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  1. #1
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    Information related to the Gorgon's castle

    Has anyone ever designed/built a schematic of the Gorgon’s fortress (Battlewaite)? I’m preparing materials for a gaming session in January and one of the PCs in my game is insistent on doing a grandiose quest that would require him (and others) to infiltrate the Gorgon’s castle. I’ve been telling him for some time now that the chances of survival for such an adventure are incredibly low but he’s extremely stubborn. I will most likely have to provide something for his untimely demise and would like to do so without having to recreate maps, schematics, and supporting materials that someone else may have already developed.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Dyark's Avatar
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    In my point of view, the Gorgon has a tremendous quantity of spies, so the chances for your PC to just get to Kal-Saitharak is really small.

    It may be a way to discourage him by sending a lot of things to him before he gets near the Gorgon's crown, and if he continue well, he can always roll dice... LOL

  3. #3
    There is the map of part of it from the quest in Gorgon's Crown PC game.
    Last edited by dooley; 12-05-2010 at 04:54 PM. Reason: becuase i'm an idiot who didn't delete enough

  4. #4

    Red face

    I've always thought the prospect of getting to the Gorgon's fortress would be an incredible task, in and of itself. I kinda envision the Gorgon's Crown and surrounding lands to be something akin to the Darklands of Magnamund -- if you're familiar with Joe Dever's setting. Horribly inhospitable, growing worse as you get closer to his fortress.

    Start with a barren, volcanic wasteland, add lawlessness and brute savagery, and throw in old battlefields and portals to the Shadow World for good measure. I envision it as a real hell on earth. Imagine a wasteland filled with bandits and humanoids, zones of unpredictable magic, and places were undead relive ancient battles day after day.

    Clusters around the Gorgon's fortress is a metropolis of evil. Any super powerful villain who has ever been exiled from civilized lands for horrible crimes, all manner of minor awsheghlien, and even a few devils and demons for good measure -- all clustered around the Gorgon's court, locked in an eternal chess game around the figure they view to be Azrai's true heir. And, any blooded "hero" who ventures within a hundred miles of the place instantly comes to everyone's attention -- as another pawn in the great game.

    If one were to make it so far as the Gorgon's fortress (something difficult, as I suspect the place has countless wards preventing direct teleportation and scrying as well as many evil traps), it's suicide. I've always thought of the Gorgon as a powerful demigod who refuses to ascend to the heavens because he has other ambitions. His awnsheghlien form has slowly transformed him into a statue -- possessing many of the power of a golem, think even the Obsidian Man artifact combined with demigod powers, the skills of a high level fighter and wizard (I never even consider lowering his levels under the 3E rules), and the mind of a immortal genius like a vampire or a lich.

    For the most part, he remains in a tupor-like state -- motionless as a statue while his attention wanders Cerilia and other places, as god's attentions are described in other materials. The fortress is imbued with his power. It's his anchor on this place. So, everything there acts according to his will. Doors close, walls shift, stones fall from the ceiling, etc. That might be a way to leave the fortress amorphous -- say it is a permanent stronghold shaped by the realm magic spell, but it shifts according to his will. So, the characters may never even see him if the Gorgon didn't want that to happen. And, there are probably adventuring parties that have wandering the shifting hallways of the fortress for decades -- that the characters might wander across if they made it there.

    The Gorgon himself probably isn't even intersted. It takes something truly extraordinary in the scope of human history to capture his attention -- maybe once every 20 or 30 years. When that happens, he awakens and goes on a rampage -- invading Cerilia again. So, there might be entire organizations of good-aligned characters in Cerilia who go out of their way to thwart the efforts of adventurers -- making supplies disappear, guides and retainers disappear, important maps or documents go up in a puff of flames. Imagine the Royal College of Sorcery simply putting a stop to the adventure. I'd imagine the prospect of awakening the Gorgon has several powerful wizards with spells so that they can hear any time the Gorgon's name is mentioned -- a constant murmuring with the occasional flash of important information that they catch.

    Finally, the Gorgon himself is probably amazing. I envision him to be the pinnacle of a superhuman military genius combined with immortality and demigod hood. I remember Powers and Pantheons suggesting that a god had lived so long and seen so much that nothing ever surprises him. He knows exactly what the characters will do, always has memorized the spell that it most appropriate in the situation (maybe even as a contingency, scroll, or magic item), and never fails a roll.

    Anyway, hopefully, that gives you some ideas. Maybe, I make the Gorgon out to be too powerful. But, in my mind, he is the epitome of power for the Birthright world.

  5. #5
    Site Moderator Magian's Avatar
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    Very interesting vision for the Gorgon's realm Nicholas. Thanks for sharing.



    To answer the original question I don't have any work done on Raesene's lair.

    All that I've considered are: Roele's grounded bloodline and the spot where it is. The dragon that is his ally or convenient neighbor. Secret military units under his power. Treasures that he has especially artifacts. The possiiblity that the mention of his name and entering his realm gets his attention. The possibilities of what is going on in Sideath. The path and route of travel through his realm. That NPC that knows his realm could be a guide. Is it that Seamus with the bloodsilver spear? And the fact that he probably harvests his vassals bloodlines when they get too strong. Being a despot he demands them to depend on him for realm defense and development if any at all.

    I would like to add to the discussion (that has taken a different direction from the original post) that the Gorgon is probably the most skilled and deadly warrior on Cerilia. That was his profession when he was young and the first thing he mastered. Therefore it will be a dominant part of his character. He was also a general and ideally became greater as he aged. However it would seem compared to the Anuireans he isn't that great because his campaigns always failed. With that in mind maybe he simply sucks as a general.

    His wizard levels on that card are the only place it is printed that he has this as a class. To support this he does control the sources in his realm. The only other source we have is the video game the Gorgon's crown. Therefore we can conclude that he is a wizard, however I've had discussions with others who see that as a typo and only give him the fighter class.

    When it comes to his competence as a wizard I'd tone it way down. With his main focus on martial prowess I'd think he'd use it more for enhancing his combat and defense of the realm. Defense more so that he's the one that controls the sources there than him able to use it effectively. Not nearly as effective as a lich who also is very old, and originally on the career path of magic and not mastering weapons and combat. By no means are these two careers in contrast of one another and a character that has attained his level of intelligence can perform well in both. What I am asking is does it fit his character of origin that is the foundation of what he is presently? Hellbent on ascending to the Iron Throne.

    The Gorgon described as a wizard class of 16 levels IRRC has no reason for him not to be able to function as such. But considering his origins I'd not give too much to his prowess in this class. The reason being that he hasn't proved that good of a ruler of his own domain nor that great of a general as he's failed against Anuire way too often. When it comes to his mental capacities its seems that only cloak and dagger intrigues are where he sees any success. This alone does prove promising, but in the face of his other failures I'd not give him the prowess of a lich-like wizard or the campaign status of super-genius. He seems to me to be a minor genius with limited capacities if even a genius at all. These reasons in no way discount his potential for mastery over magic on such a level, but are enough for me to be less inclined to allow it.

    Then again, giving the Gorgon this kind of power would probably balance him more in comparison to my version of the Magian. Depending on your campaigns power scale anything can fit and any arch-villain can be given the means needed to provide the appropriate challenge desired. Capping a campaign for management reasons or so called setting flavor always seemed arbitrary to me and a sign of lack of imagination and or vision. My apologies no offense intended to anyone that may read that.

    I have always been of the mindset that the challenge of a DM was to allow the game to progress into a powerful campaign while at the same time avoiding the Forgotten Realms and Elminster-like twink'a'thon, unless you are playing in that setting. The idea that Birthright is a low-core setting is fine and it can function with epic-levels or whatever they are called now without taking that feel away. The idea that the villains need to be toned down for balance is silly and unrealistic. For example I live in the USA and the rich are way out of balance in this nation and are getting more and more and more without stopping. There is no balance in this world so why should there be in a fantasy setting that mimics the real world? Those who aren't rich can still have good and fulfilling lives and careers, but if they take on someone super rich they will get burned and maybe their life ruined. Sure, in game play the game ends when the characters die and they'd die against an arch-villain, but maybe they aren't meant to go up against him directly, at least not till they can counter-balance the villain right? So all it takes is a campaign or two to prepare. But a group of players sitting there that live just one generation of life taking on a super power that's lived for centuries diminishes the villain and cheapens the win for the players if they do it in one or two play sessions or even over a month or two. This type of campaign can even take a few character generations of preparation. What better setting for this than one where you have your own legacy? Epic doesn't necessitate power-gaming or being a munchkin, it just takes a little finesse.

    I like what you have put down Nicholas cause I didn't consider Raesene so astute before and I feel some issues could arise from the powerful version that you have posted and I wanted to have my say about the potential argument before it started. Heh I guess I started it anyway by doing that. I just got back to the game again and I have stuff to say so I gotta get it out. No more MMOs for me...I hope. They sure take up a lot of time. I've missed so much with this community.
    Last edited by Magian; 05-08-2011 at 08:27 AM. Reason: Messed up on some sentence structure. Typos I am sure remain abundant.
    One law, One court, One allied people, One coin, and one tax, is what I shall bring to Cerilia.

  6. #6
    LOL . . . . Yeah. I definitely have a different view of the Gorgon than you. I guess I view him as an extraordinary person when he was human. I buy the story that he was much more talented and intelligent than his brothers, Haleyn and Roele -- whom, themselves, were extraordinary: one becoming a greater deity of war, the other forging a vast empire. I buy the story that they learned everything from him, that he was actually a much more capable leader than either of them, and that resentment from the limits imposed by his birth pushed him to betray his people. I view him as an indictment of the Anuirean system of nobility because I think he's much more compelling as a tragic hero. Then, I add 1,500+ years to that.

    I also disagree with your assessment of his capabilites as a general. He has carved out the largest realm in Cerilia and put three neighboring realms under his thumb as conquered territories. He defended that domain against a united Anuirean Empire at the height of its glory -- when everyone was out to kill all of the awnsheghlien and others barely scraped by, cobbling together one or two provinces.

    The fact that he has never conquered Anuire speaks, I think, more to the difficulty of his situation . . . . Going against all of the realms of Anuire with nothing but armies drawn from the dregs of life, contending with multiple war fronts at the same time. The fact that he is, by far, the most hated figure on the continent with every ruler out to kill him and conquer his land, that some of the realms he conquers (i.e. Kiergard) rebel against his influence, that he can only really draw upon goblins and yet he has put together what he has, I think, speaks volumes.

    I also think the wizard levels are appropriate. Just glancing at the campaign setting, I figure they were added to balance out the setting -- both the Gorgon and the Chamberlain have surprising levels which seem to match the highest levels of potential PC and NPC rivals. However, I think it's reasonable considering his age. Doomed never to inspire the esteem he was entitled to, it's easy to see him turning his attention to arcane pursuits.

  7. #7
    But, I do think the Magian is a badass too.

  8. #8
    Site Moderator AndrewTall's Avatar
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    It depends on how you view the Gorgon and how you approach.

    I'd allow a properly decorous and clearly too-tough-to-casually-mess-with diplomatic mission to simply ride up to his castle and request an audience - he is after-all prince, true to the empire, etc, etc. His court would of course not merely be made up of descendants of the nobles who once supported his claim to the throne but also the dwarves, goblins, etc, etc which now serve him - so a hotbed of deceit and evil. Fellport is probably to safest place to try entering from.

    Like others I'd make his realm the last refuge of every scoundrel and ne'er do well who is unwelcome in other lands and can offer his lieutenants something in exchange for sanctuary.

    In terms of his lair, I'd mix in shadow World elements to allow him to shape it to his will - or for a daring few others to try and do so without him noticing. I'd be happy for TARDIS/Narnia like effects where walking through a door could lead to far more than would be expected from the size of the exterior!

    I'd probably separate out the followers - they probably do not get on at all, that gives me several 'mini-dungeons' and the chance to move freely in some areas and not others. I'd then add some followers who wouldn't be expected - Shadow-World envoys, perhaps an awnie thought slain centuries ago, etc - to spark some idea's for new allies against him or warn over-eager PCs that he has deeper reserves than they might imagine.

    It depends though on why the PCs are going at all. Are they escorting a diplomatic envoy? Are they trying to recover a lost artifact or rescue someone? Are they trying to assassinate someone - I wouldn't do more work than I had to and the castle and surrounds should be immense.

  9. #9
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    This post was generated by the Birthright.net message forum.
    You can view the entire thread at:
    http://www.birthright.net/forums/showthread.php?goto=newpost&t=5419

    Nicholas Harrison wrote:
    But, I do think the Magian is a badass too.

  10. #10
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    This post was generated by the Birthright.net message forum.
    You can view the entire thread at:
    http://www.birthright.net/forums/showthread.php?goto=newpost&t=5419

    AndrewTall wrote:
    It depends on how you view the Gorgon and how you approach.

    I`d allow a properly decorous and clearly too-tough-to-casually-mess-with diplomatic mission to simply ride up to his castle and request an audience - he is after-all prince, true to the empire, etc, etc. His court would of course not merely be made up of descendants of the nobles who once supported his claim to the throne but also the dwarves, goblins, etc, etc which now serve him - so a hotbed of deceit and evil. Fellport is probably to safest place to try entering from.

    Like others I`d make his realm the last refuge of every scoundrel and ne`er do well who is unwelcome in other lands and can offer his lieutenants something in exchange for sanctuary.

    In terms of his lair, I`d mix in shadow World elements to allow him to shape it to his will - or for a daring few others to try and do so without him noticing. I`d be happy for TARDIS/Narnia like effects where walking through a door could lead to far more than would be expected from the size of the exterior!

    I`d probably separate out the followers - they probably do not get on at all, that gives me several `mini-dungeons` and the chance to move freely in some areas and not others. I`d then add some followers who wouldn`t be expected - Shadow-World envoys, perhaps an awnie thought slain centuries ago, etc - to spark some idea`s for new allies against him or warn over-eager PCs that he has deeper reserves than they might imagine.

    It depends though on why the PCs are going at all. Are they escorting a diplomatic envoy? Are they trying to recover a lost artifact or rescue someone? Are they trying to assassinate someone - I wouldn`t do more work than I had to and the castle and surrounds should be immense.

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