Saturday, September 30, 2006

The Tale of the Last Captain (part3)

Jezabell, Nuwah Kawah, William, Blu and Mandingo step through the gate after Daena Sabertooth.

They step into an underground cavern, somewhere deep under Skullcape. Daena explains the site is one of the last burial grounds remaining from the era before Manifest. These catacombs were used, she says, by the people who lived there long before there were any pirates on the waters Skullcape, and before the site was named as such. The sages of the area suspected these people were part of the Great Host that came to the Spires long ago and defeated the Lost Kingdom to the South. After all, some of the tombs down there seemed too large to belong to any human being, so who could these belong to, besides some of the giants, these "Hu Charad" of old?

Soon enough it seems clear the place is no longer at peace. As was the case in Ogrebound's cemetary, undead are roaming the corridors of the complex. Something or someone is awakening the dead all over the area! The heroes avoid traps and other hazards during their exploration, and finally meet Lo Careth, a friend of Daena, who found refuge in the catacombs when the pirates' camp was attacked by the forces of Hornsdeep.

But it is instantly apparent Lo Careth has changed somehow. It is clear he wants to kill Daena and her companions. He performs a ritual and changes into a hulking, raging beast. Some Rodhins appear out of nowhere and join the fray. A terrible battle follows while Daena, shocked at the change of her friend, is left to her thoughts, undecided.

Only when Lo Careth falls does she react, showing her suffering and pain as she looses a friend she trusted beyond all others. Whoever triggered this dramatic change in Lo Careth would have to pay. This is with this single thought in mind that she goes on through the corridors, going straight for one of the main burial chambers, knowing whoever would have come to the catacombs couldn't have resisted to the lust for treasures this place inspired.

Indeed, they find one of their enemies there. A Mojh who seems to know the heroes of Ogrebound. Jezabell and William remember the message they found in the possession of one of the bandits who attacked them on the road north to Ogrebound: this Mojh has to be connected to them somehow, but there is no time to ask questions. After a many blows and many spells have been exchanged, the Mojh is defeated, and the heroes are left with no answers to their questions.

Skullcape's Burial Grounds, Level 1
1- Entry point from the portal to the Surface
2- Undead Ambush and multiple traps
3- The cistern - access to Level 2 (see below)
4- Lo Careth and stairs to the above Burial Chamber
5- The Mojh and Burial Chamber
6- Room badly damaged over the time - access to Level 3 (see below)

Skullcape's Burial Grounds, Level 2 - Natural Caves
1- Access to Level 1 (see below and Level 1, #3- The Cistern)
2- Living area for the Inshons (with underwated access to #2a)
2a- Second Living area of the Inshons (with underwater access to #6)
3- Ante-chamber to one of the dragons' lair (with underwater access to #2a)
4- First twin's lair
5- Second twin's lair
6- Secret breeding chamber of the Inshons

The heroes of Ogrebound go on their search for the Last Captain and the access to the Trireme of the Doomed moored nearby.

Soon, the adventurers discover that a cistern nearby serves is in fact a flooded shaft leading to another, unexplored area of the complex. They decide to dive in, and after a few excruciating minutes holding their breaths, they emerge in natural caverns which serve as the breeding grounds of a tribe of Inshons.

But the Inshons are not really hostile to the newcomers. Indeed, two twin black dragons have been taking over this cave complex and ordering them around for the past while. They came in recently, they add, and they are waiting for someone. The heroes decide to help the Inshons out, but after trying to confront the twins, it becomes clear these dragons, who are in fact Mojh able to shapechange into black dragons, present an opposition far beyond their abilities. They flee the scene through the flooded tunnel where they came from.

The adventurers and Daena Sabertooth investigate further the first level of the burial grounds. They finally find a grand chamber where hundreds of bodies were piled up. Today, only their fragile bones remain as a legacy to their number and might. Opening the chamber causes many of these remains to crumble to dust, and the adventurers have to wait before entering.

When they finally do come in the room, it is obvious some sort of geological activity was at work some time after the complex's construction. This burial chamber was torn apart, and a huge rift was tearing the room apart right in the middle of it.

With no other options, the adventurers decide to climb down the natural opening. They soon discover yet another level to the complex, and instantly start to explore. This level was left untouched for centuries, and it is not long before they discover the tomb of the Last Captain. Daena helps summon the spirit, and then asks the permission to access the Trireme of the Doomed. The Last Captain's spirit agrees to the request if his visitors can bring him to rest. He explains how he was caught during one of his expeditions, and how he was brought back to Skullcape to be tortured and buried alive in the catacombs. One of the magisters who punished him created elemental seals around his tomb. His spirit was trapped until now, the seals stopping him from reaching the afterlife.

Only after defeating all the seals and talking to each of their elemental spirits could the adventurers free the Last Captain's spirit, and talk to each spirit they did. Their wits are rudely tested through riddles and enigmas inflicted upon them by the spirits (the Last Captain hated such things in his lifetime and could not bring himself to solve them, which was known by many just prior to his capture), but they finally manage to overcome all the difficulties cropping up in their way.

Skullcape's Burial Grounds, Level 3 - Tomb of the Last Captain
1- Water Seal
2- Air Seal
3- Earth Seal and access to Underdark mines
4- Fire Seal and access to the open sea (and Trireme)

Finally, before departing, the Last Captain agrees to take them to the Trireme of the Doomed. He leads them back to the Fire Seal, and there the heroes of Ogrebound see a small skiff just reaching the shore. They join the Last Captain on the skiff and leave the burial grounds.

The Trireme of the Doomed is a large ship moored near Skullcape. It looks as if it was sculpted from a single piece of ebony, and huge, heavy copper arabesques cover its hull. Its sails are all aged and shriveled. There is no crew to be seen.

The heroes follow the Last Captain up to the Trireme. A few minutes they wait, the Last Captain just standing there without uttering a word. Then, they see movement: at first, it is just a strange feeling, and the heroes do not know if they are just imagining things, but then, the movements, the forms and shapes become more distinct. They can make out some some arms, some legs, and finally some entire bodies... the crew came back from Beyond! Slowly, the Trireme moves and fends the waters of the High Lake. Soon, the heroes think, they would arrive to Laelith, their final destination. They would be able to deliver the Chalice of Life and Death, to Spellhold and thus keep the Maze sealed...

Next Time: The PCs' arrival to Laelith and their dealings with a cheating gambler!

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

The Tale of the Last Captain (part2)

The Baron of Hornsdeep

November 21, 2004 (10 AM to 6 PM)

The Tower of Hornsdeep is a maze of dark corridors, stairs and rooms where torches spread a dim light on old withered walls and tapestries. After following the Chorrim for a while, Blu, Jezabell, Mandingo, Nuwah-Kawah and Jezabell enter a vast vaulted throne room. There, many goblins affected by the same strange disease that infected the villagers outside stand along a large corridor leading to the throne room. There, on the stairs climbing to the elevated throne, sits the Baron, and behind him, half-hidden by the shadows in the room, there is the translucent form of ghost. As the Baron stands to greet the newcomers, the ghost laughs at him and begins to taunt him, and our heroes see for the first time the extent of the madness that took over the Baron’s life.

They learn throughout the discussion that the Baron in fact usurped the throne by killing his elder brother. Since then, his spirit remains and taunts his betrayer. The Baron slowly fell down the pits of madness where he remained till this day.

Treating with the Baron isn’t easy. His shifting, alienated behavior prevents them from getting their point across for a while, but ultimately they do. They struck a bargain with the Baron: he gives them back Daena Sabertooth and all the other survivors of the sack of Skullcape and they bring back a cure to the “Green Plague”, the disease affecting the inhabitants of Hornsdeep. They accept and swear an oath with the help of the Baron’s éminence grise, a Mojh going by the name of “The Metarex”.

Daena and the other pirates are freed. The Metarex then asks another favor from our heroes: one of his apprentices attempted to transform into a Mojh but failed. His twisted body is preserved in a levitating metal coffin. The Metarex wants them to bring the coffin to one of his dear friends, in Laelith. They agree to his request, and off they are, back to Skullcape (Daena had the two last TempleCrystals on herself. How she succeeded in hiding them from the guards of Hornsdeep, one may just wonder).

A few hours later, they are back to the temple of Skullcape. Daena uses all four crystals to open a magical dimensional gate to the temple’s catacombs. There, she says, they would be able to seek the Last Captain of the Trireme of the Doomed, the last remaining ship moored at the Altalus’ mouth.

Next: Our heroes explore Skullcape's catacomb system.

The Tale of the Last Captain (part1)

After much debate between our heroes (Blu, Jezabell, Mandingo, Nuwah-Kawah and William), Maeve, Malvolo and the two faen of Spellhold, it is decided to lend the Chalice of Life and Death to Laelith and help keep the Maze underneath sealed, forever if may be.

A few artifacts were recovered during the search of the catacombs that followed our heroes’ battle against Ivor and Garsh. These are given, after study by Malvolo, to the adventurers leaving the village with the two faen.


Thus, Blu, William, Jezabell, Mandingo and Nuwah-Kawah travel down the Altalus river with Thendren Aranradh and the two faen. Their intention is to go up north to Hornsdeep, a citadel long owned – and long forgotten – by the God-King of Laelith, and decide there either to take a ship or to walk through Caras Calaedhon (the forest of the Sidhe) to reach the Holy City. But the travel isn’t as peaceful as could be expected: after a few hours of walk, they are ambushed by soldiers of Hornsdeep.

After a harsh fight, and some extensive search of the mercenaries’ corpses, the heroes find a note explaining their purpose here. The note reads (click on the picture to see full size):

It looks like these Hornsdeep soldiers where not sent by the Baron – but who? And what is this “cause” M. keeps talking about? This, our heroes will have to find out by themselves.

Dead Pirates

November 01, 2004 (10 AM to 6 PM)

They decide to go on and avoid Hornsdeep in case other mercenaries wait for them there. They go instead along the coast to the nearby pirate settlement of Skullcape. Hornsdeep and Skullcape have been in competition for the control of the Altalus’ mouth for some time, but when the heroes arrive at the settlement, this is to find it utterly destroyed, it ruins still smoking.

After visiting what remains of the settlement, our heroes realize that all the pirate ships have been sunk but one, a black trireme moored not far from the coastline, down the cliff on which Skullcape was located. There doesn’t seem to be any crew onboard, nor any way to gain access to the boat from the coastline.

A ruin in the settlement seems to stand aside, however. This building seems to have been some kind of temple or shrine. Four pillars of stone still stand within this ruin, and they are each bearing a socket. They have to be some kind of keyholes. They decide to camp within the ruins, pondering about these discoveries.

They are awakened by ghosts, literally. These spirits of the dead pirates did not find rest and wish their bodies to be taken south to Manifest, which stands above the physical Gates to the Underworld (or so the story goes). They confirm the heroes suspicions about the pillars and sockets: these are indeed the keyholes to a dimensional door leading below, to the ancient catacombs which existed well before the pirates settled in the region. It was thought better to seal these catacombs, and to keep the keys under the protection of their spiritual leader, Daena Sabertooth, a litorian witch. The settlement was attacked a few days prior to the coming of the heroes. Daena was taken prisoner, but she managed to hide one of the keys within the settlement’s boundaries. The ghosts lead the heroes to this key, a wand-shaped crystal, in exchange for their corpses to be carried to Manifest by Thendren Aranradh. The ghosts also indicate that through the catacombs one may gain access to the Trireme the Doomed moored not far. The goal seems now clear: find Daena, have the three other crystal keys back, and go through the catacomb to reach the ship and travel to Laelith.

Next Time: The PCs visit Hornsdeep and meet its mad Baron!

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Gathering Between Life and Death (part2)

Catacombs of Ogrebound's cemetery

1- Ghouls and skeletons
2- Walls with trapped undead attempting to grasp the living walking down the corridors
3- Undead Centaur with warhammer
4- The riddle chest
4b- Obstructed passage
5- Cave where the PCs meet the mojh
6- Garsh and Ivor Hogfist
6b- Hidden Chalice's location
7- Exit to the surface (through a ruined mausoleum)


Granted, the exploration of the crypts began with a fall in the stairway beneath the sarcophagus. But it was a brilliant fall. The adventurers now have to struggle against many undead. William is able to determine that the corpses were probably animated because of an unbalance in the energies of the place. The Chalice is not whole; its parts need to be put back together.

The adventurers fence their way through the crypts, fighting ghouls and animated skeletons mainly. But the biggest undead challenge of the crypts was ahead of them: a centaur of the Great Host has been animated, and it swings a great warhammer at whoever wants to go further beneath the cemetery. The combat is tough, to say the least, and greatly complicated by the presence of shadows trying to grapple and pull them within the walls of the crypts. William and Nuwah-Kawah are both swallowed by the demonic walls, but finally, the adventurers prevail, and the victims of the shadows are literally regurgitated by the walls.

In the crypts’ next room, a huge chest is standing, a door just behind it obstructed by a giant stalagmite. Opening the chest, the adventurers find it empty beside a sentence written on its bottom: “Put Your Worth On Me.” Jezabell tries a number of options on the chest: put some gold, some dirt, among others. Nothing happens. Then, it becomes clear. “Your worth on me”… in weight! Jezabell jumps inside the chest, and the huge stalagmite barring the door moves out of the way. The confrontation is near, and our adventurers step inside the cavern that lies ahead.


This is a huge cavern cut in two halves by a flowing stream that is possibly a subterranean arm of the Altalus. A bridge joins the two halves. On the adventurers’ side, a mojh is waiting. It greets them rather ironically, and tells them calmly that he is waiting for the Chalice “to be delivered to him”. Perhaps the thieves were ordered by this mojh to still the Chalice in the first place? Or perhaps the mojh has the intention to buy it but has nothing to do with the reason of the theft. No matter the answer to this question, the adventurers decide they have no time to spare with the mojh. They just spotted Garsh, the goblin sneak, on the other side of the stream. William is the first to step on the bridge, while Bischen flies ahead and looks at the human “friend” of the goblin running away, then starting to scarify himself with a his dagger.

Whatever it is… this is not good.

When William reaches the other side of the bridge, the mojh, suddenly invisible, crosses the bridge as well and attacks her. It proves to be a gifted mage blade, and as the battle rages on, Bischen witnesses the metamorphosis of the “human” into an absolute monstrosity: a 9 feet tall wereboar. Things almost get out of hand, but thanks to the combine powers of the group, with spell and swords, all enemies are brought down. A search of this side of the cavern allows the group to retrieve both halves of the Chalice. The whole group of goblins helping them has been decimated within the crypts, with just one survivor who killed his leader himself. He wanted to be the last warrior standing, and does not care for the obsidian part of the Chalice. In exchange for the silence of the adventurers, he is willing to let the obsidian half go. William connects with the akashic memory and puts the two halves back together, ending the cycle of undeath within Ogrebound’s cemetery.

The assault on the cemetery's catacombs had all the players focussed on the Dwarven Forge set-up.

Next time: The Tale of the Last Captain begins with the PCs starting their trip towards Laelith!

Gathering Between Life and Death (part1)

Sarted on October 11, 2004

Bischen, Blu, Jezabell, Mandingo, Nuwah Kawah and William were natives Ogrebound, not far from the High Waters, wrapped around the banks of the Altalus river flowing within the Arkhanian Vale.

Ogrebound has two main particularities for the region: the first is a graveyard. Due to the proximity to Manifest, a city south to Ogrebound along the Altalus that is supposed to have been built above the very gates to the Underworld, the settlements of the Arkhanian Vale (and well beyond) no longer use any graveyards. Instead, they form pilgrimages to Manifest to meet with the Ghosts of the departed and accomplish whatever deeds were left unfinished by the dead.

The tombs of Ogrebound date back to the legendary Battle of Amaranth between the Lost Kingdom and the Great Host some centuries ago. Other cities and villages on the Seven Spires still have graveyards and use them, but Ogrebound is the only one in the Arkhanian Vale, beside Manifest itself of course. The second particularity of Ogrebound is the Chalice of Life and Death, a relic that has been found in the graveyard generations ago and is used today as a symbol for rituals and ceremonies performed for the ancestors within the graveyard. Nobody dares to go there: the living have to respect the eternal slumber of the dead, it is said among the hamlet’s inhabitants.

Ogrebound is a peaceful hamlet. It is under the command of veteran adventurers Maeve and Malvolo d’Osterande. Maeve was a mercenary who survived numerous campaigns fueled mainly by the rivalries of the different fiefs of the Seven Spires. She came to Ogrebound a few years ago. At this time, Ogrebound was under siege. The Mabluk goblins living not far form the hamlet believed the Chalice to be an artefact of great power. They wanted it for themselves. This is when Ogrebound hired the services of the Withered Blades, Maeve’s company. After weeks of taunting skirmishes, the goblins managed to sneak within Ogrebound. They shattered the Chalice of Life and Death and took its obsidian part (it has two parts respectively carved from pure obsidian and emerald jewels) before being found by the Blades and chased through the Spirit Wood. Today, the goblins are still in possession of the obsidian half of the Chalice, and Maeve is in command at Ogrebound. She is helped in her duty by her personal bodyguard, a violent and paranoid giant going by the name of Li-Caraon. The Withered Blades, now under the command of the sibbecai Thendren Aranradh, still stick around, though not within the hamlet itself.


This particular day of spring was special: first, this was the day of the celebration of the Oath between the people of Ogrebound and the souls of the Departed within the Graveyard. Second, two faen coming from Laelith via teleportation, Armanil and Naella, asked for the Chalice to use it in a ritual to save the Holy City of their God-King.

Laelith was built on a gigantic subterranean complex accurately named “The Maze”. There, beings whose natures are unknown to the faen are roaming free. A few weeks before the celebration in Ogrebound, an Emerald Death started to spread within the walls of the Holy City. The Emerald Death is a sickness of the Green that propagates because of an unbalance of the forces of nature to the profit of the Dark. The virus present perhaps for years in unaware victims of prior infestation then succumb to the incubation of the microorganism, a sort of greenish mold, which covers the body entirely. After the death, the mold takes control of the nervous system of the host, thus using it as its own body. The development of the Emerald Death in Laelith thus has to do with the Dark strengthening within the city.

Spellhold, the school of magic where the faen come from, is built on the Seal holding the Maze shut. The Council of Spellhold thinks that the Seal is slowly shattering, and they need the Chalice to balance the energies around the Seal so that it remains intact.

Thus in Ogrebound, after the Celebration of Life and Death, it was agreed by Maeve to lend the Chalice to Armanil and Naella. Bischen, Blu, Jezabell, Mandingo, Nuwah-Kawah, William and most of the village’s inhabitants are witnesses of the agreement on a place of Ogrebound just beside Maeve’s house. While she goes inside to take the Chalice, the adventures of our heroes begin.

The Altalus nearby comes to life, literally, and spawns a water elemental. The mercenaries of the Withered Blades stand guard at each street corner. The adventurers decide to take matters in their own hands, with the (somewhat useless) help of Thendren Aranradh. The elemental leaves the river and races toward Armanil. Naella, scared, flees from her brother’s side. Most of the adventurers help Armanil while Jezabell races inside Maeve’s house. Mandingo hears some noise in the house’s backyard, and finds a goblin fleeing from the house. It is too late to stop the goblin, but it leaves no doubt as to what happened: the Chalice of Life and Death has been stolen!

Looks like the DM has all the fuel needed for the afternoon...


After discussing with Maeve and her giant body guard, Li-Caraon, who wants nothing short of beating up Armanil to get some information from him, the adventurers learn that a goblin clan, the Mabluk, live in an old tower nearby. They also learn that a scout of Ogrebound name Ivor Hogfist disappeared some weeks ago while striding near the Mabluk’s encampment. This should have been a warning sign, perhaps. Furthermore, Maeve reveals that the Chalice of Life and Death was in fact not whole: its obsidian part was stolen years ago during one of the many attacks of the Mabluk on Ogrebound. The very battle in which Maeve was proposed leadership over Ogrebound by its inhabitants, she tells them.

The most obvious option is to go after the Mabluk clan. But did they really steal the emerald part of the Chalice? That remained to be found out.

The adventurers go to the old tower with Thendren. There, they realize the Mabluk are brawling, arguing between them. Diplomacy seemed to be the best option, and the adventurers approach the encampment. It was necessary to threaten the Mabluk with a possible attack of “their waiting army under the forest’s cover” against the Tower if the adventurers didn’t come back alive, but in the end, the Mabluk proved to be cooperative, albeit in their own violent ways. The Mabluk tell the adventurers that they had harbored a goblin sneak going by the name of Garsh with a human friend of his. They also reveal that Garsh vanished recently… with the obsidian part of the Chalice. It seems like both Ogrebound and the Old Tower have the same enemy this time around. The adventurers strike a deal with the Mabluk: they will lead the adventurers to their scouts following the thieves, and help them retrieve the emerald half of the Chalice at least, since they seem to be far more interested in vengeance than getting their obsidian half back.

Negotiations with the Mabluk clan at the Old Tower.

The adventurers thus follow the trail of Garsh and his human friend, or rather their stalkers, during a few hours through the Spirit Wood. Strangely, the road was known: they were in fact coming backwards, to the village!

Following the trail closely around the village, the adventurers discovered that the thieves should be hiding within the village’s cemetery. They sneak inside themselves: they do not want the village’s watch to spot the Mabluk goblins with them. The cemetery is a quite morbid place. It seems obvious something is going wrong with it. As they try to enter the massive mausoleum, its black marble doors become liquid, arms trying to grab them from within. When they are inside, they notice just a sarcophagus in front of the door. Nothing else remains in the mausoleum. Not even dirt, which cannot be a good sign. They investigate the place, and finally find a trapped mechanism beneath the sarcophagus.

Legend of Ogrebound's Map
1- Area where the Chalice ceremony takes place. The cemetery is just to the North East of this location.
2- Maeve's house
3- The Altalus River. Where the water elemental is spawned.
4- The Drunken Puss - the local tavern
5- Ruined, half submerged clock tower
6- Mill
7- The Altalus river is a bit larger in this spot. This isn't a lake.
A- Gate towards Hornsdeep and Skullcape
B- Gate towards Manifest
C- The cairns. Direction to the Old Tower.

Original Cast and Scope

Player-characters (PCs) were created using Monte Cook's Arcana Unearthed (AU) and the Bard of The Complete Book of Eldritch Might. At the time, I wanted the players to feel they had a wide range of options but not overwhelm them with choices.

All the players but one were complete newbies to role-playing games. As a result, I didn't want their characters to be too weak to face what I thought of as "cool threats" at the time. So I decided they were going to create 3rd level characters with a bit of backstory behind them.

I started by distributing a few handouts to the potential players.
First, the handouts explaining what a role-playing game is:
What is a role-playing game? PDF - part 1
What is a role-playing game? PDF - part 2

Then, the handouts concerning the Seven Spires and the aims of the campaign at the time:
Players' Guidelines PDF
One page history of the Seven Spires PDF

Reading through the Players' Guidelines, particularly, shows me how much the setting and campaign evolved over the last two years.

For instance, I state my intention to use Harry Potter as a source of inspiration for the campaign. In practice, this never went further than the backdrop of Spellhold, school of magic. Originally, Spellhold was to have a much more important role in the events that would unfold during the course of the Emerald Death. This never truly happened, since the game focussed instead on the trip to the school until the very end of Season 1.

It also transpired from the same PDF that I wanted the setting to be much closer in themes and scope to AU and its Diamond Throne setting. A bit like Greg Stafford's Glorantha setting. This dimension of the game hasn't been really explored during the last two years. It remained in the background the whole time.

For their first characters, all the players used the "short way" described in the Players' Guidelines. Step by step, this means they:
1- chose a character concept
2- chose a character race
3- chose a character class
4- rolled 4d6-drop-lowest six times and assigned the results to relevant ability scores

All the other parameters (skill ranks, equipment etc) were managed by me, according to the AU rules and DMG guidelines (character wealth, for instance).

Here is the original cast of the Seven Spires campaign, with the first name of the player included.
Bischen (Spryte Mage Blade 3) - John
Blu (Sibbecai Greenbond 3) - Lisa
Jezabell (Quickling Faen Winter Witch 3) - Tiana
Mandingo (Male Elf Hummingbird Totem Warrior 3) - Domingo
Nuwah Kawah (Female Uladhrim Bard 3) - Nerissa
William (Female Giant Akashic 3) - Caroline

The Spellwardens, from left to right: Jezabell, Nuwah Kawah, William (in the background), Bischen, Blue (in the background) and Mandingo.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Groups and Factions of the Spires

This part of the Spires' background was put together using Monte Cook's notes about Ptolus, the Complete Book of Eldritch Might and Ghostwalk Campaign Option mainly.

Some Noble Houses

A number of noble families of the Host still exists and wields influence over the Spires, usually through their prodigious remaining wealth. A list of the more prominent noble houses includes:

Abanar: A mercantile house, Abanar is very wealthy but not well thought of.

Dallimothan: Often said to belong to "House Dragon," the members of this house dress in dragon armor, use dragon regalia, and are whispered to truck with dragons themselves. Kirstol Dallimothan is the current head of the house.

Khatru: Famous for its military leadership and martial prowess, House Khatru is made up of arrogant boors and self-righteous warriors. Lord Dorant Khatru is the current master of the house.

Nagel: House Nagel, led by Lady Fransin Nagel, is an enemy of House Sadar.

Sadar: A foe of House Nagel, Sadar is sometimes called "House Shadow." Ren Sadar, the head of the house, was recently assassinated, and his people are looking for someone willing to perform a true resurrection. The Inverted Pyramid, a group to which Ren also belonged, seeks his slayer, an elf named Daersidian Ringsire.

Vlaadam: This house has a vile reputation, and a very ancient one. Iristul Vlaadam is the current master of the house. They are frequent allies of House Sadar.

Groups and Factions

The Delver's Guild is an organization constantly growing in power. It facilitates the exploration of the dungeons of the Spires, including most notably Ptolus' Undercity and Laelith's Maze. The guild holds a wealth of information about the underground networks running under the Spires and has even established waystations in a few major locations of the Long Dark.

The Keepers of the Veil maintain their base on Center Street in Ptolus' Midtown district, but they also possess a fortress, the Siege Castle, on the edge of the Necropolis. They strive to eradicate the curse of the undead from the world forever. They form a faction among the Knights of the Quiet (see below).

The Forsaken are the opposite numbers of the Keepers of the Veil. These despicable outcasts embrace death and the undead. A subgroup within their ranks, called the Licheloved, carries out the will of dark death gods in ways that -- it's said -- even the other Forsaken find difficult to stomach. It's unclear whether all the Forsaken are living people who consort with the undead, or whether some of them are actually undead themselves. The Forsaken are mainly active in and around Ptolus.

The Fallen are the allies of the Forsaken who dwell with them in the Necropolis. Not much is known of them, but they are said to be immortal demons or half-demons residing permanently in the world. Like the Forsaken, the Fallen are mainly active in and around Ptolus.

The Brotherhood of Redemption operates mainly under Ptolus, but maintains a surface structure in the Guildsman's District. This order of monks believes that no evil is irredeemable, and they seek to give any evil creature a chance to repent. They also pay adventurers for any evil creature captured and brought to them for redemption.

The Healers of the Sacred Heat are located in the Temple District of Ptolus and near Laelith's Lazaret (houses of healing). They offer inexpensive healing. It's said to be painful, however.

The Inverted Pyramid is a mysterious and ancient guild of arcanists. The group's headquarters and membership are shrouded in mystery, but its members carry a lot of weight in both Ptolus and Laelith.

The Knights of the Golden Cross is a mysterious group of powerful people who oppose evil at every turn. Their tower-fortress lies in Ptolus' Old Town.

The Vai is an assassins guild dedicated to death. Rumor has it that each member swears to take the life of an intelligent being each day.

The Knights of the Chord form a military order of honorable warriors using bardic arts as weapons and banner.

The Flaming Fists form the military faction among the servants of the Silver Flame, the Fire cult of the Church of Lothian. They are under the command of Andares d'Astradeen, Princess Consular of the Host.

The Golden is the main thieves' guild of the Seven Spires. It's main rules are to never draw the first blood in a confrontation, unless it is for defense, and to not rob thieves.

The Blue Garter is a courtesans' guild. It is for hire, but usually follows its own agendas when choosing to contract with this or that patron. The goals it tries to fulfill remain uncertain, though.

The Guild of Morticians originated in the Skull, the earth cult of the Church of Lothian, but quickly grew into an independant faction. Its goals are to take care of the dead of the Seven Spires. Usually, it involves the organization of the travels of corpses and relatives to Manifest where the Gates to the Underworld lie.

The Piran Sedestadel is another guild of magisters. It is not directly opposed to the Inverted Pyramid since it cares for study, particularly related to the dead and their Ghosts.

The Yisa-Khardomas enforce the laws of the Land to the Ghosts and spirits of the Spires. Most Ghosts live in Manifest, but a few are known to dwell in other cities like Ptolus. Where Ghosts dwell the Yisa-Khardomas follow, generally.

The Knights of the Quiet or Quiet Knights are strongly opposed to anything that would blur the frontier between Life and Death. This includes representants and emanations of the Old Faith such as the Undead, Ghosts and Darkbonds (more than Greenbonds, but still).

The Necromancers of the Night Alley form yet another guild of magic users, this time dedicated to everything related to death and the undead. Needless to say, they are the sworn enemies of the Quiet Knights.

The Mercantile Guild is the association of all the major merchants and business players over the Seven Spires. This is a powerful lobby often said to oppose the Morticians. But this seems to be a bit of an overstatement, since the Morticians try to keep their travels and business strictly related to the dead and not so much economical goods or resources.

Regions of the Seven Spires

Look here for a map of the political regions of the Seven Spires.

On this complete map of the Seven Spires you can also see the different cities and regions of the Spires.

"The Seven Spires" is a name commonly used to designate the area north of the peninsula. This area (basically everything north to the city of Serathis) once formed the kingdom of Osterande ruled by the Great Host of humans, giants and sibbecai that saved the region from what is remembered as "The Lost Kingdom".

Only a few tales circulate about the Lost Kingdom. Most of them speak about inhuman warriors building cyclopean cities of stone which ruins still can be found in the deserts and jungles of the South. The Lost Kingdom tried somehow to defeat all the other races of the peninsula at an ancient time prior to the Spires themselves.

The inhabitants of the Spires, mostly men, litorians and faen would have been wiped out if it weren't for the coming of the Great Host from the north. The Host came and decided to help the people of the peninsula against the Lost Ones. They vanquished them and founded a unified kingdom, Osterande. But the golden days of the kingdom of the Host did not last much more than a few centuries.

Soon the leaders of the Church and fiefs of Osterande grew complacent and arrogant. The Consul of the Host himself concentrated all the powers of faith and politics into his own hands. Skirmishes between low nobles of various remote areas of Osterande soon became wars that would determine the kingdom's fate. The Consul was unaware of the tragedy that was going to occur, kept from the suffering of the world in his gigantic palace, some say, while other think he was directly reponsible or tried to avoid the catastrophe.

Whatever the motivations and actions of the Consul of the Host, the Punishment occurred. The land trembled in anger and the peninsula was torn apart. From the central plains of Osterande, traditional lands of the Litorians, very few remain. Most have been sank and replaced by the lakes commonly known as "Altalith's lake" and "the High Waters". Some cities disappeared, others were dramatically changed, like in the case of Laelith which became a huge inclined plateau broken by the Inlam's tumultuous flow. The landscape was torn apart, the most obvious change

Then the Dark Ages of the Spires began. The Church of Lothian exploded in four distinct cults of the elements and the title of Consul was severed into two different leaders of the Host, the God King who would remain its spiritual father, and the Prince Consular who would be its temporal leader. There was no more political leader for the kingdom, as there was no more united kingdom to rule. Various warlords and politicians took control of their regions, and in the next centuries, after many feuds, battles and all the bloodsheds one could expect, some new Fiefs joined the Old to form a new political map.

The various regions of the Seven Spires are now:

The Duchy of Harmoria, probably the most feudal of all the surrounding nations of the Spires. The Duchess of Harmoria is at the head of a complex hierarchy of Lords and Servants of the Flaming Fist, a knighthood developed around the Church of the Silver Flame (the fire cult of the Church of Lothian). The Church here holds a true, tangible power behind the scenes, and its Templars are known to deal death whenever they hear about acts of the Devilry. .

The Arm of Eomund is part of the Duchy. It is a no man's land inhabited by various types of primitive and barbarian humanoids such as goblins, inshons and chorrims. Most of its Everfading Coast is a collection of bogs and swamps changing every days with the tides and weather. It is a chosen region for the training of the Knights of the Fist and various treasure hunters seeking relics from ruins dating back from before the Punishment.

The Frozen Deeps are inhabited by the Uladhrim, a human blue-skinned ethnicity whose nations have long been hunted down by the Verrik. The Uladhrim are comparable to Inuits or other native Americans to some extent. Forced to exile by the Verrik, the Uladhrim were given back the Deeps by the Giants who helped them during these difficult times and still guard the plains of Ulthaar surrounding Al Jha'arna.

The Plains of Ulthaar are the lands of the Hu Charrad, the Giants guarding the city of Al Jha'arna. Today, the guard tends to have been forgotten in favor of more opened business relationships between the Verrik and the Hu Charrad.

Mortegrève is the main port of the Seven Spires. It is one of its most important strategical spot, where the lands of Al Jha'arna join the lakes, and the lakes join the cities of the South and the River of Ichor. It is a grim city with many misteries lead by a few hereditary families of fishermen, carpenters and merchants sitting on one bench of the King's river. A single bridge stands above the stream leading to the Forbidden City of the north bank, a collection of ruins and catacombs dating back from the Host's days of glory, before the Punishment. Nobody knows what roams there, but it's access is severely sanctionned. Only fools try to go there at night, the Mortevains say.

Ptolus is a city bursting with life and variety but not as much as Laelith does. A Commissar directs the city's affairs and is assisted by a Council of representatives including several members of old noble families of the Host. Ptolus is a political (through its Senate and Families) and religious (aside of the Cult of Lothian) center for the Spires. Many pilgrims wishing to avoid the God Kings' edict on Faith and Religion go to Ptolus to worship thousands of different gods each with their own established shrine within the city walls, but the city is still officially recognizing the God King as its "spiritual patron in matters of faith". Words with not much consistancy to tell the truth. The Old Senate of the Host still stands within Ptolus' walls, but the senators spend most of their time on private and national rivalries rather than caring about a title without any political meaning by today's standards.

Ptolus is also one of the only cities of the Spires, along with others like Laelith and Ogrebound, to still have a cemetary, despite the existence of the Gate to the Underworld below the city of Manifest. Ghosts are still considered emanations of Devilry in Ptolus but a few live there anyway.

Between Ptolus and Mortegrève rise the Seven Spires themselves. They are a testament to ancient, heroic times. Legends talk about the Dread One, Eslathagos Malkith, trying to cover the world with Shadow from his citadel of Jabel Shammar, and how he was banished from the surface of the earth, thus creating the Spires as they stand.

Laelith is often referred to as the Holy City. The God King of the cult of Lothian and the elements reigns from this metropolis bursting with life. Religious powers are especially strong here. The use of magic is strictly reglemented, much like in Ptolus but not to the paranoid extent of Harmoria's policies.

Kazum Athreleb and the Iron Crown, the mountain ranges surrounding it, are lands of mystery. Kazum Athreleb is supposed to be one of the last standing strongholds of the Meinedd Sidhe, the stone fey, but no evidence either confirms or refutes its actual existence. Travellers and settlers there look upon rocky hills, valleys and high mountain tops with coniferous forests, but nothing shows any sign of ancient or advanced civilization. Mines are the main resources of the few inhabitants of this region.

The Verdant Coast is made of many forests of either coniferous or deciduous trees. This is a far more hospitable region than the Iron Crown. Many human and litorian settlements can be found in this area. Its warm healing springs and waterfalls are reknown all over the Spires. This region is officially under the jurisdiction of the Church of Lothian (i.e. the God King of Laelith).

The Margravate of Halduura is a martriarchy governed by witches holding power over the land. They are wisewomen and shaman, while men are traditionally warriors and hunters of their Clan (Think Rashemen from FR, and you're there).

The Thousand Glades is a vast territory of wild temperate forest. Many Faen communities are said to dwell here, but few travellers ever made it back to tell the tale. Natural predators such as boars, wolves and treants are known to live within their depths.

The Plains of Amaranth are the original location of the last battle between the Great Host and the Lost Ones. Nearly every fighting being present on the battlefield on this day died from the resulting butchery. Once a desert of heavy sands, a forest of blood trees with crimson foliage now reminds the Spires' people of the region's name and its signification for ages to come. It is inhabited by spirits and horrors from the ancient times, and many adventurers seek treasure and adventure there.

The Arkhanian Vale stretches along the Altalus River. There, the pilgrim can find the city of Manifest where the Dead walk down the streets among the Living. Most settlements and cities of the Spires do not have any cemetary. Instead, parties of pilgrims are sent regularly to the city of Manifest assisted by the Temple of the Skull (the earth branch of the Church of Lothian), along with the remains of their loved ones. There, they can talk a last time to the spirits of their relatives and lovers and say their last goodbye. This makes of Manifest one of the main cities of the Spires, with most of its population being temporary pilgrims within its walls.

Caras Calaedhon is easily the biggest, wildest forest of the Spires. Its depths are mostly unknown. Sidhe, fey people, are said to reside there, but they did not give any sign of life for centuries. Perhaps its main settlements, Ethel Daoine and Ethel Lledrith are now tombs with unimaginable reaches to be taken from the dead? No one knows for sure. There is a deep sense of respect and fear for the inhabitants of the Spires toward Caras Calaedhon, and very few adventurers ever tried to brave its forests. From time to time, there are some claiming to have returned from Caras Calaedhon, but the stories are so inconstitantly varied that it is hard to know what is fact and what isn't.

The Holy Lock seperates the two lakes which are at different levels. From the High Waters, ships are carried down to the Altalith lake by ruddimentary cranes and magic. This is the property of the Soothing Stream, the water Temple of the Church of Lothian, and every captain wishing to be taken up or down the lock as to pay the tax going to the poor of Laelith.

Serathis is a ruined city that just has been discovered by the settlers of Cauldron. This was probably a settlement of the Lost Ones, but nothing is sure at the moment. Giants have been ordered by the Senate of Ptolus to keep the area under the Law of the Host. We will see if they are successful.

The Lost Kingdom is now a desolated area where ruins of towers and cities abound. Its only well-known civilized city is Cauldron, built within the crater of a Volcano. It is probably with Al Jha'arna the only city that doesn't officially treat the God King as its spiritual leader. Instead, it has various shrines for various Saints of the Church, like St. Cuthbert and St. Helm. No one in the north knows much about Cauldron or Serathis for that matter. Both cities can be reached by sailing up the Stream of Ichor that flows to the South coast of the peninsula.

Known History of the Seven Spires

Here is a short known history I originally put together from Monte Cook's notes on Ptolus and mine on the Seven Spires and Behemoth (the world).

You live in an ancient Kingdom unsure whether or not it has toppled a millennium ago.

A few years ago, the first men and women who would one day be called “delvers,” returned from exploring the regions below the city of Ptolus. They were laden with gold and magical treasures. A few months later, others started to plunder the Maze under the holy city of Laelith. Today, hundreds of new would-be delvers pour into the cities of the Spires each month, hoping to strike it rich like others before them. Most end up dead, but they keep coming. Entire industries have evolved quickly to service the needs of these “adventurers.” In the shadow of seven ancient spires with a very dark past, rising impossibly high above the western shore of the Altalith lake, a whole new form of economics, politics, and social structure struggles to be born.

Creatures and individuals that normally remain in the shadows are drawn to these large gatherings of adventurers and magic. The needs of the adventurers prompt renewed devotion to magic, science, and religion. As the old nation of Osterande dies, Ptolus -- for years a backwater town on the edge of civilization -- is quickly becoming the center of something much larger than itself and is now able to compete with Laelith itself. Rumors of omens and prophecies and children born with strange birthmarks and abilities emerge from both cities with increasing frequency. No one knows just what yet, but something is happening to the Spires.

An insignificant port-city -- until recently -- Ptolus was originally built around a fortress, Dalenguard, which was erected to watch over the area once controlled by the dark master of an army of evil creatures. Ptolus is built over Dwarvenhearth, the ancestral home of the Meinedd Sidhe known as the Stonelost.

Called the ‘City by the Spire’ (since one of the Seven Spires rises strictly above it) Ptolus lies in the shadow of strange rock formations surrounded in mysterious legends and rumors. These tales tell of even older battles waged and cities erected on the site -- much of which might actually be at least somewhat true, for recent developments have revealed that vast complexes lie under the city.

Of late, Ptolus has become a city of adventurers as treasure-seekers have flocked there to explore and plunder the labyrinthine structures beneath the streets. If the stories are true, these catacombs involve the sewers of the city, the remains of an older settlement (and its sewer system), Dwarvenhearth, and even more -- plunging impossibly deep below the city.

Ptolus lies in a cool, rainy, costal area with harsh winters. It serves as an important port on the Altalith Lake and was part of the ancient kingdom of Osterande. With the collapse of its government in the years that followed the Punishment, Ptolus now maintains an independent status, ruled by a council dominated by Royal representatives.

Laelith has long been the siege of Faith over the Spires. It was the residing place of the Consul of the Host, and now remains the place where the God King guides and enlightens the believers of Lothian's Church.

Laelith streches over an ancient plateau now inclined towards the Altalith lake. It wasn't always this way, but when the old faith was exposed by Saint Lothian, the Punishment shook the holy city more than any other location of Osterande. Blood rain and ash fell over the world. When the Punishment was over, many blocks of the city, even whole districts, lay in ruin. The whole city was tipped more than thirty degrees towards the lake. This happens ages ago, it seems, but still in some parts of the city you can see the scars left by this cataclysmic event.

Today, Laelith fully recovered. Each year, it attracts thousands of pilgrims from all over the Spires. These pilgrims often visit the palace of the God King and the temples of the elements under the supervision of the Church of Lothian (the Cults of the Elements are part of the Church of Lothian from which the God King is the highest ranking representative).

Under Laelith spreads its Maze, a collection of ancient galleries dating back to the days before the Punishment and more recent excavations from all sorts of inhabitants of Laelith and denizens of the Long Dark (also known as the Underdark). This means some of the tunnels and rooms of the maze are tipped towards the lake while other, more recent tunnels are not. It sort of constitutes a web or grid of caves and corridors with various levels and inclinations.

The world

A single silvery moon hangs above in the night sky. There are stories of other, ancient moons which existed prior to the Punishment and fell from the heavens when the Host committed crimes to the face of the divine.

It is uncertain for the inhabitants of Spires whether the world, called Behemoth, is round or flat. Many assume it is flat, with the Spires lost in a sea changing into Mist to trap the unwary and make them from the Edge of the World. Some scholars think Behemoth is in fact round. According to these eccentrics, one could travel from one side to come back by the other in a straight line, but so far no noble house supported this theory. It is more and more known and popular with each passing decade, though.

Learned folk know that the world is made up of matter and energy (the essence of both of which can be expressed as fire, earth, water, and air) and that matter is made of particles smaller than a person can see. Magnetism, lighter than air gases, and other basic aspects of science are not unknown, either.

Most people know that the Ethereal Plane is a magical place that shares the same space with the world but is apart as well, or ‘out of phase.’ The Elemental Planes are conceptual places based around the fundamental building blocks of matter and energy. Whether Heavens and Hells exist or not is unknown, but the existence of divine beings of good or evil essence has been proven many times by holy priests and terrible acts of devilry.


The history you have been taught as a child centers around the existence of Osterande and its Fiefs. You know that many centuries ago there was a great war of the Lost Ones against the Verrik and the Uladhrim, and you know that the Great Host of Men, Sibbecai and Giants came from the North to save the day. You do not know what was the nature of the Lost Ones, nor the traditions of the Lost Kingdom. It is one of the great fascinations of the people of the Spires (similar to the fascination Egypt was inspiring at the end of our 19th century), and many scholars devote their entire lives to the discovery of facts and artifacts related to the Lost Ones.

When the Lost Ones were defeated at the Battle of Amaranth, Osterande was born. Men, Giants and Sibbecai, along with their Litorian, Verrik and Uladhrim allies created new Fiefs to administer the land. The powers were concentrated in the hands of the Consul of the Host, both the spiritual and temporal leader of the Spires’ peninsula.

But soon the lieges and lords of the Spires grew complacent and vile. The Old Religion of Cathain was explosed by a Saint going by the name of Lothian, and soon he was arrested and executed. The earth trembled and the heavens grew angry. The Punishment then occurred, shattering the land, creating the Lakes, killing many inhabitants of the known world. When darkness fell upon the world, it was to remain for the following centuries.

In the years that followed, the Gate to the Underworld was discovered in the Arkhanian Vale and the city of Manifest was built. The few cemeteries remaining in cities and villages to this day have been built before the Punishment, even if they are still in use (which is extremely rare but is the case in Ptolus and Laelith).

Countless wars between the old allies of the Host occurred concurrently. The old Throne of the Host was broken. Two distinct titles replaced the former Consul in the years that followed the Punishment. The God King of Laelith would forever hold Lothian as his true God and rule on the spiritual realm in his name while the Prince Consular of Ptolus would stay at the head of the state.

It worked for a time, but a time only. Soon, the relations between the two lords of the Host became tensed, and when Prince Consular Zaphram Sedais declared the use of magic could now be officially practiced anew (it fell into disuse in the years that followed the Punishment for fear of further revenge), the God King declared it spiritually unacceptable. The Edict of Devilry was ordered by the Lord of Laelith, and most followers of the Prince Consular and the Senators of Ptolus were hunted down by the faithful to the Church of Lothian.

What was unknown to the God King at the time was the impact it would have on the popularity of the Church during the next centuries. The Church of Lothian, after a sudden period of glory was soon said to be corrupted and inhuman. Many new spiritual movements challenged the Edict of Devilry, and after a reform of the Church leading to the creation of the cults of the elements, it was abandoned altogether by the spiritual authorities of the Spires.

With years and generations, the Old Senate of the Host fell from grace. No true lord would now see the need to discuss their own matters of state in the Senate of Ptolus. The Fiefs were not the same friends anymore. The title of Prince Consular still exists though. Its present holder is Princess Andares d'Astradeen who also happens to be Duchess of Harmoria. She never attended a single session of the Senate but does not miss an occasion to remind visitors and diplomats of her rank in official business.

Both the God King and Andares are very ambitious people, and both are contemplating the possibility of bringing back the title of Consul from the past. This would create a rift both spiritual and temporal among the fiefs of the shredded kingdom of Osterande. Whether the Spires need this conflict or not remains to be seen.

Some Base Campaign Concepts

There are several things to point out about the Seven Spires campaign:

- Races described in the D&D Player's Handbook do not exist as gamers know them. Orcs do not exist. Gnomes and Haflings do not exist.

Elves and Dwarves do exist, but they are not the tolkienian "elder races". They are outcasts born from humans, and actually are both variations of the race known as Changelings (as per Eberron Campaign Setting). In fact nobody knows for sure what they are: are they the result of magical experimentations gone wrong? Are they the emanation of some greater power? The doom of sentient species? Nothing is sure but people assume a lot, particularly regarding their "inherent wickedness" and the fact most are "thieves and spellswords for hire with no honor or dignity whatsoever". This is of course a racist cliche, but many inhabitants of the Spires, and not only the ignorant ones, hold them for true.

The races of Arcana Evolved are used as written.

- This is a D&D world. D&D is everywhere. There, goblins and hobgoblins walk down the street among humans. The occasional Ogre Mage buys apples at the corner of a street. A Minotaur may start a fight in a tavern. But there is no "evil" race as D&D defines it, which makes the Spires "even more D&D-like" because everything can be seen in plain view or nearly. Doesn't mean people don't have opinions and preferences. Goblinoids, Chorrim and Rhodins are usually despised and/or feared. Litorians are looked upon as uncivilized barbarians. Faen can be viewed as annoying or pure emanations of Devilry, depending on the place where you plan to spend the night.

There seems to be exceptions to this - the Undead/the Dark and Abominations, which are viewed as evil by nearly everyone around the Spires. Making an alliance with the Dark is viewed as pure Devilry and an act of defiance toward Creation itself. Exile is usually the best you can hope if your association with the Dark is noticed.

Likewise, all elements that make D&D what it is are known to exist and rather common. Adventurers are known known to exist and a frequent site all over the Spires. Lost tombs, underground forts, the Underdark and complexes one could qualify as "dungeons" are common locations. Minor magic items are sold on markets and created by gifted craftsmen, wizards and priests. Major magic items can possibly be found by delving adventurers. Artefacts and Reliques are known to exist. Minor spells are used regularly. People know wizards are able to Scry, for instance. Protections versus Invisibility are fairly common for merchants and nobles. And so on, and so forth.

- Professions and races do not mean you know what the character is made of in terms of game mechanics. Priests of Lothian can be Clerics, Fighters, Magisters. A learned scholar may be a Greenbond, Darkbond, Sorcerer, Bard or Akashic. There is no given regarding profession of the game world versus rules used to represent them. A particular character may be working in a field completely different from his/her innate specialty and experience, but most people do. What makes a character eligible or recognized in a profession is his/her skill at what s/he does, not his/her hit dice.

- Most people in the world are 1st to 5th level, but all levels do exist. Most adventurers will range between 1st and 10th level, 10th level being an expert recognized for his accomplishments in the Known World. It doesn't mean that 15th+ level characters don't exist. They do, but they really are the stuff legends are made of.

What this means is that at 6th level, characters may be recognized in taverns, are known for their actions and so on. They are not beginners in adventuring, nor are they absolute legends of the Spires. They are somewhere in between, like most heroes of Sword and Sorcery novels are. Think about the Grey Mouser and you get the idea.

Saturday, December 31, 2005

Seven Spires' Set Up

"Seven Spires" is the name I give to the setting I created to run role-playing game sessions using the rules of Dungeons and Dragons, Arcana Evolved and other d20 System resources (like Iron Heroes, to name just one).

The Seven Spires Campaign serves two purposes: it is intended to provide fun to me and my friends and test some of my fantasy design ideas (for role-playing and writing purposes).

I ran the first game of the seven Spires in late September 2004. At the time, there were six players at the game table plus me, the DM. Only one of these players knew how to role-play, while the others only vaguely knew about Dungeons and Dragons. Of these six players, five were teachers and one was the counselor of the nearby school where my fiancee teaches every day (speaking of my fiancee, you can have a look at Deetsa's Dining Room, her blog).

I decided to separate the Chronicles of the Seven Spires into "seasons", much like a TV series, with each season playing during a single school year.

The first season of the Seven Spires, entitled Chronicle of an Emerald Death (or simply the Emerald Death), ran from September 2004 to June 2005.

The Second season of the Seven Spires is entitled Chronicle of the Crimson Tide (or simply the Crimson Tide). It started in mid-September 2005 and is still running as I write these lines.

This blog will present you both seasons of the Seven Spires. I will follow a chronological order to tell the tales of the Spellwardens, as the players' characters became to be known during Season 2, but will begin with a short description of the Seven Spires' background elements.