Welcome to Telrhin. A world setting for dice & paper rolepaying games. Home to my campaigns since 1984.

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The Site Blog: thoughts and stray comments on developing an FRPG world as well as the odd story from the campaigns.

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Session Notes: Valley of the Drowned Kings

Unidentified standing stone located between Millstreet and Ballinagree, Co Cork, Ireland (public domain)

A few thoughts on a recent one-off adventure. It was a tomb in the Lowlands in a place called the Valley of the Drowned Kings.

The adventure was meant to be easy. It was a classic "go explore the dungeon" setup for some friends, two of them new to the whole Dungeons & Dragons thing. It was set in the Lowlands, the main gateway region of the world that's easy to grasp and step into. All standard fantasy fare.

I decided to jump start the story at a campsite a half day from the tomb. They had a map. They had an NPC guide.

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A Little Color: the Hackled Pint

This is a snippet from the city of Karm Tor as I was tidying up my notes. Karm Tor is part of the Damoran Empire, on the coast of the Gulf of Renlon and the provincial capital of Miriand. And as long as we're talking about dive bars in Telrhin, you should check out the Pox Crain.

The Hackled Pint: a dive bar off the narrow Square of March Brohan. The placard is the only freshly painted sign on the street, featuring a pewter beer stein covered in hackles. 

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The Ninth City

cover image for Maelstrom Storytelling (Hubris Games)

"...in the soft hum of people’s sleeping minds I’ll tell you more. I’ll tell you about the Nine Rulers of the Seven States, the Lost City, the Darig Kingdoms, and the forgotten past of the Venthi people. Because here in Brok Nine every dream has found its way, and with it every secret and every truth."

This is from the work I was doing on a second edition of Maelstrom Storytelling for Hubris Games back in 2006. I think it was Chapter Three with a note to call it "At the Storm's Edge". 

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Lost Gods

image: Brom's Lost Gods

If there were such a thing as archaeologists they'd find remnants of forgotten gods as well as different interpretations of the current ones. There's Bachnel, the brother of Gahl who was god of night and dreams, and the Goat God of the Grasslands called Puknet. There are ancient Rayikian texts with references to Borgia goddess of seizures and possession. There are whole religions that are lost, like the Sanctum of the Four Winds.

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Normal Folks in a World of Monsters

Wolves, bears, garden-looting rabbits: real problems for medieval villagers. They also had bandits, plagues and feudal wars. Add in some griffons, goblins, ghosts, dire wolves and a few heartless fairies and you wonder how normal people get through a single day in a fantasy world.

How do things work in a world with magic? We focus on the beasts and monsters in the wild, but villages and settlements have to have some way of surviving. Following are some thoughts on how it all can work, making better sense for a world while adding layers of story and even -- gasp! -- adventure hooks.

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Seven Years

Seven Years of the Rahman Campaign

It all ended in the mining town of Pitfife near the Copper Lake in the Cairn Hills. Grimly, as expected. The final showdown with Kleg Blacklung, the man who killed their grandfather, came down to the wire. Abas and Kleg took each other down, and though not dead the brothers were bleeding out and the last of the Rahmans standing was a henchwoman named Hissie. Not that Kleg had many men left, and some of them were still on fire: but either the brothers would die there on the floor or at best find themselves chained and battered on their way to execution.

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Rope Bridge Frying Pan

Adventure Setup: The Rope Bridge Frying Pan

Rope Bridge

I wrote this as an adventure setup, in the style of a (long) event promo blurb:

The gorge looked a lot nicer when you weren’t running for your life. The sagging rope bridge bounces more than you’d like and you’re not making good time, what with all the loot you’re carrying.

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