One of the founders of our hobby and one of the most unsung contributors to Dungeons & Dragons, Len Lakofka has passed away at the age of 76.
Along with the many adventures, classes, spells, and rules he created, Len was also father of the Suel in Greyhawk, designer of their gods, and namesake of the Lendore Isles.
The value of his work goes without saying, but his presence will be sorely missed. The adventures of Leomund go on.
Hello fellow hawkers. Here is a post I made yesterday on Paizo boards (Maure Castle section). I reprint the question below. Any info/advice most welcome.
Hi all, my Age of Worms campaign involves a tie-in with Expedition to the Ruins of Castle Greyhawk (and Return of the Eight by the way). My players are finished with Castle GH now, and are currently exploring Tilagos Island.
The wizard in the group expressed some interest in Maure Castle as he wonders if the Octych (not sure I spell it correctly) discovered in the recesses of Castle GH might be used to open a portal down there. He wonders because:
- they found the name of one of the Maure in the log of one of Zagyg's libraries,
- and because the rogue of the band, a Seeker, discovered that one Eli Tomorast, another Seeker, has developed an interested in Maure Castle...
Do you know if there is a mention of this Octych in the different official levels of Maure Castle?
I believe so. In issue #112 July 2004 of Dungeon you can find a detailed run through of Maure Castle and its current master, Eli Tomorhast.
On page 20 the only excerpt I can find states;
"The star design in a planar transportation device created more than 1000 years ago by the progenitors of the Maure line. Disciples of Slerotin, the last Mage of Power of the effete Ancient Suel Empire, these apprentices held the secret keys to the mystery of Power Magic, a timelost arcane method that granted mortals unimaginable dominion over reality. The wicked-hearted apprentices yearned to master the secrets of Power Magic, but without Slerotin's guidance they lacked the knowledge to do so without risking destruction. Instead, they took the long view, hoping that their Maure descendants would one day gain the requisite power and experience to make Power Magic their own.
"After initiating a group of their apprentices as the masters of the House, the Suel warlocks carved the eight-pointed star design into the floor of this corridor. They infused the triangular metal tips of the star design with mystical pathways to eight distinct demiplanes and retreated from Oerth, each taking an eighth of Slerotin's writings on their mysterious journey. After their departure, the new scions of House Maure removed the eight metal triangles from the design and spread them throughout the world. One day, they reasoned, the Maure would gather the power and experience to retrieve the metal triangles and follow their forebears to distant planes. With Slerotin's writings united once more, they would initiate a new dominion.
"Instead, House Maure grew more and more decadent as the centuries passed, and even those members of the family who still remained entombed in the dungeons of the ancestral castle have forgotten the significance of the eight pointed star.
"As they explore the ruins of Maure Castle the PC's are bound to discover some elements of teh star's history and importance. The castle itself does not contain the keys to unlocking the design's power, however, and the whole exists primarily as a means to launch future campaign arcs after the players have exhausted Maure Castle's challenges or simply wish to move on to new adventures.
"Following clues revealed in Eli Tomorast's chambers, the PC's may wish to scour the world for the set of eight metal triangles, each about the size of a halflings hand and each of a different hue. Each plate was enchanted to a different plane, typically a special demiplane or similar place. Thus, each triangle creates a double adventure. First comes the search for the metal plaque, and then comes the adventure of traveling to the destination encoded on the plaque, exploring, and finding a way back."
Personally I would put one of the pieces in the demiplane lair of the lich Lyzandred the Mad, if you have that module. He's an ancient Baklunish arch-lich from the Baklunish Imperium who made it his job in life to hunt down and lock up dangerous magical artifacts. As long as he has one piece the Suel (who he HATES cause they blew up his country) can't finish their little Power Magic scheme.
Could be any planes. Four demi-planes, plus Oerth and three other alternate primes would work well. I went nuts and made the 8-pointed star filled with 16 triangles and not just 8. I filled it with all the planes and two primes- Oerth and my own(never mind the Baklunish script ):
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What a great job you've done there Cebrion. I specially love the caligraphy, it's like a mixture of Arabic and Tolkien's elven script smoothly blended. Could you ellaborate more on it or give us some key to decipher it?
I have two groups, one in Maure Castle and the other in Castle Greyhawk, and this could become really handy.
Once again, note that my 8-pointed star is NOT what the Octych looks like at all. The Octych looks something like this:
The darker lines are engraved into the floor, with the tips of the points of the star likewise recessed to accommodate the triangular plaques. The points might be shaped such that the triangular plaques are equilateral triangles, or not, in which case they would be keyed to fit a certain way. I can't recall if any descriptions of the plaques are detailed to that extent. _________________ - Moderator/Admin (in some areas)/Member -
I absolutely love the writing and the diagrams...they create a 'mood' which really immerses players.
As for the locations of the eight pieces..erm...here's my crack at it.
1. Submerged into the 'ground' of the Crypt of Lyzandred the Mad (a demi-plane in the deep ethereal) by a modified variant of the Sink spell. Collected by the lich.
2. Tucked into a book in the personal study of the evil arch-mage Graf Reydrich of North Province. Collected by the oeridian arch-mage.
3. Behind a loose brick in the cellar wall of Harpers Hold, an estate which once belonged to a famous bard in the humanoid-overrun city of Elredd (taken from The Fate of Istus). Collected by the (now dead) bard.
4. On display in a museum-section of the Temple of Wee-Jas in the Scarlet Brotherhood city of Suka on the island of Lof Bosok. The Scarlet Brotherhood supplement implies this is a real "Island of Doctor Morreau" where Suel wizards are splicing monsters to create slave races. Collected by some Suel mage who prefers his name not be known.
5. In the magically sealed study of one of the now-dead apprentices of the Aerdy court wizard (lich) Xaene. I'd put this sealed study in a building somewhere in the now ruined and wild-magic stricken city of Rauxes. Collected by the (dead) oeridian wizard.
6. Inside one of the Star Cairns hidden in a moldering hollow book somewhere in the Spell Research Cairn (if you have the module The Star Cairns, which reveals that the Cairns are actually magical research labs created by a sect of Suel mages plotting to wipe out the Baklunish). Collected by the (dead) suel wizard.
7. The one in Castle Greyhawk, of course.
8. In the possession of Andrui, an apprentice of the dead arch-mage Bigby (from the module Bigby's Modest Home in Treasures of Greyhawk) who still keeps his masters small manor in the coastal city of Onnwal in Scant.
If it were me I'd have Andrui ask the party to let him accompany them so he could uncover the secrets of Suel Power Magic for himself and use them to revive his dead master.
Oh and um...if the Scarlet Brotherhood ever found out someone was collecting the pieces of this ancient Suel legacy they probably wouldn't be happy.
If I were DMing this campaign I'd assume that within three days of recovering the piece on Lof Bossok some bright cleric of Wee Jas would have cast a few high level divination spells and gotten his goddess to tell him all about this lost piece of decidedly Suel magical lore (which is absolutely within her purview).
That would probably be enough to get a band of lore-crazed Suel wizards to round up a posse of assassins and bound fiends and go after the party with wands blazing to recover the shards and steal the secrets of Power Magic for themselves. I don't know that any party of adventurers could realistically take that kind of heat, but there are feasible ways to help them if you want a 'race against time' scenario.
1. The god Boccob might just...sorta...*slip* and give the party the effects of the 8th level spell Mind Bar for a few weeks on the sly to prevent some sort of "I scry him, we all teleport to where he is, we all nuke him and sic our pet fiends on him, we loot the pieces, we teleport home" scenario. AKA the chinese fire drill of the magely world. Boccob is a likely candidate to protect the PC's because the Suel worshp Wee Jas and if they re-discovered power magic they would be able to conquer other lands very easily and his priesthood would be toast.
2. The Father of Obedience, Korenth Zahn, is an epic level monk. There are 'factions' in the Scarlet Brotherhood and currently the monks are in charge. From reading The Scarlet Brotherhood supplement I get the impression there's some friction between mages and monks. The Father of Obedience might act in secret to prevent his sorcerous counterparts from re-discovering power magic because they could use it to supplant him and take over the nation. A few of his high level monk disciples acting as spies could help keep the Brotherhood off the PC's trail.
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