Tuesday, September 1, 2020

Feudal Wilderlands Part V - The Changing South


Great Fiefs of the Wilderlands

The Changing South

  The original treaties between the City State of the World Emperor and the Altanian tribes, copies of which are in the Invincible Overlord's archives, stipulated the Rivers Greyrush and Llobregather along with Queans Waste were the boundary between civilization and what the Virdii saw as barbarism.  Recent generations have seen the border pushed south and the ancient tribal lands of the Altanians given to nobles and adventurers as feudal holdings.  In addition to these changes, the ancient province north of the Llobregather was invaded and then given to the Skandik raiders as a feudal holding to provide a useful navy against other raiders, both Skandik and Tarantine.

Jarldom of Skandry  occupied for hundreds of years by Skandik raiders before the Invincible Overlord reached an accord with Jarl Sigvids in Ossary, in return for his fealty in suppressing new arrivals to the Pagan Coast, Sigvids became the acknowledged ruler of the Duchy of Mill Haven, now usually referred to as Skandry.  In doing so the Jarl gained dominion, not only over the coastal strip the clans already held, but all the lands east of Ered Losthain between the River Torn and the Llobregather.
   The land ceded to the Skandiks run from the mouth of the River Torn upstream to it;s source then across the hills to the source of the eastern tributary to Archlin Stream and down to the frist tributary from the mouth (hex 3925). Up the tributary to it's source (hex 3826) along the hills through Neuwag's Neck (hex 3527) to Ered Losthain (hex 3428).  Down the crest of Ered Losthain through Fatherhorn Mountain (hex 3431) to the source of the River Llobregather (Map 2 Hex 3503) then down the river to it's mouth and back north along the cast to the mouth of the River Torn.  It also includes the minor islands at the mouth of Dolphin Bay.

   County of Zotheim  when the Invincible Overlord gave Mill Haven to the Skandiks, he compensated the Virdii Crispa family, who were the original Dukes, with a new holding carved out of the territories of the Altanian tribes. They dominate the Old South Road from their great keep at Bellystone Ford and are  granting fiefs to adventurers who they feel can deal with the resentful Altanians wandering through the new croplnads - and who will support them against the Skandiks when the time comes.  Rumors of Imperial galleys in Zothay abound, the Count is looking for a strong ally to counter the Jarl's ships.
   Zotheim's boundaries start at the source of the Llobregather (Map 2 Hex 3503) and continue down stream to the coast, south along the coast to the Fogbound Forest,  along it's northern bound to the foothills of Ered Perack (Map 2 Hex 2913), then jogging north (Map 2 Hexes 2911, 3010) along the crest of Ered Perack until it meets the Cloudwall Mountains by the edge of Queans Waste (Map 2 Hex 3004).  Northeast along the crest of the Cloudwalls past the source of the Greyrush (Map 2 Hex 2801) the edge of the Hetflas Dunes (Map 1 Hex 2734 ), then east along the edge of the dunes and Queans Waste to Ered Losthain (Map 1 Hex 3433) and back south to the source of the Llobregather.

Altanian Marches - the vast area south of Greyrush and the Llobregather were added to the lands of the City STate of the Invincible Overlord through treaties with Altanian chieftains, merchant traders, eager adventurers and finally outright conquest pushed the more or less controlled border south to the River Endgate, past Bludgeon Peak, across the northern tributaries of the River Farhills and over to the Bay of Trespasses.  The Invincible Overlord claims the rest of the peninsula, but no one living there cares or has seen a soldier or tax gatherer.  The Overlord rules here directly through his favorites.  Adventurous courtiers compete for an assignment to rule a fief for five years in the hopes that they can make it hereditary - or at least a lifetime benefice.
  The northern boundary is the Greyrush, Cloudwalls and Ered Perack down to the Fogbound Forest, the entire peninsula between them and the Endgate to Bay of Trespasses line described above is considered and taxed as part of the Marches.  In addition to scattered benefices, towns and villages there are numbers of "wild" Altanian tribes who do not acknowledge the change in ownership.  A wise fiefholder is ready to trade with them as they cross his or her lands in exchange for leaving the crops and cattle alone.

This ends my regional write up of the Feudal Wilderlands.  Next I intend to do detailed write ups of the individual provinces.

Thursday, August 27, 2020

Feudal Wilderlands IV - The Imperial West

Great Fiefs of the Wilderlands

The Imperial West

The western provinces of the City State of the Invincible Overlord border the lands of the City State of the World Emperor and are places of trade and intrigue as Imperial Satraps attempt to gain influence, allies and treasure.

County of Saule - ruled by a branch of the Skandik Sigvids, who traded their ships for horses, the vales of the county (Willowmead, Silverwood, Rathold and to a lesser extent the Chaos Nest of the Carrion Abyss) are the breeding places of the best mounts.  Mostly horses, but pegasi and griffons are found in the Majestic Mountains and trained in Rathold, and Abyssal worgs are the gold standard of goblin cavalry.  The Trade Road from the City State to the Empire crosses the southern edge from the Werewood Crossing to Grita Heath in the Empire.  

     Saule's borders run from the Carrion Abyss in hex 1808 east passing over Sabre Scarp to the crest of the Majestic Mountains, thence south west along the crest of the Majestics and the hills to their southern outlier in hex 1613.  The border runs from there southeast to the Rorystone River, thence downstream to Council Lake, along the northern lake shore, then up the River Briskly and the Gnarith to it's source.  From the source of the Gnarith, the border goes northeast to the headwaters of the Syfwitch.  It follows the Sywitch downstream to the confleunce of it's tributary(hex 1307), then southeast along the crest of the hills and mountain south of Harridrim Cap to Carrion Abyss. 

County of Tungraine - the Wilderlands version of Kansas, the county is dominated by the flat Swarthlad Plains and has been ruled by the Virdii Maximian family for over  1000 years.  Located in the center of the continent, it is crisscrossed by irragation channels from it's bounding rivers.  The Trade Road crosses from Gaehill to Werewood Crossing; Battle Road runs from Haghill through the edge of Gwalion towards Spingle tand he the Crossings of Queth.

     The boundaries start at Council Lake, following the north shore from the mouth of the Briskly to the mouth of the Rorystone, then upstream to a point (hex 1814 ) between the southern outlier of the Majestic Mountains and the source of the River Stillring.  East from that point to the crest of the Howling Hills.  Thence south along the Howling Hills to the headwaters of the Eorlbane in hex 2121, on to the headwaters of the river defining the northern boundary of the Mermist Swamp in hexes 2122 and 2123 and then to the headwaters of the northern fork of the southern river defining the Mermist Swamp.  It follows that river down to the central tributary, up that stream to it's source (hex 2126), south across Twinhorn Pass to Ered Cantref (hex 2128).  Northwest from Ered Cantref through Keystone Peak to the edge of Battleplain Gwalion (hex 1725), from there the border follows the northern edge of Gwalion until it reaches the source of the tributary to the River Buckol (hex 1124).  It follows the tributary downstream until it joins the Buckol in the Smokewood Fens, then the Buckol from the Fens to Council Lake and back along the southwestern lake shore until it reaches the mouth of the River Briskly.

County of Gwalion - a land the Sages Guild considers to be a boiling pustule of space, time and planar magics, Gwalion is ruled by a powerful, mysterious wizard who claims to be a Skandik named Hranfast.  Or at least it is said to be so.  It is also said that the Count has sworn allegiance to both the Emperor and the Overlord ... as well as to more malignant beings from across the cosmos.   Despite this there are peasants working the land, who usually look human.  They say that as long as you keep the animals and your family inside when the sea green fog covers the land. 

     The Battle Road runs across the northern edge, heavily fortified and infrequently traveled.  Shorter than the Trade Road, the instability of Gwalion has swallowed and disgorged armies along the Battle Road.  Adventurers have reported a sky with two suns and strange colored humans with unspeakable magics; great living demonic machines fighting; red deserts with strange six legged beasts and other prodigies.  Some, like the Fladhal, Blessed Foreman of Hephaestus in Anvil have been said to have recovered powerful artifacts from Gwalion;  while most simply never return.   

     Battleplain Gwalion defines Gwalion.  More technically, the border passes northwest from Ered Cantref through Keystone Peak to the edge of Battleplain Gwalion (hex 1725), from there the border follows the northern edge of Gwalion until it reaches the source of the tributary to the River Buckol (hex 1124).   Southwest along a straight line towards the source of the Elvenstar, but trending away to the east at hex 0927 to follow the southern border of Gwalion to hex 1828, from where it jogs back to Ered Cantref.

County of East Romilia - the City State's gateway to the Romilian Sea, this province controls the coast and the Lanshan Gap Between the Cloudwall Mountains and  Ered Cantref.  The northern area is one of frequent battle grounds between the hosts of the Invincible Overlord and those of the World Emperor, the old province of Romilia having split in two when the City State was first able to throw off direct rule by the World Emperor.

    East Romilia's boundaries coincide with Gwalion's southern boundary, From where Gwalion trends away (hex 0927) from the straight line between the sources of the Elvenstar and the tributary of the Buckhol, following the southern border of Gwalion to hex 1828, from where it jogs back to Ered Cantref.  South from Ered Cantref across Lanshan Gap then southeast along the crest of the Cloudwall Mountains to the source of the River Greyrush (Map 2, hex 2801).  Down the Greyrush to it's mouth, north along the cost to the mouth of the Elvenstar.  Upstream to the source of the Elvenstar, then back to the northeast along a straight line to the headwaters of the tributary of the Buckhol to where the line intersects the edge of Battleplain Gwalion.

Previous Posts in this Series

Wednesday, August 19, 2020

Feudal Wilderlands - Part III - The Restless North

Great Fiefs of the Wilderlands

The Restless North

    The northern coastal provinces  (barely coastal in th case of the Dwarven subkingdom of Thunderhold) have some of the most tenuous relationships to the Invincible Overlord.  In the case of Thunderhold, the dwarven king pays homage to the Overlord, but promotes trade with his most dedicated enemies - both Gwarenne and the City State of the World Emperor.  Gwarenne is notoriously independent, dominating trade with Valon and the Elphand Lands, Valley of the Ancients and controlling the most direct sea route to the City State of the World Emperor, giving it economic clout to resist the Invincible Overlord.  Vinnior is a narrow windswept coastal plain on the backside of the Majestic Mountains, it's inhabitants are considered to be the most rustic and boorish of all the City State's provinces.

 Duchy of Gwarenne - ruled by the illustrious Sana family, who where among the original conquerors and colonists from the City State of the World Emperor over 1000 years ago.  This fief is ruled more as a rival to the City State of the Invincible Overlord, rather than as an inferior.  It's boundaries start at the confluence of the central tributary of the Stillring in hex 2511, it follows the Stillring to it's mouth in hex 3110, then turns north and follows the coast around the Wormshead peninsula to hex 2904, then due south to the mountains east of Demon Tongue, turning generally south west along the crests of the hills and mountains to hexes 2607 and 2608, south southwest back to the confluence of the central tributary of the Stillring in hex 2511.  It also includes Brezal Isle.

County of Rorystone and Kingdom of Thunderhold - ruled by the Dwarven Iron-helms.  The Dwarven Kingdom of Thunderhold has been, for years, a major trading partner of the City State of the Invincible Overlord.  In the files of the Litigation Trickster's Guild and the various courts of the City State, it has acquired a dual character.  The ruler is still King of the Dwarves, but is also legally the Count of Rorystone ruling the humans above ground, one of the few rulers acknowledged by more than one race.  As the Count he pays homage to the Overlord in return for the rights to collect tolls on Rorystone Road.
     It's boundaries start at the confluence of the central tributary of the Stillring in hex 2511, generall north northeast to the crests of the hills in hexes 2608 and 2708, then generally northeast along the crests of the hills and mountains to the mountains east of Demon Tongue. Due north from the there to the coast in hex 2904, west along the coast for ten miles to the deepest point of the bay in hex, then west to Nimbus Tor.  From Nimbus Tor it tends southwest along the edge of the seaward slopes of the Majestic Mountains to through mountains in hex 2106 to the Carrion Abyss in hex 1808.  Turning east it passes over Sabre Scarp to the crest of the Majestic Mountains, thence south west along the crest of the Majestics and the hills to their southern outlier in hex 1613.  The border runs from there southeast to the source of the River Stillring, then back up the Stillring to it's confluence with it's central tributary.

County of Vinnior - ruled by the Seighard family. Once powerful chieftains in Altanis, they were elevated to the major nobility and exiled to this cold and windy land far from their southern home and kinsmen.   They have little in common or respect for the mostly Tharbian peasants native to the land.  This rustic backwater consists of the small coastal plain, dominated by the north wind off the Winedark Sea, where the population practices subsistence farming and fishing.  The hills and slopes on the far side of the Majestic Mountains and nearby ranges provide grazing for sheep and goats as well as a source of monster parts for magic users through out the region.
     Vinnior's boundaries run from the deepest point of the bay in hex 2803 west to Nimbus Tor.  From Nimbus Tor it tends southwest along the edge of the seaward slopes of the Majestic Mountains to through mountains in hex 2106 to the Carrion Abyss in hex 1808.  From Carrion Abyss it runs generally northwest along the crest of the hills and mountain south of Harridrim Cap to the tributary of the Syfwitch River in hex 1307, down the stream to the Syfwitch and down the Sywitch to it's mouth on the Winedark Sea.  It turns back along the coast to the east to the deepest point of the bay in hex 2803.

Previous Posts in this Series

Thursday, August 13, 2020

Feudal Wilderlands Part II

     This portion of the series will concentrate on defining the boundaries of the independent fiefs, name the noble family that rules it and add my initial observations of the area.  I intend (and we all know what's paved with good intentions) to do fief by fief posts adding detailed information about the fiefs and their sub-demesnes.    In short this is a work in progress allowing me to flesh out a great many details about the Wilderlands using Chivalry & Sorcery as the game system.  Note that I am currently being influenced by Merovingian Francia in my concept of the politics of the Wilderlands.  Not independent cities, but no strong central authority either. 

  The Great Fiefs of the Wilderlands 

The heartland along the Roglaroon

    These are the core of he provinces claimed by and usually acknowledging the Invincible Overlord.  They are loyal to the City State due to the shared trade highway of the Estuary of the Roglaroon.  The fact that they're also the easiest for the Overlord to send and support a Vasthost when putting down dissent and rebellion may play a factor in their overt professions of loyalty.

The City State - the personal demesne of the Invincible Overlord.  It's core is the City State and the rich farmland to the west, but contains the Moonraker Moorlands as well as the Troll Fens and Mermist Swamp.  It claims much of the Dearthwood, but those claims are subject to dispute by the Orcs of the Purple Claw.  
     It's boundaries start where the Forest River enters into the Roglaroon in hex 3518, follows the river upstream along the northern branch to hex 3017, south to the headwaters of the tributary of the Conqueror's River in hex 3018, down that stream to it's confluence with the Conqueror's River then upstream on the Conqueror's to it's headwaters in hex 2714, continuing across to the headwaters of the river Stillring and it's tributaries in hexes 2613, 2314 and 2014.  Thence south along the Howling Hills to the headwaters of the Eorlbane in hex 2121, on to the headwaters of the river defining the northern boundary of the Mermist Swamp in hexes 2122 and 2123 and then to the headwaters of the northern fork of the southern river defining the Mermist Swamp.  It follows that river down to the Roglaroon and along the estuary back to the start on the far side of Dearthwood.

County of Severnais - ruled by the Catilia family of Virdii extraction.  The coasts and banks of the estuaries cutting this demesne are high and steep, making water transport much harder than the you might expect from the map.  Small fishing and smuggling settlements exist, but no major ports.  
     The demesne follows the boundary of Roglaroon from it's beginning at the mouth of the Forest River in hex 3518, all the way through the headwaters of the River Stillring in hex 2014.  From there it turns and follows the Stillring all the way to it's mouth on the coast in hex 3110, thence along the coastal hexes to the Mouth of the Roglaroon in hex 3712, then back up the estuary to the beginning.

County of Losthaine  Ruled by the de la Vora family from Antil, recent favorites of the Overlord.  The wide plain between the Cloudwall Mountains and Ered Losthain is an important agricultural area feeding the City State.  The fortress at Bier (hex 2926) not only protects the Old South Road and the ferry crossing, but also serves as a sheltered anchorage for vessels awaiting better wind and tide conditions to minimize their exposure to the hazards of the Estuary.   
    The county's border follows the Roglaroon from the mouth of the southern river draining the Mermist Swamp to the mouth of the minor stream east of Bier (hex 3124), up that stream to it's source on the slopes of the mountain (hex 3426), along the crest of the hills joining that mount to Ered Losthain proper (hexes 3127-3428).  Down the crest of Ered Losthain to Fatherhorn Mountain (hex 3431) , bending southwest along the spur to the south (hex 3333) then west along the edge of Quean's Waste and the Hetflad Dunes to the Cloudwall Mountains (hex 2734), turning northwest along the crest of the mountains to Lanshan Gap (hex 2129), across Ered Cantref and Twinhorn Gap (hex 2127) to the source of the central tributary (hex 2126) to the southern river draining the Mermist Swamp, back down that stream to it's mouth on the Rogalroon.

County of Brythange - Ruled by the pleasure loving Vespillia family, who emigrated from the City State of the World Emperor due to excesses too great for that decadent court some 800 years ago.  This realm is tucked along the southern bank of the estuary.  It's extensive forests (for it's size) are hunting preserves of the nobility, being generally safer than the Dearthwood across the water.  The fortunate peasants toil for their overlords on the central and eastern plain adjacent to the Hagrost.  The less fortunate have to toil in the rocky uplands of the west and south.
   The border starts at the mouth of the minor stream east of Bier (hex 3124), down the Roglaroon to the confluence of the river Hagrost (hex 3522), up the Hagrost to the first tributary of the Archlin Stream (hex 3925).  It goes up that tributary to it's sources in the hills (hex 3826), along the crest of the hills through Neuwag's Neck (hex 3527) to Ered Losthain (hex 3428).  It follows the crest of the hills north to the mountain east of Bier and the source of the minor stream (hex 3426), thence down stream to the mouth on the Roglaroon. 

Duchy of Difrios  Known as the loyal duchy, it's sobriquet is more a reflection of the Overlord's problems with the other Dukes than any fond feeling on the part of the debauched Vespillia family.  This is the family's major holding and the Dukes, who often privately style themselves Rex Modronia, have as much control of their relatives - including the infamous Rumps of Tegel - as the Overlord does of them.  The duchy is a prosperous province with many agricultural, mineral and raw material resources.  It also benefits from controlling the trade at the mouth of the Roglaroon, the city of Modron being a major transshipment point as well as the entrepôt for the goods of the province.  
   The border starts at the confluence of the River Hagrost and follows the Roglaroon down to it's mouth.  It controls the entire coast down to the River Torn (hex 5123).  The boundary follows the Torn up to it's source (hex 4424), then across to the source of the Archlin Stream (hex 4226) and down the Archlin and Hagrost back to the confluence of the Roglaroon.  Difrios also includes the isle of Croy and a number of smaller islands in the Winedark Sea within it's borders.

Wilderlands guides and maps are copyright 2018 Judges Guild.  They have been  used without express permission to illustrate my personal version of  the classic campaign setting.

Rob Conley, who did the Layout and Cartography for the Revised Edition, has  new a Kickstarter for his  RPG rules based on his long running campaign.

Wednesday, August 5, 2020

Feudal Wilderlands Part I

     Continuing with the series I was posting back in April and May, I am now ready to start designing a feudal version of the Wilderlands using the 'Designing the Feudal Nation' rules from Chivalry and Sorcery's old red book.  To recap, I've followed Chesterton's advice and studying the Wilderlands canon to understand how the pieces work together - now I'm ready to make changes to take my version to my version of the setting to add a richer background.

     Two things are required by C&S when designing a feudal nation - a map of the nation where you can draw the boundaries and the number of great nobles of varying denominations.  C&S recommends a King (the eponymous Overlord), 2-3 Dukes, 2-3 Marquises and about 10 Counts.   Now this doesn't really line up with the Social Level table from ready Ref Sheets, etc that are part of the Wilderlands canon.  

BOOM!  Down goes a fence.  As long as I'm using C&S, its Social Class system will be used including the calculated Basic Influence Factor or BIF.  If they interact personally with any of the gods running around in the Wilderlands - Baldur comes to mind - I'll adapt the C&S Social Class to the circumstances instead.

    Looking at the map and the canonical castles - including the one in Hex 4014 of Map 1 that isn't  listed in the Wilderlands campaign book; I've decided to start with three Dukes, twelve Counts and one Baron who hold their lands directly from the Overlord.  They will determine all the other feudal holdings, which will include the canonical castles and citadels as well as I expect a number of additional fiefs that I will need to place.

   One other design consideration is how strong is the Overlord?  C&S says a strong King, like most of the Plantagenets of England would have holdings equal to 2-3 dukes; while a weak King, like the later Carolingians and early Capetians of France would only be the equal of a duke.  The canon is mixed on this question, the discussion of hosts and vast hosts would indicate a strong king.  The repeated losses to the World Emperor and the tribute paid to him, along with allusions to Warwick rivaling the City State would indicate a weaker king.  What tips me to the weaker Overlord is ineffectual response the Skandik take over of the Pagan Coast around Ossary.  It's far too reminiscent of Rollo in Normandy for me to ignore.  And AFAIK the Pagan Coast was based on that incident.

     So I'm basing my Wilderlands more on the politics of medieval France than England.  I do intend to ensure that the holdings of the great nobles are scattered across each others nominal domains.  While this was a lesson that William the Conqueror had learned - contiguous power blocks, like his in France, were detrimental to a central authority.  In late Carolingian and early Capetian France successively inferior tenants had similarly fractured the great feudal demesnes by arrogating rights and holdings to themselves that Charlemagne and his initial successors had only granted to the great lords at their pleasure.  The 1358 years since the founding of the City State surely gives enough time for that to happen.

Here's the starting map of the fiefs of the great lords.

Thursday, July 23, 2020

C&S in CSIO - Voyage to Modron Part II: Perils Abound!

     This post details the rest of the Random Encounters the party had during the voyage from the City State to Modron, each encounter is prefaced by the hex on Campaign Map 01 where it occurred.

Hex 3522
     An hour or so later, as the Blesinde navigated through the winding channels, whirlpools and eddies between the Confluence Islands, where the Roglaroon bends north and the Hagrost  enters from the east.     

    At a cry from one of the crew, the party looked over the starboard side and saw a large dragon like creature swooping down on Captain Chiramnesind1 as he steered the caravel through the turns between the hazards at the speed of  trotting horse.  Not having work to do maneuvering the ship, Ysolt and Mordacis loosed arrow and stone as the salt-rimed, horse head monster2, reeking like dunghill, grasped futilely at the ducking helmsman.  Adenin gave a surprisingly bass roar and began hurling imprecations at it.3  The boatswain and four of the crew ran back to the ballista at the stern. 
     With a shriek like grinding glass, the beast performed an Immelmann and sped back towards the ship, higher and forward of the first pass.  Ysolt's arrows passed by the beast.  

     The ballista thrummed and the projectile slammed into the horse like head, followed by two stones from Mordacis' sling striking the beast fairly.  The monster plunged into the estuary a hundred yards to starboard.
     The oily slick where it landed was peppered by rocks and arrows and another ballista bolt to no effect before the creature flapped soddenly off in the direction it had first attacked from, pursued by a final futile arrow and sling stone.4

  Hexes 3521 and 3522
     Running free of the channel, they encountered Maelstrom again, who came close along side and spoke to the captain privately for over an hour before she turned and dove behind the ship as it slowly sailed against the flood tide.
Hex 3520

     The lookout shouted a warning and pointed over the port bow at two canoes angling towards the ship from the Dearthwood shore.   The orcs in the canoes were taking advantage of the flood tide to close with the caravel struggling against it.  With the ballista blocked by the ship itself, they quickly ranged one on each side of the ship and boarders began to climb.  It was all over in a flash, with half the orcs and a third of the crew dead on the deck or floating in the estuary.  The big orc with the red stripe tattooed diagonally across his face pulled the surviving pirates and the canoes back towards the Dearthwood shore.ore Adenin and Mordacis did what they could to heal the casualties as the caravel continued past the mouth of a river flowing out of the Dearthwood. 7

Hex 3517

    "Chiramnesind, Chiramnesind, I will be merciful", the orca declaimed from the water.  The whale was covered in tattoos of eldritch figures in a bilious yellow on it's black forehead,  "When the Dreamer Below wakens, apostates will suffer torment deeper than the Kraken dives!  I would spare my old companion the suffering!"
The captain removed a small stone from a pouch and chanted "Effer citatum turpi creatura, quas eiecite te quos eieci!"
     "That incantation only works on Those from Without,"  replied the cetacean , "not such as I.  The shantak will not be the last hunter.  And now you have revealed your defense, so the others will not be affected!  Your torment shall be great, as will that of your crew."  The last word was burbled as the whale subsided back below the Roglaroon.8
  Chiramnesind turned to the crew and shouted "Let's get to port, you swabs, first round is on me!  That blubber eater is a bigger threat to the sea birds than to us in the goddess' harbor!"  Which raised a cheer from the crew at the immanent prospect of beer vs a more distant prospect of grisly death.
    Adenin approached the captain and questioned him about the curious sigil on the stone.  He was rebuffed "If you know it not, priest, it's best you avoid it and return to your temple.  There are things older than the gods that will eat your soul for dinner."  Adenin returned to the group and sketched out teh curious sign when related the captain's warning.

Hex 3615
As Blesinde made the harbor at Modron, the fin of a great shark circled the ship.  Adenin approached the captain and asked permission to try shooting it with the ballista, explaining he had been raised in Baron Jaquob's household and had been trained on the machine's operation.  "Fine, one shot, the bolts are expensive." was Chiramnesind's grudging permission.    The bolt flew far wide of the fin before it splashed in the water.  The shark followed close along until the mooring lines were passed over at the dock.  Then with a flick of it's tail it swam swiftly to the mouth of the harbor and out of sight.9

Previous Posts in the Series

Monday, July 6, 2020

Chivalry & Sorcery 1e - Shantak

After Call of
Cthulhu illustration
The Shantak is a monster from Call of Cthulhu, based, of course, on the works of H. P. Lovecraft and needs to be converted. 
They were not any birds or bats known elsewhere on earth...for they were larger than elephants and had heads like a horse's. .... The Shantak-bird has scales instead of feathers and those scales are very slippery. The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath
      Here at least I have a an animal in C&S to start the conversion process with, since the Shantak is bigger than an elephant, I'll start with a Woolly Mammoth. The characteristics come from the Saurians book, which includes Ice Age fauna as well as dinosaurs.

Height/ LengthBodyWT.MoveArmor%Hit%DodgeExp
9'/12.5'15010,00060/ 1804+20% 5*WDF MLH(4)
+10% 5*WDF  MLK(2)

     Height and Length - the description says bigger than an elephant, but it flies, rtaher than trimping around on the ground.  The drawing from Call of Cthulhu 1e shows a wyvern-ish shape with a long neck.  I'll leave it at 9' tall, but stretch the body to 18' and assume it has about a 40' wingspan.
     Body  CoC includes stats for elephants as well as Shantaks.  It gives an elephant 31 HP and the Shantak 32 HP, so I'll leave Body at 150.
     Weight - I'm going to thin it down since it's a flier.  Mature Dragons in C&S weigh 250lbs for every foot of length, so 4,500
     Move-  C&S give a mature dragon a movement in the open of 225 yards/2.5 minutes walking (same as a man).  CoC gives a man a movement rate of 8 yards/combat rounds"of a few seconds".  If I assume 11 combat rounds per minute in CoC [It was probably 10, but trying to make the numbers work.] I get 220 yards /2.5 minutes.    So as a Shantak moves at 6 on the ground and  30 flying in CoC, multiplying it out for C&S it has a ground movement of 165 and a flying movement of 825 yards/ 2.5 minutes.  Making it the slowest flyer in the sky.  For combat turns, divide by 3.75 to get feet per turn, triple that for maximum movement speed of 132.  Same calculations for flying speeds.
     Armor - CoC reduces damage by the armor value, C&S changes the chance to hit.  So conversion by analogy here.  An elephant in Call of Cthulhu is is unarmored, a Shantak has an AC of 9, making it bullet proof more often than not.  I'm going to keep it's AC at 9, including the damage reductions from Plate and Chain armor.
     Hit  - the Mammoth has Large Horns (tusks) and Large Hooves (kicks).  Despite being depicted with large bird like talons, the only attack CoC lists for the Shantak is a bite.  I'm going to increase the size to compensate for fewer attacks, and give the the ability to 'toss' a victim.  In CoC an elephant has an average strength of 50, while a Shantak is 34, so I'll decrease the hit bonus by 5% and Weapon Damage Factor by 1.
    Dodge - 45% slower than the next slowest flier, these are large clumsy fliers.  No dodge.
    Experience -  Shantaks are malevolent, evil intelligent beings from the outer planes.  They will fight to cause terror and flee if their robust physical defenses let them down.  So I'll set it equal to a fire breathing wyvern - 3000 xp.
Height/ LengthBodyWT.MoveArmor%Hit%DodgeExp
9'/18'/40' wingspan1504,50044/ 132
220/ 660 Fly
9+15% 4*WDF MGB(2)03000

MGB - Monster Giant Bite
MGB 9Giant Fangs/Teeth25**

** A hit by one of these natural weapons permits an attacker to bash or toss a victim 5-30 feet.  There is a 60% chance that a victim in AC 0-2 will be stunned and a 25% that others will be stunned.  Increase chance of stunning by 5% for each 5' short of possible distance thrown if the victim is bashed into a wall.

From Chivalry & Sorcery Combat Tables page 52