Secrets of Mystara

Post Six (Deeper into the Pyramid)
Deeper into the Pyramid

For the next day the party waits. Their only hope of communicating with the prisoners is if Hazrad regains consciousness, and his wound was great indeed. Fortunately, Glöð has bestowed upon Ember the divine power to heal. This, in addition to her natural healing and herbalism skills, will have him conscious and restored to full health in roughly a day. Most of this time the party waits, taking turns on watch. At first they drink and eat their fill from the masked men’s stores. The food is an odd mix of obvious and unrecognizable. Dried mushrooms predominate. There is also dried fish and some cubes of what might be dried pork. There is a soft, crumbly flour of unknown origin. Later, sated but exhausted from days of dehydration and wandering, most of them drift off to sleep, some on the beds where they are and some dragging mattresses into the “bee room”.

Before too many of them are lost to Morpheus’ embrace, Morgan organizes a body detail. The seven slain men, stripped of their gear, are taken to the empty cleric’s quarters across the hallway from where the giant lizard was seen. The bodies are curious upon inspection – alabaster skin, more pale than that even of Thrud and Ember. Pupils so large that no iris is visible and almost the entire eye is deep and dark. Each man has a lightning bolt tattoo on his left shoulder.

For all their food, the masked men seem to have no sources of light. Most of the group, when awake, stay in the bee room where the faint light filtering in from the long access hole provides some illumination. Throughout the night, a lantern is kept lit but burning slowly, so as to conserve oil.

Chamberpots are found and used by the party, but there is no obvious sign of a latrine. Morgan suspects that the trapdoor in the floor of one bedroom is used as such, but weights it down with several suits of chain armor just in case. Someone suggests emptying the pots in the green slime room, and after a day’s accumulation everyone is ready to do so.

The prisoners are given half rations of food and water, but mostly left alone. They wait stoically, occasionally conversing in low voices.

Bhelgarn claimed the leader’s fancy helm for his own, and no one objected. However, when he donned it, the queer sensation it gave him was obviously magical. His suspicious dwarven nature impelled him to abandon it immediately, whereupon it was taken up by Thrud.

In the early morning hours of the next day (day 21 since they left Selenica), when Hazrad is beginning to slip in and out of consciousness, most of the party is waiting in the bee room. Jon sits alone in the lower bedroom, humming Atruaghin songs to himself in the darkness. He hears the door open and the pad of unshod feet enter the room. Grabbing his new sword, he charges at the noise while shouting for the others. Battle is joined in the hall, with Morgan, Bhelgarn, Odleif, and Iris eventually coming to his aid. The scuffle is brief as seven goblins fall to the party. They are clad in filthy rags and bear rusty blades. Iris searches them but finds nothing for her trouble. Their bodies, too, are moved to the clerical room, whereupon the party finds that several of the men are already eaten, and bloody lizard tracks in abundance.

Several hours later, in the early afternoon, Hazrad announces that he is feeling fit to travel. While he stretches and regains his balance, the others, under Morgan’s direction, break apart one of the bunkbeds, wrap the wooden fragments in torn bed linens, and soak them in the thick machine oil recovered from the foundry. Each member of the party takes several of these makeshift torches.

Hazrad then has a brief conversation with the prisoners. There are a few simple words exchanged and much gesturing. In the end, the leader simply kneels and stretches out his open palms, in some gesture of supplication. Hazrad explains that these are evil cultists, and that they worship the lightning god of the statue above, whom they call “Gorm”. He says their source of food is lower in the pyramid, but it seems somehow connected to the helmet, which the leader is asking for. No one in the party believes it is a good idea to return an obviously magical item to the prisoners. Hazrad also cautions the party against eating the mushrooms among the food stores, and says the men appear crazed to him and the mushrooms may be part of the reason.

Morgan announces that with Hazrad well and having confirmed that they need to explore deeper, there is no reason to wait longer. This sets off a debate among the party as to whether it is less cruel to leave the men, knowing that they face dehydration, starvation, or possibly attack by lizards, or to simply kill them outright. Voices are raised and the exchange goes back and forth. Jon, oblivious to the finer parts of the discussion, simply draws his sword and asks, repeatedly, “Stabby-stab?” In the end no consensus is reached, but among those who oppose the killing none are willing to step forth to prevent it. Hazrad affixes the blade to his pole-staff and approaches the cage. The men, sensing that their end is near, exchange words briefly, the leader enjoining them to be brave. The two cultists kneel by the edge of the cage and are dispatched as quickly as possible. The leader points to the bodies, holds his hands forth pleadingly, and says “Zargon.” He then moves forward to the bars. As he too is slain Hazrad offers him some words in Ylaruai. Even as he slips into death’s coil, his eyes go wide in shock.

Jon and Bhelgarn lead the way down the trapdoor, where an iron ladder takes them to the third layer of the pyramid and a small, empty chamber. To Morgan’s relief, it is not a latrine. Bhelgarn cannot find an exit, but when Odleif lowers his lantern, Jon finds a loose stone that triggers the opening of a secret door.

The party files in to a large, almost empty room – the largest they have seen yet in the pyramid. The walls and ceiling are all painted sky blue. Directly across from where they entered, there is a large golden marble alter, set with precious metal candleholders and a bowl of water. A single door leads out – a hinged iron door, with a lock and handle, the first such door they have seen in the pyramid. When they approach, lightning plays across its surface. Though they spend many minutes searching, they can find no way to disable the electricity, even by throwing the bowl of water at it.

Finally Bhelgarn ties the key for the cage above to the end of his pole and Iris dexterously inserts it into the lock. With a deft click, it turns and the door opens – although the door still sparks and glows. Carefully passing through, Jon leads the way down a long stone corridor ending at one of the standard stone doors.

This time, however, a row of eight buttons is beside the door. Jon presses four in turn, and after each one a rough grinding noise is heard, but the door cannot be pushed open. Finally he tries one that allows the party access to a short hallway. Fearing a trap, Odleif spikes the door open as the others walk past him. Jon and Iris are the first out the door on the other end.

The elf spots a secret door and entreats Jon to open it, but the Atruaghin ignores her and continues down the hall, lighting his way with one of the candles he removed from the altar of Gorm. Undaunted, Iris shows her door to the other party members as they enter. They pass through and find a small chamber with another door and a large wicker basket.

With the rest of the party far behind him, Jon enters a room at the end of the hall and is immediately set upon by a giant draco lizard. As the creature mauls his leg in its huge jaws, Jon screams and then passes out from shock. The rest of the party comes running, with Bhelgarn managing to drive the lizard away from Jon’s body before he, too, is wounded and unconscious. With two mighty cleaves of his battle-axe, and a bit of assistance from Hazrad, Thrud dispatches the reptile and Ember and Iris attempt to rescue Jon, who is on death’s very doorstep. A quick search of the room finds a half-eaten body behind an altar – the body has a full water canteen and a sack of coins.

“Why was he off by himself?” asks Morgan, but receives no reply. Muttering disgustedly, she takes Odleif and Hazrad and returns to the room with the basket. She tips the basket over, and immediately they are set upon by giant pit vipers. Although the snakes are deadly poisonous, Morgan’s sword proves quicker and deadlier still. In the bottom of the basket are a tumble of coins and even a few gems.

Morgan opens the door and is met by a bare chamber with another door. As the three of them search for possible secret doors, Morgan steps on a stone that locks the doors and begins to flood the room with water! Their frantic search for a means to turn the water off is useless, and their poundings on the door have no effect. Fortunately Thrud, having heard the fight with the snakes, was already on his way. No hearing their desperate struggles, he manages to smash the thin stone slab of the door, shattering it and destroying his war hammer with the same blow. Water floods the basket room.

Possibly in response to the noise, a scrabbling and scratching can be heard at the other door. Hazrad opens it with his spear, and a cloud of giant bats enters. He immediately allows it to shut, keeping more bats out but already five are with them. Thrud is bitten and falls to the ground before all of the bats are slain.

With three men down, even Morgan agrees it is time to rest. Odleif spikes both the button door and the bat door closed, and the entire group retreats to the far room where Ember is still systematically washing and bandaging Jon’s savaged leg.

Dreams and Whispers


Ember is pleasantly surprised to find herself in the Great Temple garden. She remembers that she needs more healing herbs, though she is unclear on why. She finds old mother Hilda among the beds, and she is filled with the warmth of friendship. Hilda is an emeritus priestess, too old and frail to instruct, but an important confidant for Ember. When Ember arrived at the Temple, shy and insecure at 14, it was Hilda who first made her feel welcome, and the crone has over the years been a key figure in keeping Ember secure and grounded when faced with the challenges of her lessons, the petty rivalries of the other girls, and her crises of faith.

“Doter Ember, what brings you to the gardens?”

“Moter Hilda, I do not know! But something is troubling me.”

“Walk with me, let us learn together.”

Hilda takes Ember’s arm, and allows the young woman to support her, as they walk inside. They are in Hilda’s private chamber, where a little coal stove heats the small room. Shouldn’t they have had to walk more to get here? Never mind – the woman is speaking. “Now, dear, what is it that is wrong?”

Ember tries to say, but her thoughts slip and swim around.

Hilda opens the door of the stove as if to add a coal, but leaves it open. Ember stares at the fire inside while the old woman murmurs. As Ember watches, the flames seem to surround her, until all she can see is their orange…and red. Red. Red like the flame-red hair of Morgan. Red like the vicious slash across the neck of the man with the blanket. And the man in the doorway – the helpless man who was sleeping when Morgan slit his throat. Red like the blood gushing forth from the guts of Hazrad – Ember’s hands, both pressed firmly on the wound, trying to staunch the flow of blood. Ember’s hands, covered in blood.

“Moter, there is much violence in the world,” says Ember, hoping the old woman can still hear her. She has treated wounds before, of course – the priests and priestesses of the temple spar daily with clubs and maces – there are always bruises to poultice, bones to set, joints to relocate. But so much blood! She has never seen the like.

“Yes,” says the voice of the crone.

“How do I know what is right? I mean, those men, we just cut them down! Should we have talked? And Morgan! She is so cold! Is she wicked? Or is she the only thing keeping us alive?”

The old woman hums softly, and the flames recede – Ember can see the room again. “Aren’t you too big for these questions? Do you remember your catechism?”

“Yes, reverend moter,” says Ember, embarrassed.

“Tell me the verse of compassion and conflict.”

Ember recites: "Have compassion, always.
Seek to help others, always.
But when there is conflict, remember where your loyalty lies.
First, with your family, your bound hearthmates.
Next, with your guests, those under your roof and your protection.
Third, with your clan, those with whom you share blood.
Last, with the outlanders – those with whom you share the common bond of humanity.

Joined we are with all, and all are one – but some stand closer to our hearth and some are held closer in our heart."

“Good,” the old woman smiles. “So what is Morgan?”

Ember wishes to say outlander – for she is not of the north, this strange, fierce, half-elf warrior-woman. But that is wrong. That is not honest. Finally, she says “Guest. We are met under one roof. Our fates are bound together, though we are not family.”

“Good,” says the woman. “So now you know.”

“But, reverend moter, though we are bound together, I cannot just let her do as she wills? How can I control her, if I need to?”

“Think you again on the Teachings. What does Glöð do when Logi rages and burns? What does She do when Eysa and Eimyrja hurt their playmates?”

Ember recites: “Against unstoppable force one can do nothing. Get out of the way, save oneself, save one’s family. Treat the wounds and mend the goods later. But against petty wickedness, one intervenes. Hide the ale. Withhold the hearth. When the children are hungry, they will listen to reason. When the husband is met with an empty bed, he will bend.”

“So what power do you have to convince?”

“My healing. If they want my healing, they must listen to me – for I can withhold it. But moter, I remember now – I was in the garden because I am out of healing herbs.”

“Hjerte bedringens vei,” says the old woman. "Remember this: “Hjerte bedringens vei. This is the charm of heart-mending. With this you can heal, by the grace of the Hearth Mother.”

When Ember awakes later, in a strange bed, the first thing she sees is three forlorn-looking men in a cage, their faces vaguely illuminated by the wan moonlight chancing through the bee-hole in the side of the pyramid. It is not until then that she remembers Hilda died last winter.

[Ember now knows the Orison of Heart Mending.]

Post Five (The Lost City)
The Lost City


Midway through the next morning, Hazrad finds a few large stone blocks sticking out of the sand. Continuing on, the group finds the remains of a city, worn by wind, sand, and time. Most of it is buried by sand, and only the higher buildings and walls stick out. In the center of the city is a step-pyramid, with at least five layers, each 20 feet high, although the last one is more than half buried. On top of the highest tier are three 30’ high bronze statues.
There is a bearded man with a balance and lightning bolt, a winged child with a wand and a handful of coins, and a beautiful woman with a sword and a sheaf of wheat. Hazrad says that the child is a god from pre-al-Kalim times, the Nithian god of magic. These ruins must be at least a thousand years old.

On the south side of the pyramid are a broad flight of stairs, leading all the way to the top. Summoning their last reserves of energy, the party climbed the stairs and methodically searched each layer for a means of ingress, while Pooches waited listlessly in the shade of each layer. Finally, on the uppermost layer, Iris found the desiccated body of a hobgoblin with a bolt in its chest propping open a secret door. The party was grateful to enter the cool shade, although Morgan quickly triggered the unloaded crossbow trap and gave them to realize this was not exactly a safe haven.


The entire interior of the first layer was a single room, with bronze cylinders from floor to ceiling as the bases of the statues above. They had doors, but opening the door of one made a floor block fall into the chamber below. Odlief spiked the door to the exterior, as well as the door to one of the cylinders, open.

The chamber below housed a foundry with oil, a forge, and spare parts for the maintenance of the statues above, which could move by means of levers and gears and which had speaking tubes. Three doors led out. Exploring this level, the party found three empty and abandoned rooms, a room with a giant lizard, a room with sprites, and a room full of green slime. The big find, however, was a complex of three rooms housing ten men and a hive of giant bees. The men all wore blue tunics under chain armor and gold masks with the faces of the bearded man on the statue. The party made a surprise assault on them – although most were put to sleep immediately, their leader proved to be a fierce fighter and nearly slew Hazrad. He remains unconscious under the care of Ember. Seven of the men were slain – the three remaining, including the leader (who was captured by means of Jon’s net), have been locked in the cage surrounding the bee hive.

Now the party has found a place to truly rest, and have food and water for at least a week. They have discovered both a trapdoor down and a staircase. They do not yet know who these strange people are nor why they are here.

Post Four (Lost in the Desert)
Lost in the Desert

Note: New map, “Caravan Trail” on map page.

Day 1 – Leave Selenica on caravan trail. Pass through farmland, then vineyards. Camp at the edge of the hills.

Day 2 – 5. Up into the rugged, wooded hills along the caravan path. Clouds and frequent mists.

Day 6. At an intersection of the caravan trail with a dwarven road, the party finds a dead mule, and follows a trail to where a dwarven noble, his party assaulted and his guards killed by goblins, lies exhausted and with a sprained ankle. They bury his companions and he agrees to accompany them to Ylaruam City, where he can recruit guards or find another caravan to take him to Selenica (his destination). By the end of the day, the caravan has passed the high point of the caravan trail and is beginning to descend.

Day 7 -9. Down the caravan trail. The farther along, the drier it gets. Forests give way to stands of scrub, then trees are lost altogether. On the last day, the steep mountain walls flanking the trail open up, and before them are open grassland slopes all the way down to the floor of the desert. The native Ylaruai (who work as porters, haulers, and teamsters) celebrate.

Day 10, 11. Down the caravan trail through the grasslands of Makistan.

Day 12. The caravan arrives at the walled town of Parsa, Makistan. The caravan proper camps outside. Haldimar, the merchant master, enters and barters for provisions and the right to fill waterskins at local wells and springs. Bhelgarn the dwarf considers trying to find a group returning west, for his ankle is by now fine. Hazrad counsels him that Parsa is not a safe city for a solitary dwarf, and he will have better luck continuing on to Ylaruam City and finding a return caravan there.

Day 13-15. Crossing the open sands between Parsa and Sulba. There is no longer a clear route, and Haldimar and Hazrad both work to keep the caravan headed in the right direction.

Day 16. Haldimar orders Morgan to take a party ahead and scout a small oasis he has seen. Morgan chooses Hazrad, Bhelgarn, Thrud, Ember, Wolfbane, Iris, Odleif, Jon, and FluffyKitten. Hope she asks to stay with the caravan for the moment. The group is halfway back when a sandstorm strikes. By the time the storm lifts, there is no sign of either the caravan or the oasis. Whole dunes have been shifted by the massive winds, and there are no familiar landmarks. Hazrad attempts to lead the group, but by the end of the day there still has been no sign of the caravan.

Day 17. After breakfast the group is without food or water, except for the salted herring. Hazrad has given up on finding the caravan, and is attempting to lead them in the direction of Sulba.

Day 18 – 19. The group travels through the desert, seeing nothing but sand, sky, sun, and stars. The songbird dies. The cats grow delirious. If they do not find water by the end of the next day, some of them will begin to die.

Post Three (The Adventure Begins)
The Adventure Begins

“Morgan, sign ’em up and show ’em the ropes.”

“But sir, I really think you should at least talk to…”

“I said sign ’em up,” Haldimar interrupted. “They’re your people, they’re your job.”

The merchant master abruptly turned and strode away from Morgan, leaving her with the nine people, applicants to the caravan, in the muddy fields just outside the walls of Selenica. By “your people”, he had meant “adventurers”, that is, “people without proper station, position, or reputable occupation”. Morgan’s face burned until her cheeks were the color of her dark red hair – she was not an adventurer – she had a steady, regular job as a caravan guard, even a sergeant of sorts for Haldimar did trust her. But still he saw her as an outsider. Just like everyone else. Growing up in an elven village as Morgan Silverthorn, her playmates had taunted her by using “your people” to mean humans. Now that she worked as a caravan guard under the name Morgan the Red, Darokites used “your people” to refer to elves. And here was yet another use. All of them designed to show that for whoever was speaking to her, Morgan was always considered “one of them”, never “one of us”. She had been an outsider all her life. So it didn’t take her long to master her feelings, not long for the color to fade from her cheeks. She turned to look at the nine applicants.

That Haldimar liked to have adventurers along in his caravans she had long known. As she had worked with him, she came to understand why. Regular guards had to be paid, and wages were fixed by merchant house custom (which, in Darokin, was akin to saying by law). But adventurers made private contracts with the merchant master, and Haldimar paid food for the passage, a spot by the fire, and nothing else. Sure, he always promised “and a share of any treasure taken,” but what did that mean? He kept the adventurers on a close rein and “treasure” rarely meant more than a handful of coppers from the pockets of a dead bandit. By using adventurers to help secure his caravan, Haldimar could hire fewer guards and turn more of a profit for his house. And making a profit for his house was the nearest thing to divine grace that was to be found in Darokin. So here she was, supposedly “interviewing” applicants but in reality with a mandate to accept any and all comers and it falling on her shoulders if any of them didn’t measure up.

Wolfbane, Odleif, and Hazrad she simply told to bivouac with the other guards – their acceptance was a formality since she already knew them. Wolfbane was a contracted Darokite mage, and had been with the caravan ever since it left Darokin City. Young and inexperienced, she was free to work as a caravan guard. If she survived long enough to become powerful, her house would surely reassign her to something both safer and more lucrative. Odleif was a taciturn woodsman from the Canolbarth. They had picked him up soon after they had entered the forest and he had proven a capable and trustworthy scout.

Hazrad she had met just the day before. Although Morgan had worked the caravan route between Darokin City and Selenica for more than a year, she had never been farther east than Selenica, and now they made to cross the Alaysian Desert. She had insisted to Haldimar that she wanted someone who knew the way (he did, of course – but what if he were incapacitated?). Haldimar had given her permission to recruit a Ylaruan and she had wandered the foreign quarter of Selenica all the day looking for “the right one” before finding Hazrad. He did attest to knowledge of both the route specifically and to navigation by stars in general, so he seemed a good choice. Other than that, she didn’t much like him. She supposed he thought himself courteous, after the manner of his people, but she just found him obsequious. She had obtained from Halimar permission to pay him the pittance of a copper a day in addition to his food, as recognition of his status as guide. When she had said to him, offhand, that she was sorry it was not more, he had protested. “No, no, no, my lady. I am grateful for every coin, al-Kalim be praised!” and then had bowed so low she was embarrassed. ‘My lady’ indeed. She had heard what the other Ylaruai had called her when she found Hazrad in the tea parlor that doubled as a gambling den when the imams were not looking. Precious few words in Ylaruai she knew, but “demon” was one of them, for that is how they referred to elves. Doubtless he felt the same, though his “manners” would never permit him to show it to her face. Again, she was “the other”. No matter.

Morgan turned her attention to the seven remaining people, interviewing them each in turn. Ember was a priestess from the northern Jarldoms, and was accompanied by a hulking brute who watched over her. “He is Thrud, ya?” she smiled, “he protect me,” and Thrud grinned foolishly. Then Ember reached forward to take a handful of Morgan’s hair and hold it to her own forehead. Aghast at the woman’s forwardness, Morgan backed away, and the young priestess frowned. “It is a sign of the goddess, no?” she said. Morgan would later come to learn that Ember was a priestess of Glöð, the Jarldom’s goddess of home, hearth, and fire. For her, Morgan’s red hair was a sign that she had been “touched by the goddess.” Although Morgan then understood her actions, it didn’t make her less uncomfortable with the stranger having the audacity to touch her person like that. No wonder the Darokites considered the northerners to be barbarians.

After the pair of northerners, Morgan spoke with the Atruaghin, Jon Speardragon. It wasn’t a long conversation, as Jon’s mastery of Common was monosyllabic and his Darokite was non-existent. She supposed he fancied himself a mercenary, if that was what “I kill thing – make heap gold” meant. He was handsome enough, anyway. She permitted herself a wry smile.

“Heel, Spell, heel!” a young woman’s exasperated tone broke Morgan’s meditation on the man’s copper skin. “Mal chien!” The robed woman was struggling with a massive war dog, who looked like he wanted nothing more than to chase after the dog of another one of the adventurers, an elf. Finally the elf, realizing that Morgan was waiting, gave a short and throaty bark, at which the young woman’s dog winced and settled down. Morgan touched her fingertip to her temple, a sign of respect for the elf’s skill, and the elf nodded back. Oblivious to the exchange, the human woman continued to speak. “Spell, ’e is not like thees, non? ’e is bon chien, I promise! We go to desert, oui?”

“Glantrian?” Morgan asked the woman, though her accent made it obvious.

“Oui…I mean, yes!”

“Mage?” Morgan continued, though again, her robes and lone dagger were unmistakable.

“Yes, yes!”

“Alright, put your tent over there,” Morgan gestured at where she had sent the others. “And try to stay near the priestess. Some of these guards have rather mistaken notions about the morals of women from Glantri.”

“Oh, I know! Theese men, they ar’ ’orrid, non? I have been in caravan for months now, and they are all the same! This is why Spell, ’e sleep in my tent!” The woman bustled off, dog following. Was that a cat peeking out of her backpack? It wasn’t until later that Morgan learned the woman’s name – Hope – or, as she said it, ’ope.

Morgan turned to the halfling woman, trying not to stoop as she spoke. The Hin hated that. “And you are?”

“FluffyKitten,” said the halfling, grinning broadly.

“Well, Miss Kitten…”

“No, no Miss Kitten. No family name. No family. Mama, Papa, dead.” She shrugged. “Just FluffyKitten. Me cook. Me mend. Me use this, sommy time.” she said, patting the blade in her belt. Morgan pointed her to the camp.

There was just one woman left, an elf. Morgan had deliberately saved her for last, though she wasn’t sure why. She fell into Elven to address her; it had been a while since she had used the tongue. Her name was Iris. Her dog lounged peacefully at her feet, a marked contrast to the Glantrian woman’s frantic hound. She was an Alfheim elf, though of a different clan than Morgan’s mother. Her coming-of-age vision had told her to travel to Selenica. Now she was here and didn’t know why. She couldn’t stand another day in the ugly, noisy city but she hadn’t learned whatever it was she was supposed to learn about humans to fulfill her vision, so she figured signing on with the caravan and leaving the city behind was a good idea. “Although,” she said, incredulous, “have you seen the way they treat the mules and camels? Just strapping those heavy loads to them, without even asking them? It’s so cruel! Honestly, I just don’t understand…”

Morgan braced herself, preparing for the inevitable, “your people”.

“…those people.”

Morgan smiled. It was the first good thing that had happened to her all day. Maybe this desert crossing wouldn’t be so bad after all.

Post Two (Setting)

I have added a map to the “Maps” page, showing the city of Selenica and its environs. Your characters will start in this city, so they are either from there or have as part of their back-story an explanation of how they got there.

Selenica is a semi-autonomous city at the eastern edge of the Republic of Darokin. Darokin is functionally a plutocracy with large merchant houses in control of feudal estates. The good farming land and most of the population in Darokin is off the map to the west; Selenica exists as a trading center on a long caravan route that extends to the nations east of Darokin.

The “whited out” portion of the map is the interior of the Canolbarth Forest, which is controlled by elves and divided into petty principalities. The elves of the Canolbarth have generally friendly relations with Darokin and trade them exquisitely crafted goods in return for the courser supplies they need from the outside world. If any of your characters are elven, it is most likely that they are from the Canolbarth.

Post One (Character Creation)
Character Creation


Go ahead and open the Characters menu – use the + button to create and save a character. At this point all you need is a name, and even that as a placeholder since you can change it later. Then come back here and read up about your choices.

Permitted Races (4):
Human, Elf, Dwarf, Halfling
(Experienced gamers who want to use a more exotic race please e-mail me and discuss)

Permitted Classes (7):
Elf, Dwarf, Halfling (note that these are simultaneously class AND race).
For Humans; Fighter, Mage, Thief, Cleric.

Rolled Stats (6):
Strength (Str), Intelligence (Int), Wisdom (Wis), Dexterity (Dex), Constitution (Con), Charisma (Cha).

Now think about your initial stats for your character. You have two choices:

Choice One
Roll 3d6 for six ability scores, and then ASSIGN each of them to the ability of your choice. This is for if you KNOW what class and race you would like to play. By assigning them in the order you want, you can be reasonably sure you will get stats that let you qualify for your desired class and race, and perhaps even excel in it. Because these scores are lower on average than the second method, you will likely have a few low scores in areas that are not essential for your class.

Choice Two
Roll 4d6 for each stat IN ORDER (as above), and KEEP the highest three rolls of the 4d6 (drop the low roll for each stat). [For example, if I rolled a 2, 3, 4, and 6 I would drop the 2 and total my ability as 13] This is for if you are not sure what you would like to play, but want to see what your character could naturally fit in as. By taking this method, your scores will be higher overall, but you will be somewhat constrained into playing what you would be good for, not something you chose yourself.

Even after you have set your scores, they still can be adjusted slightly – more about this in another post once you have rolled your initial ability scores.

Scores and Qualifying for Classes

Humans do not have minimum scores for any class. Certain abilities will earn them bonus experience points (that is, they will level faster).

(Human) Cleric: Bonus experience points if Wisdom is at least 13.

(Human) Fighter: Bonus experience points if Strength is at least 13.

(Human) Mage: Bonus experience points if Intelligence is at least 13.

(Human) Thief: Bonus experience points if Dexterity is at least 13.

Demi-Humans have minimum scores needed to qualify for their race/class. Certain abilities will earn them bonus experience points (that is, they will level faster).

Dwarves need a minimum Constitution score of 9. They earn bonus experience points if Strength is at least 13.

Elves need a minimum Intelligence score of 9. They earn bonus experience points if Strength AND Intelligence are BOTH at least 13.

Halflings need minimum scores of 9 in BOTH Constitution AND Dexterity. They earn bonus experience points if Strength AND Dexterity are BOTH at least 13.

Once you have chosen your rolling method and rolled your ability scores, go ahead and add the scores to your character, as well as a note on which method you used. If you are not sure what class you would like or what the abilities will be used for, ask me a question on the character page (or leave a comment below) – I will be reading those soon.