Monday, May 28, 2012

Random Update...

Poor neglected blog....

Being transferred for work, to a larger city about 2 hours drive away. More traffic, more expensive, but having to go over each weekend to look for a house to rent/buy. Still, lucky to have a job the way things are going...

But change is not always bad, and I'm sure things will work out, somehow...

Live Play – Three Strangers Campaign.

So managed to fit in half an adventure last week. Doesn’t happen all that often with all the pressures of middle life, but it went surprisingly well.

Dramatis personae

Kaz-hel, Northern Vulzar Barbarian, from a race famed for brutal combat, slave taking and ritual sacrifice. He was betrayed, captured, escaped and lived with plains nomads for a year, making his way southward to the Long Lake. Pale skin, white hair, and tall and strong, but think wiry tendons rather than Conan-like muscles.

Thomas, Woodsman/Explorer, from a small rural kingdom to the south west. Was learning to be a trader through the villages, until his father died and the village herbalist stole his true love. Took to wandering, and ended up with these guys.

Kalastra, Exotic sorceress from the Ghisan Lands, where fire elementals are worshipped and family is more important than law. She is the hope of her noble but impoverished clan and is searching the northern lands for power and treasure.

And the Dwarven NPC henchman, Ersk, rescued from goblin captivity by Kalastra a few adventures ago, he has gained two fighter levels and is devoted to his rescuer. 

All 3rd level at the start of this adventure, except Ersk, on 2nd.

They have been in a few missions around the Long Lake area, including the first adventure and a half of the Age of Worms adventure path. This finished when we all decided that the second adventure was too long, combat heavy and boring, so now they are travelling again.

Note – this is using Dragon Warriors rules, which are surprisingly similar to the intent and feel of OD&D.

Key differences – roll LOW to hit, rather than high; there are not many HPs to go around, so be careful; I’m using variable weapon rules, and, combined with the lack of HPs, combat can be harsh. Also, sorcerers have a pool of magic points and a list of six spells per level to choose to cast.

I’m also trying on old Dungeon Magazine adventures for ideas, although the majority require stripping back to the chassis and rebuilding to fit my system and my world.

Anyway, travelling east from the City of Mortweg, the band stopped off to weather a storm at a mid sized village, and ended up slaying a mummy, restoring a noble lineage and beating down the bad guys (“Bogged Down”, Dungeon #103).

Then onto the City of the Invincible Overlord, where they stocked up, and a barkeep recommended that they travel west then north, along lesser roads rather than the main highway to the northwest. This led then to a quiet country inn, where a cleric begged for their help…

This instalment started when I picked up Elexa's Endeavours (Dungeon #53). A cleric has returned from the Crusades and found her old uncle, alone in his keep, has, along with the keep, been captured by a band of bandits, each of whom has a reasonably detailed background and personality.

In the adventure the bandits have found the scroll that seals the keep up with an Impermeable Shield Spell, and the party must cross the forest to seek the help of a wizard named Jarrow, the uncle’s friend, to get in.

I’ve decided, in limiting functional magic, that instead of the scroll, etc, the keep is just really well secured, and they need to see the wizard about a secret entrance.

Having scouted out the keep (from a distance), they took the advice of Elexa, and headed to the forest they must cross to the wizard's tower.

Getting to the forest, they are confronted by a Chevaller, whom I have decided is one of an order of rangers in this part of the world, who hunt and destroy werewolves. This one, Sebastion, was searching out a local lair of the beasts, and, after determining through various means the party were not lycanthopes, hinted (rather directly) that the gift of enchanted arrows would allow him to aid them.

So Thomas parts with half a dozen elven arrows – magical, but one can never trust elves... and Seb leads them on a disused path through the dark woods. Except when they encounter a line of four werewolves pretending to be lost monks. Seb sees through this immediately, and starts firing arrows, and when the party get the idea (fangs, hair, etc) the battle starts.

It went well – Thomas took a scratch, Ersk lost most of his health with one blow from the leader, and things were looking dangerous until Kalastra cast 'Command' on one of the last two remaining werewolves and although it was slain, it distracted the lead werewolf long enough to kill it the next round.

Then, pausing only long enough to bind wounds and cast a heal spell on Ersk, they tracked the pack to its lair and once again engaged battle – this time relying on ranged missile and magic fire at first. The gold found in the lair was split with Seb, and he led them the rest of the way to the wizard's tower.

And, sitting on the roof, was a rather large, angry, wyvern, with 67 hit points (more than the entire party) and scales like plate armour. Battle was fierce, with the barbarian not being able to land a hit, and Ersk handing out useful damage. Eventually Kalastra's fire spells and Thomas's other quiver of magic arrows turned the tide, along with the wyvern spreading it's hits around rather than focussing on one target.

Under the wyvern was the remnants of Jarrow, the wizard. Only a foot and a hand. Turned out the wyvern had taken him by surprise, and eaten him, thus making their quest that little bit harder.

Fortunately, when entering the tower (through the use of a 'Portal' spell – I think it works the same as 'Knock' in D&D) Ersk's googles of finding allowed him to discover the secret room with the staircase leading to Jarrow's bedroom. Once up there, they spiked the door and settled down to recover from the battles.

Looking at the rest of the adventure, there is a LOT of combat, with every room in this tower containing guardians. I'm going to cull a lot of them, as I do find D&D a bit too combat heavy for my tastes.

Until next time...

Monday, May 21, 2012

Four rather average NPCs

I'm not sure that RPGs have enough average, down-on-their-luck fellow adventurers, drinking companions and collogues to swap stories of daring and disappointment with.

These are not companions to venture into dungeons with. These are the familiar barflys or members of other adventuring bands, that the PCs encounter on occasion, and swap tales of dungeons plundered, or fled from in horror, as they down pint after pint of foul smelling village ale inbetween more dangerous pursuits.

Here's four of them.  I've had them jotted down on a scrap of notepaper for a long time - I think I was reading a rather twinky NPC list from a Forgotten Realms sourcebook, and I noticed that none of them moved in the same circles as my players...

Without further ado;

Quirn the Landless

A mid-level fighter and wanderer, experienced in fighting bandits and living off the land, if needs be. Rather happy-go-lucky, robust and sturdy in a fight, and trusting of other decent seeming sellswords and hedge mages. Usually found in a tavern, either close to broke, or on the path of a dodgy Get Rich Quick scheme. Always survives, most often with just enough coin to maintain his current station in life.

Wears grey wyvern skin armour (fits as heavy leather, protects as a mail shirt), and wields a +1 elven sword and matching dagger. Also has a crossbow and the ugliest horned helmet you've ever seen. Ask him about the armour - it's a good story, and he'll buy the first round while telling it.

Prince Morton

The dispossessed minor heir of a tiny, isolated mountain range that no-one has ever heard of. Competent with both healing and fire magics, he maintains a good natured noble air despite his hand-to-mouth lifestyle and less than charming companions. He is distracted and diffuse, and addresses all with noble speech, from real nobility to charmless goblin slaves, which makes him a welcome rarity in many dark and dangerous locales.  Treated almost as a lucky mascot by his current companions.

Wears smooth, shiny black leather boots and matching belt, ornate white shirt and velvet cape (always clean and pressed in the morning, despite the previous days endeavours), with a succession of different circlets or crowns, which gives him an unusual appearance in the average village inn. Wields various daggers, wands, amulets and magical rings that he produces from a wide range of unseen pockets.

She'al Redhands

A block-like fighter and brawler from Southern lands, with mid length dirty blond hair and a huge laugh. She eats and drinks huge amounts, and can drink most men and a fair number of dwarves under the table. Despite this, she is unusually intelligent and insightful, and her sharp wits make her rather dangerous fun when drinking. Any carousing in her company requires double the amount of gold intended to be spent, and results in double experience gained for your gold (therefore FOUR times the planned experience) and double of any repercussions of the night. This can result in burning down the tavern. Twice. That takes skill. Or having two different affairs with two different married partners in one night. Possibly at the same time.

She wears a mail and metal scale vest, leather bandoleers with twin dwarven shortswords, and a back-slung short hafted battleaxe, with a small buckler.

Tarneth the Silent

A tall, gaunt, dark-haired ranger-fighter. Quiet and still, with a vaguely unsettling air, and speaks in single word sentences. Very observant and competent with traps and secret doors, both finding and disarming/opening.  He is said to have been jovial and gregarious until a certain dungeon experience, that he never speaks of, and no other survived.

Wears dark leather armour, with a silver belt buckle, and a dark hooded cloak. Carries a thin curved eastern sword that gives off a chill mist when drawn, and causes watchers to turn their eyes away. Also wears a crystal teardrop pendant, that contains the image of a beautiful but unearthly elven maiden.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

T is for Treasure Troves...

So I didn't finish the A to Z this year (must start planning early in 2013...) but I've got a few ideas that fit into where I left off.

And T was originally going to be taxes, but turned into treaure troves while I was writing. Oh, well.

The standard coin in my realms is the silver piece, and I'm playing with the idea that it's about equivalent to $100 these days, in terms of it's worth. So your normal peasant deals in copper and iron pieces and bits, and barters a lot.

A good tradesman, or a soldier on active duty, gets 1 SP/day as one days normal pay (the soldier's doesn't count for their food, which is usually taken out of it by a well-meaning officer). And a normal delivery mission that only armed adventurers can accomplish, with a few random encounters, might pay 5 GP each, providing the client stands to make much more money out of it.

This money poorness means that the average looted, buried or discovered treasure is worth a lot more than in other settings, and there are a number of shifty and avaricious nobles that consider that anything found on, within or even near their lands belongs, rightfully, to them. That's the problem with any feudal setting...

Treasure troves have their own legal and financial ramifications in real life. Where they can be guarded by magic, goblins, undead and worse, it gets even more complicated... These are reasonably common, both in terms of coins and gems looted from dungeons, and chests buried by rich or endangered people, as there are really no banks or banking structure, except for the rare money changer who will safeguard your precious coins for a small monthly fee...

To prevent any peasant who find a buried chest of coins from going AWOL, and to give armed strangers a reason to brave undead strewn tombs to liberate cold hard cash, there is a legal code in Kheldaria that most of the smaller surrounding kingdoms roughly apply as well.

For found treasure troves that have clear ownership (anything from jewellery known to have been stolen recently to several hundred year old remains bearing the Kordalh family seal), it is returned to the rightful owner, if they can be found within one year. The finder, if they found it legally, is entitled to 10% of the total assessed worth of the treasure, as is the Crown. If no owner is found, it defaults to the Crown, who happens to be the nearest Baron or Duke.

For treasure liberated on civilised lands that is unowned, half goes to the liberator and half to the land owner, with the Crown taking 50% of the total at the start in finders taxes. If the land is owned by the Crown (e.g. common grazing land, forests claimed by a noble, etc) it gets 75% of the total. Usually an armed group braving the bandits lair will negotiate a payment for undertaking the task in the knowledge that some or most of their loot will be claimed by the Lord that hired them.

For valuable loot claimed from Wilderness, or Areas of Astounding Danger (such as your local megadungeon), where the Crown is not in control, and can't really pretend that it is, the Crown can claim 20%(when you set foot back in civilisation). Justified as paying for said civilisation.

Note that this is only for large hauls. Not the 10 GP found in a werewolf's lair, or worn jewellery.  But if you limp back into town with a donkey burdened down with chests, or have a sack bulging with jewels and silver candlesticks, the guards will want to know where you got it from, and will summon a tax collector to properly assess it.

Also, it's a relatively low magic setting, so magical gems, robes, etc are judged based on their apparent cost, unless one fires off while the tax collector is watching...

Scandinavian Tax Collectors - probably on the left...
And because you can't catch every tomb robber and looter before they spend, bury or gamble away the loot, there is the seasonal arms tax - 1 jade piece (worth 2.5 SP) per large weapon, 1 SP per dagger and shield, and armour from 1 SP for leather to 1 GP for full plate. Mages pay a set fee of 5 SP, as no-one will rummage around in their backpack for fear of a curse or worse. When this is levied, a receipt will be provided, and it prevents any further taxing (of this type) until the next season. And beware - although this receipt is valid throughout all Kheldaria, most smaller kingdoms that mirror the taxes do not recognise each others receipts. So travellers of a martial bent may find themselves taxed multiple times during a voyage.

Hiding one's loot or possessions before entering the city or passing the guard tower may seem attractive, but there is a reasonable chance that someone may find or steal it, and laying claim to items of worth that have obviously been hidden to avoid taxes is legally frowned upon.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Stealing from Gamebooks #2 - Citadel of Chaos

Well, recovering from my first experience as a barista, as my wife's monthly craft market's usual coffee van couldn't make it, so she volunteered me and my home espresso machine for the day.  Not bad - 17 coffees and 4 hot chocolates, mostly in a half hour rush at 10:30. It's not a bad job.  You give people coffee and they give you money and are appreciative. Sort of like a legal drug dealer. Although the concentration required to get a reasonably good home setup producing continuously good shots takes a lot of concentration.

Anyway, next on my pillaging list is The Citadel of Chaos.  Harder and more whimsical than the Warlock, Balthus Dire has the strangest friends...

What have I picked up?

-An enchanted throwing dagger. Shiny metal blade, strange green leather hilt inlaid with strange dark gems. There are dark stories of the Assassin's Blade. It is usually discovered in the treasure hordes of minor beasts, and used for acts of daring and murder. Used in hand-to-hand combat, it conveys no advantages, but when thrown, it never misses (target has to be within reasonable range, and visible, and reachable) and does 2d6 damage (this is in Dragon Warriors, where you start off with between d6+4 and d6+7 health points, and if you're lucky, gain one a level). It then vanishes, presumably to be found by a minor beast...

-An Unusual Trap. A rack of wine bottles. When the trap is triggered, they start firing out at the party - wither bottles, or their corks. Either way, the shock makes them think they are under attack, minor damage (if unlucky) and a heap of noise and mess.

-Slumberberries. A twisted shrub, with diamond shaped leaves and small flat berries, that give the shrub it's name.

-Hogweed Essence. Repels stone-based creatures. Why not? Random name, useful effect.

-A Charmed Amulet. Actually, despite it's high asking price, it's merely a jewel of light set in a precious metal pendant. However, it does convey a sense of luck and protection. And thinking about it, jewels of light should be one of the most common treasures anywhere where adventurers tread, given their lack of survival rate.

-Sewer Snake. Yes, it's a snake, that looks like a rope, and hangs around in sewers. Fun for the whole family!

-The Rhino-man. I've got a kingdom of beastmen pencilled in, far to the south, as civilised and intelligent as humans. But although they are more powerful individually, their bestial nature sometimes clouds their judgement. And here's another 'type' to add.

-The Miks. Fey, other-worldly, and Masters of Illusion. No-one knows what their true form is - rumoured to be a thin, gracile elf-like race. They are aggressive, and use thin stiletto-like daggers. They can appear in any form, man, beast or object, but cannot use metal in any disguise and cannot cast illusions over any other objects. If encountered, they commonly drift from one form to another, confusing most watchers. They can be bribed with magical items or potions, however, even though they serve the forces of Chaos.

-Calacorms. Two headed lizard men, grey with long tails, from windswept rocky deserts. Simple minded, deathly afraid of mice, contented with little and reliable to carry out repetitive tasks, even though the two heads constantly bicker and argue.

-Dungeon chamber setup - a small chamber with a stone altar in the middle, holding three silver chalices with different coloured liquids, while a number of gremlins fly around near the ceiling. Drink the potions, or mix them together? Attack the gremlins, or see which chalice they are drinking out of?

-And Balthus Dire.  THAT"S what a sorcerer warlord should look like. Along with distinctive hair. There's another, better quality picture of him out there in the interweb, but he's wearing Roman sandals and walking the lizard, which does not behove an Evil Warlord.

Again, all pictures drawn by and probably still the property of Russ Nicholson.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Stealing Stuff from Gamebooks... #1 - The Warlock...

Showing the full glory of the wrap-around cover...
I first encountered the whole RPG scene the same way as a lot of people my age or older - transferred to a new school aged 7, I found The Warlock of Firetop Mountain in the school library.

And then the Puffin order-by-mail book club that all schools in NZ had in those days had the other books, as they were released, for a really cheap price (getting kids to read... if only they knew). I think I got up to Number 7 (Island of the Lizard King) that way, as I don't remember seeing Scorpion Swamp until I reached University... This was something different, and the feeling of not knowing what to do or how to react in some situations was exciting. I think a lot of my RPGing these days is trying to recapture the immersion of that first couple of decisions in the Warlock, along with the concept that my choices matter...

Anyway, I've started collecting them again, as they are no longer the cherished possessions of kids, and can be found in second hand book stores for a handful of dollars these days.

And I'm TRYING to use them as cheapish inspiration for my current GMing and worldbuilding endeavours.

So, without further ado, here's what I've gathered from the Warlock...

- A Mage's Power - rumours in the village suggest the Warlocks power may come from an enchanted deck of cards, or from shadowy gloves he always wears... Perhaps a PC's sorcerous abilities don't come from strange dimensions or ancient runes, but from a mundane object they acquired.

For the deck, give them a card every spell they learn. Use an ordinary deck - most people are smart enough to connect the two. This means that they can also 'lend' the odd spell to their friends or comrades, by physically giving them the card. But they can't use it again until it's returned, and if it gets eaten or burnt, then it's lost forever...

And gloves? A subtle form of magic, but perhaps while they can only use magic when wearing the gloves, there's something they can't do while wearing them.  Eating, drinking, sleeping...

- The magical tools extending the dungeon as you watch (no, I'd never come across anything like this before). Adds a different sense to the adventure than I've been using recently. Perhaps I need more whimsy...

- Di Maggio's Spell of Dragonfire, or anti-Dragonfire, actually. Worth a quest or two to get hold of.

- Random dungeon furnishings - a hidden chamber containing a jar of pickled eggs, random levers behind loose stones (the power of temptation) and a trapped rope...

- a Healing Fountain, with a cheap misspelled sign reading "Do not drink"

- Holy Water, blessed by the Overpriest of Kaynlesh-Ma. Where-ever that is, it sounds impressive.

- A room, containing a table with two helmets - one bronze, the other iron. Which one to wear? Which one might be cursed? What happens if you grab both?

- Don't have ghouls jump out and attack people immediately. Wait until they search the decomposing body for gold, and see how they jump when it reaches out and grabs them.

-Living Murals, lining a room or corridor.  Writhing and twisting, and silent when light shines on them, but in darkness, they howl and scream in an unearthly (and monster summoning) manner. And what is the truth behind them?

-The Giver of Sleep.  A magnificent bow and one silver arrow, in a labelled ornate case. The bow will only fire that one arrow, and it is rather pitiful unless used against one key foe.

-And boots abandoned in a dungeon, that register as magical, and stick to the floor when worn.  The old gags are the best....

All B&W illustrations, of course, drawn by Russ Nicholson, who is posting a lot of them on his website, The Gallery.

It's interesting, picking out the small, incidental bits that are completely incidental to the main quest, and I'm seeing these dry up as the series gets into the high numbers.  Here, everything is highly orchestrated, and there is little time or space for mere dressing. Still, we'll see...

Friday, May 11, 2012


I've recently read a lot of D&D adventures that have these androgynous, mind reading, faceless, perfect imitators serving merely as one trick ponies - just a normal assassin/usurper/contact that the PC's can't trace/kill/identify.

Frankly, the idea of something like that floating around out there terrifies me. They can imitate ANYONE, perfectly. In a normal fantasy world, this should also terrify everyone, almost all the time. The average village or town should be ripe for the picking for these creatures, and there is no explanation as to why they haven't already taken over.

The main issue (IMHO) is the lack of any aim or objective for doppelgangers. Why do they spend their time skulking in damp ruins, at the beck and call of More Evil masters or mistresses? Why doesn't being forced to read every mind around them drive them mad?

Well, as far as I'm concerned, they are already mad. The voices running through their heads are the thoughts of others around them, and although they can 'pick off' the most relevant or useful thoughts to maintain their disguise and protect themselves (possibly an almost subconscious ability), the rest of their mind is a swirling, chaotic maelstrom.

Although they are excellent, high priced and capricious killers, assassins and spies, and willingly hired by those who need those skills, both 'good' and 'evil', none but a select few know that they serve a secret, truly dark force that plays a very long game.

A "Just So" Story....

In the confusion of the fall of the First Empire, a deep seated cult of a nameless Elder Power sought to achieve Godhood, by sacrificing the souls of the inhabitants of a major city at a critical astrological conjunction by the use of forbidden death magic.

Something failed at a critical time, possibly betrayal from within, and instead of godhood, the full membership of the cult was infused with a dark curse. This allows them to alter their physical appearance, etc, but has split them from who they were, and so they exist, unaging, and unable to reproduce, with no true identity of their own to return to.

The city still remains, forgotten, dead and haunted, half flooded by a shallow lake that has formed in the last three thousand years. None go near it, as although empty during daylight hours, some nights see soulless husks of once living bodies rise and roam the avenues.

And far underneath a mighty mountain range, in a huge underground fortress only reached by a long and twisting tunnel, a great black gem holds the souls of all 80,000 who perished in the city. It is a powerful but insane artifact, and tended by a twisted and deformed artificial construct on glass and metal, in the rough shape of a man. This holds the spirit of the cultist who betrayed the ritual.

It (he or she, whoever they originally were, has been erased in three millennia of stark sanity, as powerful magics prevent insanity, confusion or even sleep) apparently controls the long-term plots and strategies of the scattered doppelganger race, as they make their way here inbetween missions to lurk in the darkness.

So this one of the Great Secrets of my campaign world. Only half a dozen people in the entire world know even part of this, and most of them are running for their life, hunted by shapechanging assassins.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

S for Sto-Nat, Library of.

Well, I didn't make the full month of A-Z, and I'm a little disappointed about that. However, daily posting when one is NOT used to being concise or restrained is challenging, and I've spent the past 11 days without useful internet, so I've learnt a bit during this process.

Posts will continue, as I'm not out of ideas yet, but they will probably come less frequently.

Anyway, here's the last instalment of the A-Z for 2012;

The Library of Sto-Nat.

The walls of the dark city of Sto-Nat are stained purple from the blood of countless sacrifices made by the Priests of the Temple of Nemesis over the centuries. In past times, the Spider God demanded that only elves were appropriate offerings, but, in recent times, even half-elven bandits captured by the city guards have been hung from rusted prison chains. The Temple is a stark, looming cathedral of black stone, polished to a mirror shine that is shattered by the sun. This temple has been supported by the long line of rulers mainly out of fear of the Priest's powers over the populace. Temples to the Huntress and the All-Mother exist, although these are small and at the edges of the city, far removed from the grand temple near the centre. Buildings dedicated to the Mistress of Elements and the Mage also exist, tolerating and even supporting Nemesis’s priests in return for access to the dreaded library.

The city itself is reasonably clean, the midnight curfew is well respected, and if you don’t mind the occasional whiff of decaying flesh from the last set of sacrifices on the wall, it’s better than a lot of cities. Unless you’re an elf, of course. Disguises are recommended for half elves, too.

The city is also famed for its ancient annual tournament of song, where contestants, whether piper or choir, attempt to sing or play three famed lullabies in an ancient tongue, with the champion judged by the Keeper of the City Keys.

The Library of Sto-Nat is famed throughout the continent, both for its stored knowledge and its dark reputation. It is a vast underground labyrinth, thought to exist, at least partially, under the surface between the city and the equally dreaded Bloodwood to the east. The only known access is through the great rune carved Black Iron gates under the cobbles of the courtyard of the Governor’s Palace, reached by a long, wide stairway from the Courtyard of the Crimson King. It is here that the unearthly statue of the black queen chants a funeral march accompanied by the ringing of cracked brass bells. It is said if this song ever falls silent, the Fire Witch will be summoned back. 

Unless one holds a letter of access from the Grandmaster of Flame from the Temple of Nemesis, it costs one gold coin to enter to enter the Library.

Once inside, there is a large area containing cold stone desks and benches, where the few human guards and librarians spend most of their time at stone desks. Usually there will be a dozen or so scholars here also, transcribing some arcane lore from books located and dragged into this well-lit room.

From here, a single stone and book lined passage takes one into the library proper. It splits, and splits again, and again, in an almost fractal pattern, to form a lattice of stone, space, and books. Occasionally, a small room will be encountered, holding all possible books on an extremely obscure topic, such as ear-spoons of the early Elven Queens, or the uses of holly bark to heal shape-changers.

It is said that every book ever written exists in the library, and none have disputed this, for none have found the end limits of the library space. The areas within about 2 kilometres of the entrance are reasonably well known, and librarians can point visitors to appropriate locations for common, or not so common, inquiries. Beyond this ‘mapped’ area, the library continues, and the books get more eclectic and dustier. Passages twist back on themselves, climb lower or higher to new levels, and rarely, hidden doors or secret passages have been found, giving readers access to ancient, unimagined tomes. It is postulated that the furthest reaches of these tunnels must be situated in both past and future time, to contain all books. Malgras of Alholm was once lost for two weeks in a section ‘somewhere to the left’ after he stumbled into a rotating section of corridor. He stumbled through several hidden passages, finding a section containing only Nikkar rune painted animal skins, before somehow finding a familiar room. For him, though, the time seemed only like a few days, and as he had only a small water bottle, it seems as though something strange happened. He did not re-enter the library, ever.

There are those that have not managed to return to daylight, and die quietly amongst the shelves. Some are said to rise again as strange undead curators of the library, and many who brave the outer reaches have spotted these wraith-like entities, gliding along the passages, seemingly caring for the books, and preventing their decay or destruction. It is thought that they flock to places where books are being damaged, and those removing books may be required to somehow convince the wraith that what they are doing is acceptable.

The library is known to have been in existence during the height of the reign of the Ancients, but is obviously not scaled to their size and therefore was not built, or used, by them. No other civilisations at that time would have the power or the interest in constructing such a place. Perhaps there is a book in some distant corner that details its construction and purpose?