Friday, November 27, 2009

New Campaign: The Brotherhood


Last week, I started a new chapter of my campaign, called The Brotherhood. Ten years have passed since the War with the Afridhi broke out. Much has changed in Blackmoor since then. A new king has ascended the throne, and even if the war has ended, it is as if a shadow has fallen over the kingdom. In the City of Blackmoor, a conspiracy has been formed. Known only as The Brotherhood, this secret society of influential citizens are working towards a single common goal: To dethrone the King and establish a Republic of Blackmoor.

 Three men suspected to be part of the conspiracy are:

A high ranking priest of Fornaus, seeking a severing of all ties with the Church of Thonia.
A City Guard Lieutenant seeking to reclaim his lost noble status.
An Elite Thieves Guild Spy posing as a small time merchant.

-Havard

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Poul Anderson's birthday!

I just noticed on the Grognardia Blog that today's Poul Anderson's birthday. Anderson was as most of you know a great inspiration for both Dave Arneson and Gary Gygax.

So, happy birthday Poul Anderson! :)





-Havard

The Piazza Phenomenon


In May 2008, someone at Wizards of the Coast decided they wanted to reorganize their forums. An unfortunate consequence of this was the decision to merge all of the "Other Worlds" forums, that is forums dedicated to settings no longer supported by WotC. Some of these forums were quite dead, but several including Dark Sun, Dragonlance and Mystara were highly active. Others, like the Spelljammer Forum had their small group of loyal fans. The forums were focal points for fan communities of varying sizes. A merger of the forums would result in everything being thrown into one big pot, it would be difficult to find topics you were interested in etc etc. Furthermore, the fans were not warned of this, but a few days in advance and there was seemingly no way of reversing the process either. Frustration lead to action. Fans of different settings, all now found themselves without a "home". Joining forces, these fans set up a forum of their own, which they named The Piazza.

There were other D&D fan forums out there, most dedicated to one setting or to specific editions of D&D. The Piazza's focus was on multiple settings independent of preferred ruleset. It was a huge success! Roughly a year and a half later, the community now has over 500 members and extremely active forums. Moreover, the site is characterized by a highly friendly atmosphere. This might be surprising since the group might have reason to feel bitter about their treatment by WotC. However, the focus has not been complaining about the past, but rather about building somthing new. Lately, the forum has also attracted several prominent game designers, such as Monte Cook, Tim Beach, Colin McComb, Allen Varney, Trampas Whiteman, Andrew Steven Harris, James Mishler, Geoff Gander, Robert S Conley, Aaron Infante-Levy, Adam Miller and others.

In May 2009, Ashtagon, The Piazza's highly dedicated webmaster, made the Blackmoor forum (which had started out as a subforum for Mystara and Greyhawk) into a fully independent forum alongside that of the other worlds. At this point, almost 700 posts have been made in the Blackmoor forum alone. If you havent done so already, go and check it out! :)










Havard

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Blackmoor Themes




Here are some themes which the Blackmoor Setting lends itself well to explore:

Hope and Despair
Blackmoor is surrounded by enemies. These all seek to destroy the young kingdom, hating all its values. Together they could easily crush Blackmoor. However, the enemies of Blackmoor are not allies among themselves. This is what gives Blackmoor a fighting chance. It is important then, that Blackmoor is something worth fighting for. A realm of justice, honor and valour, in a world of corruption, greed and deceit. And there is hope, that perhaps Blackmoor could defeat its enemies, one at a time, and thus make the world a better place.

Heroes
Blackmoor is known for its legendary characters. The North is a place where young men and women come to prove their worth and seek out fortune and glory. One day some of them may even be counted among the King's Companions.

Sword & Sorcery
Unlike the later TSR settings which sort of grew into a genre of its own, Blackmoor is closer to the Sword & Sorcery genre started by authors like RE Howards and which was still widespread in the 1970s. I will get back what some of that means further down.

Importance of Humans
Elves, Dwarves, Halflings, Docrae and other races exist in Blackmoor, but humans play a dominant role in this setting. The demihumans only have minor realms in the area, while there are many human kingdoms. Some of Blackmoor's most dangerous enemies such as the Thonians, Skandaharians and the Afridhi are also human.

Chaos vs. Order – Cities vs. Wilderness
Whereas Good vs Evil a central theme in Tolkien's Middle Earth an many of the worlds inspired by it, Sword & Sorcery settings often focus on other concepts such as Chaos vs. Order. In the world of Conan, Cities represent decay and corruption, lies and deceit. It is the wild and barbaric where one finds the truly noble qualities. Blackmoor also represents order, while surrounded by The decandent Great Kingdom of Thonia to the south, the fanatic Afridhi to the west and the bloodthirsty Skandahar to the North. You also have the extreme form of decadence with the Duchy of the Peaks and Chaos made manifest in the Egg of Coot. Similarly you have idealized barbarians in the form of the Peshwa as well as Marfeldt the Barbarian who is a friend of Blackmoor.

Cthulhu Mythos – R.E. Howard style
While this isn't clearly expressed in Blackmoor, there are hints of darkness remaining from an older age, just like in REH's Conan writings. Dark Gods and sinister cults may be found in the deep corners of the world. The Egg of Coot is a prime example of this. The cult of the Frog is an example of the many evil cults that may be encountered. In Lovecraft's visions, the horrors drive men insane. In REH's works, they exist mainly to be defeated. Chaos and Evil can destroy the weak, but the strong and noble can defeat these forces. This is ofcourse at the center of Blackmoor.

Ancient World
Another trait shared with Conan, Blackmoor is appears more as an ancient world than a medieval one. Thonia seems similar to Rome or the early Byzantine empire. The Afridhi also have traits borrowed from the ancient Persians. Creatures of the Lost World may still be encountered here, such as great lizards or creatures from the Ice Age.

The North
The region of Blackmoor is known as the North. This should have significance. In my campaign, I made the climate more like that of northern Europe, and did the same with the fauna. Since Blackmoor also has an Ancient World feel, Wooly Mammoths, Wooly Rhinos, Saber-Toothed Tigers and Great Eagles are some of the creatures that may be encountered in this setting. This works even better if you use the assumption that Blackmoor is set in Mystara's past.

Technology
Technology is another feature of Blackmoor that is not so often seen in traditional fantasy settings. It is mostly linked to wizards. They create Golem-like warriors and clockwork body parts. Other such wonders stem from the Valley of the Ancients. The Egg of Coot may be a source of technology as well. Its technology is a dark one though, combining technomancy with necromancy, thus enhancing its undead servants.










-Havard

Monday, November 23, 2009

Hobbits of Blackmoor

"...we could call [Mello] a Hobbit back in those days, before the Tolkien family objected)." -Greg Svenson

Like most D&D worlds, Blackmoor has its share of halflings. In the D20 line there are two races of Halflings, one type simply called halflings and the second, the Docrae. The regular Halflings are, true to the source quite similar to those found in Tolkien.

Dustin Clingman has the following to add:

"Well they are much more prone to travelling than Tolkien's hobbits. In fact, some of the largest distributors in Blackmoor are owned and operated by halflings. That doesn't jive with Tolkien. I would also suggest that they are more prone to a 'larger view' of the world rather than just focusing on Booh and South Pim."


The main halfling settlement, Booh, is a Large Town of 2700 inhabitants. The town is dwarfed by the huge and ancient watch tower which gives the town its name. The town is a typical halfling one, with beautiful gardens and in no short of foodstuffs and fermented beverages. A large system of caves is found beneath Booh, used by the Halflings to store food and for military purposes. The largest population of Docrae has also settled there. Ramshead is another Halfling Town (pop 1000), where Philo is Sherrif. South Pim has also been reported to have halfling inhabitants. IMC Kenville is also a Halfling town, just because the name sounds a bit Halfling-ish.

The most famous Halflings are Philo Holbytyn, Mello Feathertoes and Timothy Curlytop. Mello, originally played by Rick Johnson, is described by Greg Svenson as the "mightiest of halflings". Known as the worlds tallest halfling, he worked closely with the Blue Rider (played by Bill Heaton) and the two worked hard to prevent Nichol's merchant Mafia from taking over Blackmoor Town in their days.

Currently, there is an ongoing discussion about Blackmoor's halflings in this Piazza thread.








(Illustration by ballerinakgurl)

-Havard

Sunday, November 22, 2009

THE NEW LANDS - THE FUTURE OF BLACKMOOR?


In the Code Monkey Publishing press release of November 16th, Robert Reed mentioned a contingency plan CMP has had in place for the last two years should the WotC lisence not be renewed.

That backup plan is 'The New Lands', a new setting with ties to Blackmoor. Apparently, seeds to the setting have been planted in earlier products and the MMRPG.

What do we know about this new setting? the CMP Press Release suggests it will contain various material produced for Blackmoor during the ZGG era which does not belong to WotC. Robert Reed mentioned Classes, the Docrae Race, and Skelfer Ard the magician of legend.


Fan discussions since then have raised concerns about splitting the campaign between two settings. Also the name "New Lands" has been criticized for being too generic.

Furthermore, ZGG's subsequent press release revealed that things were a bit more complicated. What is owned by WotC and what is owned by ZGG is not clear at the moment it seems. Also, relations between ZGG and CMP are unclear as their agreements also expire early next year.

Will the New Lands setting be the future of Blackmoor? Will it ever see the light of day? Only time will tell!













Havard

GETTING REVIEWS!



My German friend Moritz (aka glgnfz), of old shool and Dragonsfoot fame, is now among the followers of this blog. He has been kind enough to make a very nice review of my blog in his own blog, Von der Seifenkiste. Moritz writes:

Gibt's ja nicht! Da schreibt mein norwegischer "Buddy" Havard einene Blog und ich weiß nix davon. Neben dieser Lese-Empfehlung werde ich den Blog natürlich auch in meiner Blogroll ergänzen müssen, denn Havard ist ohne Frage DER Experte für alle Dinge, die die alten TSR-Settings MYSTARA und ganz besonders BLACKMOOR angehen. Der Blog landet direkt auf meiner Leseliste.

Da kann mein Fazit nur lauten: LESEN! LESEN!! LESEN!!!


Thanks alot Moritz! :)

Havard

Obituary: Richard Leonard Snider

Greg Svenson was kind enough to provide me with Richard Snider's Obituary:

Richard Leonard Snider
Mr. Snider, age 56, of Mint Hill, died Tuesday, November 17, 2009 at his home. Born August 29, 1953 in Albuquerque, NM, he was a son of the late Leonard Alfred Snider and Elizabeth Moody Snider. Mr. Snider was a self-employed landscaper.

A prayer service will be held 11:00 a.m. Saturday, November 21, 2009 at St. Luke's Catholic Church.

Survivors include his wife of six years, Najwa; and eight siblings, Paul, John, Clare, Richard, Kathy, Mary, Tom and George. In addition to his parents, Mr. Snider was preceded in death by a brother, Peter.

You may join in celebrating the life of Richard Leonard Snider by visiting his memorial at www.MeM.com. Through the personal Guest Book on this site, you are invited to share your thoughts and memories with his family. Arrangements by McEwen Funeral Service - Mint Hill Chapel, 7428 Matthews-Mint Hill Road, Charlotte, NC 28227 (704-545-4864).

Published in Charlotte Observer on November 20, 2009








Havard

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Richard L. Snider Has Passed Away

I am sad to have learned that Richard L. Snider passed away earlier this week, on the 17th of November. Cancer is believed to be the cause of death. Richard and his brother John were members of the Midwest Military Simulation Association in the 1970s and the Sniders became two of the original Blackmoor players. In Dave Arneson's campaign, Richard played the Cleric who became known as the Flying Monk. Richard was also active in making other contributions to the campaign and an entire section in Dave Arneson's First Fantasy Campaign is dedicated to Richard's additions to the game.

Richard also ventured into game design himself. Together with Dave Arneson, he co-authored Adventures in Fantasy(1978). In 1983, Richard created the game Powers & Perils.Richard was also a Sci-Fi author, having written about 35 novels, although only one, The Leather Rose, was actually published.

In recent years, Richard still expressed an interest in publishing RPGs, though attempts to bring back Powers & Perils on a commercial basis were blocked by Wizards of the Coast. In a post on the Wayfarer's Inn in 2007, Richard stated that he would be interested in bringing his creative ideas to the computer scene in "a computer mega-opus".


May He Rest in Peace.






Havard
(Thanks to Greg Svenson and Bob Meyer for providing additional information for this entry)

Thursday, November 19, 2009

A MINIATURE OF ME?

I will try not to become too self-centered in this blog, but reading Badelaire's blog entry about Havard the Dwarf Warrior put a smile on my face amidst all these bad news about Blackmoor. I hope the young Dwarf makes it to Blackmoor one day, maybe dropping by Mount Uberstar. I know he would be happy there!











Havard

ZEITGEIST STRIKES BACK?



Seems like the final word has not been said concerning the Blackmoor lisence. Today, Zeitgeist Games made the following announcement:

Given the ruckus this original mail triggered, I think a bit of clarification is in order.

At this point, Zeitgeist has been in negotiations for a renewal for quite some time. It's been radio silence for a while and it's not prudent from a business standpoint for anyone to wait around for the chance that a renewal will come through. In the end, if Zeitgeist is able to secure a renewal, we'll determine how to proceed from there.

So, from the factual department we have the following:

1. Blackmoor still has the best fans of any campaign setting
2. The Co-publishing agreement between CMP and ZG is expiring in early 2010
3. The future of Blackmoor RPG publication remains uncertain, but ZG is still pursuing and interested in renewing the license with WotC.
4. Blackmoor is a trademark of WoTC and the majority of the proper references within the 3rd and 4th Edition are the property of Wizards of the Coast.

Beyond that Zeitgeist Games would like to express it's thanks to CMP, the writers of books and episodes and of course, the fans for helping to keep Dave Arneson's world and legacy alive.

Sincerely,
Zeitgeist Games,Inc,
Dustin Clingman, President


What does this mean for the future of Blackmoor? WotC has not shown much interest in continuing any of their lisenced properties over the last few years. I wish Zeitgeist Games the best of luck in their efforts, but I would think that they would need a pretty big ace up their sleave to be able to get anything out of WotC. Still, if any part of the settlement between WotC and Arneson has been transferred to ZG or the Arneson Estate, anything is possible.

I also wonder if the statement regarding the future cooperation between ZG and Code Monkey Publishing will affect CMP's recently announced plans about the New Lands setting...


Stay tuned for more!



Havard

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

LOST COVER REVEALED

Yesterday we learned that there would be no more Blackmoor products from Zeitgeist Games/Code Monkey Press. Today I'm taking a look at what might have been.

Knightime Studio's Jim Pinto was art director for Zeitgeist Games for about two years. In his blog, Jim reveals his last work for Blackmooor, one which he did for C.A Suleiman as a favour:



According to Pinto, this was the cover that was supposed to be used for the so-called Blackmoor "2nd Edition". 2nd Edition was the temporary term used for the campaign setting later known as Age of the Wolf. Note the title "Sign of the Cross" on the cover. Most likely this title would have been replaced by Age of the Wolf at a later stage.



The cover looks fantastic! I find it interesting that they have departed from their classic Blackmoor Logo. Also, the decision to use five illustrations rather than just one which has been typical for the 3E era Blackmoor products. The Five images are believed to be place holders for the final art. Jim mentions that some design changes were made to the final version, but that this pretty close to what was supposed to be the final version.

Also, notice to the map on the back cover...








Havard

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

WHO OWNS BLACKMOOR?



Yesterday's announcement that WotC will not renew their contract with Zeitgeist Games over the Blackmoor lisence, preventing any future Blackmoor products from Zeitgeist Games/Code Monkey Press has created quite a buzz on various gaming forums.

One question many have asked is the question of who really owns the Blackmoor lisence. I might not be the final authority on this subject, but this is what I have found out so far:

Dave Arneson's Estate:
Dave stated that he owned the First Fantasy Campaign (FCC). This booklet was published by The Judges Guild, but Bob Bledsaw later transferred the rights back to Arneson. The FFC contain the early documentation of the setting, including early maps etc. Arneson has also for many years distributed D&D Supplement II on his website and has apparently been allowed to do so by WotC, though it is hard to tell whether this was a friendly gesture, ignorance on the behalf of WotC, or if it was part of some agreement between the two parties.

Wizards of the Coast:
WotC own the rights to the Blackmoor Trademark. I believe they also own the contents of the DA Modules, although what the ruling is on the material which exists in both the DA series and the FFC is anyones guess.

Zeitgeist Games/Dustin Clingman:
According to CMP's Robert Reed (Mynex), Clingman owns the rights to various elements that were added to Blackmoor during the 3E/4E era (2003-2009). This includes the halfing subrace called Docrae, the mysterious wizard Skelfer Aard, the 3E classes and probably other rules specific items. Code Monkey Press announced that they intend to make use of this in a future project labeled The New Lands. It is perhaps surprising that none of these additions were not retained by the Arneson estate.

Whether this division of ownership will be a disadvantage for Blackmoor in the future is hard to say. The biggest factor in such a future will most likely be WotC. It is possible that they could be interested in publishing modules based on the classic Blackmoor locations, though their disinclination to renew the lisence can also be seen as a continuation of a similar treatment of the Dragon, Dungeon, Ravenloft and Dragonlance lisences.






-Havard

Monday, November 16, 2009

END OF AN ERA?



For a while now, fans have been worried about the lack of news on upcoming Blackmoor products. This was just posted on the Blackmoor Gmail list:

Blackmoor licensing is looking like it's going to end as Wizards of
the Coast does not appear inclined to renew the license come the
beginning of the year.

There was also developmental issues with Age of Wolf. Contractual violations by all on the project save 2 artists. It boils down to people forgetting they're working for someone on contract, not themselves or their vision.

Between these 2 items Age of the Wolf as it was initially envisioned is not going to see the light of day I am sorry to say.

HOWEVER...

We knew eventually Wizards would not renew the license, we were obviously hoping for another year or two, but it is, what it is. So we have had a contingency plan in place for the last 2 years.

It's been mentioned of the 'New Lands' we were going to add to Blackmoor for some time now, a number of hints of that were made clearer to those fortunate enough to be able to play in the 4e MMRPG campaign...

Well Wizards doesn't own everything Blackmoor from the 3.5 era... notably the classes, the Docrae race and a number of other things that made Blackmoor new and interesting. Those belong to Zeitgeist and Dustin Clingman... who has been nice enough to offer continued usage of those items NOT Wizards.

So, the new campaign setting will be in the New Lands and have a number of Blackmoor flavorings in it. Such as the classes and the Docrae Race and even Skelfer Ard!

More on this over the coming days, weeks, and months.



With the above issues on Blackmoor and for the holidays, all Blackmoor PDF's in our store and on RPGNow are marked at 25% off!

This sale is effective now through the end of the license (early next year).

W. Robert Reed III
Mynex


Too early for me to comment beyond what is said here. Just thought I should share this with you right away.





-Havard

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Old School and New School Material




Fans of Blackmoor come in many categories. As with most D&D fans, many preferences are determined by the point in gaming history when you were introduced to the game/setting. Roughly, there are 3 versions of Blackmoor:

1. Original Blackmoor: This version of Blackmoor can be learned about in the First Fantasy Campaign, D&D Supplement II (the original Temple of the Frog, in particular), through stories from Dave Arneson's campaign and to some extent by looking at the other material available to Arneson at that point such as the OD&D rules, Chainmail etc. A few more obscure documents are also available from this era, such as the adventure Garbage Pits of Despair and the Domesday Book articles (issue 13 IIRC).

2. BECMI Blackmoor: This version marks the return of Blackmoor to D&D and is found in the DA1-4 modules. David Rithcie and Dave Arneson are credited for the modules, though only Ritchie is credited for DA4. DA5 was written, but remains unavailable.

3. D20 Blackmoor. I'm inlcuding both the 3E and 4E books in this category for now. It is clear that Dave Arneson was heavily involved in the production of those books, though many other authors also got their chance at describing the world of Blackmoor.

Among those who begain to learn about Blackmoor from the early days, there has been alot of talk about finding out what is the true Arneson content in these sources. The original material, which is exclusively Arneson's is believed to be the most true to Arneson's vision. I have found these discussions extremely enlightening and I love discussing Blackmoor over at the OD&D Forum.

However, I have come to see Blackmoor as if it were a real world. The various types of Blackmoor material are all the sources we have to what that world is like. Finding out about it is like the work of a historian researching the history of a country. He will have to decide which sources are the most credible and which are less so. At the same time, he cannot afford to ignore any of them since some subjects are not even touched upon by the sources most close to the events occurring. This is why I love reading through all Blackmoor books, both old and more recent ones. And I have to admit, I dont only look at how much Arneson was involved in writing a particular book, but also what I think would be most fun for my players. :)






-Havard

Saturday, November 14, 2009

DUCHY OF THE PEAKS PART IV: THE PEOPLE



THE PEOPLE
The People of the Duchy of Peaks are mostly of Thonian stock, descendants of the so-called Unwanted, who left the Empire in ca 700. Their features are darker than that of the nobility of Blackmoor. Some have more exotic features due to interbreeding with slaves from distant lands. The society is feudal, with the population divided into nobility, serfs and an unusually large number of slaves. The majority of the population are slaves of course and many of the others live under fairly harsh conditions in the various mining towns of the Duchy, being driven hard by the nobles. Their misery becomes even more apparent when it is contrasted by the life in Starport, where public spectacle, debauchery, wild parties and various decadent forms of entertainment. Use of drugs and the general unhealthy and decadent ways of these people have made them somewhat dim-witted.








-Havard

Sunday, November 8, 2009

PROMISED LAND PREVIEW

Rafael asked me to post the intro for the upcoming new season of his legendary PbP:

21th day of Asum in the year 1032 of the Northern Calendar. Night.

Four years and two days after the conquest of Starmorgan by the forces of the Free Nations.





The kingdom of Blackmoor stands surrounded by enemies.

To the west, Westryn raiders and demons roam the plains of Hak.
Though they haven't yet dared to attack the rebuilding cities of New Duchy,
it's only a matter of time until Tenlish blood will be spilled again.

To the south,the forces of the tyrannical Great Kingdom have taken advantage
of the Free Nation's sudden weakness and are lying siege to Blackmoor's southern cities.
It might not be long, and even mighty Dragonia will fall.

And to the north, an icy stormwind over the sea, The Egg of Coot lets its armies advance.
The town of Blackmoor, destroyed.
The town of Glendower, burned by a raing of black fire.
The city of Maus, sunken into the sea and its citizens eaten alive by mermen
from the darkest depths of the shallow ocean.

A high prize is paid for the freedom of mankind.
A prize so high in blood that it seems unsure if the brave people
of the Northern Marches will be able to pay it much longer.

Blackmoor is in need of heroes.
Now more than ever.






The "Company of the Maiden" is summoned to the Kingdom of Blackmoor's
ancient capital, the city of Vestfold, by the prince regent himself.
Members of the old Imperial guard, the best of the North's remaining knights,
all cled in red armor, lead you into the great dining hall in the old king's
ancient city house, first erected by the time Vestfold's most perilous enemy
was not the Egg of Coot, but the devil-worshipping followers of the Id.

In the dining hall, lit only by the dim gloom of fresh candles,
three men sit around a big round table, made of the Druj Forest's best wood.

The red knights order you to remain standing and bring big and burning coal pans
to the table, so you can see who awaits you at this late hour.
However, you are surprised to find that none of the men sitting in front of you
is actually Prince Mordred:


Instead, you behold, from left to right:

Dressed in black, leaning backwards with his big boots on the table,
as if this wasn't the very royal throne room, but some wayside inn,
the famous rogue Rowell, called "The Blade".

Next to him, grinning from one ear to the other, Zuki,
your loyal travelling companion, and, so is the word, second one behind Rowell
in the criminal organization known as "The Coven".

On the higher seat usually reserved for the king of the Marches alone,
his face pale, yet his eyes narrow in anger and discomfort, bishop Garamond Bolitho,
highest-ranking cleric among the civilized people north of the Misauga river.

To the bishop's right, his hands weaving an invisible web into the thin air as he watches you
with the same fascination a spider would watch a fly approach its nest,
a figure paler and ghastlier than even Sir Garamond at this nightly hour.



It's seems it takes more to kill me than just the wrath of a bearman and two magic blades...



The figure next to bishop Garamond chuckles maliciously, as it leans forward its horned head,
and for a moment your blood in your very veins seems to freeze:

The fourth man sitting there on your own king's table is none but your old enemy,
the Westryn sorcerer Gorileth!


TO BE CONTINUED ON FEBRUARY 1st, 2010!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

THE NORTHERN LORDS



The First Fantasy Campaign mentions a nation known as the Northern Lords. David Ross identified these with the Eastern Skandaharians (Raiders to the East). Unlike their Western Cousins, the Raiders to the East have on occasions allied themselves with Thonia or Blackmoor against Western Skandaharians and have been counted among the forces of good. The Northern Lords have a less friendly relationship with Archlis though, and have been known to carry out raids against that city.

My impression from reading David Ross' work is that Thorsen is a Northern Lord who currently dominates both the Western and Eastern Skandaharians, though it is probably only a question of time before The Western Skandaharians rise against Thorsen. Thorsen's City, Borkshold is most likely located in the lands of the Raiders of the East.

David Ross also writes:
Borkshold has a mead hall with a big loot chest: 3000 gp and 4500 sp. The area has some kind of great shaggy russet-furred beast, probably from a bear but maybe a warg or even a mammoth. Only Thorsen has successfully brought one down (whatever it is).


Relationship with the Merrow:
Meremen are said to have a quarrel with the Skandaharians. It is unknown whether they distinguish between the Eastern and Western Raiders, but most likely they don't. I wonder what the Skandaharians may have done to offend the undersea races.










Havard