Tall Towns Black Steel

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Game Description

Tall Towns, Black Steel.
A Warrior, Rogue & Mage campaign

A tiny point of light shone distantly in the stale, black depths of this wing of the cave network. No one had been this deep in the dark before, never this far below the safe light of the sun and sky. No human at least. For in this deepest delve, a light was surely seen. Closer and closer it came as I trudged on with my men behind me. We began as a party of fifteen, yet the treacherous descent claimed half of us early on. Slower progress and proper scouting thwarted most of the dangers, yet we lost a pair more in the last bend before seeing the light, to a sheer black hole in the wall that no one seemed to notice until they were gone. Ah, the light, yes. It was yellow, like the first peeking winks of a morning sun, yet so faint we nearly mistook it for glare from metal ores in distant rocks. We took the deep path down, through a descending cavernous staircase formed of broken rock and sloping cave until we reached the opening. The opening was a collapsed area of cave that led into a lit hall. A hall! An ancient, carved hall double the height of a man tall and wide stretched to the left and the right into blackness, with a single, circular door nearly ten feet in diameter directly in front of us, set into the far wall.

The light came from the edges of the frame, giving off faint heat as well as a sulfuric humidity.
"Sir," called one of the men. "We should return to town and spread news of our find. A true expedition will want to travel here and excavate this site, as the contents within may be priceless, or dangerous."
"Yes, Aurhs, I agree. I shall make notes on the ore deposits and our path here before I sketch this hall area and we....," I turned my head towards a shrieking grinding noise, of old dry iron against iron, and the chamber exploded into light. Blinded and knocked to the floor, I crawled away from a skin-crawling, ghastly howl that permeated the chamber and drowned out all other sounds. On and on I went, until the howling was distant and the light was gone, and I was alone in the ancient crafted hall that seemed to never end.

The sound of a man's screams stopped me in my tracks, as I turned and leapt against the wall, blade in hand against whatever may come into view. It was Aurhs. He was badly burned, everywhere it seemed. Black marks bubbled across his armor, almost as if boiling oil was splashed across him. No, not oil.. It was molten metal, black as pitch and uncomfortably warm, even at this distance. Aurhs collapsed at my feet, all of his breath gone, his agony fled, and I was again alone. Retrieving his personal items to return to his wife, and the strange metal that had quickly cooled into a light, hard metallic substance, I made my way back towards the door and the way out. There was that light again, but all was quiet. The scene I came upon was a true horror. I squinted my eyes to the charnel house and sprinted back up the cave stair, as the howling began again behind me. I ran on and on into the cave tunnels, still I could feel the heat on my back and the howling in my ears. I ran around a blind turn...and directly into a wall, and all was black.
"Agun! Sir, are you in there? It is late in the morning and people await your presence," shouted the voice from outside the door. I jumped from my bed, dripping in sweat, my every fiber aching. A terrible dream, that was. Nightmares at my age are never good, and I would be wise to keep it to myself.
Agun made his way to the door, seeing the morning sun through the window and knowing his apprentice needed to sell his wares and learn the craft again, as he did every day. He reached for the lock-slide, glancing back towards faint embers in his fireplace. His travel pack sat next to the stoker, stuffed full of who-knows-what. And on the floor around it lay chunks of black iron ore, so deep and dark even the beaming morning sun offered no reflection from its surface. Agun gasped.

In a tall town at the edge of the Haegaldvaal, Agun, the town blacksmith and a master of weapon-crafting, the pride of Tall Town, continued his weekly voyages to the abandoned mines alongside his bodyguard to acquire more ores. Each time he lost more men. Each time he stayed beyond the walls for a longer period. Each time he returned, he was plainly more unstable than before he left the security of Tall Town. And yet he labored away at his forge, creating a new form of Steel from rare ores deep within those mines abandoned ages ago.

This "Blacksteel", was lighter, vastly more durable, and black as a starless sky even in direct sunlight. Once word spread of Agun's steel masterpieces made of this strange metal, buyers from throughout the eastern lands flocked to Tall Town to purchase all of his creations. The campfire talk became about a large group willing to follow Agun to his site and claim the ore from him, but their idea never left the fires, as Agun disappeared during the night.

The town erupted the next morning when it was revealed Agun, their only blacksmith, was missing. The council and shop keepers sent out word into the Haegaldvaal that anyone who returned Agun or his ore to Tall Town would be grandly rewarded. Today, the news has reached the ears of the folk of Haegar, Wall of the Haegaldvaal .

Welcome to my introductory Warrior, Rogue and Mage game! I have some very interesting plot hooks and pieces written for the campaign, which should create a bit of intrigue and some old-fashioned wonderment. This would all be prime reason behind the game in a normal campaign, but this is also a campaign to teach others(and myself!) the WYRM system. Along with some advice by the creator of WR&M, I will be using a couple of rules from the non-Corebook releases, including new types of weapon & armor quality, Armor bonuses via Hit Points and Critical Damage Overflow. Technically they are all WR&M releases, so it shouldn't throw off learning the true backbone of WYRM.

The land of Haegaldvaal is a forested, temperate area nestled between the Tauern Mountains to the west, the Vendaala Wald to the east and the massive Twins to the north. There are 3 major waterways in the area, all coming from the mountain streams, which are: High Huhes, the cold rapids directly from the Tauern; the River Thome which is the southern fork of the High Huhes; and the River Huhevald, the eastern fork of the High Huhes. The Vendaala Wald is an ancient and massive forest, stretching far to the south along the rim of the Tauern. The Tauern Mountains are a tall and treacherous range, running directly north/south along the continent and splitting it in two, of which the western half is largely unexplored. The Twins are a pair of mountains between the High Huhes and the River Huhevald, larger than any in the Tauern range, yet lie distantly to the east of the main range. There are no foothills around the Twins either, which has led many to believe they are actually gods made stone and are worshipped by many in various ways. Between all of the these are many other walds, or woods, as well as countless cairns, tiny villages and the few major towns that sustain the folk of the Haegaldvaal. The Marches, also known as the Tauern Marches, the Goblin Marches and the High Steps, are a long strip of foothills, valleys and crags between the hospitable areas to the east and the unforgiving Tauern.

Notable locations are the city of Haegar to the east, coined the Wall of Haegaldvaal due to its impossibly tall wooden palisades; The mining town of Saukland to the north, also called the Foot of the Gods for its location at the base of the Twins; the Shield of the Marches, known as Tall Town(due to it being built upon a raised stone foundation), keeps the east safe by guarding the more civilized lands across the High Huhes and the River Thome from the Marches and the Tauern. While there are many more tiny villages and places along the roads and even off of the beaten path, the last notable location is Sauk Tower. It lies between the Old Huhes Bridge to the west and the Greenstone Bridge to the east. It began as a keep to guard travellers at the intersection near the Brauk Wald, but over the years built its own populace and expanded into the trade hamlet it is today. The old Sauk Tower, Sentinel of Brauk, is still maintained but is no longer occupied except for the look-outs in the balcony when trouble arises. The town of Sauk Tower lies in the middle of all the major landmarks as well as populated areas.

There you have it. A brief description of the Haegaldvaal, with more to come in their own threads as your characters explore the land.

The game begins with word of trouble in the west reaching Haegar, as well as the characters, who are currently within the city. Characters will have little-to-no knowledge of the introduction at the beginning, but pieces of it will be revealed(in more detail) as they make their way throughout the Haegaldvaal and eventually west into Tall Town. The basic character creation from the Warrior, Rogue and Mage rulebook will be used, with some tidbits from other Warrior, Rogue and Mage books, as well as some tiny house-rules that should have no impact on the rules as a whole, but just offer more flavor.

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