Velkynvelve, Drow Slaver Outpost (location)

This initial scouting review is from Rabbit who has extensive experience in this outpost as she transported her slaves back into the underdark. She cannot guarantee that the numbers are the same or if the outpost has rearranged defenses in the last 70 years or so.

Velkynvelve Outpost

Name: Velkynvelve
Conventional Long Form Name: Imperial Frontier Outpost 134.
Location: Closest surface entrance to Kokand (about 40 miles away from Arborlon).
Purpose: Defensive Outpost and Slave Registration
Condition: Operational
Leader: Ilvara Mizzrym, Drow Priestess
People of Note: Shae, junior priestess, Shoor Vandree, Drow military commander, and Jorlan Duskryn, old leader.
Forces of Note: 13th Imperial Militia

  • Priestess
  • Junior Priestess
  • Drow Elite Warriors x 8
  • Drow Warriors x 24
  • Quaggoths x 48
  • Giant Spiders x 12

GENERAL APPEARANCE

The outpost is located high in a cavern, built 100 feet above the rocky floor. The outpost consists of a series of small caves in the cavern walls and four “hanging towers” — hollowed-out stalactites connected by walkways, stairs, and rope bridges. The towers are concealed by the thick webs of giant spiders stretched below them, so that only the lowermost parts of the stalactites are visible from the cavern floor.

With the small amount of dim light used in the outpost shielded from the cavern floor below, one might walk the entire length of the cleft without becoming aware of the outpost overhead, hidden in the darkness above the range of torches and lanterns. The giant spiders also serve as guards, dropping down on their web strands to prey upon creatures that find their way into the cavern. Similarly, drow warriors can drop to the cave floor on lines of spider silk to ambush enemies.

Three caves and two hanging towers surrounding a platform make up the main part of the outpost for the drow warriors. The largest of the hanging towers is reserved for the priestesses and the shrine of Lolth, while the other is a guard tower opposite the cave used to hold slaves. North of the slave pen is the den of the outpost’s quaggoth servants. Watch posts lie at either end of the outpost, near the northern and southern entrances to the cavern.

AREAS OF VELKYNVELVE

1. Southern Watch Post

Near the southern passage from the cavern is an alcove used as a watch post. It is set up so that you can station up to 8 drow here at all times to keep watch over the passage. The location is perfect to see any light from the passage or the cavern below.

2. Barracks

Stone steps lead from the watch post to a 1-foot-thick platform of zurkhwood extending between two of the hanging towers and into three adjoining caverns.

The two southernmost caves serve as barracks for the drow warriors of the outpost. The numbers are divided in half and each dwell in each barracks, each set up with a pallet, a small zurkhwood chest for holding personal possessions and equipment, and a side table. Spider silk rope webbing on the cavern walls is set with hooks for hanging lanterns and other items, but the barracks are rarely lit.

Standard equipment of the drow is stored under his pallet: a shortsword, a hand crossbow with a case of 20 hand crossbow bolts, a chain shirt, and a 100-foot coil of silk rope with a small grappling hook at the end are all standard equipment. In the chest is a flask of drow poison used to treat crossbow bolts, and two sets of clothing along with whatever personal trinkets the soldier has. This is highly regulated by the High Priestess and her commander.

3. Main Hall

This cave serves as a gathering and eating place for the warriors of the outpost. It has four or eight circular tables carved from zurkhwood depending on the number of warriors, each surrounded by five chairs. Part of the hall is used as a food preparation and storage area, containing stocks of dried and fresh fungi, dried fruits, cheeses, preserved meat, and a few clay jars of spices. A heavy iron brazier will provide heat for cooking along with dim light, but much of the food is served cold.

4. Spider Warriors Barracks

The two hanging towers flanking the platform are the quarters of the spider warriors of the outpost, except for the commander’s lieutenant  who has his own quarters in the priestess’s tower. Each hanging tower has two chambers, with a rope ladder running between the upper and lower chamber through a zurkhwood trapdoor. The elite warriors have finer furniture, including zurkhwood chairs and small tables.

The equipment of the resting drow is stored under his pallet: a shortsword, a hand crossbow with a case of 20 hand crossbow bolts, a chain shirt, and a 100-foot coil of silk rope with a small grappling hook at the end are all standard equipment. In the chest is a flask of drow poison used to treat crossbow bolts, and two sets of clothing along with whatever personal trinkets the soldier has. Generally the High Priestess and the Commander are more lenient with the Spider Warriors

5. Lift

Attached to the edge of the barracks platform is a winch-and-basket device consisting of a large swinging arm that carries a thin cord of strong spider silk. The cord runs through a series of pulleys from a hand-cranked horizontal spool to a heavy woven basket suspended at the end. The basket is kept up on the platform except when it is in use.

Using the Lift

Up to four creatures can fit somewhat snugly in the basket, which is swung out over the edge of the platform and lowered to the cavern floor below by turning the spool using attached handles.  Once on the cave floor, the basket can be loaded with other passengers or up to 800 pounds of cargo, then lifted back up to the platform in the same way.

6. Shrine to Lolth

A steep rope bridge leads from the walkway ledge to the uppermost level of the largest hanging tower, called the priestess’s tower. This place is a shrine to Lolth, and also serves as quarters for the junior priestess. She tends the shrine, overseeing routine rituals and offerings to Lolth.

7. High Priestess’s Quarters

A rope ladder leads down from the shrine into this chamber, which serves as private quarters to the High Priestess of Lolth and commander of Velkynvelve.

8. Drow Commander Lieutenant’s Quarters

The lowermost and smallest chamber of the priestess’s tower belongs to the commander’s lieutenant, the leader of the elite warriors of the outpost. 

9. Waterfall

Water vents through a crack in the ceiling near the eastern wall between the stalactites of the priestess’s tower and the guard tower, creating a small waterfall that pours down to the cavern floor and forms a natural pool. Servants and slaves gather small barrels of water from the head of the waterfall to serve the outpost’s needs.

10. Guard Tower

The fourth hanging tower, connected by rope bridges to the slave pen and the walkway alongside the priestess’s tower, serves as a guard tower for observing the cavern, the western passage, and the slave pen.

The lower chamber of the tower contains a zurkhwood table and three chairs, a smaller side table, and spider-silk webbing set with hooks for hanging equipment.

The tower’s upper chamber stores extra arms and armor for the outpost. The contents of the armory witnessed by Rabbit include the following:

  • 20 chain shirts
  • 20 suits of studded leather armor
  • 20 shields
  • 20 hand crossbows
  • 100 cases of hand crossbow bolts, each case containing 20 bolts
  • 20 shortswords and 10 daggers
  • 20 bags of caltrops (20 caltrops per bag)
  • 20 100-foot-long coils of silk rope
  • 8 building hammers (not usable as weapons)
  • 8 bags of iron spikes (10 spikes per bag)

11. Slave Pen

This cave is built to hold captives until they are sent to Menzoberranzan or the other cities to be sold as slaves. There are powerful wards on the slave pen to inhibit spellcasters and shield the area against scrying attempts.

12. Quaggoth Den

Beyond the slave pen and down a set of stone steps, this cave is used as a den by the servants that serve the drow of Velkynvelve. 

13. Northern Watch Post

This small alcove used as a watch post. It is set up so that you can station up to 8 warriors here at all times to keep watch over the passage. The location is perfect to see any light from the passage or the cavern below.

14. Pool

Water pouring down from the waterfall at area 9 forms a 20-foot+ deep pool before flowing out into an underground river that travels several miles before spilling into the deep. Since the outpost takes the water they need from the top of the waterfall, they use the pool to dump waste and garbage. Although this fouls the surface of the pool, the constant flow keeps the water beneath the surface clear. Some of the surrounding fauna use this as a drinking spot.

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SSU Redeemer (location)

SSU REDEEMER
Umberlee Redeemer Class transport ship Originally named the Cheroquee

Redeemer off the coast of Carthage

Original Owner: Albion Empire
Ordered:
                16 February 5457

Cost:                         572,000 g.p.
Laid Down:            22 October 5457
Launched:              June 5458
Commissioned:    5458
Fate:                          Disappeared near Kokand

 

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS

See full size deck plan

Class and Type: Cheroquee class brig-sloop
Tons Birthed:      235 bm
Length:                  90.3 ft (27.5 m)
Beam:                     24.5 ft (7.5 m)
Draught:               12.5 ft (3.8 m)
Sail Plan:              Brig (barque class)
Complement:      65 +guests
Armament.           10 guns

 

 

SSU Redeemer was originally called the ARN Cheroqueee, a Cheroqueee-class 10-gun brig-sloop of the Albion Royal Navy (smaller human empire), one of more than 100 ships of this class. The vessel, constructed at a cost of 572,000 g.p., was launched on 11 June 5458 from the Woolwich Dockyard on the River Isis. In July of that year she took part in a fleet review celebrating the coronation of King George IV of the Albion States. She was adapted as a survey barque and took part in three survey expeditions off the coast of Carthage.

The Cheroquee class of 10-gun brig-sloops was designed by Sir Henry Peake, and eventually over 100 were constructed. The working drawings for ARN Cheroquee (Albion Royal Navy) and ARN Barracouta were issued to the Woolwich Dockyard on 16 February 5455.

The ship was lost to pirates in 5482, a pearl of the Albanian Navy. Flying the Jolly Roger and the personal sigil of Two-Fingered McGrath it caused terror wherever it went. It wasn’t until 5493, after a 3 year disappearance did the ship return. This time under the symbol and flag of Umberleee with a new name of SSU Redeemer.  It has then been sent as a trader, and possible export of equipment from foreign governments.

It was lost in 5712 with all hands on board. No word was received of its journey’s end, nor of any survivors.

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Velkynvelve (Map)

Just a clarification, due to the constant updates to this map, I will have all links for the map go to this page. From this page you can click the map and see the full size most recent version of the map. It just makes it easier for maintenance and link updating.

Location: Closest Underdark Outpost to the City of Kokand
Type of Map: Continental
Locations of Note: Please see the post for the Valkynvelve Outpost itself.

Velkynvelve Outpost


Click map for full size version

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Fire Giants (humanoid)

FIRE GIANTS

With dark skin and flaming red hair, fire giants have a fearsome reputation as soldiers and conquerors. They dwell among volcanoes, lava flows, and rocky mountains, and are known for their ability to burn, plunder, and destroy.

Contrary to legends though, fire giants stand at most 9′ tall. The ferocity and danger of them grows their size in the stories.

Fire Giant

Large humanoid (giant), neutral evil
Armor Class 15 (hide armor, shield)
Hit Points 138 (12d12 +60)
Speed 40ft

  • STR 25 (+7)
  • DEX 9 (-1)
  • CON 23 (+6)
  • INT 10 (+0)
  • WIS 14 (+2)
  • CHA 13 (+1)

Saving Throws: DEX +3, CON +10, CHA +5
Skills: Athletics +11, Perception +6
Damage Immunities: Fire
Senses: Passive Perception 16
Languages: Giant
Challenge: 9 (5,000 XP)

ACTIONS

Multiattack. The giant makes two greatsword attacks.

Greatsword. Melee Weapon Attack: +11 to hit, reach 10 ft., one target. Hit: 28 (6d6 + 7) slashing damage.

Rock. Ranged Weapon Attack: +11 to hit, range 60/240 ft., one target. Hit: 29 (4d10 + 7) bludgeoning damage.

DESCRIPTION

Master crafters and organized warriors, fire giants dwell among volcanoes, lava floes, and rocky mountains. They are ruthless militaristic brutes whose mastery of metalwork is legendary.

Fire Forged. Fire giant fortresses are built around and inside volcanoes or near magma-filled caverns. The blistering heat of their homes fuels the fire giants’ forges, and causes the iron of their fortress walls to glow a comforting orange. In lands far removed from volcanic heat, fire giants mine coal to burn. Traditional smithies occupy places of honor in their demesnes, and the giants’ stony fortresses constantly belch plumes of sooty smoke. In more remote outposts, fire giants burn wood to keep their forge fires lit, deforesting leagues of land in all directions.

Fire giants shun cold as much as their cousins the frost giants hate heat. They can adapt to cold environments with effort, though, keeping their hearth fires burning bright and wearing heavy woolen clothing and furs to stay warm.

Martial Experts. From birth, a fire giant is taught to embrace a legacy of war. At the cradle, its parents chant songs of battle. As children, fire giants play at war, hurling igneous rocks at one another across the banks of magma rivers. In later years, formal martial training becomes an integral part of life in the giants’ fortresses and underground realms of smoke and ash. The fire giants’ songs are odes of battles lost and won, while their dances are martial formations of pounding feet that resound like smiths’ hammers throughout their smoky halls.

Just as fire giants pass down their knowledge of crafting from generation to generation, their renowned fighting prowess comes not from wild fury but from endless discipline and training. Enemies make the mistake of underestimating fire giants based on their brutish manner, learning too late that these giants live for combat and can be shrewd tacticians.

Feudal Lords. Humanoids conquered in war become serfs to the fire giants. The serfs work the farms and fields on the outskirts of fire giant halls and fortresses, raising livestock and harvesting fields whose bounty is almost entirely tithed to the fire giant kings.

Fire giant crafters work through insight and experience rather than writing or arithmetic. Though most fire giants place little worth on such frivolousness, they sometimes keep slaves at court who are versed in such skills. Serfs not destined for court or the fields (especially dwarves) are taken to the fire giants’ mountainous realms to mine ore and gemstones from deep within the earth.

Fire giants low in the ordning manage the mine tunnels and the slaves that toil there, few of which survive the difficult and dangerous work for long. Though fire giants are skilled in the engineering of mine tunnels and the gathering of ore, they place less importance on the safety of their slaves than on smelting and working the bounty those slaves produce.

Skilled Artisans. Fire giants have a fearsome reputation as soldiers and conquerors, and for their ability to burn, plunder, and destroy. Yet among the giants, fire giants produce the greatest crafters and artists. They excel at smelting and smith work, as they do at the engineering of metal and stone, and the quality of their artistry shows even in their implements of destruction and their weapons of war.

Fire giants strive to build the strongest fortresses and most potent siege weapons. They experiment with alloys to create the hardest armor, then forge the swords that can pierce it. Such work requires brawn and brains in equal measure, and fire giants high in the ordning tend to be the smartest and strongest of their kind.

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Frost Giants (humanoid)

FROST GIANTS

Frost giants are creatures of ice and snow, with hair and beards of pale white or light blue, and flesh as blue as glacial ice. They respect only brute strength and skill in battle.

Contrary to legends though, frost giants stand at most 8′ tall. The ferocity and danger of them grows their size in the stories.

Frost Giant

Large humanoid (giant), neutral evil
Armor Class 15 (hide armor, shield)
Hit Points 138 (12d12 +60)
Speed 40ft

  • STR 23 (+6)
  • DEX 9 (-1)
  • CON 21 (+5)
  • INT 9 (-1)
  • WIS 10 (+0)
  • CHA 7 (-2)

Saving Throws: CON +8, WIS +3, CHA +4
Skills: Athletics +9, Perception +3
Damage Immunities: Cold
Senses: Passive Perception 13
Languages: Giant
Challenge: 8 (3,900 XP)

ACTIONS

Multiattack. The giant makes two greataxe attacks.

Greataxe. Melee Weapon Attack: +9 to hit, reach 10 ft., one target. Hit: 25 (3d12 + 6) slashing damage.

Rock. Ranged Weapon Attack: +9 to hit, range 60/240 ft., one target. Hit: 28 (4d10 + 6) bludgeoning damage.

DESCRIPTION

Gigantic reavers from the freezing lands beyond civilization, frost giants are fierce, hardy warriors that survive on the spoils of their raids and pillaging. They respect only brute strength and skill in battle, demonstrating both with their scars and the grisly trophies they take from their enemies.

Hearts of Ice. Frost giants are creatures of ice and snow. Their hair and beards are pale white or light blue, matted with frost and clattering with icicles. Their flesh is as blue as glacial ice.

Frost giants dwell in high peaks and glacial rifts where the sun hides its golden head by winter. Crops don’t grow in their frozen homelands, and they keep little livestock beyond what they capture in their raids against civilized lands. They hunt the wild game of the tundra and mountains but don’t cook it, since meat from a fresh kill tastes sufficiently hot to their palate.

Reavers of the Storm. The war horns of the frost giants howl as they march from their ice fortresses and glacial rifts amid the howling blizzard. When that storm clears, villages and steadings lay in ruins, ravens descending to feed on the corpses of any creatures foolish or unlucky enough to stand in the giants’ path.

Inns and taverns suffer the brunt of the damage, their cellars gutted and their casks of ale and mead gone. Smithies are likewise toppled, their iron and steel claimed. Curiously undisturbed are the houses of moneylenders and wealthy citizens, for the reavers have little use for coins or baubles. Frost giants prize gems and jewelry large enough to be worn and noticed. However, even those treasures are most often saved for trading opportunities with other giants more adept at crafting metal weapons and armor.

Rulers by Might. Frost giants respect brute strength above all else, and a frost giant’s place in the ordning depends on evidence of physical might, such as superior musculature, scars from battles of renown, or trophies fashioned from the bodies of slain enemies. Tasks such as hunting, childrearing, and crafting are given to giants based on their physical strength and hardiness.

When frost giants of different clans meet and their status is unclear, they wrestle for dominance. Such meetings might resemble festivals where giants cheer on their champions, making bold boasts and challenges. At other times, the informal ceremony can become a chaotic free-for-all where both clans rush into a melee that fells trees, shatters the ice on frozen lakes, and causes avalanches on the snowy mountainsides.

Make War, Not Goods. Though frost giants consider the menial crafting of goods beneath them, carving and leatherwork are valued skills. They make their clothing from the skins and bones of beasts, and carve bone or ivory into jewelry and the handles of weapons and tools. They reuse the weapons and armor of their smaller foes, stringing shields into scale armor and lashing sword blades to wooden hafts to make giant-sized spears. The greatest battle trophies come from conquered dragons, and the greatest frost giant jarls wear armor of dragon scales or wield picks and mauls made of a dragon’s teeth or claws.

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Map of the Lands around Kokand (Map)

Just a clarification, due to the constant updates to this map, I will have all links for the map go to this page. From this page you can click the map and see the full size most recent version of the map. It just makes it easier for maintenance and link updating.

Location: Large surface world map of the campaign
Type of Map: Continental
Locations of Note: Please see the page for the “World Atlas”

Click map for full size version

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Map of the Zaminhoi Man’suda “The Underdark” (Map)

Just a clarification, due to the constant updates to this map, I will have all links for the map go to this page. From this page you can click the map and see the full size most recent version of the map. It just makes it easier for maintenance and link updating.

Location: Zaminhoi Man’suda aka “The Underdark”
Type of Map: Continental
Locations of Note: Please see the page for Zaminhoi Man’suda

Click map for full size version

 

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Walking the Hallways (forum rp thread)

Title: Walking the Hallways
RP Thread Number: 46
When Occured Between Sessions #21 and #22
Location: Dawn Manor (House of Dawn)
Out of Game Date: Jan 19 – Jan 23, 2019
Participants:  Keyleth, Nestrim
Original Thread:  http://silkandspices.net/forums/index.php?topic=17.0
Previous Thread:  The Map Room at the House of the Dawn
Next Thread:  TBD

We have an index for sections below, each corresponding to a page on this thread in the forum. This is to allow you to quick click back to near where you might have stopped reading.

Index: Section 1, Section 2, Section 3

Continue reading

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The Map Room at the House of the Dawn (forum rp thread)

Title: The Map Room at the House of the Dawn  
RP Thread Number: 45
When Occured Between Sessions #21 and #22
Location: Dawn Manor (House of Dawn)
Out of Game Date: Jan 12 – Jan 20, 2019
Participants: Anglerond, Alluvian, Keyleth, Night Scale
Original Thread:  http://silkandspices.net/forums/index.php?topic=12.0
Previous Thread:Frenetic Activity at Amal’s Tent (01/08/19 – 01/11/19)
Next Thread:  
Walking the Halls

We have an index for the sections below, each corresponding to a page on this thread in the forum. This is to allow you to quick click back to near where you might have stopped reading.

Index: Section 1, Section 2, Section 3, Section, Section 5, Section 6, Section 7

Continue reading

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Invitation to Bralquss (correspondence)

This is a letter from Keyleth to the Raven Queen’s representative after their return from the Temple of Mori.

To: Bralquss Shregro
From: Empress Keyleth Galanodel Elenren Surana

Bralquss,

I hope that this letter finds you well or finds you at all. I must admit I was unsure how to get it to you in your realm. My brother and my Chamberlain, Nestrim is ingenious and found a way that he thought would work and hopefully after you receive this you can let us know if it was acceptable.

First I wanted to say how delighted I was to meet you. I enjoyed our conversations. I look forward to more such conversations in the future. Secondly, I wanted to apologize for my lack or courtesy upon our return. There is no excuse for it, but in explanation we were all exhausted and worried for those that we had brought home.

I wanted to thank you for keeping my parents company while I was gone. It was a longer journey than any of us expected and the thought that you were there to give them comfort if needed goes a long way in unburdening my mind.

Lastly, I want to extend an invitation to visit me at The House of Dawn in Kokand so that I can thank you in person. Please contact Nestrim and he can let you know when he expects us to be at home and arrange all the details. I look forward to our next meeting.

With Appreciation,

Empress Keyleth Galanodel Ellenren Surana

 

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