Friday, August 15, 2014

With this blog I am going to embark on an epic quest of building a tabletop rpg campaign setting.  The setting will utilize the Pathfinder SRD, though I believe the narrative nature of the work will allow for easy implementation into any system.  I hope to one day publish this behemoth, but for now I am making my progress public for any and all to partake.  That which will appear here will be the unpolished skeleton of the future completed product. This solo mission will include a comprehensive level of detail unlike anything I have encountered in twenty five years of gaming.  It is a monumental task and I hope you will enjoy it.  If you do, I encourage you to visit my new Patreon page and support the endeavor.  Enough blabbery, here's the first post!

Post #1   Keeper's Hall, Ground Level
                 Town of Northgard
                      Country of Illumvak

          Persons of Interest
               Citizen Spotlight
                     Ground Level
                           Useful maps

Keeper's Hall
Bit of Information
Adventure Hook

"Rising before you lies the palace of Northgard, the Keeper's Hall.  There is steady foot traffic in and out of the place, as various townsfolk and visitors seek the officials who conduct their business within.  Inside the massive portcullis lies a well groomed courtyard. A large fountain is centered there with a statue of the famed wizard and founder of Northgard,The Great Perinzar.  The stone statue's arms are held out wide in a welcoming gesture, it's face bearing a serene warmth and a gaze of friendship. That gaze however, stands in direct opposition to the watchful eyes of the hardened men of the Keeper's Watch, which fall upon all who wish to enter the Hall."

 This complex serves as the living quarters of the High Chief Regent, as well as some building attendants. The Hall has facilities for meetings and a large hall for formal and informal gatherings alike. The building has a rotating guard force of around eighteen members of the Keeper's Watch.

The structure as it stands is fairly recent. The Hall has been an ongoing project for hundreds of years, and much of the dwarven population have made their mark on it's architecture. The two tall spires that can be seen to the back of the hall, were actually separate towers originally, and over the years the rest of the Hall has been built around them. This constant building and adding is quite common in Northgard. Some say it's because dwarves get bored easily and must build something. While others claim that the town's leadership has always been fearful of a return of the goblins who once called the Inland Isles home, and the constant reinforcing is merely preemptive defensibility. Nevertheless, there is always some form of construction occurring in Northgard.

Beneath Keeper's Hall lies the town's dungeon, The Black Scatter. Rarely does anyone ever end up there, as the Keepers Guard reserve the foul place for only the worst criminals. (Most law breakers just end up in the drunk tank for the night.) In fact, it has now been years since anyone has even ventured into the area, after tales of ghosts were reported by the guards. Vall doesn't see a need for the dungeon, and considers the fact that his guards refuse to go down there, as a good reason to leave the place closed. The dank area, which winds it's way under the Hall ends along side Baffy's Creek, houses ten small cells. Each cell is but 10'x10' and is magically silenced and darkened when the doors are closed. The conditions are said to drive an occupant crazy, and more than one prisoner has gone mad. The area was initially intended as an underground maze designed by Perinzar himself, for the enjoyment of his small village, however the ancient wizard died before it's completion.

The portcullis to Keeper's Hall is generally open, except for nights during the annual, months long Trades Festival, when tens of thousands of merchants and visitors from all around descend upon Northgard.  The offices inside are open during typical labor hours, mid morning through sundown.  Walls in the Hall are either tiled or hewn stone, and most rooms are lit with everburning torches.



Vall Ferrigus (CG male human fighter10/ranger7)- As High Chief Regent, the Illumvak champion spends very little time in the Hall. But 5' 2” tall, Vall is often mistaken for a tall dwarf. His broad shoulders and muscly bulk, coupled with his long beard, fiery demeanor and love of ale, all help to reinforce the misconception. He is the only human to be made an honorary dwarf by the Grissledown Clan of Dwarves to the north. There is speculation as to the possibility of him being half-dwarf.

Vall spent the first half of his career in the Dalanthis National Army, leading his own regiment of vagabonds turned soldiers called the Breakers. He then spent the better part of fifteen years as a well accomplished adventurer. He then settled in Northgard when the Ruling Council of Mages to the south in Dalanthis City called on him to be the Regent of a new Territory they were creating which included Northgard.

Vall's days now are spent divided among council meetings, working at the Keeper's Training Lodge, and reveling the nights away around town with hundreds of his closest friends. Even without the daily grind of an adventurer, Vall is in some of the best shape of his life. He daily leads members of the Keeper's through rigorous training routines as headmaster of the KTL. Also, his drinking has picked up slightly over the last few years as the stress of leadership slowly begins to grow heavier. Recently he received a message from the Ruling Council, that they would be now requiring an annual meeting of the Territory Regents to be held in the Capital. The trip is several weeks one way and Vall is none to happy about the journey, not to mention it being slated during the beginning of the trade season, when Northgard's Population swells immensely. He has proposed to the Supreme Council that they use the Abdication Chamber* to merely teleport him to and from the capital, but his request was unanimously denied, as transportation magic is heavily taxing.

What's in the title?
The leader of Northgard and the Hillshadow Territory is called the Regent. Before the Hillshadow Territory was founded, the leader of Northgard was called the Keeper of Northgard, hence the Keeper's Hall and Keeper's Watch, names that were created when Northgard was a young, more independent town. Vall also has the title of High Chief, meaning that he is head of the town's guard force, the Keeper's watch. Normally the Regent and High Chief are different people, but Val's extensive military and fighting prowess allow him to take on both roles simultaneously. Some in Northgard and the south have issued complaints about this dual titling. Stating it places too much power in one man's hands.

Dunny Pfathmere (LN male human commoner 5), Lead Attendant and Butler of Keeper's Hall. Dunny was born and raised in Northgard. Despite his venerable age, very little goes on in the Hall that Dunny is not intimately aware of. He has worked and lived in the Hall for forty years. With his years adding up, he has grown fearful of the town he says is “full of miscreants”, and has not left the Keepers' Hall grounds in over ten years. He rarely speaks, walks slowly and carries a perpetual scowl about his wrinkled face.

Tersa Veltyre (NG female half-elf expert 3), Master of Records of the Hillshadow Council.  Tersa's offices are located in the Hall. No matter how much Val insists she loosen up some, Tersa is all business, all the time. She came to Dalanthis when Vall was instated as the High Chief Regent, and reports directly to the Supreme Council of Illumvak, located in the capital city, once per year. She meets regularly with delegates of that council via the divination of Relmontero, the High Mage of the Hillshadow region.

Relmontero (LN male human diviner 7) Stern and serious, Relmontero is at constant odds with Vall Ferrigus, his superior. He believes a leader should not carry on with commoners the way that Vall does, and believes he tarnishes his position with his nightly “debauchery”.  He consistently proposes motions to remove Vall from his position. However, his pleas are turned away, for since Vall has taken office in Northgard, the town's footprint as a trade hub has increased ten fold, bringing a nice sum of taxes southward to the capital Dalanthis City.

Kermin Steelport (LN male human Fighter 4/Expert 4) As the appointed Master of Coin for the Hillshadow Territory, Kermin shares an office with Tersa.  He is a well dressed, fat little man, with a slight limp who loves nothing more than gold, drink and darkness. While not inherently evil, Kermin long ago discovered that the vile aspects of humanity often make folks cringe, setting them off their guard and giving him the upper hand. As a tax collector, he embraces this wholeheartedly, often using fear tactics to perform his job.  His ring laden little sausage fingers are deceptively nimble, and his skills with the fancy short sword at his side are often underestimated.  Kermin serves as Northgard's tax collector as well as treasurer, and is the only person, other than Vall Ferrigus, with access to the town's guarded vault.  He is quite fond Vall, and sees him as a strong leader, who leads from the bottom.  Kermin is quick with an insult when it comes to  Relmontero though, whom he sees as a wormy little kiss ass.

Attendants of the Keeper's Hall
Bahgo the Broad (NG male human expert 3) Cook
Venny and Coleese Marromere (both NG female human commoner 1) Sisters and general attendants.
Fandis Chip (N male halfling rogue 3) Dunny's assistant.
Cally Elmsap (N female halfelf commoner 3) Kermin's assistant.
Pary Allu (CG male human commoner 3) Groundsman and general attendant.

 Vall Ferrigus

Human Fighter 10/Ranger 7
NG Medium Humanoid
Init +2; Senses Perception +12
AC 22, touch 15, flat-footed 19 (+7 armor, +2 dex, +1 dodge, +2 ROP)
hp 174 (17HD;10d10+7d10+51+17)
Fort +17; Ref +11; Will +9, +3 vs. fear
Defensive Abilities 
bravery+3; armor training 2
Speed 30 ft.
Melee +3 defending maul +30/+25/+20/+15 (2d6+16) or
Ranged +2 shocking composite longbow(+5) +23/+18/+13/+8 (1d8+1d6+8)
Special Attacks favored enemy (giants +4, dragons +2)
Ranger Spells Prepared (CL 4th; Concentration +4)
1st detect poison, resist energy 2nd cure light wounds
Str 24,Dex 15,Con 16,Int 12,Wis 14,Cha16
Base Atk +17; CMB +23; CMD 35
Feats Weapon Focus (Maul), Dodge, Power Attack, Improved Sunder, Cleave, Weapon Spec., Great Cleave, Vital Strike, Lunge, Greater Weapon Focus (Maul), Critical Focus, Greater Sunder, Point Blank Shot, Precise Shot, Endurance, Weapon Focus (longbow), Greater Vital Strike
Skills Acrobatics +6, Bluff +1, Climb +16, Concentration +4, Diplomacy +13, Handle Animal +10, Heal +7, Intimidate +17, Know. Dung. +13, Know. Geog. +6, Know. Eng. +6, Know. Nature +6, Perception +12, Ride +8, Spellcraft +6, Stealth +10, Survival +10, Swim +10
Languages Common, Dwarven
SQ armor training 2, favored terrain 1(mountain +2), hunter's bond (animal companion/deceased), track +3, wild empathy +6, woodland stride
Gear +3 defending maul of sundering (Willbreaker), +2 composite longbow of shock(+5), +2 Ring of Prot., +4 studded leather, Regent Ring*

The Regent Ring is a gold band, with a pink tourmaline set in a golden oval with arcane marks carved around the outer perimeter. One is given to each of the six Territory Regents within the country of Illumvak, during their Instating Ceremony at the Capital, Dalanthis City. The Pendants are given to aid with the rigors of public office, and to help ensure the proper leadership of the Regent's Territory.
The item cannot be removed by any means other than that by which the Supreme Council holds secret. If for any reason the Supreme Council sees fit to contact the Pendant's bearer, the item lightly thrums, indicating that the Council seeks an audience inside of the Abdication Chamber. The Regent Pendant has the following abilities:
  • Allows the Territory Regent's location to be tracked by the Supreme Council.
  • Grants the wearer +4 bonus to Diplomacy, and allows for 1 Diplomacy reroll/day.
  • Grants the wearer +2 to all Saves.
  • Grants the wearer -4 penalty to Bluff.
  • Grants the wearer access to the Abdication Chamber* of their particular Territory.

The country of Illumvak, or Brightstone, is divided into six Territories. These are each ruled by an appointed Regent who governs from the Region Seat, or Territory Capital. Northgard is the Region Seat for the Hillshadow Territory. Each of these 6 Region Seats contain somewhere in the Regent's abode, a sealed chamber only capable of being opened by the wearer of the Regent Ring. The chamber is an extradimensional space of roughly 15'x15' with 10' ceilings. The room is decorated as the current Regent has seen fit and contains a small everburning fireplace and a small garderobe.
Inside the chamber, the occupants can converse with the members of the Supreme Council as per their beckoning. Also in times of need the room can serve as safe haven for those inside. It has perpetually well stocked pantries. If a situation permits the use of teleportation magic, then the Supreme Council can whisk the Regent back to Dalanthis City away from the threat. Only someone with the Regent Ring and one guest may enter and occupy the chamber at one time.

((Note: A large part of the magical energies in this world are thought to be derived from what is known as the Bright Stone, a huge glowing pinkish gem formation below the capital Dalanthis City, more specifically, inside of the Wizard's College there, Incanteris. The country of Illumvak is ruled by a free-elected Magocracy who have regulations in place regarding certain spells that are deemed to be “taxing” on the Bright Stone. Some spells are taxed heavily, others are only by permit, while others still are deemed banned all together. There is a palpable fear amongst the ruling wizards that the monstrous gems may run out of energy at some point, even though there has been no evidence to promote that theory.  The laws are said to prevent frivolous magic use. Some say the laws are but just one way the ruling wizards keep the bulk of the power to themselves. It is in fact illegal to learn wizardry inside the country, unless you are accepted into, and learn the practice from the College of Wizards, Incanteris in Dalanthis City. All wizards must be registered and any town in which they wish to reside, must pay a tax depending on the rank of the wizard. A town with a wizard who can cast fireball may pay a fair price in taxes to have him there, but a town with a wizard who can cast fireball, is generally a safer town.))


Ground Level

1. Bailey- The courtyard is dissected by a walkway of gray bricks in a fish-bone pattern. The shrubs and trees within are all trimmed neatly and the grass is a rich green for much of the year. At the center of the bailey is a fountain around a statue of the Great Perinzar, his hands outstretched with a warm look on his face. To the far end lies the towering arched doors of the main entrance, resting atop a low curved staircase. To the left and right of the fountain lie official entryways. Each of the door sets are guarded during daylight hours by two members of the Keeper's Watch.

2. Main Foyer- This smooth walled entryway is adorned with intricate trim-work, a marble floor and fine benches along it's four long wall segments. A red carpet striped with black and yellow borders presents a center aisle through the room, to a grand arched entryway with a dragon bust at it's apex. A guard is generally posted on either side of the archway. The doors to the left and right are a deep red oak and bound with black wrought iron. There is a circular knocker on each door. Each door has a small sign over it stating Records for the left door and Coin for the right.
Archway into the Highvein Parlor

3. The Highvein Parlor - This large room is supported by four polished stone pillars, it's high ceiling and walls are capped with Highvein tiles, lightly glowing with dull pink light. Two ornate, twenty foot long tables with twenty two chairs each rest in the center of the room in front of the massive fireplace. Two wyvern heads are mounted above the mantle, their ominous though empty gazes directed at the tables. The carpet from the foyer spills into this room and fills the area between the pillars.

What is Highvein?
There is a variety of limestone that has small veins of pink running through it. The veins glow slightly in dim light. The variety is called highvein due to it's typical location. It could once  be found throughout the Inland Isles, usually located near the top of a plateau. Highvein is especially rare these days, as the early dwarves to the region nearly removed it all. It's veins are prone to develop freeze cracks much more frequently than common limestone, making it weaker than common limestone. Highvein is primarily used in interior applications such as tile and cap-block. A one foot square tile of Highvein limestone produces as much light as a candle, and is valued at 10gp.

Wyvern's Ridge
When Vall Ferrigus was an adventurer, his band slew two adult wyverns along a ridge to the north of the Inland Isles. There was a nest of three hatchlings the crew left out of pity, thinking the just days old creature's fates should be left to the gods. Now, a few decades later, those mature wyverns have wreaked havoc on a few newly settled villages. Vall feels guilty for their troubles and may need someone to take care of the beasts once and for all...

4. Gate House West- This circular room has a stairwell leading up and down, a table and two chairs are the only contents. 4.1- This small room has a raised stoop along it's east side, granting a vantage point through the single arrow loop, some six feet off the ground level.

5. Pantry- Barrels and bags of foodstuffs and ale fill this room. It serves the guard kitchen in area 6.
6. Guard Kitchen- The permanent station of several guards, the Keeper's Hall has a dedicated kitchen for them, so as not to bother the servants. Prep tables and cabinets full of implements are placed throughout.
7. Closet- Mops, buckets and the like can be found in this dank little room.
8. Guard Parlor- Four tankard strewn tables with chairs fill this room. Two worn couches that smell like vomit and sweat rest on either side of the soot filled fireplace. A small banner bearing the crest of Northgard hangs above the mantle.
    The Crest of Northgard
    Northgards colors are red, for the blood spilled during the early days of Northgard. Spent battling back the hordes of goblinoids, the first inhabitants of the Inland Isles. Black, symbolizing the dark times the area knew prior to the Great Perinzar's settling here. Finally, white, for the peace that Northgard's presence has brought to the region. The Crest of Northgard bears a Perinzar's red tower atop a plateau(still standing today), bearing a frothy mug, for the town's main industry, above an outstretched palm, the symbol for trade.
9. Spare Bed Chamber- The guards call this spare bedroom the Rustle Room. It is typically occupied only when a guard, or two, wish to sneak sexual partners into the Hall. Male and female guard members alike frequent the room during long, many day shifts.
10. Tower West- A stairway leads up inside this circular room with three beds.
11. Tower East- This room contains a stairway leading up, as well as a table and some chairs.
12. Bedroom- This is the locked bedroom of Bahgo the Broad. He has a firm bed and a soft bed, to rotate depending on how his back feels. He has a locked floor chest in which he keeps his personal items. Bahgo keeps the keys to this room's door and chest, as well as to area 16 on his person at all times.
Items of Value: The locked chest contains: two changes of clothing, a cooking book titled The Emperors Coals, a MW dagger, 27gp and a 50gp gold pendant of a grasshopper.
Door Lock DC-16
Chest Lock DC-20
13. Main Kitchen- This well equipped kitchen has all the necessary implements for cooking the fine meals of the elite.
    14. Secondary Kitchen- This room, while sporting the same as area 13, is only used as a kitchen when a feast must be prepared. Typically, the room serves as an overflow storeroom.
    15. Servant Entrance- This small room with but a table and wash bowl, is the entrance all servants must use to come into the Hall.
16. Pantry- Shelves of potatoes, carrots and beats, barrels of salted meats, racks of drying herbs, kegs of ale and casks of wine... A very well stocked pantry. To the back of the pantry is an old entrance into the gatehouse. The door was recently blocked up after food was mysteriously disappearing.
Door Lock DC-20
Bahgo's Nemesis
The cook of the Keeper's Hall, Bahgo, blames Vincent Curtie for the disappearance of his prized giant yams, the event that made Bahgo request the door be sealed. Vincent is a high cook for the Keeper's Watch, and often prepares meals in the west side guard kitchen of Keeper's Hall. (#6) The two have constantly been at odds with one another for years, as each boasts of the finest culinary skills. The giant yams keep for many months in dark conditions and Bahgo, still furious over the theft may wish to hire someone to slip into the guards pantry to try and locate them.

  1. Gatehouse East- This portion of the gatehouse can only be accessed by the lone stairway leading up. Since the door to the pantry is now sealed, this room has become a quiet respite for those guards off duty. A table with some bone dice can be found here. 17.1 is the same as 4.1.
  2. Record Office- The office of Tersa Veltyre. Northgard's Master of Records. Aside from her stocked desk and comfortable chairs, this room contains many locked cabinets with hundreds of official scrolls, detailing everything from deeds to local buildings and shops, licensing papers, formal request letters to official paperwork from Dalanthis City. Most things wrote on paper pass through Tersa's office at some point.
    Both Doors to this room are locked. DC 25
    Items of Value: 5'x5' tapestry of a seascape (100 gp), Tersa's personal seal kit. A finely crafted mahogany box containing a stamp, candles and red sealing resin, as well as a small vial of cinnabar, the mineral used to die the resin (40gp), a small lock-box (DC 25) containing 120gp and a 25gp emerald.
  3. Coin Office- The Master of Coin, Kermin Steelport keeps his office here. His grand desk lies along the east wall, with an illusory vault on the wall behind his seat. The desk is on a slightly raised dais so as to render Kermin a bit more imposing. His assistant Cally, has a small desk just inside the entrance. The room is dimly lit with but a few candles. The spot where the window should be appears as a slightly shimmering black square that seems to go on forever. While in reality, the square is a few simple spells that seal the window opening, Kermin takes joy at scaring townspeople with the threat of being thrown into the “Portal of the Abyss”, if they don't pay their taxes. A large guard is always posted inside the room during labor hours, all of which think the empty threats are true. The remaining walls of this room are lavishly decorated with tapestries and paintings, and the north wall contains a sizable book shelf. All along the shelf are books full of paid and unpaid dues, taxes and fines, as well as Northgard's wealth and debts. Also included are bounty records, as Kermin pays off any bounties offered at the Keeper's Training Facility. Behind the entry door is a secret door (DC 30). If during the days business, Kermin runs low on operating gold (below 200gp), he must have the guard stand outside the room, bar the door and access area 20 to restock his lock box.
    Entry Door Lock DC 35 and Trapped with a magical alarm also DC 35.
    Items of Value: Tapestry of a dark wooded forest with skeletal horses running through it (125 gp), Tapestry of a black dragon breathing fire on screaming peasants (100gp), Still life painting of three bloody swords and a severed hand (85 gp), Small painting of a bull skull (25gp), Small painting of a scantily clad woman (35 gp). In a locked desk drawer (DC 28) is a lock box (DC 30) with daily operating gold (1d12x100 gp)
Window Treatment
Only a few in Northgard are aware that the shimmering “portal” covering the window in The Coin Office, is actually a rather mundane magical frame that makes the window behind it act as if it is blocked up solid with stone. The “portal” effect is just a minor illusion. The tales of this “mystical device” are common around town. So much so that the tales have begun to spin into legend. Such as the one about the Ephestin merchant who failed to pay a licensing fee, and was thrown into the portal, never to be seen again... The tales have caught the interest of Coradryn Laceleaf, the proprietor of the Travelling Cloak, a shop for rare and exotic items. Coradryn's desire to know more about the item may lead him to hire an able body to collect some information on it...
  1. Vault Foyer- This small room contains a floor chest and the vault door. The floor chest contains the surplus coinage for the week and serves to replenish operating coin for the Coin Office. Each week, any amount over 3000 gp is placed within the vault. Vall and Kermin, have weekly meetings to assess the budget and access the vault.
    Floor Chest Lock DC 30
    Items of Value: Within the chest is 1d4 x 1000 gp.
  2. Vault- The thick metal walls of this room are lined with crates and bags of gems and coins. The door to the vault is magically protected to prevent entry by an other means than a command phrase, victarus kaluum mi'ulin, in conjunction with two enchanted crystals. One of these crystals is embedded in a ring, worn by the Master of Coin Kermin Steelport, the other crystal is the pink tourmaline set inside of the Regent Ring that Val Ferrigus wears. Its contents vary depending on the season.
Spring- 1d10 x 1000gp + 12,000gp ( all values in assorted coin and gems.)
Summer-2d10 x 1000gp + 16,000gp
Fall- 5d10 x 1000gp + 50,000gp

Winter- 2d10 x 1000gp + 10,000 gp

Keeper's Hall Draft

The town of Northgard

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