Ombrelongue

De Wiki La Crypte Oubliée - Pathfinder
Aller à : navigation, rechercher

LONGSHADOW

“History records that the name of our quaint smelting town comes from the ‘long shadow’ left by Jordish Redcliff. He not only founded the town, but also adventured in the nearby hills and spent a lot of time learning customs and laws as a barrister. It was his foresight that gave so many miners in the northern hills what they have today. Of course, he wasn’t able to evict all the beasts and monsters hiding over the next hill, but that’s probably why you’ve come to the Hunter Bureau, isn’t it? “We aim to provide monster hunters everything they need to clear out the caverns, mines, and other lairs the beasts now call home, but the one thing we can’t offer is a guide to wherever they are. For that you just have to head out of town; they’ll fnd you. And watch your step, too! The holes around here are known to reach up and grab you—some are deeper’n you can see, and falling to your death isn’t the sort of thing I advise of anyone.” —Meriam Kems, ranger and self-proclaimed Longshadow ambassador LONGSHADOW LN large town Corruption +0; Crime +0; Economy +3; Law +1; Lore +2; Society +1 Qualities industrial, prosperous, rumormongering citizens Danger +5 DEMOGRAPHICS Government autocracy (mayor) Population 4,000 (3,223 humans, 615 halflings, 138 dwarves, 24 other) NOTABLE NPCS Garret Graygallow, proprietor of the Graygallow Foundry (N male human expert 4/rogue 2) Kizviz, alchemical junker (CN female ratfolkB3 alchemistAPG 5) Mayor Thom Crawbert (N male human expert 5/ fghter 4) Meriam Kems, regional scout (LG female halfling bard 4/ranger 3) Seneka Volsadd, shipping magnate (NG female half-elf aristocrat 2/expert 4) MARKETPLACE Base Value 2,600; Purchase Limit 15,000; Spellcasting 5th Minor Items 3d4; Medium Items 2d4; Major Items 1d4 SPECIAL QUALITIES Industrial Longshadow is renowned for its many forges and smelting facilities. These facilities add to the overall economy of Longshadow and improve the morale of its people. (Economy +2, Society +2) The people of Longshadow dedicate themselves to the trades of forging and smelting. Their smog-ridden town rests at the northern end of the Marideth River, north of Phaendar and far west of the Nirmathi capital of Tamran. Longshadow labors under the proverbial shadow of another Nirmathi settlement, the city of Skelt. The skill of Longshadow’s citizens at their respective trades is eclipsed only by the greater capacities of Skelt—a settlement with such a defensible location that it can focus almost exclusively on trade, without worrying about the looming threat of Molthune’s armies. This shared skill set between Longshadow and Skelt fosters a fairly one-sided rivalry between the two settlements.[1]


Introduction

Longshadow’s proximity to the Hollow Hills is what allows its citizens to effectively compete with the efcient forges of distant Skelt. The region just north of Longshadow consists of dozens of excavation and mining sites. Many of the endeavors in the Hollow Hills are long abandoned, leaving the region littered with crisscrossing subterranean tunnels that give the region its name. But despite the number of forgotten and neglected mines, the Hollow Hills remains full of valuable minerals, and the ease of transporting these resources to nearby Longshadow ensures the town’s industry continues churning out goods.

HISTORY

The settlement that would become Longshadow was ofcially founded in 4450 ar, shortly following Cheliax’s expansionist conquest known as the Everwar. Jordish Redcliff, a self-described adventurer, avid prospector, and barrister from Tamran, claimed the region as his own. Beginning 10 years prior to the formation of the town, Redcliff partook in a mix of adventuring and prospecting in the Hollow Hills. Alongside his companions, he cleared out goblins, hobgoblins, ogres, and other monstrous creatures from the hills north of the Marideth. Redcliff’s discovery of no fewer than a halfdozen vertical shafs of gold, iron, and silver led him to recognize the bounty of the region.

The settlement began without a real name, Jordish being too modest to name it afer himself. It acted primarily as a haven for the various miners and their families who came to work at Redcliff’s nearby dig sites. Jordish later donated parcels of the land to civic institutions, including a temple dedicated to Abadar and a schoolhouse, and he eventually agreed to give one of his former adventuring companions land to build an inn. Over the 20 years following Redcliff’s initial claim on the land, the site grew into a sustainable settlement numbering almost 300 souls.

Citizens of the nascent town remarked how Jordish Redcliff would leave a “long shadow” when he eventually passed on, referring to the man’s incredible mark on the region. When Redcliff died peacefully in his sleep almost 40 years afer claiming the land, the established governing council’s frst act was to pass a law ofcially naming the settlement as Longshadow in honor of Jordish’s contributions.

Longshadow grew over the following decades, swelling to a population of almost 5,500 by 4632 ar, the year Molthune ofcially seceded from Cheliax. Seeing opportunity in the cosmopolitan capital of Canorate, many citizens lef the dreary work of forges and smelting factories to seek out a new life in other parts of the independent nation. Not only did citizens flock to their perceived better lives, but so too did adventurers, whose absence was quickly noted. It took just 5 years for the region’s safety to deteriorate, with monstrous tribes overrunning the nearby hills and forcing the miners to seek shelter within Longshadow. This period saw the construction of the iconic walls that surround the edges of the town that don’t abut the river. Luckily fo Longshadow, the appeal of Canorate and Molthune’s nobility soon lost its luster in the eyes of adventurers, and by 4640 ar, several adventuring parties had taken on lucrative contracts to scour the hills of its emergent monster problems.

The citizens who remained in Longshadow found their day-to-day lives made more difcult by the sudden exodus of those citizens seeking better lives in Molthune’s cosmopolitan regions. Although monstrous threats lessened with the return of adventurers, many of the mines in the region were abandoned as battles between Chelish patriots and Molthuni independents tore families and communities apart. Eventually, so many mines were deserted and forgotten that they presented additional dangers when miners could fnally return to work, as new excavations ran the risk of coming too close to lost tunnels, resulting in cave-ins.

When a second revolution against the new nobility of Canorate flared into all-out conflict in 4648 ar, Longshadow fell into step with other nearby settlements and seceded from Molthune.

Most cite this breakaway as being directly related to the Molthuni leadership’s poor handling of the secession from Cheliax. In fact, such was the anger over Molthune’s perceived poaching of the citizens and resources of Longshadow that the settlement was the frst to dedicate itself to crafing arms and armor for the Nirmathi guerrilla fghters, a fact locals eagerly tout when comparing their enthusiasm to the delayed participation of Skelt.

By the time the revolution achieved its goals, Longshadow—now a settlement of 4,000—declared itself a town of the newly formed nation of Nirmathas.

Since the formation of Nirmathas, Molthune has taken Longshadow no fewer than four times. Each time the town was taken, Molthuni troops arrived in such force that the mayor opened the town gates to allow the conquerors access. And each time, repeated guerrilla strikes from rebels combined with the logistical problems inherent in supplying an occupying army presence have forced Molthuni soldiers to retreat past the Marideth within a few months.

Many older citizens jokingly refer to these conquests as “flag swaps,” and several townsfolk keep both Molthuni and Nirmathi banners in attic or basement chests—some even keeping old flags of Cheliax, “just in case.” While proudly Nirmathi patriots, the people of Longshadow know the folly of standing up against the massed armies of Molthune and thus don’t fght openly unless they have a strong chance of victory.

It has been almost 30 years since Longshadow ousted its last round of Molthuni occupiers. People still remember the actions of Thom Crawbert—Longshadow’s mayor for the past 20 years—as he assisted in the frst real defense of Longshadow during that attack. The Six-Day Siege, as some refer to it, was the frst time in Longshadow’s history that its walls repelled human attackers instead of the monstrous creatures they were originally constructed to defend against. Longshadow stood strong, and the Molthuni troops retreated past the Marideth River, forcibly rebuffed from seizing the town. Emboldened by the defenses of their walls, the people of Longshadow have enjoyed relative peace ever since.[1]

LOCATIONS IN LONGSHADOW

The following are some of the more notable locales and shops in Longshadow.

1. Town Hall: Once the seat of power for a Chelish governor, the Longshadow town hall was repurposed into a far more civic-facing structure.

Half of the building is dedicated to the concerns of governance, with meeting rooms and individual ofces for the mayor and members of the town council. The other half of the hall houses an auditorium where several hundred citizens can gather to discuss matters of politics or enjoy entertainment presented by the council. It was only 20 years ago that Mayor Crawbert, then newly elected, ordered the metal necessary to give the structure an ofcial symbol of Nirmathas along its outer facade. The construction of an intricate silver tree with a protruding brass sword required the talents of an expert metalsmith from Kyonin, who painstakingly threaded heated metals to create the overarching foliage of the nation’s symbol.

2. The Canary: A highly regarded inn and tavern, the Canary was one of the frst structures to be constructed in Longshadow, built even before the settlement had a proper name. Unlike Longshadow, the Canary has remained under the control of the family of its founder—a former adventuring companion of Jordish Redcliff. Gestelle Ambrose (CG female human expert 3/ swashbucklerACG 2) now runs the inn, having spent a brief stint as an adventurer in the Bloodsworn Vale until she lost an eye during a run-in with a kobold-crafed trap.

The event drained much of her former flamboyance.

Now she takes joy from managing her family’s business and threatening rowdy customers with her rapier, ofen claiming, “I might have trouble sticking ya in a nonvital location—what with the bad eye and all.” 3. Graygallow Foundry: Located along the shore of the Marideth River, this massive facility spans three separate buildings. The customer-facing sales ofce is accessible to outsiders, while the actual foundry and workers’ tenements are off-limits to those without proper approval. Garret Graygallow’s instructions to staff have been erratic of late, with orders to intentionally delay shipments confusing longtime workers. Garret’s daughter Aureni Graygallow (LG female human expert 4) knows that something is amiss with her father’s recent actions, though her investigations have led her to discover only a large stockpile of unprocessed metals.

4. The Smelter’s Vault: The smelting of most Longshadow ore occurs in a large facility known as the Smelter’s Vault. The Vault maintains far less staff than the Graygallow Foundry but has the beneft of being entirely owned and operated by civic interests. The town council maintains a majority hold over the Smelter’s Vault, with other private shareholders taking smaller dividends from its profts. The current manager of the smelting plant is a ragged half-elf by the name of Kesten Idliss (LN male middle-aged half-elf expert 4/fghter 3), who accompanied Mayor Crawbert in some of his earliest adventures. Kesten is continually appointed to the position of manager despite lacking any real aptitude for smelting, leading some to believe he knows some terrible secret about Thom Crawbert’s past. Whatever the case, Kesten remains tight-lipped and does his best to ensure ore is properly smelted for distribution to other parts of town.

5. Forager’s Alchemicals & Emporium: A family of ratfolk runs this joint operation of alchemical crafing and junk foraging. Having arrived during the tumult of the Molthuni secession from Cheliax, these ratfolk remained in Longshadow and formed their own multi-generational family enclave within the town.

The reclaiming of the various abandoned mines in the Hollow Hills saw the return of adventurers seeking to ofoad rediscovered trinkets, and the ratfolk proved apt at determining what could be purchased for low prices and resold (in town or abroad) for a healthy proft. The skilled ratfolk alchemist Kizviz manages the alchemical side of the shop alongside her younger sister.

Meanwhile a half-dozen other ratfolk hagglers operate the emporium, wheeling and dealing over rediscovered minor magical items and other valuable trinkets.

6. The Gorenheim Ferry: For a single silver piece, passengers can catch a ride on one of three ferries traveling across the Marideth River. These especially spacious and sturdy wooden boats remain equally spread out, with one near the center of the river while the others dock and resupply at the respective ends of the waterway.

It’s not the passengers that make Gorenheim Ferries its money, however; the business makes most of its proft from signifcant industrial hauling across the river in the lower holds of its large ships.

7. Last Shif Graveyard: While most mining work agreements are one-sided affairs, ofen favoring employers over employees, mining businesses operating in the Hollow Hills region are required to offer the “lastshif clause.” The contractual clause ensures workers whose bodies are recovered are granted free interment in Longshadow’s graveyard. One of Jordish Redcliff’s enduring legacies, the Last Shif Graveyard lies on townowned land specifcally set aside for those lost in mining accidents. Other plots of land are granted to those who die of natural causes but who dedicated years to the mining or industrial needs of the Hollow Hills area.

A morose and mysterious individual by the name of Aahshira (N samsaran sorcerer 5; Pathfnder RPG Bestiary 4 230) maintains the grounds of the graveyard. Aahshira is supported by a staff of middle-aged and elderly villagers, for whom she acts as a type of life counselor. The samsaran’s appearance in Longshadow came on the eve of the previous caretaker’s demise, and Aahshira offered to start work almost immediately. While lacking any formal religious training, Aahshira is knowledgeable in the religious practices necessary to maintain the graves of the Last Shif. Actual ceremonies and blessings take place away from the gravesite, as bodies are consecrated at the temple of the deceased’s patron deity.

8. Sparkstrike Smithy: A boisterous artisan named Elus Sparkstrike (CG male human fghter 5) is considered the most prominent of Longshadow’s three blacksmiths.

While plying his craf, he wears only a sash and reinforced leather apron as upper-body protection—a tradition that has resulted in burn scars pockmarking his arms and face. Elus works jovially despite this visible and somewhat self-aficted disfgurement. His greatest joy is hammering freshly heated metals while carrying on a yelled conversation with clients from across his shop. Those spending time with the smith as he works are treated to the latest town gossip, as well as a healthy amount of (free) ale regularly ferried over from the stores of the Canary.

9. North Gate: One of three gates guarding entrance to Longshadow, the northern gate has seen the most violence.

Monstrous creatures from the Hollow Hills repeatedly attempt to assault the town, and each incursion has met its end at this gate. The most recent attack occurred over 15 years ago, when a band of well-organized ogres assaulted the walls with the support of magical equipment and unexpected tactics. The attack floundered due to the heroics of a group of Pathfnder Society agents taking a break from exploring the nearby Mindspin Mountains.

In honor of their timely intervention, the northern gate of Longshadow is permanently emblazoned with the symbol of the Pathfnder Society, the Glyph of the Open Road, signaling to traveling Pathfnders that they are welcome in the town.

10. Migrant’s Welcome Dock: Longshadow’s docks received their rather contentious title in the afermath of Jordish Redcliff’s death. Disparaging those who partook in the boom of immigration as word spread about the discovery of minerals in the Hollow Hills, Longshadow’s residents ofen declared those frst workers migrants, despite them being loyal citizens of Cheliax—and the dock where they disembarked took its name afer them.

The name stuck for years, and even when people flooded back out of Longshadow for Canorate, the townsfolk still used it, more out of familiarity than for any other reason.

Numerous wooden landing piers stretch out from the southwestern edge of Longshadow, extending like greedy fngers onto the Marideth River. Poor planning has resulted in a haphazard arrangement of docks, with new piers routinely added with little regard to proper shipping routes or ease of docking for larger vessels.

The slapdash arrangement is now the responsibility of a handling crew of 60, overseen by four shif managers.

Kidrin Relvaed (NE male human rogue 3) is one of these shif managers. He uses his position to assist local crime interests, primarily in the form of shipping bodies away from Longshadow aboard passing vessels. Unscrupulous ship captains know they can earn a few gold coins by taking on one of Kilian’s “extra” shipments.

11. Warehouse Lane: This ominously light-deprived section of town is flled with a half-dozen warehouses, each rented on contract from the town. At any time, various mining and smelting enterprises interested in long-term storage of goods claim half of the structures.

The unused warehouses are ofen the sites of illicit aferdark meetings between criminal interests in Longshadow.

A Molthuni patriot, Neele Wittich (CN female human fghter 4/rogue 4), operates out of this district, moving from warehouse to warehouse as contracts lapse and buildings are loaded and unloaded. She maintains an extensive underground network of tunnels connecting each of Longshadow’s major warehouses, a system her agents continue to expand. Recent digs have ended with the disappearance of several of Neele’s agents and the discovery of previously unknown tunnels under the town.

Neele is utterly ruthless in her mission to upset the balance of power in Longshadow, as part of a long-term subversive plot sponsored by Molthune’s government.

Her current schemes revolve around siphoning off and hiding forged weapons and precious minerals so they can be claimed by Molthune during its next invasion of the town. These weapons are stockpiled in her subterranean tunnels, though the recent discovery of an extended unrelated tunnel network puts the endeavor in jeopardy. No one in Longshadow suspects Neele’s role as a Molthuni saboteur and spy, and only a handful of the town even know her as a prominent leader in Longshadow’s small criminal underworld.

12. Rutra’s Trading Post: Named afer its current owner, Rutra’s Trading Post is easily one of the most identifable structures in Longshadow. The architecture of the expansive general store is foreign to that of the town, recognizable only to those familiar with dwarven stonework, as the Trading Post was built in the same style as distant Kraggodan—a dwarven Sky Citadel to the southwest of Longshadow. Rutra Grimburrow (LG female dwarf expert 2/wizard 4) operates the establishment with cool efciency. The Grimburrow family emigrated from Kraggodan long ago, seeking to establish trade routes between the Sky Citadel and other settlements, only to fnd themselves, over the course of several generations, becoming more a part of the human town than of their distant mountain home.

Rutra oversees a staff of just over a dozen assistants and laborers. This group is mostly made up of Rutra’s close relatives along with a few Longshadow citizens. Until recently, the Grimburrow clan offered the fnest imports from nearby Kraggodan, but the ongoing Molthuni siege of the Sky Citadel has greatly reduced the fortress-city’s exports to the Trading Post. Some intrepid merchants still sell their wares within the upper reaches of the Sky Citadel in the periods when the Molthuni assaults are forced back, though these imports are scarcer than ever before. Rutra has been in negotiations to start up trades with Tamran, but until she can arrange the right deals, her stock is woefully undersupplied for her typically extravagant needs.

13. Hunter Bureau: This simple two-story wooden home stands apart from nearby residential buildings, marked by an austere sign of darkwood with red paint detailing its name. Despite its formal title, the Hunter Bureau’s interior is a combination of tavern and lounge, ofen frequented by adventurers, hunters, and trappers active in the Hollow Hills. Visitors sit and recount their adventuring or hunting tales among those with similar interests. The air of the Hunter Bureau is laden with the heavy smoke of tobacco and the occasional hint of flayleaf. Because the building caters to valued members of Longshadow’s ecology, there’s some leeway in what is allowed on the premises; most town guards ignore all but the most dire of problems from within the Bureau.

The true purpose of the Hunter Bureau is to assign bounties to claim to interested individuals and groups looking to hunt creatures in the region. Originally, the organization handled only the collection of animal carcasses and pelts, but it has since expanded into the business of monster hunting and population control.

Isaki Farhif (LN male human ranger 3) inherited the establishment from its previous owner, despite not being a familial connection. Instead, Isaki proved himself a capable and useful hunter afer leaving his old life in Katapesh. He sits behind the main desk of the Bureau’s lounge, assigning and paying out bounties. Meanwhile, a jovial halfling named Meriam Kems fancies herself as the de facto ambassador for those coming to the Bureau. She ensures that new arrivals are given personal introductions to all of the Bureau’s regulars and offers her services (for a reasonable fee) if there’s a major hunt to take part in.

14. Dominick’s Reagents and Poultices: Something of a local remedy man, Dominick Vlais (NG male human adept 3/ expert 2) maintains a shop adjacent to his home. The store contains various unique herbs, minor alchemical items, and various components that are useful in the production of magical effects. Dominick leads a solitary life, but enjoys discussing magic of all sorts with clients inspecting his wares. Though only a minor practitioner of magic, he has extensive knowledge regarding various healing techniques, and much of his humble store is dedicated to supplies of a curative nature.

15. Longshadow Armory: Any town that is doubly threatened by roaming monsters and an aggressive neighboring nation requires equipment to defend itself. The Longshadow Armory is one of the most well-defended buildings in town, always staffed with at least a dozen armed guards to deter thef and acts of insurrection.

Inside the metal-reinforced walls of the building are dozens of chests and racks laden with arms and armor of varying designs. Most of the stored equipment is the result of taxes levied on local mining ventures; a portion of all profts go toward the armament and upkeep of Longshadow’s militia.

One of Longshadow’s most notable relics is a swif obsidian greataxe (Pathfnder RPG Ultimate Equipment 161) that once belonged to an adventurer who scoured the Hollow Hills of its growing monstrous infestation sometime during the uprisings of 4640 ar. Madleen Kulcher (LN female human fghter 6) is the current head of security for the armory, and the greataxe has recently disappeared on her watch. Word of the disappearance hasn’t spread past the few guards under her command, who insist to the public that the weapon is simply undergoing routine cleaning and maintenance.

The truth, however, is that a Molthuni spy within Longshadow threatened Madleen’s family, and she gave up the weapon to protect them. Now, Madleen secretly investigates new arrivals to the town in hopes of fnding a group to discreetly recover the lost weapon and discover the identity of the hidden Molthuni agent.

16. Jail: Longshadow has its share of crime, and thus maintains this jail, though it is rarely overflowing with prisoners.

Many attribute the lawful nature of so many of the town’s citizens to the efforts of the head sheriff, Grenta Irontusk (LN female middle-aged half-orc brawlerACG 5). She was once a chaotic force in Longshadow, eventually falling on hard times when a barroom brawl at the Canary shattered her two prominent tusk-teeth. The town pulled together and purchased a set of wroughtiron inserts to replace Grenta’s lost protrusions—from this, she learned to respect the law and her community. Ten years later, she took the position of sheriff with no opposition from even the most senior of militia and town guard members.

17. Redcliff Schoolhouse: The town of Longshadow strives to educate children whose families work in the mining and smelting industries.

The Redcliff Schoolhouse has existed since the inception of Longshadow, though the building itself has been demolished and rebuilt numerous times since its creation. The legacy of the town’s founder, Jordish Redcliff, endures through the constant reconstruction and the town’s funding of the school.

The establishment is easily equivalent to any school to be found in larger settlements such as Skelt or Tamran.

The Redcliff Schoolhouse’s greatest claim to fame is the free education it provides for the children of local workers. Teens seeking education in Longshadow’s prominent industries (namely mining and smelting) make up a large segment of the school’s student body. A half-dozen instructors, supported by various industry-veteran adjuncts, compose the teaching staff of the facility. Headmaster Klemens Dracht (LE male human wizard 5) is the current overseer of the Redcliff Schoolhouse, which he uses more as a personal study than as a place of education. Much of the headmaster’s current seclusion relates to his acquisition of several tomes from a Varisian convoy passing through Longshadow. The contents of the tomes are a mystery to all but Klemens, though eager students have caught a glimpse of a tome supposedly made of leathery flesh and bound in bone.

18. Cerisum Manor: This dust-strewn, abandoned manor once housed numerous Chelish, and later Molthuni, nobles. At the declaration of Nirmathi independence, the family who owned it fled, leaving their worldly possessions within. No locals wanted to be associated with the manor, nor has any town effort been made to maintain or restore it. Schoolchildren play daytime games where they dare one another to run into the house and remain there for a set time before leaving. The games haven’t led to any problems, mainly because—as any Longshadow youth could tell you— the house becomes only haunted at night. What causes the lights to go on in the manor afer sundown may be a mystery to the children, but several citizens speak of worshipers of Razmir meeting in secret due to Nirmathi scorn of their so-called Living God.

HOLLOW HILLS MINING VILLAGES

The following is a small selection of villages and hamlets located within the Hollow Hills region.

Kusker Farm (Population 23): The lands surrounding Kusker are little more than a family operated farm. A half-dozen workers assist with operations of a small dairy operation, along with herding sheep throughout nearby pastures. Albrecht Shinter (N male middleaged human commoner 4) runs the farm and recently made the diffcult choice of secretly surrendering one of his workers to a resident tribe of ogres that threatened his holdings. He fears the ogres will return for more “playthings,” and that he’ll run out of workers—after which the ogres might instead take his family.

Lawson (Population 180): Miners from across the Hollow Hills come to Lawson for its lively festivals. The village is known for hosting a different festival at the end of every work week, each uniquely themed. The current trend of festivals involves parades depicting different Inner Sea nations. Participants wear devilish costumes for Cheliax one week, only to switch to drinking horns and furs during their celebration of the Lands of the Linnorm Kings the next. These continual attractions drain much of the nearby miners’ wealth, but allow the village to thrive despite its otherwise remote location.

Old Rugged (Population 37): A brewery constructed by miners and dating back to the times of Chelish rule, the Old Rugged stands tall atop a hill. While some of those employed here reside in Longshadow, Lawson, or Red Stem, others lodge in the brewery’s outbuildings, along with a score of miners who work nearby. Visitors from afar come to enjoy the beer brewed here, which is also a popular purchase among Longshadow’s citizens and local miners alike.

Red Stem (Population 45): The hamlet of Red Stem is built around a single crossing of paths, nestled between several of the regional hills. A small inn bearing the same name as the hamlet rests at the crossroads.

Miners come to Red Stem most often for sundries from its general goods shop. ==HOLLOW HILLS REGION== True to its name, the Hollow Hills is an area riddled with subterranean caverns and tunnels wrought by humanoid hands. Hill-strewn plains, rock escarpments, and the remnants of old industrial equipment litter the region. Those completing the hike to the apex of a hill discover larger hills on the horizon, with few areas of note interspersed between. The hills’ obfuscation of important landmarks and sites makes it something of an explorer’s paradise for adventuring parties, who scale each hill eager to be rewarded with an eagle’s-eye view of the next set of sites to explore.

The Hollow Hills region acts not only as a treasure trove of useful minerals, but also as a haven for a variety of creatures seeking to hide from civilization. With so many monstrous creatures in the area naturally prone to violence, there’s an increased need for security— particularly in the form of adventurers.

The following are several sites of note within the Hollow Hills region.

Carrion Brides’ Roost: Harpies have had little direct effect on the people of the Hollow Hills, mostly due to the cunning leadership of the region’s sole harpy flight, the Carrion Brides. These avian humanoids stalk other monstrous creatures terrorizing the Hollow Hills, leaving the humans of Longshadow and the resident miners in relative peace. This unique coexistence began just over 2 decades ago, when the current matron Parvona (NE harpy sorcerer 6/arcane archer 4) seized leadership of the Carrion Brides afer shooting through the previous matron’s wings mid flight. While the other harpies were unimpressed with her edict to leave the humans unmolested, none contested the immediate positive effect it had on their safety.

The harpies currently maintain a defensible home along the base of the Mindspin Mountains at the northwestern border of the Hollow Hills. This roost is entirely inaccessible by land travel, requiring flight or expert climbing gear in order to reach it. Carrion Bride patrols guard the single entry perch, though several human-sized access shafs lead into and out of the cavern portion of the complex. While otherwise unguarded, these vent tunnels have been rigged with various traps meant to hamper intruders while still allowing the harpies a means of escape. Within the cave are numerous personal quarters, as well as a sizable den for Matron Parvon.a A shrine at the far end of the cave is dedicated to the goddess Lamashtu. Adriaonis (CE harpy cleric of Lamashtu 8) dutifully tends to the shrine, though her nightmare-riddled sleep warns her of an approaching storm, and that the Carrion Brides will need to stand against the humans of Longshadow—regardless of what Matron Parvona thinks.

Domain of the Chitinous Queen: Giant ants are considered one of the more dangerous threats to mining operations in the Hollow Hills. Mining crews take extreme caution when in the process of excavating new tunnels for fear of stumbling upon an active nest.

The ants found the plethora of abandoned tunnels in the region a convenient nesting site, and these vermin have made great gains in the underground of the Hollow Hills. How these giant ants frst came to the Hollow Hills is unknown, though it occurred centuries ago, despite claims of Molthuni involvement.

A powerful gremlin known as the Chitinous Queen (LN female giant nuno asceticB5 monk 11) is the subject of local myth, and is blamed for many accidental deaths or unexplained disasters. Adventurers and miners alike have, over the years, run afoul of a unique magical curse from disrupting the anthills within the queen’s domain. This curse causes wounds to scab over with chitin similar to that of an ant’s head. More than just a visual quirk, the chitin growths also prevent natural healing, leading the cursed individual to suffer violent bleeding from subsequent wounds. While powerful magic can overcome the curse, many make pilgrimages to seek out the Chitinous Queen and offer her tribute in exchange for the curse’s removal. The gremlin is said to move between the Hollow Hills’ dozens of giant-ant colonies, making her difcult to fnd. Those familiar with the curse have learned that if an aficted individual pours molten metal into a container, the metal runs in the direction of the Chitinous Queen.

Several of Longshadow’s smelters allow use of their facilities for this purpose—though at a high price, of course.

Lost Mines: Just over 200 years ago, one of the Hollow Hills’ most lucrative mines simply vanished. Even the mine’s original name has seemingly disappeared from historical records, though several unscrupulous merchants offer maps that supposedly reveal its location—at an exorbitant price. Those who follow the tremendously rare maps that show the true location of the Lost Mines fnd no rents in the earth, and no indication that a mining site ever existed. The Lost Mines have become a folk tale passed down through generations, and have even evolved over the years into a clever marketing tool for Longshadow to attract adventurers seeking to get rich quick. Every year, dozens of adventuring parties set out to scour the Hollow Hills in search of the Lost Mines—and inevitably at least several of these fail to return, only adding more fuel to the rumors surrounding the mines.

Several somewhat credible leads regarding the Lost Mines have sprung up in recent years. The dwarven Ninth Battalion’s leader, Charak Helmrunner, is in possession of several ancient documents that mention feuding tribes of orcs and goblins involved in a conflict near the former site of the mines. Charak maintains an ongoing interest in clues relating to the Lost Mines and fears that the location’s disappearance is part of some elaborate orc plot. For unknown reasons, the Dancing Hut of Baba Yaga (Pathfnder Campaign Setting: Artifacts & Legends 20) contains a confguration to reach the mines. What reason the Queen of Witches had to create an entrance to the Lost Mines is a mystery, but it’s entirely possible, given Baba Yaga’s incredible power, that she was responsible for the mines’ vanishing in the frst place.

Lunar Watchers: For the past millennia, a mysterious group of robed giants have made camp in the Hollow Hills twice per year at regular intervals. Most times, the giants pass peacefully, but their earliest recorded arrivals were laden with conflict. Eventually, the people of Longshadow discovered the giants’ comings and goings matched the equinoxes and solstices attributed to important lunar phases. By temporarily halting their smelting around these times, the residents of Longshadow saved themselves from the ire of the wandering giants. The last time Longshadow’s inhabitants neglected this important industrial ritual, the giants manipulated a marauding band of ogres into assaulting the northern gates of the town; the assault was stopped only due to the timely intervention of several experienced Pathfnders.

The giants are a cult of moon giants (Pathfnder RPG Bestiary 5 122) under the leadership of a potent oracle named Xadvatharium (LN male moon giant oracleAPG of heavens 12). They visit to the Hollow Hills at regular intervals to observe particular lunar and celestial patterns in the night sky. In years past, when Longshadow’s foundries and smelters clogged the heavens with smog, the giants have grown agitated, and while they rarely attack the nearby town themselves, their empathic emanations have sent scores of other nearby monstrous humanoids in wild assaults against the town. Xadvatharium has spent centuries carving lunar records into his flesh, and he believes observing only one more cycle will enable him to unlock the complex stellar enigma his cult researches. Should the giants’ view be obstructed, whether because Longshadow’s residents decide to suddenly end their practice of ceasing operations during the moon giants’ arrival, or in the event of a catastrophic event such as a siege, Xadvatharium’s rage would surely be irrepressible.

Navah’s Tower: This infamous tower stands roughly 40 miles northeast of Longshadow. Navah, a changeling wizard with a keen interest in monster-related research, is the current inhabitant of the tower. Her tower is further described on page 27 of this adventure.

Ogre Holes: The Burl family leads the majority of ogres in the whole of western Nirmathas. Their deplorable actions directly led to their eviction from the Mindspin Mountains over 50 years ago. A coalition of mountain-dwelling fre giants forced the Burls and several subservient ogre families out of the mountains, all under the guidance of the red dragon Gamrestrax (who many believe was acting under influence from Molthune). With nowhere else to go, the ogres fled into the Hollow Hills, where they established dozens of familial dwellings within abandoned mine shafs and began to terrorize the countryside.

Today, the denizens of these so-called “ogre holes” plague the people of Longshadow and the miners of the Hollow Hills. Most ogre families laze within these forgotten mines for months or years on end; but occasionally—and far too frequently for the liking of miners—they emerge to unleash their depravity on settlements and mining outposts. Members of the Burl family are easily the worst offenders among the ogres.

Their extensive family line spreads across no fewer than four abandoned mines. Lately, word is abuzz in the Hollow Hills that their patriarch, Grand Pappy Burl (CE venerable male ogre brawlerACG 7), is organizing a “Family Reunion,” an event that, if it is not stopped, is sure to be awash with the blood and suffering of the people of the Hollow Hills.

Pylon Rock: This tall, narrow rock formation rises from the top of an otherwise bare mound at the northern edge of the Hollow Hills. The height and width of the column shifs sporadically, sometimes remaining static for years before changing dramatically several nights in a row. Theories as to the megalith’s origin and purpose abound, ranging from claims that it was built by Azlanti explorers before Earthfall to scientifc hypotheses of abnormal erosion, seismic activity, and errant castings of stone shape.

In truth, the rock is the result of centuries of countless earth mephits molding the structure with their sofen earth and stone spell-like ability. The creatures most ofen stay beneath the hill, in a series of vast but isolated caverns where they constantly try to outdo one another with their creative and sometimes dangerous sculptures, including precariously balanced platforms, walkways, and deep pits with spiraling spikes on their walls and floors. Occasionally, one mephit breaches the surface during its molding efforts, and upon seeing the vertical rock, endeavors to alter it in some way—whether by changing its shape or texture—to make its mark on this inviting structure. [1]

Références

  1. 1,0, 1,1 et 1,2 Pathfinder - [EN] - Adventure Path - (PZO90117] - 20 - Ironfang Invasion - 03 - Assault on Longshadow