North (Age of Titans Supplement)
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The North is based on high Tolkien fantasy, classic D&D. If you want to run a game in Age of Titans, but otherwise go straight out of the core rulebooks, the North is the best place to start. The Gardonian Adventurer's Guild has made profit adventuring common here, and has all but standardized the currency and languages used, and the deities from the Greyhawk Pantheon are worshiped in nearly every area in the North. Because of this, the North often makes for a great place for players to start a campaign, prior to moving them to more exotic locales upon reaching a higher level.
- 1 Life in The North
- 2 Characters
- 3 Geography
- 4 History
- 5 Organizations
- 6 Important NPC's
- 7 Monsters
Life in The North
The Gardonian common tongue is spoken by a decent proportion of the population in nearly every area here, and in most places it is simply referred to as "common." Nevertheless, areas outside of Gardonia still retain their local languages. In Revynne the local language is a combination of common and elven (Revynne) while in the Black Swamp the local language combines common with bits of draconic, the language most commonly used by the Spytic Dragoons. The only place where common is rarely spoken, aside from a few isolated subsistence communities, is Selladora, which is a country specifically hostile to outside influences, where they speak a variety of elven that is closest to old elvish with a great deal of influence from sylvan.
When the Gardonian Empire was founded, it forced all countries within its boundaries to trade only in standard-sized round coins made of platinum, gold, silver, copper, and ceramic, from most to least valuable. The coins are in decimal denominations, meaning 10 copper is 1 silver, 10 silver is 1 gold, and so on. This system was retained when the Kingdom of Gardonia replaced the Empire, although they allowed each country within its borders to design the coins as they pleased, so long as the weight, size, and material remained constant. This system was so simple and elegant that it was quickly adopted by every other country in the North except Selladora, which uses no currency. Thus exchanges are always done in the Gardonian coin system, but it is not uncommon to find Gardonian coins with stamps of Spythe or the towers of Rünlast to denote where the coin was minted.
Gardonia undoubtedly has the most vibrant and dynamic economy in the region, and possibly in all of Geburah. There are caravan passages to the East and sea trade to Lauraël and Relme. The high magic areas south of Gardonia allow for some trade to nearly anywhere else, and the prevalence of the Gardonian Adventurer's Guild creates a massive economy in its own right. The Black Swamp's economy is based mostly on high taxes on anyone living within or near the swamp, where they regularly require either a large donation to Spythe or a young child, and if the tribe or community does not agree to either then they face the wrath of the dragoons. Revynne is known for its fine arts and crafts. The high magic areas to the south trade mostly in magic items and services, except Oscillorion, whose trade often comes in the form of indentured servitude or craft, rather than currency.
The Greyhawk pantheon, described in detail in Complete Divine, makes up the bulk of religion in the North. It is a loose pantheon, so most follow only one god, and often detest one or more of the other gods in the pantheon. The Greyhawk deities seem to take a special interest in what goes on in the North, as they have periodically intervened as an avatar or assisted their followers in their tasks. Why they take an interest in the North specifically is somewhat mysterious. Because the gods are so close to the northern society, people in the North often view non-polytheists as a little strange, since they worship more abstract things that don't seem as powerful as the Greyhawk gods. Monks, druids, and others that are required to be a religion other than polytheist most often include Greyhawk deities in their religious life as well, and still consider themselves polytheists just like others in the North, even though they technically are more devoted to spirits, the tao, or whatever they happen to believe in.
Races found in the North and nowhere else include the illumians, mostly in the Tulgey Wood or the Titan hills; mongrelfolk, who live mainly in the Gardonian cities, sharakim, in the Titan hills and along the mountains; underfolk and goliaths, who live in caves within the mountains; dragonborn of Bahamut, who can be reborn anywhere; spellscales, who are occasionally born elsewhere but are most common in Rünlast; killoren, a young race previously found only in Selladora who have since begun migrating into the rest of the North; Darfellan and Hadozee, who live along the shore or on nearby isles; and Great Elves who live within and protect the forests of Selladora. All of these races are quite rare compared with the more standard D&D races.
Humans are most prevalent in the North, followed by elves, then dwarves. Races are mostly segregated here, meaning that countries and cities are mostly classified by their race. Gardonia is friendly to all races, but all five of its countries are considered human, as are the magocracies to the south, other than the Tulgey Wood, which is racially diverse. Revynne is an elven land, but is welcoming to other races. Selladora is strictly home to the Great Elves, a new sub-race of elves, and they only allow elves and fey in or out, although even elves and fey rarely leave. The Black Swamp is racially diverse, but the Spytic Dragoons tend to be human, half-orc, or hobgoblin, with a smattering of other evil races, and they often have a touch of Spythe's blood in them, giving them the draconic template described in Monster's Manual III.
People travel, and so any race is playable in the North, but only the following are truly native, and therefore by far the most numerous of races, and the ones players should consider first:
|Race||Sourcebook||Most Common Areas|
|Human||Player's Handbook||Gardonia, the Black Swamp, Rünlast, Oscillorion|
|Dwarf||Player's Handbook||Gardonia, anywhere along either of the two major mountain ranges|
|Elf||Player's Handbook||Gardonia, Selladora (Great Elves), Revynne, Rünlast|
|Gnome||Player's Handbook||Gardonia, the Titan Hills, anywhere along either of the two major mountain ranges|
|Half-elf||Player's Handbook||Revynne or as elf or human parents|
|Half-orc||Player's Handbook||As orc or human parents|
|Halfling||Player's Handbook||Gardonia, the Titan Hills, the Tulgey Wood|
|Illumian||Races of Destiny||the Titan Hills, the Tulgey Wood|
|Mongrelfolk||Races of Destiny||Gardonia, the Black Swamp|
|Sharakim||Races of Destiny||Gardonia, the Titan Hills, Revynne, Rünlast|
|Underfolk||Races of Destiny||Anywhere along either of the two major mountain ranges|
|Goliath||Races of Stone||Anywhere along either of the two major mountain ranges|
|Dragonborn of Bahamut||Races of the Dragon||Anywhere|
|Spellscales||Races of the Dragon||Rünlast|
|Killoren||Races of the Wild||Selladora|
Note that this table does not include any races with level adjustments or monstrous races. Those are at the discretion of the DM.
Feats & Skills
Gardonia is one of the most politically stable and economically prosperous kingdoms in the world. Unfortunately, this safety does not extend beyond its city walls. Because of the amount of trade, bandits, evil cults, and marauding tribes spring up regularly along the rivers, across the vast plains, and in the mountains that call themselves Gardonian territory. Gardonia is more properly a union of five kingdoms which are united under a single king, but are nonetheless fairly independent. The capitol, Eoden Falls, collects a tax from the other four and organizes the kingdom's military, which answers to Gardonia itself. Aside from the central tax and military, there are only few laws handed down from the central kingdom. Among them: a general ban on the creation and control of undead, a ban on slavery, a system of regulation of the evil races within city walls, and the laws governing the rights of members of the Gardonian Adventurer's Guild. Beyond these, each kingdom is very unique.
Eoden Falls: The capitol city of Gardonia is located at the foothills of the Gardon mountain range, at an idyllic location where many waterfalls mark the separation of one mighty river into the four that stretch to the northern sea. Eoden falls is separated into many walled layers, each of which goes further uphill than the last, and each of which requires a special password to enter. The first layer, just inside the city walls, is mostly characterized by poverty and crime, and houses many black markets and houses of gambling and brawling contests. The second layer is the center for commerce and trade, and is also the home of the central guild offices of the Gardonian Adventurer's Guild. The third layer is the center of religion and magical study. The fourth layer is the military and knighthood center. The fifth and final layer holds the enormous royal palace, and is really a town in its own right, though one characterized by extreme wealth and beauty. The king of Gardonia, who is traditionally simply called "Gardonia" from the day he achieves the throne on, lives and works here.
Heptarchae: Heptarchae is the southernmost kingdom and city in Gardonia, located off the Oona river at the cusp of the Titan Hills. The Oona river is principally used for trade between Laurael and Gardonia, so the city sees a great deal of commerce, and thanks to the proximity to the Titan Hills is also a center for profit adventuring. This city is considered the center of culture for Gardonia. It has no central royalty, but is rather divided into seven major districts, each of which is overseen by a governor. The seven governors themselves meet regularly to decide kingdom-wide business.
The Black Swamp
Selladora is a massive forest, dotted with clearings and hills, over 200 miles across. After the war between Antioch and Morgul, the Great Elves realized a period of chaos was approaching, and made it their duty to preserve this pristine place as a nation-sanctuary for the ancient trees. They do not allow any other than great elves and fey in and out. Great elves only leave in times of great need, when some force is brewing outside that may threaten Selladora. Because of this, the sight of a great elf outside of Selladora is often viewed as a bad omen by those who know what sorts of things have brought them from the woods before. Inside the forest there is a great deal of variety, and a few places are especially notable.
Perimeter: All around the perimeter of Selladora are treants standing guard, many of whom have levels in fighter or barbarian. They trust only great elves, and will do battle with anyone else attempting to get inside on foot. Even if a party manages to defeat them, however, the trees of Selladora have a sort of language with each other, albeit able to communicate little more than an expression of danger at a particular place, and they will get a message to other treants deeper in the forest quickly, who are likely to alert the elves.
The Divine Grove: Mostly near the center and off somewhat to the north of Selladora is the Divine Grove. This is the home of the divine oaks, which grow hundreds of feet tall and live for thousands of years. The wood is very strong, and occasionally partially grown limbs will wither and fall off, which provides enough wood for the Great Elves to make most of their weapons and other wooden materials. The elves have built dwellings around and up in the trees here. Near the center of this grove is an intelligent divine oak which speaks to the higher ranking great elves, which they call Eldhanael, which means "grandmother-tree" in old elvish.
The Banyan: Southeast of the Divine Grove is a vast banyan tree. The banyan surrounded and choked out a large tree in the center thousands of years ago and since then has grown out branches and let down vines to make itself a forest in its own right, a score or more miles in diameter. This is the darkest and most dangerous part of Selladora, which is used as a hideout for evil fey who lure travelers into the banyan and let them out insane. It is said to hold great treasures from its victims and, though dark, is nonetheless still beautiful in its own way.
Adventuring in Selladora may include infiltrating the forest to retrieve an item or captured person, helping to defend the forest from external threats, or investigating the mysteries of the banyan.
The Titan Hills
The Titan Hills are a vast hilly area, about 400 miles east to west and 200 miles north to south, though the actual borders are unclear. The area is under the control of a dozen or so titans. No one, aside from the titans themselves, is very clear on what areas are under which titan's control, as the titans are mostly unconcerned with what goes on in their domain, so long as no one attempts to prevent them from doing what they want in their own area. Small communities which revere the local titan tend to develop within the titan hills, and naturally they tend to match their patriarch's alignment. Dragons are treated with hostility by the titans, but a few may be found within the hills as well.
This area appears to correspond to a vast plain which was the most contested part of the border during the war between Antioch and Morgul. This is evidenced by the large number of ruined keeps and castles and labyrinths and the like, some of which are above ground though many more were either built underground or were swallowed by the earth in whatever event turned the area from plains to hills. These ruins have since become infested with monsters, most of whom survive by preying on the inexperienced adventurers who come to them for the treasures buried within the ruins.
The Tulgey Wood
Oscillorion is an evil magocracy, where wizards rule over all others, with even sorcerers and other spell casters viewed as more than inferior. The social distinction between wizards and non-wizards in Oscillorion is so great that the term "worthless" has come to refer to non-wizards. Obviously they don't actually believe that non-wizards have no worth, but they are viewed as having no intrinsic worth. There is only very small official government in Oscillorion, known as the protection guild. There is only one law which members working for this guild have to enforce: "No one, including other wizards, may initiate force against a wizard." In order to qualify for protection in respect to this law, a wizard need only make a reasonable annual donation to the guild responsible for enforcing it. This donation will grant them the capacity to call upon this protection guild should they feel they are being attacked in any way. If the attacker is a wizard who belongs to the protection guild, a court is set up for them to resolve their dispute; if the attacker is one of the "worthless" or has no membership in the guild, then they are usually killed or exiled without trial.
The most powerful group in Oscillorion are the Green Wizards. Green Wizards use the prestige class "Red Wizard" in the Dungeon Master's Guide, except replace "tattoo focus" with "ritual scarring focus," which works exactly like tattoo focus, except in how it is achieved. Characters get "ritual scarring focus" by voluntarily cutting their face and head to the point where they may be difficult to recognize. Green Wizards wear masks to cover their scarred faces. They are not to make their own masks or buy them, but receive them from other members of the cabal. They receive a simple wooden mask which covers only the eyes and cheeks upon joining, but each time they accomplish something for the cabal or demonstrate great power, it is common practice for other members to craft a more attractive and unique (and occasionally magical) mask for them. Thus the most powerful Green Wizards are often recognized by the quality and number of their masks. The cabal of Green Wizards is devoted to Vecna, but this is mostly symbolic, and one need not be devoted to Vecna to join.
Because non-wizards have no rights, it is very difficult for them to live well without attaching themselves to a wizard. The non-wizard world in Oscillorion is characterized by brutality and theft. Non-wizards who wish to be anything other than a thug usually beg to be accepted as the slave of a wizard, and thus be under that wizard's protection. Because of the competition for enslavement, wizards' slaves often accept very poor living conditions, just so that they can carry out a profession or craft and be guaranteed food and a place to sleep in exchange for their services. Thus wizards rarely do any work; the magic items in Oscillorion are usually created by enslaved sorcerers and other spell casters, freeing wizards to focus on magical study and practice.
Adventuring in Oscillorion may include defending non-wizards (or even the characters themselves) from exploitation by wizards, going on expeditions into or over the mountains the Oscillorion's cities and homesteads are built on, or attempting to infiltrate the cabal of Green Wizards for information or a particular magic item.