Posted: Tue Feb 07, 2006 11:44 am Post subject: Loftwood
Was going to start a campaign in Loftwood with the Independant city of Dekspoint as my centerpiece/starting point. Have looked back through my Greyhawk material both old and new and not much mentioned in there on the woods or city, nor online. Looking in the old Glossography, seems that the Loftwood has been overrun for some time by huminoids even before the Greyhawk wars, so was wondering what peoples thoughts are on on Dekspoint, was it part of the Bone March before the huminoid invasion from the Rakers and just was able to hold out and been independant since. Or was it always a independant city never part of the Great kingdom or any of its vassels.
Some thoughts I'm thinking of going with is a ex-Bone march city now independant, unable to open trade through the Loftwood to Knurl or Ratik due to the Humanoids within, and recieving unfair but nessary to survival trade from the Sea Barons and North Kingdom. Also is being pressured by Rel Alstra to becoming part of the Solar Pact. starting adventures being small groups of humanoids and bandits in the Loftwood to try to re-open overland trade to mid-level adventures of taking out minor-major humanoid tribes and establishing and defending new strong-holds and outposts in the Loftwoods to higher level adding poltical intrigue with the Sea barons, Johnsburg Orcs or Spine-castle/Priest of Hextor involved.
Well sorry for the long post just looking for more ideas to bounce off of and if anyone knows in good referances or magazine articles in this area.
I have no idea what supplement Dekspoint appeared in first (any one know this?), but off the top of my head - here's a few suggestions.
From it's location I'd say its a fairly defensible free port - a rough and ready place where everyone goes armed against the threat of the humanoids lurking in the Loftwood. It might be on a defensible prominatory with a good harbour or on an offshore island (I'm seeing something like the wooded islands and headlands up Vancouver way).
In terms of history - I'd say the good anchorage and defensibility made it a stopover for Suel raiders from farther north headed south to reave the coasts of Aerdy. During the conquest of the Bone March it's possible that the forces of the Great Kingdom may have found and burnt it (led there by a traitor bought with Aerdi gold), but it would have quickly risen from the ashes as a smuggling stopover (shipping contraband furs and ivory south under the noses of Aerdi reaves in Marner and Johnsport). It would have also served as a stopover for ships (esp. Fruztii and Schnai) working the northern end of the Solnor Main - esp. those with shady business - given the port's isolation and relative lack of imperial oversight.
In the years before the fall of the Bone March - the Loftwood would have become dangerous and Dekspoint would have been largely cut off from the landward side (except for expert rangers and guides who know the forest like the back of their hands). Around this time, its fortifications would have been strengthened.
When the March fell - few enough refugees made it through to here, again given the dangers of the Loftwood. More would have come by sea - fleeing from Johnsport. Thought this put a strain on the town's resources, it would have provided the manpower to help stave off humanoid attacks.
Freed from nominal control of the Bone March - it became in name the free port it always was - surviving as a transit point along the Solnor Main - a place where anything could be bought or sold. Its main natural resource is of course timber - for shipbuilding. Logging is a dangerous business - but serves a double purpose, in that it helps clear the landward approaches to the town of forest cover that would otherwise provide shelter for maurauding humanoids (who of course raid the heavily armed loggers regularly).
It's possible that the Dekspointers have a more pragmatic view of the local humanoids and use trade in weapons to ensure friendly relations (since those tribes willing to do business with Dekspoint gain an edge over those that don't). Of course, the Dekspointers also have to ensure that any tribe trying a double cross will pay dearly for any attack on the port - a policy of trade smartly and carry a big stick.
Fish and seaweed would be the main food. There might be a few barley and rye fields and rough grazing pasture in the immediate hinterland - but nothing very extensive.
Dekspointers would have a lot of ties of blood and business with the Fruzti, the Schnai and the men of Ratik. They'd also trade as far south as Bellport, Kaport Bay and Atirr in the North Kingdom. Sea Barons captains rarely venture as far north as Dekspoint (given the enmity of the northern barbarians for them). There'd also be a fair number of Bone Marchers - esp. among the rangers, loggers and warriors who patrol the ports hinterlands (the landlubbers as opposed to the sea dogs).
In short, I'd see it as being an isolated, rough and tumble free port with a lot of Suel/Ratik (read: Nordic) influences and bit of a siege mentality.
Thanks for your insigt and it bascially goes with my feelings, a rough a tumble seaport of about 3000-6000 with a suel/ordenian mixture and a little bit of lawlessness feel between refugees, woodsmen and seamen As far as referance I did not see it listed as a location on any of the older geyhawk box/campaign sets or maps until LG Gazetter map has it in the loftwood as a free city where older maps don't have any city located in the loftwood at all(but the LGG does'nt mention it in any Ratik, bone march or loftwood entries). I think it would have a good number of mercenaries and adventures looking for bounties, fame and adventure within the loftwood against the Orcs and Gnolls as well. Maybe a contingent of Druids or Rangers from the Timberway trying to free up the forest or Ratik outpost commanders offering a price for scalps on Gnolls, and orcs being a good start to get PCs into the woods. I did'nt much think that it maybe to far north for Seabaron trade and influence, but probly more Ratik and northern barbarian influence and trade does make more sense so thanks for that out take. Appreciate the reply and am always looking for other insight on this area to get my backdrop material for my campaign going in the past always had my campaigns in the yeomancy and Keoland area so this is my first big shift East.
IIRC, Dekspoint was mentioned in Dragon #58 as having been allied with the Bone March baddies, and that Ratik moved to annex it (c. 578).
I'll check when I get the chance.
...[must] have forgotten about this.
For 5 years.
The Greyhawk article in Dragon #57 mentions that, as a result of the battle of the Loftwood (578), the Rattikers had found that Dekspoint had colluded with the Vile Rune tribe in some way or form, and Lexnol was considering moving to annex it.
The Greyhawk article in Dragon #63 mentions that Barbarian raiders used Dekspoint as a place to sell booty captured from the Sea Barons et al, but Marner is also mentioned as a source.
In Greyhawk campaigns online, Dekspoint is portaryed as a pirate/buccanneering sort of place.
There was a Living Greyhawk scenario, COR 4-11 "Crimson Tide" (which I don't have) which discusses an embassy mission involving Dekspoint, which is still independent. Apparently the Rattikers never made their move, or if they did, the Rattikers either gave up or reached some sort of "accomadation." I'm considering playing this out with the remnants of Queg's warband from the battle of the Loftwood. I assume that Queg would have been to Dekspoint many times as a result of his raids to the south, and might not be that thrilled to betray them.
Anna's Map has Dekspoint as a small fortified city in 591 (pop. 6,000?), but in 560 CY, I figure it only had a population of 1,400, with 187 buildings, over an area of 4 acres, within a 15 foot wall (all of this is a guess). By the summer of 578, the population has risen to 3,432, mostly through immigration after the fall of the rest of the Bone March (since it didn't make it on the Darlene Map, it's population was probably less than 5,000). I figure most of them have moved within the walls (with about 3,000 making it a little crowded), and the remainder are in a suburb around the gate; this area is protected by a ditch, with the spill on the defended side, and a 7 foot high palisade with arrow/crossbow slits.
Chapels in Dekpoint, 560: Procan (and the other Oeridian Aggie Deities to a lesser extent); Xerbo & Osprem (sharing a chapel); Zilchus. By 578, add: Erythnul (operating openly in the "suburbs"); Kord; Kurrell; Norebo. Xerbo gets his own (bigger) chapel.
I figure taverns are common, but there are only three real inns: An old one (pre-560) in the old town, and two new ones in the suburbs. Most travel is by ship, and you can stay in the ship. Otherwise, taverns charge a small fee to sleep it off in the common room.
I did find this. I think his campaign starts in 578 with the battle of the Loftwood, which is exactly when my campaign is at for now:
...not canon, but something to work off of. At least I now have a name for the inn! I'm not sure than orcs and goblins would be walking around in public unremarked. My assumption is that an Hextor-worshipping orc tribe send in a relatively normal looking half-orc priest to handle a clandestine arms shipment from North Province. And I should add a slave market. Doh! However, I think that most of the "pirates" are barbarian raiders (Dragon #63 has Dekspoint as a place to sell booty taken from the Great Kingdom). Ratik's problem with Dekspoint in 578 was that they found evidence that they'd been supplying the Bone March humanoids. I assume that one of the reasons that Ratik never conquered Dekspoint was that the incident in question was a one-off, or, as Woesinger suggests, it was a necessary evil. Perhaps, in the future, arms shipments that go through Dekspoint will tend to suffer from very unfortunate "accidents."
Joined: Aug 03, 2001 Posts: 2827 Location: Michigan
Posted: Thu Feb 04, 2016 5:56 pm Post subject:
The 4th edition supplement Vor Rukoth might make an interesting Dekspoint. Rewrite the history slightly so that it became ruined by the fall of the Bone March instead of the fall of an ancient tiefling empire.
I don't actually expect anyone to do this, but as an intellectual exercise:
In the heady days before the fall of the Bone March, when hope still existed, Dekspoint was also known as Forge Town, ruled by a cousin of Ivid V, Lady Najala.
In 563 CY, Spinecastle fell to the orcish hordes. The conquest of Dekspoint seemed inevitable, and Lady Najala grew increasingly suspicious of everyone, scouring Dekspoint's population for traitors. She called out those nobles who had refused to swear allegiance to the new god Baalzy, believing they conspired against her, and she created a gate to Hell to ensure her hold on power. Ultimately, it proved her undoing. As an orcish host marched on the town, she desperately threw open the portal to any creatures that would aid her. On what came to be known as the Day of Devils, legions of fiends spilled out from the Nine Hells. They repelled the orcish host on the outskirts of Dekspoint, but they also slaughtered the thousands who inhabited the town. Najala's victory meant little, for the town was shattered and left a ruined vestige.
Raging Swan's Deksport has been discussed here before and it's a good product. Combine it with Broadhurst's campaign journals on Dekspoint (google them) and you have a fair amount of material.
Creighton Broadhurst is one of the best GH authors of the 3e era. His unofficial work is every bit as good as the articles Moore/Mona/Weining wrote online and in Oerth Journal during Nineties and meshes fine with canon. I use his stuff whenever I can.
The history section in Deksport is brief and doesn't mention the town ever belonging to any great empires like the GK nor being part of a smaller province. It was an isolated town, eventually overrun with humanoids, and now controlled by a loose coalition of human, orc, and goblin pirates.
...Combine it with Broadhurst's campaign journals on Dekspoint (google them)...
-I already had, that's how I discovered Deksport. His Screaming Sailor Inn in Dekspoint obviously became the same in Deksport. He obviously meant Deksport to stand in for Dekspoint in the Bone March.
I had done a little work on Dekspoint before buying Deksport, but I haven't used it yet, so I can just "repurpose" the stuff I did for something else. His version is CE with CN tendencies, while I imagined something more N with strong CN and CE tendencies (sort of like the Sea Princes pre-Greyhawk Wars). It's a lot more dangerous than I would have made it for my players, but I can roll with it.
Raging Swan's Deksport has been discussed here before and it's a good product. Combine it with Broadhurst's campaign journals on Dekspoint (google them) and you have a fair amount of material...
-I think Deksport underwent a few modifications (besides the name) to avoid trouble with WOTC. FWIW, these are my notes for converting Deksport to Dekspoint:
The town map on p. 5 works well if you tilt 90 degrees counter-clockwise.
The campaign map on p. 9 just doesn't work at all. You could use the places discussed as "The Hinterland" (pp. 8-9) and use the map for inspiring your placement of villages on another map (say, Anna's).
The interval between the conquest of Deksport and its rise as a pirate haven is described as "A few decades..." (p. 10). You either a) have to convert that to "a few years", or b) assume that the orcs and goblins conquered Dekspoint long before most of the Bone March fell.
The CN sea godess Serat converts easily to Procan (p. 16).
Abarin (p. 19), the N god of industry and artifice, probably lines up with Blerred.
In his blog ( http://www.creightonbroadhurst.com/tag/battle-of-the-loftwood/ ), Creighton Broadhurst's PCs went to Dekspoint right about the time of the Battle of the Loftwood, so I assume that Deksport assumes 578, although that might not be so (so much Pathfinder stuff is 590s). But since I'm DMing Ratik in 578, that works for me.
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