Thursday, July 25, 2019

Mysterious Places From the Fringe IV

Greetings Greyhawkers! Gen Con 2019 fast approaches, so today seems like a good time to write some original adventure hooks based on the "Mysterious Places" articles of Living Greyhawk. Go back and check out some of my previous brainstorms from 2014 again 2014 and 2018. Wow time flies. Let's get into it...

The Kha-Khan's Niche: Nearly 500 years ago, The Relentless Horde came to dominate the northern plains. When the great Kha-Khan Ogobanuk passed into the invisible realm in 345 CY, the Tiger Nomads split from their cousins the Wolf Nomads to go their own way. What is rumored however in civilized circles, is that before the kha-khan's end, these two great tribes constructed a sacred portal for their ruler to enter on horseback and thus depart the Oerth forever. Called the Kha-Khan's Niche, most nomads today will laugh this off as a child's tale, while others will cut out the tongue of a foreigner for bringing it up.
The most common version of the Niche is that it's a cairn-like structure, barely recognizable from a hill or perhaps cliff. Naturally depending on which nomad tells the story this could be placed in the Howling Hills, the Yecha Hills, the Sepia Uplands or even the foot of the Yatil Mountains. The Niche is almost certainly guarded by illusions as well given the Tiger Nomads' reputation for this magic. Others say the place is guarded by demons and giant wolves loyal to the ancient Kha-Khan. Whatever the truth, explorers who see beyond the tales of a nomad afterlife seek the Niche for any treasures left behind by the great Kha-Khan. Should they find the way to the invisible realm or merely a lost tomb is left for the DM to decide.

Shargaas' Void: The Hateful Wars (498-510) were the culmination of a century worth of Euroz and Jebli raids from the Lortmil Mountains into the Good realms of Celene, Uleks, etc. The forces of aggrieved Queen Yolande spearheaded this cleansing action by taking the Low Road, an underground trail connecting all the offender's lairs. The multitude of humanoids were driven out of the Lortmils forever (much to the Pomarj's chagrin), but decades later some parts of the Low Road still remain unsearched.
Shargaas' Void is one such locale in the lightless tunnels in the mountain chain where orc shamans of Shargaas the Night Lord (orc god of darkness, stealth and undead) are said to have stayed behind to harass their elven conquerors so that the rest of their kind could escape to fight another day. This 20-foot diameter hole ringed by profane monoliths to Shargaas shows signs of activity, but no light can penetrate its gloom. Undead creep the area and drag unwary beings back to this Void. Elves have long abandoned ever returning here, but many of their bravest warriors perished here in the Hateful Wars, so the chance to recover mithril and magic weapons is too great a temptation for treasure seekers.

The Ring of Harmony: Traversing the Plains of the Paynims is a hazard for any caravan, no matter which direction is taken. One such trail is along the western frontier of the Banner Hills from Ket to the untamed land of Ull. Somewhere along this ponderous route is a respite from the dangers of bandits and monsters, called the Ring of Harmony by the local nomads. The Ring is well-known to the Paynims who alternately make use of this site or avoid it entirely. The Ring is a well worn campsite of sorts, a wide circle where no prairie grass or trees grow, marked by worn stones whose meaning are lost to time. What makes the Ring a destination for caravans is that it is an utterly safe place to sleep at night. No matter the season, the Ring seems to offer rest and protection to any traveler who builds a fire upon its ground.
Indeed the hand of Istus or some other divine intervention is at work here, for no weather or outside influence affects those who sleep under the stars at the Ring of Harmony. Campers at this site report feeling rested and healed beyond reason each morning. Furthermore, even though the Ring lies in the open, no creature or force bearing ill will can approach. Some crazed accounts say ghostly guardians whisk away would-be intruders before they get close and leave them stranded miles from the Ring. Whatever the case, the Ring remains a boon to those who journey far from safety of their homelands.

Osprem's Trident: The pirates and buccaneers who ply the waves of the vast Oljatt Sea are an adventurous sort, and coupled with the stories of their exploits are tales of discovery. First reported in the port of Duxchan ten years ago is a trio of islands called Osprem's Trident. Rising from the sea somewhere to the southeast between the Lordship of the Isles and the Hepmonlanad coast, these steep islands seem like tines of a colossal trident. The islands are a tropical sort like the many that dot the coasts of the south seas, but these are deeper out to sea and might be dormant volcanoes. No captain has been able to accurately chart the Trident yet much to the Lordship's frustration.
It is said these islands are holy to Osprem, Suel goddess of the oceans and that she "moves her trident around" to protect its natural habitats from spoiling seafarers. Indeed, the islands have most often been found on accident rather than on a plotted course. The islands aren't settled by sentient creatures, but they do have abundant wildlife and resources suitable for any stranded there. Signs of prior visitors are often found dotted on the three identical isles, their fates vary. Higher up the cliffs of the Tridents may yield hidden rewards left by Osprem, or merely death.


grodog said...

I think this one's actually #4 for you, Mike :D You have two linked to from your article @


Mike Bridges said...

Thanks grodog! Wow I lose track of this stuff too easily ;)

Thomas Kelly said...

Hey I like that Shagrass' Void idea. I've been pulling together all the material I can find on the Hateful Wars for a major project on the subject. I'll definitely include this little bit of lore.

Mike Bridges said...

Very cool Thomas! Yeah I've literally never done anything with the Hateful Wars until now. I feel there should be alot of lost stuff in the Lortmils. Sort of a reverse-Moria from LotR.