Locations of Vanagard: Brightshore Keep

From ‘The collected notes and memories of great places in Vanagard, Volume 1’ by Professor Albert Lynath

Nestled on a remote island in the Sea of Kyrre sits Brightshore Keep. Here, the representatives of the lords of the nations of Vanagard meet to mediate, debate, and hammer out new treaties and agreements.

The seaways to Brightshore Keep are busy with messenger craft and are well patrolled. The town that sits within the walls is prosperous and the atmosphere for the most part is calm and peaceful. Walk along its streets and you will encounter Elves from Gallia, Barbarians from Hastur, Lordlings from Saragan and all other manner of Vanagards peoples. Peace is maintained by the Arcus, an order of warrior monks who call Brightshore home. Their allegiance is to no lord and maintaining peace is the focus of their order.

Sit a while and you may see a Knight of St Heranous land mounted on one of their fabled Griffon mounts, a mage from the Fróðleikr-Skyn magically appear in the street, Dwarf Lords from the Deep Holds, Captains from the Living Fleet, and even occasionally Mrs Nogg just wandering up the street.

The stories you will hear are amazing, and the best and most incredulous are heard at ‘The Captains’, where the owner will regale you with tales tall enough even giants feel short next to them.

A word of warning though, do not under any circumstances draw a weapon or cast an offensive spell. The Monks of Arcus will know and how does one best put it? They are rather ‘efficient’ in dealing with such transgressions.

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The Chronicles of Hastur: Part 5

Excerpt from ‘The History of Vanagard – The Reuniting of the Tribes of Hastur’ by Professor Albert Lynath

The Chronicles of Hastur, taken from verbal story telling’s and combined into one written form. 

Hastur and Sverdoff approached the circle of tents and the sound of drumming got louder and louder, the chants and shouts also rose in volume until the noise felt like a wall of sound, a physical barrier that was as real as any palisade.

The circle of tents was almost totally unbroken apart from one small gap between two of them, this small passageway between the felt walls of the tents was guarded by two burly clan members who stopped the two as they approached.

“What business do you have this day?” One asked.

“We come to witness the coming of age of Sabarax and to pay homage to the elders of his tribe.” Sverdoff replied, with a stern formality

“Enter then but leave the fear in your hearts here so as not to pass it to Sabarax as he suffers.” The guard said, they both stood aside allowing Hastur and Sverdoff to pass between the tents and into the crowded enclosure beyond.

The smell and the noise hit Hastur like a blow, the air was thick with the smell of herbs being burnt and blood, the noise was incredible for such a small area, it rebounded around the tents and made it impossible to tell who was saying, or shouting what. There were drums, chants and even screams as the ceremony was now evidently well under way.

Hastur as politely as he could, forcefully pushed his way forward so he and Sverdoff could get a better view of the proceedings, and when he got there the memories of his own ceremony all came flooding back.

In the centre of the circle, suspended on raw-hide ropes was a young man, the sharpened horns of a mountain Ogre pushed into the flesh over his shoulder-blades which was pulled taught and bloody. The look of pain on his face was evident. His hands were bound to his sides and he hung there as still as he possibly could to avoid the flesh tearing. The floor was cleared around him and apart from flies buzzing around the drops of his blood on the floor, nothing around him moved.

Hastur knew how much pain he would be going through, but he also knew how much pride the boy, soon to be a man would experience when the ordeal was over. All he had to do was endure the pain and extreme discomfort from sunrise to sun-set and he would be considered a full member of the tribe and able to ride into battle alongside his brothers and sisters of the axe and sword.

All around the circle however was movement, there was dancing and chanting and people eating and drinking. Someone tried to push a horn full of frothing ale into Hastur’s hand but he waved it away, his head was still feeling fuzzy after the excesses of the night before.

Just then the young adult on suspended on the leather thongs in the centre of the circle looked up and locked eyes with Hastur, his face etched with pain and concentration. Hastur looked back, smiled at the boy and nodded, trying to give the boy some of his strength as he hung there in incredible pain.

The boy’s face broke into a smile and he tipped his head back and shouted “Hastur!” and started laughing, the laughing set his body swinging slightly, the agony this must have caused must have been immense, but the laughter did not stop.

All around the circle, the noise just stopped, the drumming ceased and everyone turned to stare both at Sabarax and at Hastur. Beside him he felt Sverdoff stiffen as she felt the tension in the gathered clans-folk build.

Hastur stepped forward and went to where the boy hung, laughing and gently swaying, the blood flowing faster from his back as the horns moved underneath the stretched taught flesh of his shoulders.

“Sabarax!” Hastur snapped at him, the boys head snapped forward and he glared at Hastur with a look of ferocity that stunned Hastur.

Through gritted teeth the by replied. “Yes, that is my name.”

“You laugh at me? Because if you do, as soon as you come down from the horns, you will meet me in battle.” Hastur said, calmly.

“Not you my lord.” Sabarax smiled. “I laugh at the pain! Because it is nothing. Nothing compared to the glory I will feel when I ride at your side into battle.” He paused as he gasped air into his lungs. “For the glory of our tribes I do this, and for the glory of my family I do this.”

Hastur nodded and smiled up at the boy, his body dripping with sweat and blood, glistening in the sunlight.

“Aye lad, you will ride by my side, I will make sure of it. Never have I seen one such as you on the horns!” Hastur turned to the gathered people, stood in silence watching the strange exchange.

“This day Sabarax became a man! The hours have not yet passed, but they will and I Hastur declare this boy becomes a member of my tribe.” Hastur pounded a clenched fist into his chest. “Let any of you gainsay me and you will perish now in this circle.”

There was silence.

“Who among you are his parents?” Hastur asked.

A well-built man stepped forward, he had the same dirty blonde hair as his son but his scarred face was mostly covered with a fine beard, combed and full of bone and copper beads.

“He is my son; I have raised him on my own since his mother died giving birth to his sister.” He motioned a young girl who stood, hiding behind her father, her hands clutching his leather leggings. The girl also had the same look of fierce pride that her brother had, Hastur knew they were a strong family.

“Your son is a warrior born, that is clear to everyone here.” Hastur said. “I as of you to release him from your tribe so I can take him to mine and train him to fight alongside me, never have I seen such strength and courage.”

The man paused, obviously torn with emotions yet the obvious pride shone in his eyes. He turned also to face the crowds and raised his voice.

“I Habarax declare that from this day forward, my son Sabarax, belongs to the Bloodthirsters under Hastur.” He reached for his large bladed knife on his belt and with one swift motion slashed a cut on his palm and held his hand up, now dripping with blood.

Hastur replicated the action with his own knife and held his own bloodied palm up for all to see, both men then clasped hands to seal the family bond that now existed between them.

“We are now brothers Habarax, I will look after your son and teach him all I know about the ways of war.” Hastur said, he turned to face Sabarax who was silent now, but if anything was glowing with pride as he hung there, the sweat dripping from his long blonde hair.

“Sabarax, you will be a fine warrior… Now just keep your damn mouth shut and see the night fall, tonight when you are off the horns I will come for you and we will start your new life together, the Bloodthirster’s Shaman will set the scars to healing.” Hastur motioned up at the horns stabbed bloodily through Sabarax’s flesh. Hastur turned and walked away, clapping his bloody hand to the shoulder of Habarax as he walked past. As he neared Sverdoff he took her arm gently and said “Come Sverdoff, we have work to do this day.”

And together they walked into the greater camp as behind him the sound of drumming and shouting reached a peak that Hastur had not thought possible started again.

To be continued…

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Purity and Truth

The story of Julian, God of Purity and Truth as told by the Dowager Countess.

Now listen up, you asked me my opinion on these thrice annoying Julianites and I am going to tell you the story of where they came from. Not some sanitized version full of holy mumbo and rhetoric, but a story that is as close to the truth as I know it.

Once, long ago, a young priest by the name of Julian set out to discover the truth behind ‘The Arrival’ and what had happened to the Old Gods. His journeys took him across our world, to the ice mountains of Hastur, to the dead lands of Shalydr, even to the Court of Terringorn and then fatefully to the shores of Gallia.

He sought truth wherever he could find it. Some of the truths he uncovered are better left silent. Along his journeys he helped uncover the truth of many crimes of the day and assisted in determining many civil disputes. He seemed a passionate man, determined to succeed on his quest, but also a friendly man, eager to help wherever he could.

His quest lasted for many decades, and he left good impressions on many he visited. Such was his dedication to truth that after some time people started to create sayings about him. Mothers would scold their children to tell the truth or Julian would know, law givers would invoke his name during their investigations and criminals would curse ‘Julians luck’ when they were caught.

In the Court of Terringorn it is said he uncovered a dark and terrifying secret, one that made him mistrust the Court with every essence of his being. It is in the Court of Terringorn that the first tale of him raising his hand in anger is told. It is said that some Elven Lord upset him to such an extreme that Julian grabbed the nearest weapon to him and struck the elf dead. He fled Terringorn with the murder weapon still clutched in his hands. The flail he had grabbed in his anger soon never left his side again.

Whatever he witnessed in the Court of Terringorn changed him. He was no longer a friendly man eager to help. Now he was what I would call dour and serious, and his quest had changed.  There was no talk of questing to discover what had happened to the Old Gods, now his quest was to find the truth inside and remove any darkness that dwelt there.

He gathered followers and hunted any that were ‘touched by darkness’, shapeshifters, dark elves, criminals, and followers of Gods he thought leaned into the dark. His new quest soon turned into a crusade, and many flocked to his banner, drawn by his strong conviction, and stirring words. His crusade soon turned towards Gallia and The Izon Supremacy, and they took ships and headed towards those shores in force.

Great storms decimated his fleet, storms that were unseasonal and incredibly strong. Thousands of his followers perished and many ships were lost, but still Julian pressed on towards Gallia. Stories are told of a delegation from the Supremacy appearing on his flagship, commanding him to stop and turn his fleet around. More stories are told of the death that greeted his followers who tried to attack this delegation as magics well beyond the skill of mortal men struck them down. Undeterred, Julian commanded the remainder of his fleet to press on and soon they were in sight of the shores of Gallia.

What happened to his crusade as it reached the shores is unknown, but a matter of great rumors in the ancient history of our world, for not a single one of his followers was ever seen again. It was assumed that Julian was lost with them as well.

And so, the world went on for many decades, the Court of Terringorn began its slow conquest of nearby nations and other Kingdoms rose and fell.

People still invoked Julians name when searching for the truth and in Saragan a new following began, one dedicated to the tenets his crusade had held, Truth and Purity. Truth in what lay inside one’s heart and the purity of light over darkness. Soon local lords noticed and tried to send soldiers to break up what they now called a cult. Their men were scattered by one fighter in particular, swinging his mighty flail and driving all before him. Soon the people the Lords had tried to break and disperse were besieging the same Lords castles and casting them from their seats of power. A new crusade formed and started to move against other rulers in Saragan.

The war was long and bloody, but at the moment it looked like the crusading forces would be victorious, two gold armored elves appeared in the front lines of the army opposing them. None could stand against their weapons and their magic, and no force could stop them coming face to face with the flail wielding warrior. A great silence then fell over the battlefield.

It is said that the gold armored elves spoke with one voice and gave the flail wielding warrior a choice, perish here on this field or leave with what remained of his followers and end this war. The warrior seemed to start to move towards them, but then stopped and turned and surveyed the field. “I have one condition’. He said, “You will help me finish my ascension, for the darkness must be stopped.” Tales told of this moment say that a dozen other figures seemed to join with gold armored elves from nowhere; some say they were human, others say they were elves, still others say they were dwarven and some even said they were dragons! Whatever the truth of it some great deal was made that day and the war was ended.

The crusaders left Saragan and took over the island chain of Salvación where the Church of Julian was formed and still rules. I find it hard to believe that the flail wielding man was Julian himself, but people will believe what they believe.

The priesthood of Julian set forth from their islands still with small groups of retainers, seeking ‘Truth and bringing Purity’ as they put it. But as we all know the words they say the most on these missions are ‘Repent! Repent! Repent!

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Our ‘Ye Olde Magic Shoppe’ Is open for business.

Magic Items. You want them, you need them… And thanks to Mrs Nogg, the Bea DnD Magic Shoppe is open and ready to help outfit you for your next dungeon crawl!

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A Tale of Drum and Shalydr

A tale told by Mrs Nogg to her family.

Gather around little ones and let me tell you a story of long ago.

Long ago, in the days before ‘The Arrival’, there existed a sect of healers who were simply called The Drummers. Why The Drummers you ask? They worshipped one of the Old Gods, one known only as Drum. Yes, a simple name, for a much simpler time.

The Drummers were peaceful and great healers. Many from all over our world sought them out for their wisdom and healing. Ships of all sizes made their way to the continent of Shalydr. Yes, Shalydr, the land you know of as full of horrors, where the dead arise, and nightmares stalk the land. It was, as now, a land of great natural riches. People would pick gold nuggets the size of an egg from rivers, veins of silver were visible in rockfaces, and motherloads of diamonds were easily found.

Yes, little ones, that is why people still live there. The draw of these great riches drive people to live and mine there, in what I would call insanity.

Now Drum was an ally of, in fact I would go as far as to say a friend of, the majority of the Old Gods. And he bent a large amount of his divine will to aiding passage for all to travel to Shalydr to be healed and comforted. As such, as ‘The Arrival’ occurred, Drum knew before most of the other Old Gods. It is said he willed himself to what is now known as Gallia and encountered some of the Gods of the Izon. What occurred between Drum and the Izon Gods is unknown, but the tales of his wounded and weakened return to Shalydr, speak of combat between him and the Izon Gods. This leads credence to the great power he must have wielded as many of the Old Gods did not survive similar encounters.

The tales of his return to Shalydr also tell of him being half crazed with fear, which is not a condition I would normally attribute to a divine being. He gathered his people to him and commanded them to assist in weaving magics to protect their homeland. The surviving writings of this time note that he wanted to ensure his people could carry on with their healing work, even if his divine essence was destroyed. Joined with his people in a sort of magical linking his people wrought powerful magics and started to change the very fabric of reality around Shaldyr.

Their magics may have worked as planned, however the stories say that at the height of their casting something else joined their link. Some stories say it was the Gods of the Izon. Other stories say it was something dark and terrifying. Whatever the truth may be, the magic was corrupted. Drums’ divine power was ripped from him and absorbed into the very land of Shalydr, leaving his people forever changed. Shalydr was covered in a perpetual haze, never fully night nor day, the plants and trees grew into a twisted mockery of themselves. And his people, oh his people. Vast numbers of his people were killed outright in the twisting of the magic and numerous others driven insane.

This was not the end of the horror. Slowly the dead began to rise and attack the living. Terrified, his people fled and those that survived barricaded themselves in towns and castles. To this day, the dead in Shalydr do not stay dead and the people only venture forth in armed groups to mine and farm. Many great casters of magic have attempted to reverse or cancel the corrupted magics in Shalydr, but to no avail. Some are struck dead instantly as they try, others simply vanish. While this may be a land of riches, it is also land of dread.

Many adventurers and heroes journey to Shalydr and only a few return. My little ones, no amount of riches are worth the risk, and I ask you to not tax my old heart with any foolish attempts. 

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The Chronicles of Hastur: Part 4

Excerpt from ‘The History of Vanagard – The Reuniting of the Tribes of Hastur’ by Professor Albert Lynath

The Chronicles of Hastur, taken from verbal story telling’s and combined into one written form. 

Sverdoff walked over to the men with a grace and confidence that Hastur recognised as that of a skilled fighter, the pair of matched but plain looking short swords on her belt testified to that fact.

“So, do you have food? And water, my head is banging like the war drums of the southern tribes.” She asked, softer this time.

Baltan acknowledged her request and went off to find what she asked for, leaving Sverdoff and Hastur alone.

“It seems I forgot to ask your name.” Hastur was keen to break the silence, he was not uncomfortable around the opposite sex, but hated uncomfortable silences.

“I am sure that dog Baltan told you it’s Sverdoff.” She replied.

“Yes, and I am grateful he did, but it does not excuse me my manners.” Hastur said.

“Why? Why should it even bother you? I am a free woman of the tribes, free to give my name, or my self to those I wish to give it to, you were not the first and you won’t be the last so don’t flatter yourself Hastur, by thinking this show of decorum matters to me.” She stated, her feet planted firmly and her hands confidently on her hips.

Hastur felt the blood stirring within himself. By the gods, he thought, this was a woman that we would fight to be worthy of.

“Good, it’s good that we have that at least sorted out… I think. Listen Sverdoff” He paused as he took a draft of water, she took the waterskin off him and drank deeply herself. “I would like to talk to you about your experiences of the steppes and the lands that border them. You understand my desires for the tribes, yes?”

“I understand, and I agree with you, we have been too content for too long to sit on our haunches and watch the sheep around us get fat. There needs to be a cull of the fattened sheep so we can feast again.” There was a fire in her eyes as she spoke, he watched her hands slip, unconsciously to the hilts of her swords. She was a fine woman.

“I would suggest.” She said, pausing to take another deep drink of water. “That we start with some of the smaller villages and towns that surround the steppes to the south. They are used to being raided by the tribes there.”

“Why do that if they are used to it? They will be ready for us, surely.” Hastur asked.

“Aye, but they won’t be expecting such large numbers of us attacking. If a village in the south falls to the barbarians, by the time the news reaches the cities and towns of the west, it will just be dismissed as a lucky raid by us and nothing more.” Sverdoff said.

“But when we turn to the west, having removed any threat from our backs, they will not be expecting us to attack at all!” Hastur exclaimed, “I like your thinking Sverdoff. Which village should be first do you think?”

“Forgespark Crossing” She replied “It’s well defended, it has two wooden palisade walls and a small wooden tower inside the walls. The villagers are well prepared and wary of anyone approaching from the steppes.”

“Why, by the gods, do we attack there then first?” He asked, his eyebrows raised questioningly.

“Why not? You haven’t travelled much, have you?” Hastur gave a non-comital shrug, “All the villages along the edges of the steppe are like this, this will be no more or no less difficult than any of the others. Plus, it is also one of the most southerly outposts, and besides, it will be a good test for the un-blooded members of the tribes.”

Hastur nodded at that.

“Are there many do you think?” Has he asked? “Unbloodied I mean.”

“In all the gathered tribes? A few hundred, why do you ask?”

“I want them to form a cohort of their own, I want them to fight as units in their own right, not to mingle in with experienced fighters.” Hastur said. He stood as Baltan approached them carrying steaming meat, a large chunk of bread and another skin of water.

“Getting to know each other now, are you?” He smirked at the pair.

“We’re planning, something a war dog like you would not understand.” Sverdoff said with a haughty sneer.

“War dog I am that is right, and I have no fondness for plans and tactics. Give me my axe and point me to my enemy and I will fight! But talking about fighting is for the elders and the camp keepers.” Baltan retorted.

“We need to plan my friend, I do not want us to do what we always do, which is to form up in a mass and just scream and run at the enemy. This may work for a while, but when we get to the city states, they are going to come at us with huge numbers and using the tactics and intuition of the finest minds of the city dwellers. They may be soft, but they are cunning, and we need to be as cunning as they are if we are to win.” Hastur stated, he turned and looked off to the south. “I don’t want them to think of us as mindless killers anymore.”

“I have traded with some of these people.” Sverdoff said, in between mouthfuls of meat and bread “The villagers on the steppes are tough, some of them you would not be able to tell apart from the men and women we call brothers and sisters, but they rely on their walls to protect them and that is a weakness. We can move, and ride, fight and ride.”

“I hear you my sword sister.” Hastur said. “But fight and ride would only work if it were a tribe or two, there will be hundreds of tribes, thousands of sword brothers and sisters. We will stand and fight and then march over the corpses of the fallen to the next battle.”

“Well, if the truth be known” said Sverdoff, “It is not for us to decide, you may be the High Chief, or whatever it is you want to call yourself Hastur, but you know this is not the way we do things, there has to be council and meetings and then you can announce your war council and your leaders.”

“Aye, that is the way of it. Slow and steady as always, it’s not the way I want to do things. I am a free man of the steppes; the wind is in my hair and the cry of the eagle is my voice.” Hastur paused. “But I, like the rest of my brothers and sisters are slaves to the traditions of our people, at some point we need to break these chains, or we will be slaves forever.”

Hastur turned and stalked off into the gathered tents and huts, leaving the other two to stand there looking at his massive back as he walked away from them.

“He’s going to put a bugbear amongst the sheep that one is” Baltan said with a chuckle.

“Aye, he is, and I want to see what happens!” Sverdoff replied, she spat the gristle out that she had been chewing and thrust the remaining slab of meat back into Baltan’s hands, catching him by surprise and ran off to catch up with Hastur.

She caught up with him, but she was grimacing as she did so, her head was still pounding after all the beer she had drank the night before, she smiled though at the thought of the time she and Hastur had had. Big and terrifying in a fight he may be, but he was surprisingly gentle in the sleeping furs, almost shy.

“Hastur!” She called out, “Wait up, you can’t just walk in there this morning. There is a coming of age today, only the boy’s tribe is allowed in the circle. You must wait until it’s over.”

“What?” He turned and scowled at her.

“You know the law Hastur, and you would be killed like any other if you break the circle this morning.” She went on.

“Damn them all! Do they now want war?” He almost shouted at her but caught himself before he raised his voice more. He paused. “Sorry, Sverdoff, I forget myself, I am just caught up with the bloodlust and the thought of what is to come. Of course, we must wait, I remember my coming of age ceremony.” He stopped and looked down at the scars on his massive chest, lost now in the maze of other scaring from the many fights he had been in.

“It is a beautiful thing Hastur, we can watch if you want?” She gently took his hand and led him over to the circle of tents, where drumming and chanting could now be heard.

To be continued…

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The Tale of Raud and The Twins

From The Myths of The Arrival, Volume 3, by Professor Albert Lynath

The Izon Supremacy has many gods; however, I have only seen temples to two of them, The Twins. The other gods seem to be worshipped (if that is the correct word) privately. The Twins are said to be the epitome of what the citizens of the Supremacy aspire to; beautiful, skilled users of magic and incredibly capable warriors. It is no secret that the average citizen of the supremacy is likely more skilled at arms and magic than most you will find serving in the armies of your countries.

I once learnt a tale from the Archmage Cyrynsyke, Master of Evocation at Fróðleikr-Skyn. The tale is said to be from ‘The Arrival’ itself. It is said that once only a few great dragons lived on the world we now call Vanagard. One of the greatest of these was simply called Raud. He roamed over the continent we know as Gallia, home to the Izon Supremacy.

 One morning Raud was awoken by the sense of powerful magic. As he stirred and left his hidden lair, he saw many prismatic colored portals opening across the fields below him. As he watched he saw dragons of all colors and sizes appear from these portals, followed by what appeared to be flying ships. Still more armored people streamed from these portals, followed by numerous beings in robes of all hues.

Raud cast magic to make himself undetectable and took to the air so he could make sense of what was happening. As he circled high in the air, he saw these troops move out across the countryside and then what seemed like a never-ending multitude of people start coming through the portals behind them, old and young, some carrying children, some leading strange vehicles loaded with boxes and crates.  

Initially Raud was pleased as this looked to give him a lot more to hunt, however the thought of the numerous dragons that had flown past started to worry him. He returned to his lair to dwell on what his best option would be.

As Raud considered his options he grew aware of a presence approaching. A presence strong in magic. He wove magic and his arcane sight showed him the area outside his lair. Standing at the hidden entrance to his lair, were two gold armored elves. He studied them in detail, they were both nearly identical in height, one male and one female. It appeared that the male had one arm either coated in or made of what appeared to be platinum. The female carried a morningstar and the male, two axes. Their faces had some sort of tattooing across the bridge of their noses. They appeared to be probing the magical defenses he had in place. As he watched he started to feel uneasy as if they were watching him back.

Suddenly they vanished from view. Surprised, Raud went to move to find them, but as he started to move, they appeared in front of him. He drew back his head and bathed where they stood in dragon fire. As the fire subsided, they still stood there, apparently unharmed. Startled, Raud cast powerful magics at them and watched in horror as the male stepped forward and seemed to absorb his most powerful magics into his platinum arm.

The two elves laughed and smiled at Raud. “Come little brother’, they both said at once, “We have no quarrel with you. Submit and join us in this new land.” Raud roared at them in defiance. He submit? “Never!” he bellowed at them and breathed more dragon fire.

The elves in front of him smiled, unscathed by his fire. They leapt forward in unison, his axes swinging and her morning star heading straight towards Rauds head.   He reared back but could not escape their blows, He fought tooth and claw, but could not seem to land a blow on these strange elves. Their blows hit hard, and each one seemed to draw energy from him. After what seemed like an eternity, the elves stepped back and Ruad found himself lying on the floor of his lair.

“Now little brother” they said together, “Stop this foolishness and submit, for we are your new gods.”

As they said this, they dropped whatever magics they had been using to hide their true nature and Ruad saw them as they truly were. Amazed by a sight he never thought he would ever see, he mustered all of his remaining strength and rose to his full height, then dropped his head. “I submit and serve.”

They laughed and reached out and touch him with what were again elven hands. “No little brother, not serve, follow.” Their smiles touched his great heart, and he felt his wounds knitting back together. “Now, little brother, help us make this land safe for our people.”

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New Items in the Store – The Claw

The Claw – it’s in the store!

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Locations of Vanagard: The Prismatic Tower

From ‘The collected notes and memories of great places in Vanagard, Volume 2’ by Professor Albert Lynath

The fabled Prismatic Tower, home to the Archmage Chastormax, renowned for its beauty along with the magic wrought there. While wizards from all of Vanagard compete to be able to train at the Fróðleikr-Skyn in the City of the Twins, long said to be the premier magical college in all of Vanagard, the wizards of the Izon Supremacy itself compete to be able to spend time at the Prismatic Tower.

Wearing the encircled, multi-colored eye on their sleeves is a symbol that a wizard has completed their training at the Prismatic Tower and marks them as one of the more powerful practitioners of their arts.

The Prismatic Tower is said to exist in many locations at once, I personally have seen and visited it in the City of the Twins, Izon City (The Capital of the Supremacy), in Rýnstrborg, the city of the Magewrights and I swear I saw it once in the Shadowfell. It is the seat from where the Archmages of the Supremacy maintain the magical barriers surrounding their lands and control the weather magic that covers the continent of Gallia.

Entry through the prismatic dome surrounding the tower (from where the tower gets its name), is by invitation only. I have seen first hand what occurs to an uninvited guest trying to breach the barrier…. Not that there was much left of them afterwards to ask them why they tried…. I have toured some of its halls, for it is so much bigger on the inside than it appears, and I have marveled at the treasures displayed within it. I have dined there with Devas, ancient elfs, creatures that I cannot name, and it turns out once, a dragon. I have spent time in one of its many fabled vaults and studied objects of great antiquity from worlds long gone and I have watched Dragons of all colors circle and land in its grounds.

The tower is a place of great power, great beauty and if rumors be believed, great horrors. I personally have never seen these horrors that are whispered of, but I also believe one could roam its hallways for a lifetime and never see all it has to offer.

It is said that the Tower appeared during ‘The Arrival’ and once stood on the homeworld of the Izon, some say it still stands there as well. What we as a world know, is that the last time it’s master left it’s walls the Court of Terringorn was totally destroyed, and I have heard from some of the ancients in the Supremacy that the only times that Chastormax, the Master of the Tower, leaves its grounds, momentous things occur, some great, some terrifying, but all momentous.

I know first hand just how skilled the practitioners who have studied at The Tower are, having journeyed to the Shdowfell in a party with one of them. The cool calm skill with which they spun their magic weaves, and the speed at which they did, saved us all on many occasions. The only thing that I find lacking in the mages of the Tower is their sense of wonder, for they seem to approach everything with the same calm collected manner they approach using their magic.

The Prismatic Tower is a place of sanctuary and learning for those who call it home and a place of mystery and magic for everyone else. I look forward to my next visit and spending time amongst the artifacts in its halls.

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From the Mists

A tale told by Mrs Nogg to her family.

Gather around my children and let me tell you a tale of caution. It is a tale of terror striking from the mists and wreaking havoc on innocents, a tale of doors barred when the sea mists roll, a tale to keep you safe at night. It is a tale of the Mist Ghosts.

On quiet evenings, in coastal towns, the sea mists can rise. Most sea mists are just that, some however bring death and destruction. Too often over the centuries have towns gone silent and when an intrepid party go to investigate, are found razed to the ground and all inhabitants either missing or dead. There is never any sign of their attackers.

Stories are told of lone survivors stumbling into towns far away, babbling incoherently about magic in the mists, of strange ships landing on their shores, of tall thin raiders slaying all with axes and magic. These survivors never seem to get their full sanity back.

I have heard rumors that the main reason that the Supremacy maintains such strong coastal defenses is to keep their people safe from the Mist Ghosts. This rumor is more solid as I have discovered the Izon have a name for them, the HverHel. Of more interest is that the Tribes of Hastur call them the Hederhel, an interesting similarity.

Way down south in the continent of Shalydr, the people fear not only the dead that stalk their lands, but also the Mist Ghosts. From personal experience, I have found they seem to fear the Mist Ghosts more than the dead.

So, my children, my beloved children, make sure you bolt your doors and bar your windows at night, and should a sea mist start to rise, get you and your family far away from whatever coast you are near. The thought of losing you forever is more than this mother’s heart can take.

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