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  1. #1
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    Hi everybody,

    I'm working on a campaign that focuses heavily on the Five Peaks, and I like it because it's very opened ended. However, sometimes that can be a bad thing, as I want ground it in the little bits of known information that I can, or just try and flavor it right for the area.

    Two things I'm interested in your opinions on...

    First, the Wizard. The Ageless Beauty. With 22 hitpoints as per 2nd edition. Heheh... well, maybe more in 3E. Anyway, I'm interested in your opinions on her possible relationship with the realm. There's probably an official line about it, but I'm interested in all interpretations and scenarios you've created with her. Is she a non-landed regent? Simple a marauding madwoman? A transient spirit? Otherworldly? I'm aware of her potential to be scary with her staff, tapping into other people's sources, and also of the possible relationship she may have with the Eyeless one (for example, being the eyeless one).

    In my campaign I use the model put forth in the computer game. They had her as the Regent of the Five Peaks for game mechanics reasons (each realm needed a regent to function well), which I know isn't really true, but I like the way it worked out, so I'm following that creed. However, my campaign is called "the Wizard's Sabbatical" and she's gone missing for some 10 years. The reader's digest version is that the other realms have noticed this, and each neighbor is plotting carving up the Five Peaks for its very own and claiming the resources... pending she's really gone, and of course there's the matter of humanoid hordes, undead (??), and giant spiders.

    Anyway, this brings me to #2. Assuming the Wizard isn't supposed to be the regent, how does this realm function, and why hasn't it been taken over by realms that command much greater power on account of having a regent? Interested in how you guys have run this. Also, any info on its denizens that you've made up is welcome information. I've made up a number of tribes with varying racial composition, and they are at war.
    Carpe DM

  2. #2
    Senior Member Osprey's Avatar
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    I've been running some adventures in the Five Peaks in my current campaign, ever since a PC decided to play Ruinil Alam, the disinherited nephew of Carilon Alam, Duke of Alamie. He and the other PC's journeyed to the Gorge to meet with the Eyeless One after befriending Sir Edmund, the Knight of the Red Tower, at a tourney in Tuornen (the EO's knight errant lieutenant in the civilized realms, though few realize the connection).

    I had the Eyeless One being a half-fiend sorcerer/thaumaturge of great power (I adapted the thaumaturge for arcane casters using planar binding instead of planar ally). He was called the Eyeless One because he never revealed his face, not because he's actually eyeless [though another idea I had was that he was naturally blind/eyeless, either from birth or as the result of becoming awnshegh; in this case I would have given him Blindsense as a racial trait].

    The Eyeless One is THE source regent of the Five Peaks IMC; there are no landed regents, except for the occasional blooded tribal leader who tries to "unite the tribes." This rarely lasts more than a few months or years before the would-be leader is toppled and happy chaos reigns again (which is generally how the tribes like it, as they value their freedom above all else).

    The Eyeless One is feared, hated, and sometimes sought out (at the seeker's own peril) by the FP's residents. His knight is known there as his direct representative, and thus is given a degree of respect and safe passage by most of the tribes.

    IMC, the PC's bargained with the Eyeless One. They gave him lots of money (50 GB) and 1 permanent point of bloodline each (via a small ritual); in return, he would use his influence to have Sir Edmund lead an army of humanoid mercenaries, supplemented by potent summoned units (the EO was at least a 12th level caster at this point). These armies would march south to ravage Alamie, even while Alamie was marching with its main force to attack Tuornen.

    The EO kept his word, and did as he promised. Sir Edmund warned the PC's that these were humanoids, and they expected to raid and loot in addition to their pay. Ruinil accepted this as a necessary evil. He's been eating that ever since.

    Tuornen and Alamie met in battle, and it was fierce, with over 20 companies in each army. Alamie won a Pyhrric victory - they took the field, but at high cost. And that same night, while the Alamiens were nursing their wounds, the Five Peaks army struck, the goblin wolfriders overrunning the Alamien sentries, throwing torches on the tents, and generally sowing chaos and confusion before the main force of trolls, giants, goblin infantry and archers, and gnolls stormed into the camp and proceeded to slaughter every last Alamien they could get their hands on.

    As it turned out, Ruinil himself had been captured in the battle, and he was freed by the goblins and escorted to safety by Sir Edmund (who does have a shred of honor despite being a rather wicked fellow at heart). And then was able to ride down and duel a fleeing Carilon Alam, and in that duel finally have his vengeance (Ruinil's father was Carilon's older brother, who was murdered along with his wife when Ruinil was still young to remove any potential rivals for the duchey; Ruinil was hustled off to Tuornen by their loyal servant, and raised there in Laela's court).

    So in the end, Ruinil got his duchey, but it was in a sad state. The humanoids spent a good season raiding an pillaging most of Alamie. All but the 2 southernmost provinces were pillaged (dropped 1 level), as were all the law, temple, and guild holdings (these were wiped out entirely). Even the capital castle, only weakly garrisoned, was stormed and sacked.

    So in the end, the humanoids got away with a LOT of loot, Alamie was badly damaged but a nice clean slate for reconstruction by a new regent, and the Eyeless One proceeded to rule up the sources of northern Alamie . And he dropped a stern warning to Ruinil that he should leave the northern provinces in their rural conditions, or Alamie would suffer for it. Nice guy, the Eyeless One!

    So Ruinil basically hates his guts, would love to remove him, but fears him - which is as it should be, IMO. He owes the gaining of his duchey to the humanoids, but hates the price that was paid by all of Alamie, and the guilt still weighs on him. Perhaps unsurpisingly, he also nurtures an intense hatred for the Five Peaks tribes, and would love to see them wiped out too. But he can't deal with them until he deals with the Eyeless One, and seems none too anxious to try that out anytime soon.

    So there's one story of the Five Peaks and the Eyeless One. More recently the group went to visit the dragon Lifesbane, whom I made a female for certain story purposes, but that's a whole other story for another time. Until then.

    Osprey

  3. #3
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    What a great post! Gives me some colorful information to compare with my own.

    Our PCs are from Alamie as well, on orders from Dierdern Alam (FA, N, Basaia 46 Maj) IMC (I finally figured out that means... in my campaign??) an estranged lieutenant and only prominent wizard of Alamie who's kept in check by magic-fearing Carilon. As I mentioned the Wizard is missing, so Dierdren is interested in raising a source in the Five Peaks for her own uses. She's already talked the Duke into letting her raise a level 0 source in the capital, but as he knows it's powerless he consideres a mockery of her power and is reveling in it. The PCs are investigating the area for suitable sources, and keeping their eyes peeled for the Wizard or the Eyeless one. Dierdren is biding her time, researching a few choice realm spells and learning all about ley lines.

    Right now the PCs are defending a border town from unruly raiders, and we're all having a good time of it. The Five Peaks looms like Fangorn forest on the perimeter, however, menacing them happily.

    I've been working on a little backstory for the wizard, but there's not much to go on. I'm focusing on the anbandoned wizard's tower sort of thing, with fiendish traps and and all-too inviting situations. I haven't actually decided if she's dead, missing, or simply reclused... whatever makes for the most drama at the time, that is how it will be I think.

    Haven't brought up the Eyeless one yet... I plan to spring that one them as they get a little deeper into the woods.
    Carpe DM

  4. #4
    Senior Member Osprey's Avatar
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    IMC (I finally figured out that means... in my campaign??)
    IMC = In My Campaign, or In My Cerilia I've heard John Machin [Trithemius] use. The first being a bit more universally useful, but both generally equate to the same thing on this forum.

    Your story sounds good so far - I look forward to hearing how things flesh out in the actual game.

    I see the Wizard as a character who has no source domains of her own at all, but rather the Great Source Parasite of Anuire, using others' sources and ley lines as it pleases her. And very, very few source regents are going to try and stop her directly - she'd kick their scrawny mage butts in a few rounds of arcane blasting. I characterize her as an avid collector of the Rings of Ley - and if a source regent pisses her off, I imagine her doing things like putting a Ley line Ward on her victim's ley line[s] with some nasty contingent magic for the next time they use the line.

    Also, she's definitely an Arcane Trickster - she almost defines the dark side of that class, chaotic evil and fond of harmful pranks. So a 15d6 Delayed Blast Fireball warding a ley line tied to a powerful source (7+) wouldn't be beyond her...

    Probably the Gorgon, Rhuobhe, and Aelies are the only source regents in Anuire that she wouldn't even hesitate to mess with, and even those she might do for a REALLY good heist...heh heh heh.

  5. #5
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    The Wizard, as described in War, is a sign of doom. Whenever she appears, bad things happen. Her ability to tap into others sources, plus that Great Travel bloodline ability, is damn frightening.

    I always tended to view The Wizard as a nomadic CN power, not controlling anything but taking what she wanted, when she wanted it. She seems to revel in chaos, and thus widely uses Subvert and Demagogue realm spells, I would think, to cause people to do wild things.

    As for 5 Peaks, in Gorgon's Alliance that region was heavily humanoid. Holding it against the hordes of goblins, gnolls and such that would randomly pop up was a major pain. I tend to think that is how the Baker et al envisioned it, too, and that is why there are no regents there. A wizard can sneak by, grabbing up the sources, because that is a 'secret' power that few can sense. Other holdings, though, are pretty much assaulted continuously by vast numbers of nasty creatures, contesting and destroying the holding. Chaos and anarchy rule supreme.

  6. #6
    Senior Member teloft's Avatar
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    what about Baccaere and the Hidden Temple of C.

    there have always been rumors of him having some sort of temple holdings in the Five peaks.

    Werry hidden I supose!

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