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Thread: The Lindwyrm

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    Site Moderator geeman's Avatar
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    OK, folks, here's another new awnshegh that could pretty easily fit into the existing BR materials. It's got another long background description, so I'll break it up into a few posts. (Actually, this one's the longest yet. They just keep getting longer, man. I don't know quite what that's about.) As an experiment, I'm going to try to post the beginning of this one from the Birthright.net message boards, and then reply to that from Birthright-l so I can get it all into one thread.... Hopefully, the formatting won't get too screwy.

    ---ooOoo---

    Curlt around za' barn three maybe four times za' damt thing was. It was a-twisted zis way und zat, with fangs a-drippin' venom, and za' body it was a sickly green. 'E ate all my goats 'e did, and all my chickens and hogs. Scare away za' game too, so zair is no good huntin' for food neither. A blight it be, says I. Curst be it, says I, and curst are we. I says so if it be a queen's spawn or no. Whar are za' damt knites and soljers now, eh? Now's when we be a-needin' 'em. Keeps inside them kassel walls now, I suspects. Not gettin' et up for the likes o' us. Curse 'em all, I says.

    The Lindwyrm resides in the province of Zedforst in Rheulgard. He defends that province against all intrusion, and occasionally forages for food outside his forest, raiding nearby homesteads for livestock. He rarely attacks humans outside his own province, but has done so if they try to prevent him from finding a meal. He has no qualms about eating human flesh.

    Though there is some talk of an expedition to rid the land of the Lindwyrm's presence, the fractured politics of Rheulgard have as of yet prevented any organized effort. The last foray by several soldiers of Frederika Liebshül disappeared without a trace. An effort by some of Soldar Alford's knights of the Stille Wächter has been proposed repeatedly by knights anxious to make a name for themselves, but the Baron is leery of the political and magical consequences of involving himself in the situation and has so far scuttled any such plans to attack the beast.

    Naturally, rumors have circulated that the Lindwyrm is in league with the mysterious Rheulaan Greencloak who controls one of Cerilia's most powerful source holdings in the province the beast occupies. Rumors that the two are in cahoots have escalated to the point that many now openly say that the wizard is responsible for the transformation of the Lindwyrm, and that the creature is under Rheulaan's control. Some have even suggested that the beast and Rheulaan are one and the same, the beast being the wizard in a shapeshifted form. No actual connection between the two has been proven, and though the mage himself has been characteristically silent on the matter his representatives in the courts of Cerilia, the half-elves Mursa and Kur, violently deny the allegation.

    There is some speculation amongst those few who know the history of the Lindwyrm that his transformation may be reversible. The transformation of his grandmother, the Banshegh, is temporary and repetitious. Should some means be found to assuage the curse of Azrai's blood in the Lindwyrm it is believed he could be returned to his human form, at least intermittently.

    The Lindwyrm
    Huge Awnshegh
    Hit Dice: 12d8+72 (129 hp)
    Initiative: +0
    Speed: 30 ft. (6 squares)
    Armor Class: 23 (-2 size, +15 natural)
    Base Attack/Grapple: +9/+20
    Attack: Bite +21 melee (2d12 +16)
    Full Attack: Bite +21 melee (2d12 +16)
    Space/Reach: 15 ft./10 ft.
    Special Attacks: Poison
    Special Qualities: --
    Saves: Fortitude +12, Reflex +6, Will +4
    Abilities: Str 32, Dex 10, Con 23, Int 10, Wis 8, Cha 4
    Skills: Listen +14, Spot +14 (or one could just give him 'Observe' +14....)
    Feats: Great Fortitude, Improved Critical (bite), Lightning Reflexes, Power Attack, Run, Weapon Focus (bite)
    Environment: Forest
    Organization: Solitary
    Challenge Rating: 15
    Treasure: None
    Advancement: by character class
    Level Adjustment: +3
    Bloodline: Major, Azrai, 28. Bloodform(major), Wither Touch(major)
    Bloodline in BP Format: Az(4/28) BForm(3), PsnTch(5)

    The Lindwyrm is a giant snake with a large, crested dragon-like head. His body is covered with thick, dark green scales that provide him with excellent protection. The huge fangs that protrude from his mouth can easily pierce metal and flesh in addition to delivering a horrific poison. His eyes are black.

    COMBAT
    The Lindwyrm is a voracious predator, in constant search of food. He shows special attention to mounted opponents (horseflesh is amongst his favored meals) but he is not foolhardy or suicidal. He will not attack obviously superior foes and is cautious of spellcasters.
    The Lindwyrm prefers to bite an opponent and let his poison take effect while attacking another opponent while the poison sets in. Helpless characters are then devoured at his leisure. Should a single attack fail to render an opponent immobile he will continue to bite until his target is dead or unconscious.
    The Lindwyrm protects his forested territory fiercely but not mindlessly. Though overtaken by his monstrous transformation he retains his human intelligence and cunning. If faced with serious opposition the Lindwyrm will flee. Though it is difficult for a creature of the Lindwyrm's size to hide, he knows his thickly forested province very well. Natural pitfalls and other hazards dot the wild terrain of Zedforst, and the Lindwyrm will utilize these features to his advantage.
    Poison (Ex): Injury, Fortitude DC 18, initial and secondary damage 2d6 dex. Save DC is constitution based.

  2. #2
    Site Moderator geeman's Avatar
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    The Origin of the Lindwyrm, part 1



    1503HC -- The Reulgard capital of Poden



    It was a political alliance that brought Ethelinda and Phinaeus together in

    marriage. Ethelinda (FBr; N5; major, Vo, 28; NG) was the daughter of

    Ophrik Kaysun, ruler of Reulgard, next in line to the throne after her

    older brother, Richard. Phinaeus (M1/2E, N2/B3; minor, Azrai, 28, CG) was

    the son of Justina Heulough, more commonly known as the Banshegh. Their

    marriage was arranged in secret in the decade after the awnshegh usurped

    control of Pashacht from Reulgard, and was meant to end the fighting that

    had raged between their two kingdoms for decades.



    Though their marriage was one of convenience, it was not an unhappy

    union. Ethelinda found Phinaeus a pleasant companion; intelligent,

    charming and handsome. In the days after the ceremony the new bride found

    herself admiring his wit. When asked by a courtier how he had slept his

    wedding night, Phinaeus ignored the innuendo and responded dryly that he

    hadn`t slept so well in his mother`s castle.



    Ethelinda knew she could have done much worse for a husband. That son of

    Count Talbehr had been bandied about as a possible husband, and he made her

    skin crawl, and the boorish brother of Tyrus Yurdvik had courted her for

    many months. Thankfully, Richard could not stand either him or his

    sibling, so his advances were never taken seriously. The reality of

    political marriage, however, was that she could have found herself married

    to nearly any male of prominent family. A mere child might have been her

    groom, or an old man. Phinaeus was at least of the proper age (or he

    appeared so, as a half-elf he had a youthful appearance despite his years)

    and the pair got along well together. Phinaeus was a pleasant man, his

    elven heritage gave him a grace unusual even amongst the Brecht

    nobility. After a few weeks of embarrassing silences and confused

    fumblings, they began to know one another, and even enjoy one another`s

    company. Ethelinda was pleased by the marriage and surprised find herself

    hoping that Phinaeus felt the same way.



    Of course, her husband did have something of a dark side. When not kept

    occupied by the pleasures of court Phinaeus had a tendency to brood, and

    when his leisure was disturbed he sometimes spoke sharply to whoever had

    interrupted him. His angular face and the fire in his eyes reminded

    Ethelinda that her husband was descended of that dark creature to the north

    who menaced her own people in the night like the very spirit of death. As

    the months passed she began to fear what Phinaeus might become in the

    future. Would the power of his blood overcome him? Would he turn into

    some creature of shadow like his mother? A monster that slew in the night

    or something even worse? Less than a year after they were married

    Ethelinda suddenly had even more serious concerns.



    It was a cold winter morning and she awoke feeling ill. Concerned for her

    health Phinaeus called for a healer. When he arrived she was still

    spitting into her chamber pot, last night`s meal having come back up. The

    healer examined her for a few moments before he sat back and smiled at her

    in a way that seemed most vexing given her still roiling stomach.



    "What is it? Why do you jape so? Can you not see that I am ill?" she asked.



    "No, no, highness. It is happy news. You are with child. Two months

    along I would say.... I congratulate you."



    Phinaeus was jubilant. He cheered the news and kissed her cheek before he

    strolled from the room announcing to all that he would soon be a

    father. His joyous laughter echoed through the halls, as did the cries of

    congratulation. Ethelinda remained in bed, considering her pregnancy, and

    musing over thoughts she had not allowed herself to consider until now.



    "Phinaeus will be a father..." she thought. "His blood and mine now mingle

    in my belly. By the gods, what will I give birth to?"



    Ethelinda had to do something. She dreaded the thought of giving birth to

    an abomination. There were means, of course, to end the pregnancy; herbs

    and reagents brewed by one of the village witches who dealt in such

    things. But what if her child had no taint of Azrai? Should she damn an

    innocent without proof? She must seek council, and she knew from whom to

    seek it.

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    The Origin of the Lindwyrm, part 2



    Dame Wither spoke in a soft, gravelly voice like that of an old

    man. Indeed there was little about her appearance to identify her as a

    woman except for the attentions of her strapping sons who doted upon her

    every whim. "Yes, mumma, yes" was a constant refrain in that dark and

    musty house hewn out of logs and nestled amongst the hoary trees of the

    Coulladaraight. In turn the crone petted them like obedient dogs and spoke

    to them in a cooing voice that one would use when speaking to

    children. They brought an extra chair and tea for them to drink as

    Ethelinda told her tale.



    "I come seeking your wisdom, madam. I am married to one whose blood is

    descended from the Shadow Lord and though he has yet been able to fight the

    demon in his blood, I fear for our offspring. I bear his child now, and I

    know that the strength of my own blood may not be great enough to overcome

    the power of his. What can I do, venerable one, to save my child a life of

    struggle against the power of Azrai?"



    The old woman simply stared at her with her cold, flinty eyes.



    Ethelinda placed a bag of coins upon the table between them and the crone`s

    gaze softened. She snatched up the purse as quick as a snake and it

    disappeared into the folds of her ragged clothes. With a crooked smile the

    old woman stood and came around the table. She put her hands upon

    Ethelinda`s belly and closed her eyes. The crooked smile grew so big

    Ethelinda feared the harridan`s head might split in two. She gave a cackle

    and returned to her place across from the noblewoman.



    "Lady, you are in twice the peril that you know, for you carry two babes

    not one... but I have a remedy for your dilemma. You must hold a vigil for

    two nights at your family`s keep on the shore of the Bannalach. You may

    not sleep or eat. Drink only the pure waters of the lake, and bathe in

    them every other hour. At the stroke of midnight on each night you must

    make a sacrifice to Ruornil, the embodiment of your bloodline. The first

    night sacrifice two white lambs to the Nightgod and on the second throw two

    rings of gold at the reflection of the full moon on the water. You must

    say farewell to the night at dawn by offering up a prayer to Lord

    Rournil. Last, upon the dawn of the second day you must to your gardens,

    and there dig until you find two white radishes. These you must eat whole

    and uncooked. Then you may sleep. Follow these instructions, child, and

    your children shall not be corrupted. Fail in them and you will know the

    sorrow of the ateknia and the widow."



    ---ooOoo---



    Ethelinda never would have believed that performing the rites Dame Wither

    had given her would be such an ordeal. After two days of nothing but water

    her empty belly ached as if the babes growing there were trying to claw

    their way out, and her head swam from the lack of sleep. In order to stay

    awake she had walked day and night, so by the dawn of the second day her

    feet were blistered and ankles swollen to nearly half again their normal

    thickness. It ached to move, to blink, to breathe. But she must carry on

    just a bit longer. The dawn was nearly come, and she would be done. As

    she stood swaying a sliver of the sun appeared upon the horizon. Relief

    washed over her. It was nearly done.



    She recited the prayer to Ruornil that Dame Wither had taught her and then

    she said it again just to be sure of it. She performed her ablutions in

    the loch. After two days of wakefulness the cold water barely revived

    her. She had one more thing to do. What was it? She cupped the icy water

    in her hands to drink then splashed more upon her face. When that failed

    she slapped herself hard on her cheek. The sting only barely penetrated

    her exhaustion, but it was enough. Yes, the white radishes from the

    garden, that was it. Then sleep. Blessed sleep.



    Ethelinda made her way to the garden at the foot of the watchtower. She

    had ordered away the servants when she arrived for fear one would dig up

    the radishes and doom her children to a life of torment, so she was

    alone. She fell to her knees at the beginning of the first of two neat

    rows of radishes and began to dig with her hands. The pungent herbs of the

    garden could not penetrate her exhaustion as she dug. Red radishes, more

    red radishes.... There, a bit of white. It was a white radish. The

    pulled it from the earth and twisted off the stems. Too tired to be

    concerned by a little dirt she popped it into her mouth and chewed. It was

    more bitter than she would have thought. It burned her mouth and tongue,

    but she persevered and swallowed it down. She coughed and nearly retched,

    but fought down the urge. It took her several minutes to compose herself.



    "I should have brought some of the water of the loch up with me," she

    thought belatedly.



    The taste of the thing still in her mouth Ethelinda returned to the task at

    hand. She dug. Red radishes, and more red ones. She followed the line of

    the row and continued to dig. Just one radish between her and sleep. It

    was maddening. Why had she not thought to bring a trowel? She continued

    to dig until she reached the end of the row and there she found the bit of

    white she had been seeking, the last one in the row, of course.



    "It might have been worse. It might have been in the second row," she

    thought. Without even twisting off the stems she bit off the white bulb,

    chewed it briefly and swallowed. It was easier than before. She could not

    taste a thing after the first radish had burnt her mouth.



    A great wave of relief washed over her. It was done. Her children would

    be safe. She collapsed right there in the garden and slept.



    When she woke the sun was going down. She had slept through the

    day. Still exhausted she staggered into the watchtower in search of a bed

    or at least a blanket. She found both in a room not far off the entrance

    and when she reached out to turn down the sheets something fell from her

    hand onto the pillow. A flash of green. The stems of the radish, she

    realized, were still in her hand from hours before when she had eaten it in

    the garden.



    But something was not right. She picked up the bit of green and examined

    it. These were not the stem of a radish. It was that of an onion. A wave

    of horror washed over her. What had she done? She ran out to the garden

    and followed the overturned row to where she had collapsed. The row of

    radishes ended and a row of onions began, and there was the first plant dug

    up. She had eaten an onion, not a radish. Frantically, she began to tear

    at the second row of radishes. Straight away she found it. A white

    radish. She gobbled it down, and prayed that she was not too late.

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    The Origin of the Lindwyrm, part 3



    Ophrik and his younger sister Althea were healthy children. They grew more

    slowly than other children might, but that was to be expected with their

    elven blood. The only other outward appearance of their sidhe ancestry was

    their thin, waif-like bodies, blonde hair and sharp features. In all other

    respects, however, they were typical children.



    Due to their slower growth they may have been picked on by other children a

    bit more than was normal--particularly Ophrik since boys tend to play

    rougher--but aside from that their childhood was typical. Ethelinda and

    Phinaeus doted on them, and as the years passed and her brother remained

    without an heir Ethelinda harbored a secret hope that her boy might one day

    take his place at the burgher`s seat of Poden.



    As the children grew Ophrik`s behavior began to grow troublesome. Other

    children found him cold and aloof. He did not seem to care much for their

    company either, spending long hours lost in thought by himself. As they

    grew older Ophrik smiled less, but there was no sign that he was anything

    other than a typical, if somewhat private, young man.



    When their father died Ethelinda`s brother Richard took control of Poden

    and the rest of his domain. He ruled in a just if not spectacular manner,

    with Ethelinda and Phinaeus assisting where they could. Though enmity

    between the two nations remained strong several incidents that could have

    resulted in open war between Reulgard and the Banshegh`s people were

    averted over the years.



    When the Frederika Liebshul took over as Mater of Unbrau Richard sent

    Ethelinda and husband to congratulate her and confirm the relations between

    the two regents. It was a short and easy journey from Poden, and the Mater

    received the family in stately fashion. A three day fete was held outside

    the city. There was to be a hunt and competitions with a vast banquet to

    follow.



    It was at that banquet that Ophrik`s bloodline manifested and the prophecy

    of Dame Wither came true. Unmoved by the laughter and merriment around

    him, Ophrik sat with hands folded through the meal. He did not eat the

    candied meats placed before him and responded to questions with only curt

    replies. As the night wore on the revelers grew more boisterous but the

    lad remained silent. He rested his head upon the back of his chair and his

    eyes rolled back in his head, looking to all those present like just

    another reveler overcome by the ale. None noticed the writhing beneath his

    cloak, nor the twitches of his fingers. It was not until he gave a long,

    tortured shriek that anyone paid attention to the boy. IN the shocked

    silence that followed his cry Ophrik began to twitch violently. His back

    to her, Althea did not see the fangs that now sprouted from her brother`s

    mouth. When he swooned, she reached out to support him and the boy turned

    and sank his teeth into her shoulder. With a scream she collapsed at his

    feat, two ragged punctures in her flesh. Ethelinda watched in horror as

    her son`s skin began to rip and open up with a wet, sickening sound

    revealing dark green scales beneath. His flesh and limbs fell away

    revealing coils of a thickly muscled serpent`s body beneath. The thing had

    a large crested head and long white fangs. The thing hissed at the people

    in front of it, and most drew away from it instinctively. Frozen in place,

    Ethelinda and Phinaeus could only stare at the creature.



    Two of the Mater`s personal guard stepped forward and lowered their

    crossbows at the snakey thing that had once been Ophrik.



    "No!" Ethelinda cried, but they fired almost simultaneously.



    Phenaeus was quicker. He threw himself in front of the beast that had been

    his son. He took the first bolt in the chest and the other in the eye. He

    fell to the ground, dead.



    The beast then moved with startling speed. With a reptile`s undulation it

    slithered as fast as a fine warhorse might charge, it made for the not too

    distant forest and was soon lost to sight.



    Ethelinda looked down at the still forms of her husband and daughter, at

    the horror of what remained of her son and swooned.

  5. #5
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    The Lindwyrm -- Rumors and Adventure Hooks



    The Banshegh`s Wrath

    Her son is dead and Reulgardians are to blame. They spread vicious rumors

    about her progeny, claiming that the blood of Azrai has overtaken

    them. This only feeds the rumors about her own bloodline and supports

    those who already mistakenly believe she is the creature that haunts her

    own lands. Will these propagandists stop at nothing? She will put an end

    to their lies even if that means putting an end to the liars

    themselves. These people must be protected against the Banshegh`s agents,

    and even possibly from a nocturnal visit from the awnshegh herself.



    The Tragic Ethelinda

    The wailing of Ethelinda seems to rival the Banshegh herself. In shock for

    days after the events that led to her son`s transformation and the deaths

    of her children, Ethelinda awoke to find herself in the Mater of Unbrau`s

    home. She was alone in a gilded bed, with soft sheets and pillows. The

    luxury only served to heighten her loss. If she had been stronger, if she

    had been able to stay awake and complete the ritual outlined by Dame

    Wither, her son would have been wholesome and this tragedy would not have

    befallen her family. Returned to her brother`s care, she does not eat,

    does not sleep, but roams the halls weeping and wailing. How long can she

    remain thus? As her brother`s heir she is a vital member of the house of

    Kaysun, and her despair has unsettled his rule. Healers have as of yet

    been unable to calm her or "cure" her of her sleeplessness. It is rumored

    that a plant, Collier`s Nightshade, might be used to create a soporific

    powerful enough to give her a night`s sleep, and perhaps ease her

    suffering, but it is very rare and grows only, ironically enough, at the

    base of certain trees in Zedforst, the land now dominated by the

    Lindwyrm. If someone could retrieve some of these plants, the burgher of

    Poden would be most grateful.



    Completing the Tale

    The Lindwyrm`s sister Althea (FBr, N1/Pr2, Erik; major, Vo, 28; NG) is not

    dead. Paralyzed by the Lindwyrm`s bite the girl was swept from the banquet

    by the representative of the Old Father of the Forests and has remained in

    hiding ever since as an initiate of that order. After much research and

    divination the players can learn that in order to "cure" the Lindwyrm he

    must face his twin sister and she must lay her hands upon his head and kiss

    his brow. Convincing the Lindwyrm to hold still that long may not be

    nearly as difficult as convincing Althea to perform the deed, for she now

    has an almost pathological fear of the beast her twin has become. This

    fear has been heightened by the druids of that temple, who have spent years

    building up the monstrosity of the Lindwyrm in her imagination, and her

    need to atone for her twin`s degeneration by dedicating herself to purity,

    isolation and faith in the natural order. They are also under strict

    orders not to allow anyone access to the cloistered girl. The patriarch of

    the Old Father of the Forest, Pieter Astridsen (MRj/Br; Pr5, Erik; An,

    Minor, 15; NG) knows the secret of the Lindwyrm`s salvation, but has

    decided that the predations of the beast are a small price to pay for the

    sanctity of the Zedforst province he defends.

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    The Lindwyrm -- Notes and Sources



    1. I like it when character`s names convey information about their

    personality, destiny or theme. Aside from any symbolic significance, it

    can help role-play those characters if one has a basic personality in mind

    for them based on their name. It`s a kind of short-hand to

    characterization. With that in mind here is some information on the names

    used in the tale of the Lindwyrm:



    Ethelinda and Richard Kaysun`s father, Orphrik, is undocumented in the BR

    materials and is a speculative character. He is the namesake of the boy

    that becomes the Lindwyrm, and his name is derivative of the Greek

    astronomical term "orphiuchus" meaning "serpent bearer." Similarly, the

    names of the Lindwyrm`s parents have a snake-like connection. Ethelinda

    means "noble-snake" while Phinaeus is a sort of latinized version of

    Phineus meaning "serpent mouth." Althea is a Latinized version of a Greek

    name, Althaia, meaning "to heal."



    Interestingly, many of the names of Brecht characters in the published

    materials have decidedly Greek or Latin derivatives. For instance, the

    Banshegh`s mortal name is "Justina" the feminized version of the Roman name

    "Justus." Aside from any relationship of the Brecht language to the real

    world Germanic languages upon which it is based (and, thus, etymologically

    to Latin or Greek) in several occasions I think this provides a nice cue as

    to the themes of the southern Brecht region. It is in many ways more "high

    civilized" than other areas of the region, or they at least view themselves

    that way.



    2. The Banshegh`s half-elven children are documented in BE p9.



    3. Though it is often the case that a married couple in Brechtur reside in

    the home of the husband, in the case of Ethelinda and Phinaeus they lived

    in Reulgard/Poden for several reasons. Among them was the groom`s own

    safety and protection. The feelings of Reulgardians about the loss of the

    province Pashact are strong, in addition to any natural fear the populace

    might have regarding the son of an awnshegh residing in their

    realm. However, the purpose of the wedding was to try to normalize

    relations between the two realms, and Phinaeus is better able to act as

    peace maker and ambassador if he lives in Reulgard. Ethelinda also remains

    heir to Richard Kaysun`s domain, so she is required to stay in Poden should

    he meet with an untimely death. The secrecy regarding the children of the

    Banshegh and their expatriation is also documented (ibid.)



    4. Information on Dame Wither and her sons is based on the entry for her in

    BE p116 and in the description of Reulgard, HotGB p59.



    5. Politically, the marriage was clearly only a nominal success. In the

    years since their union hostilities only break out into open fighting

    occasionally between the two realms. In recent years talks have begun that

    will help to end hostilities, improve relations, and allow commerce between

    the two realms. Reulgardians may always be leery of dealing with the

    awnsheghlien`s realm, but there were greater, more desperate perils in the

    world to be dealt with, and most people understand the need to choose the

    lesser evil. Should the true origin of the Lindwyrm who terrorizes

    Reulgard`s southern lands become known, however, these talks could be

    jeopardized and the enmity of a generation once more flash into open warfare.



    6. A lindwyrm is described differently in various legends and myths. Often

    classified as a type of dragon, and can often breathe fire. In some

    accounts, the lindwyrm has no arms or wings, but does have legs. In other

    accounts a lindwyrm is simply a giant serpent. The Lindwyrm described

    here, of course, is based on the latter, and he cannot breathe fire.



    7. The history of the Lindwyrm is a loose retelling of the first half of

    the classic Danish/Swedish folk tale "The Bride of the Lindorm King" or

    "King Lindorm." Versions of this story (along with several others) are

    available in several books on myths and legends, and on-line at:



    http://www.dragnix.net/Legends/

    http://www.rickwalton.com/folktale/folktale.htm



    The second half of the tale, of course, is for the DM and players to

    determine....

  7. #7
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    Extremely well-done! I love the way you reworked the real world story.



    I love stuff like this.



    -Scott



    At 07:34 AM 11/13/2003 -0800, you wrote:

    >The Lindwyrm -- Notes and Sources

    >

    >1. I like it when character`s names convey information about their

    >personality, destiny or theme. Aside from any symbolic significance, it

    >can help role-play those characters if one has a basic personality in mind

    >for them based on their name. It`s a kind of short-hand to

    >characterization. With that in mind here is some information on the names

    >used in the tale of the Lindwyrm:

    >

    >Ethelinda and Richard Kaysun`s father, Orphrik, is undocumented in the BR

    >materials and is a speculative character. He is the namesake of the boy

    >that becomes the Lindwyrm, and his name is derivative of the Greek

    >astronomical term "orphiuchus" meaning "serpent bearer." Similarly, the

    >names of the Lindwyrm`s parents have a snake-like connection. Ethelinda

    >means "noble-snake" while Phinaeus is a sort of latinized version of

    >Phineus meaning "serpent mouth." Althea is a Latinized version of a Greek

    >name, Althaia, meaning "to heal."

    >

    >Interestingly, many of the names of Brecht characters in the published

    >materials have decidedly Greek or Latin derivatives. For instance, the

    >Banshegh`s mortal name is "Justina" the feminized version of the Roman name

    >"Justus." Aside from any relationship of the Brecht language to the real

    >world Germanic languages upon which it is based (and, thus, etymologically

    >to Latin or Greek) in several occasions I think this provides a nice cue as

    >to the themes of the southern Brecht region. It is in many ways more "high

    >civilized" than other areas of the region, or they at least view themselves

    >that way.

    >

    >2. The Banshegh`s half-elven children are documented in BE p9.

    >

    >3. Though it is often the case that a married couple in Brechtur reside in

    >the home of the husband, in the case of Ethelinda and Phinaeus they lived

    >in Reulgard/Poden for several reasons. Among them was the groom`s own

    >safety and protection. The feelings of Reulgardians about the loss of the

    >province Pashact are strong, in addition to any natural fear the populace

    >might have regarding the son of an awnshegh residing in their

    >realm. However, the purpose of the wedding was to try to normalize

    >relations between the two realms, and Phinaeus is better able to act as

    >peace maker and ambassador if he lives in Reulgard. Ethelinda also remains

    >heir to Richard Kaysun`s domain, so she is required to stay in Poden should

    >he meet with an untimely death. The secrecy regarding the children of the

    >Banshegh and their expatriation is also documented (ibid.)

    >

    >4. Information on Dame Wither and her sons is based on the entry for her in

    >BE p116 and in the description of Reulgard, HotGB p59.

    >

    >5. Politically, the marriage was clearly only a nominal success. In the

    >years since their union hostilities only break out into open fighting

    >occasionally between the two realms. In recent years talks have begun that

    >will help to end hostilities, improve relations, and allow commerce between

    >the two realms. Reulgardians may always be leery of dealing with the

    >awnsheghlien`s realm, but there were greater, more desperate perils in the

    >world to be dealt with, and most people understand the need to choose the

    >lesser evil. Should the true origin of the Lindwyrm who terrorizes

    >Reulgard`s southern lands become known, however, these talks could be

    >jeopardized and the enmity of a generation once more flash into open warfare.

    >

    >6. A lindwyrm is described differently in various legends and myths. Often

    >classified as a type of dragon, and can often breathe fire. In some

    >accounts, the lindwyrm has no arms or wings, but does have legs. In other

    >accounts a lindwyrm is simply a giant serpent. The Lindwyrm described

    >here, of course, is based on the latter, and he cannot breathe fire.

    >

    >7. The history of the Lindwyrm is a loose retelling of the first half of

    >the classic Danish/Swedish folk tale "The Bride of the Lindorm King" or

    >"King Lindorm." Versions of this story (along with several others) are

    >available in several books on myths and legends, and on-line at:

    >

    >http://www.dragnix.net/Legends/

    >http://www.rickwalton.com/folktale/folktale.htm

    >

    >The second half of the tale, of course, is for the DM and players to

    >determine....

    >

    >

    >

    >

    >

    >

    >---

    >[This E-mail scanned for viruses by Declude Virus Scanner]
    Paranoia is merely an optimistic outlook on life.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Osprey's Avatar
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    Great story, Geeman! It was a pleasure reading it.

    Interestingly, many of the names of Brecht characters in the published
    materials have decidedly Greek or Latin derivatives. For instance, the
    Banshegh`s mortal name is "Justina" the feminized version of the Roman name
    "Justus." Aside from any relationship of the Brecht language to the real
    world Germanic languages upon which it is based (and, thus, etymologically
    to Latin or Greek) in several occasions I think this provides a nice cue as
    to the themes of the southern Brecht region. It is in many ways more "high
    civilized" than other areas of the region, or they at least view themselves
    that way.
    Just a note: I believe the only direct entymological root between German and Latin/Greek is that they are Aryan-based Indo-European languages. Romantic (Latin-based) and Germanic languages, along with Celtic, are all considered seperate linguistic families, if I remember my linguistic studies correctly.

    Naturally, contact between Germanic and Greco-Romantic cultures made for a fair bit of borrowing from each, especially within the Germanic tongues, but their base is definitely distinct; they developed independently in northern Europe while the Greek and Roman languages were evolving in the south. Same goes for the Celts. We tend to think of Latin as a core language of all European languages because it has such a strong basis in Anglo-Saxon English. But English, as opposed to the "purer" Germanic languages of northern Europe (German, Dutch, Danish, Swedish, and Norwegian), developed from quite a blend of distinct languages: Anglo-Saxon (Germanic), P-Celtic British/Welsh, and then Norman French (Romantic with Germanic influence). 3 distinct families blending into one language! Talk about a melting pot! It's no wonder English is such a confused language, full of special-case exceptions to general rules as no other language is.

    Anyways...sorry to go on about that. I do agree that using any nomenclature with symbolic meaning is a great touch to any work of literature, and I applaud your use of it. Keep up the good work.

    -Osprey

  9. #9
    Site Moderator geeman's Avatar
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    At 08:36 PM 11/13/2003 +0100, Osprey wrote:



    >Just a note: I believe the only direct entymological root between German

    >and Latin/Greek is that they are Aryan-based Indo-European

    >languages. Romantic (Latin-based) and Germanic languages, along with

    >Celtic, are all considered seperate linguistic families, if I remember my

    >linguistic studies correctly.



    [snip specifics]



    > Anyways...sorry to go on about that.



    No problem, I appreciate the input. Generally, I was thinking of only

    abstract influences, of Latin/Greek on Germanic languages of the kind that

    are pretty difficult to avoid in just about any European language since

    Rome dominated for so long and had such a lasting effect. "Kaiser" being

    derivative of "Caesar" and things on that order--particularly as regards

    personal names and how that reflects culture, social class, etc. I

    probably overstated the case a bit there, however, in order to make the

    point, so you`re qualification of the issue is definitely worthwhile.



    Gary

  10. #10
    Site Moderator geeman's Avatar
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    Here`s a bit more text describing the Lindwyrm and another adventure hook

    based upon it:



    From time to time, the Lindwyrm must shed his skin. The remnants of his

    skin are sometimes found on the edges of Zedforst or by adventurous people

    willing to risk death to venture further into the forest for these

    souvenirs. Large pieces of this shed skin have fetched a good price

    amongst curiosity seekers. A complete skin in good condition was sold to

    the el-Brin House of Horrors in Ariya for a rumored price of 1,000gp.



    The Scales of the Beast

    Colin Shaefpaete (or any appropriate regent) seeks a complete and undamaged

    skin of the Lindwyrm for his wunderkammer and is willing to pay handsomely

    for it. Unfortunately, agents of the Serpent seek the same prize, and have

    no scruples about how they acquire it. Their master intends to use the

    skin for his own diabolic purposes, so if they seek a skin for their own

    enrichment they must compete with the Serpent`s agents, or they could be

    agents of a nearby realm seeking to prevent the agents of the Serpent from

    acquiring one.

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