Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Setting Snippet: Kaulderzhun

A fragmentary draft of a Ravenloft domain.  It was later absorbed into the Shadowend (conceptually, not as a domain) and appears near the upper edge of the map, just right of center, and just below the dwarven greathall Baidrul. It is likely that the domain retains many of its features, include Iscio's control over its borders, in the Shadowend.

Kaulderzhun stretches 50 miles from edge to edge, a rough, chill circle of forest and stone surrounded by the Mists.  The domain is bisected by a low, craggy, and rocky range of hills.  The land to the east of the hills is unpopulated, with stony soil and haggard trees.  The land to the west is covered in conifers and open meadows, and is bordered on its western edge by a second range of hills.
The human population of Kaulderzhun lives in the western vale, in several small villages. 

Cultural Level
Kaulderzhun is on the cusp of the Iron Age.  Metalworking has advanced to iron working, but other technological developments are typical of a Bronze Age society.

The Folk
Kaulderzhun is inhabited primarily by humans and dwarves, the latter living in the stony western hills.
The Kaulderites used to practive a form of ancestor worship, but have largely abandoned it in the face of Iscio's activities.

Native Player Characters
Player characters from Kaulderzhun receive the survival (forest) proficiency for free, regardless of class.  In addition, they gain a one-point bonus to fear or horror checks involving the undead.

Lord of Kaulderzhun
Iscio, King Under the Hill
16th-level king-wight fighter, Lawful Evil
Armor Class                -6
 Movement                  12
Level/Hit Dice              15
Hit Points                    130
Thac0                          3
No. of Attacks             2/1
Damage/Attack           1d10 + 8 or by weapon
Special Attacks           Energy drain, fear, magical items, wight control, spell powers
Special Defenses         Immune to normal weapons
Magic Resistance        Nil

Str                   20
Dex                 17
Con                 19
Int                   15
Wis                  13
Chr                  1 (18 to undead)

 Iscio is a towering figure of a man, nearly seven feet in height.  His flesh has withered and his face appears pinched, a mask of skin drawn over a bare skull, with

Current Sketch   
The King Under the Hill is less than pleased with the state of affairs in his kingdom, and has been growing more active of late, taking nightly rides across his land and scourging those he comes across.  He desperately wants to increase his power, and is slowly gathering an army of wights, in hopes of sending them through the Mists to find and overrun another domain, thus allowing it to join his own.

Closing the Borders
When Iscio wishes to close the border, stones thrust out of the earth, forming a crude but effective wall.  Characters within 10 feet of the border when the wall rises up must make a saving throw versus breath weapon -- a failure indicates the PC takes 2d6 from the stones, while a successful roll forces the character back into Kauldershun, unharmed.  The wall may climbed by a thief or other experienced character, but it cannot be surmounted.  The top always appears to be just a few feet higher up.

Iscio can strike with his hands in melee, attacking twice per round and inflicting 1d8 +10 points of damage with each successful blow. He may chose to drain 2 experience levels with a strike, but this attack occurs only once in a given round.

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