over Krynn, ness. Skie was just putting on a show.
swoops down before you in all his terri- If the heroes continue to face the
fying glory, lightning arcing around his dragon bravely with their magical
body. His voice booms, more powerful lance, he actually lets them drive the
than the thunderclaps. “You insignifi- ancient weapon deep into his chest.
cant nothings!” he bellows. “You dare Letting out a roar that causes the
stand in the way of my goals! Now you heroes’ very bones to shudder, the beast
shall pay for crossing a dragon!” Light- breaks off the haft of the lance. Then he
ning’s acrid scent touches your nostrils, swings up into the sky again, his blood
as though heralding your death. raining down upon the landscape.
44 Epilogue
Atmosphere harm on the Blue with a big flashy spell
causes him to flee as described above.
Narrators must present this scene at an
incredibly rapid pace: The attacking
dragon rushes at the group like a freight
Characters
train. The beast’s fierce demeanor, fear- This scene lists no game characteristics
some attacks, and booming threats for Khellendros, as this Great Dragon
should also tell players they face certain surrounds himself in mystery.
death: Only heroes of legend can stand Marda: Human adult female, reserved
against a dragon and live. demeanor, Adventurer. Ag 8A, Dx 9B, St 5c,
En 5B, Re 8x, pe 7C, Sp 9x, Pr 7A, Dmg +2
Actions (dagger or sling), Def 0 (common cloth-
ing), also uncontrolled mystic power.
As the scene opens, the heroes all must Wilie: Human young male, resourceful
attempt normal dragonawe actions. To demeanor, Rabble. Ag 5c, Dx 9B, St 3D,
strike with the dragonlance, a hero must En 8B, Re 7D, Pe 8B, Sp 3c, Pr 6c, Dmg +2
make a challenging Spirit action (Khellen- (sling), Def —0 (common clothing).
dros does not oppose the attempt). Raalumar Sageth: Human elder male,
Should the hero fail, the lance slips from eccentric demeanor, Unknown. Co 4, Ph 4,
his grasp and another hero can rush for- In 8, Es 7, Dmg 0 (unarmed), Def 0
ward to pick it up. Once he has stabbed (common clothing).
the dragon, the hero holding the lance
may attempt to hang onto it with an Outcome
impossible Strength action—a highly
unlikely success. Of course, a clever group The next section offers a wrap-up for
may use magic against the dragon instead the adventure and suggestions for the
of the lance. Inflicting some degree of heroes to continue the quest.

Epilogue 45
Afterword let the character reveal his story in
conversation with the heroes. This
Assuming the heroes both rescued the story can provide the foundation for a
prisoners in Relgoth and recovered short expository scene that can serve as
Marda’s brother, they have completed a bridge to the heroes’ next quest in the
one quest. Of course, if they picked up Dragons of a New Age series.
any of the Blue Dragon’s treasure in
Act One, he can now track their future “Years back, I studied at the Great
actions! Library in Palanthas. I was there when
After the climactic final scene of someone magically seized most of the
Storm Over Krynn, the Narrator should books in the Library, you see, and I was
not tell the players that Khellendros there when the Tower of High Sorcery
purposely allowed the heroes to injure was laid low.
him and spared their lives (in Skie’s “Then Khellendros came, and the
absence, another dragon may have Dark Knights soon after. Some of the
pursued a similar tactic in the over- other scholars fled, cowards that they
lord’s service). were. Me, I stayed behind. Seemed clear
Once the smoke has cleared, an old to me that the dragon wanted some-
man clutching a clay tablet shakily thing from the Tower and the Great
approaches the heroes. The heroes just Library—something he’d have to look
rescued this frail-looking fellow in gray for elsewhere now.
robes-either from imprisonment in “Of course, the Knights don’t have
the Bastion of Darkness (if they played much patience for men of learning,
Act Two last) or from his slavery at the particularly when we go poking our
Knight’s Spur encampment (if they noses into their affairs. But that’s what
played Act Three last). After congratu- a historian has to do if he wishes to get
lating them for their performance the facts of a situation right.
against the dragon and thanking them
profusely for releasing him, he asks to
speak to them in private.

The Scholar’s Story


The old man, dressed in the gray robes
of a Palanthian scholar, seems shaken
but in fair health. He introduces him-
self as Raalumar Sageth and seems a
bit daft-he carries a clay tablet that he
refers to often. However, he desperately
wants to talk to the heroes.
Raalumar Sageth: Human elder male,
eccentric demeanor, Unknown. Co 4, Ph
4, In 8, Es 7, Dmg 0 (unarmed), Def 0
(common clothing).

Although the colored text at


right presents the scholar's story
as running run text, Narrators
should try not to make the
tale sound like a speech.
Instead, they should

46 Epilogue
“After one too many such offenses, I which once belonged to Silvanos him-
had to flee the city. But the stars must self, now hidden deep in the Qualinesti
have been against me, for the first stop Forest; the Crown of Tides, sacred to
on my flight turned out to be a village the elves of Dimernesti; and the famed
the Knights had targeted to serve as a lance with which Huma Dragonbane
source of raw material to create those impaled the Dark Queen and ended the
hideous blue-skinned spawn. May the Third Dragon War, secreted away at
gods give their poor souls rest. Huma’s Tomb in Foghaven Vale.
“Before you rescued me, I learned Should anyone wonder how the
something else—something less tragic scholar learned the details of his story,
than the dragonspawn, but potentially he smiles and replies that, as a man of
just as dangerous for the free people of learning, he’s trained to report what he
Krynn. The great Skie is collecting sees and hears—even while a prisoner.
magical artifacts from yesteryear. He If asked, he urges the heroes to make
has ordered a special talon of the Dark visiting the Tomb of Huma their top
Knights to gather every single one they priority-that’s where he believes the
can track down. I don’t know why he Dark Knights are headed first.
needs the artifacts, but, in my humble
opinion, no Great Dragon ought to The Real Story
possess that much concentrated magic.
“Perhaps adventurers such as your- Of course, when dealing with a dragon,
selves could, well… liberate a few of nothing is exactly as it appears.
the items and, with luck, foil whatever The events of the previous adven-
that dragon is up to.” ture in this series, The Rising Storm,
made the Blue Dragon aware of the
Consulting his tablet, the scholar can heroes’ work to uncover his plans. Khel-
describe the artifacts he learned the lendros actually allowed their trip to
Dark Knights had been dispatched to Relgoth and permitted them to glimpse
recover: the true nature of dragonspawn as the
The necklace of an old but young initial stages of a complex plan involv-
woman who lives at the base of an ing the other dragon overlords and his
ancient stairway. search for the spirit of his former part-
A ring, once worn by a dark elf, now ner: the Blue Lady, Kitiara uth Matar.
at home on the finger of another in In addition, Skie decided to send
a place that calls no land home. one of his agents to infiltrate the
A jeweled scepter that rests in a heroes. The scholar, Raalumar Sageth is
fortress at the heart of the Green the mouthpiece of this agent: a hul-
Peril. drefolk named Fissure. This ally of
A crown that waits beneath the Khellendros, one of Krynn’s Lost Folk,
waves, guarded by elves kept pris- has used his inborn geomantic magic
oner in their own land. to take the form of the scholar’s clay
The weapon of an ancient hero of tablet, which allows him to secretly tell
song and story. It was crafted to the scholar what to say.
fight dragons but now lies in a grave Fissure means to use the heroes as
as white as the land that surrounds pawns as part of Skie’s complex, long-
it and the master who rules it. term scheme to get them, ultimately, to
challenge Malys. The details of this plan
Of course, these cryptic descrip- will become clear over the course of the
tions refer to: Goldmoon’s medallion of next installments of Dragons of a New
faith, located on Schallsea; Dalamar the Age. For now, suffice to say the heroes
Dark’s golden ring of healing, now at have been drawn into a plot that will
the Tower of High Sorcery at Wayreth, affect the future of Ansalon, although
the scepter known as the Fist of E’li, they might not realize it right away.

Epilogue 47
The Story Unfolds the heroes’ part could foment rebel-
lion among the slaves in that belea-
The next adventure in this series, A
guered city.
Killing Frost (part of the Heroes of Sor-
The heroes could travel to Wayreth
cery dramatic supplement), advances
Forest and seek information as to
Khellendros's sinister plot as well as the whereabouts of Dalamar’s
the story of Gilthanas and Silvara golden ring of healing. (The Lust
However, before beginning that ad- Tower dramatic supplement
venture, Narrators might choose to includes a wealth of information
develop some of the story elements intro- about adventures in and around the
duced in Storm Over Krynn. For instance: Tower of High Sorcery.)
The heroes can join Myrelana, Gilthanas needs a group to accom-
Leana, and the other Vingaard river pany him to Southern Ergoth and
pirates to discover who (or what) in help in his search for Silvara. Of
Nightlund is creating the undead course, the heroes should first
Vingaard river pirates. report their findings to Palin Majere
Marda needs help with her uncon- at the Academy of Sorcery.
trolled mystic abilities. The masters
at the Citadel of Light might be able The last of the above plot elements
to assist her, if the heroes can con- dovetails straight into A Killing Frost,
vince her to go there. At the same which features the heroes’ search for
time, they could attempt to warn the dragonlance of Huma. (The search
Goldmoon about the dragon’s for the previously mentioned Crown of
desire to put her medallion of faith Tides is the subject of a subsequent
to use in his foul scheme. adventure, part of the Heroes of Hope
A return trip to Relgoth might be in dramatic supplement.)
order—a little well-placed effort on

48 Epilogue
BY
Steve Miller

The Unsung Heroes of Ansalon.


o one knows their names. There are no Sturm Brigthblades or Tanis Half-
Elven among them. Yet for as long as Good has struggled against Evil, they
have fought alongside the heroes famed of song and story.
They are the rogues, spies, diplomats, and scouts of Ansalon, the heroes
whose coming goes unheralded and whose passing goes unnoticed. Although the
generations will never rally around their legends, these secret freedom fighters remain
vital to the struggle. All too often, heroes whose names we know would have failed
without the efforts of men and women whose names are lost to all.
Heroes of Defiance offers background on these heroes and guidelines for playing them in
the DRAGONLANCE® FIFTH AGE™ setting. The handbook in this box, titled Cloak and
Dagger, includes:
Roles for playing bards, guild thieves, kender handlers, rebel elves, and more!

Guidelinse for creating adventures full of intrigue and mystery, as well as an


introduction to some of the kingpins of “underground” Ansalon.
Optional rules for playing gully dwarf heroes and for creating the mysterious
personalities and hidden agendas that rogue heroes thrive upon.
Geographic and historical details on Northern Ergoth, the birthplace of such roguish
traditions as bard colleges and thief guilds. Now emerging as the hub of civilization
in the Age of Mortals, this unique island is also beautifully presented on a full-color
illustrated poster map.
This boxed set also features Storm Over Krynn, a quest to uncover the truth behind the
origin of the terrifying dragonspawn and learn the secrets of the Blue Dragon's latest
scheme. Groups can play the adventure as Part Two of the Dragons of a New Age cycle
or as a stand-alone scenario. This adventure
links with events in the second Fifth Age
novel, The Day of the Tempest by Jean Rabe.
Heroes of Defiance uses the Saga™ dramatic adventure
rules introduced in the DRAGONLANCE: FIFTH AGE
boxed set.