The Glooming Isle: Background

This page will contain resources for the players, such as story background, maps, legends, and other info. I have a brief overview of the world of Hârn, called Common Knowledge.

melderyn map

Legends

Here's some legends that the players may have heard. Some legends are pure myth, others have the seeds of truth in them. They are never accurate. A few may, or may not, have any bearing on the campaign.

Lamp of the Ancients

High in the Sorkin Mountains, there is a place where strange flashing lights arc into the heavens. Nearby is an ancienct wall of Dwarvish make. Barbarian legend says that the gods meet at Telumar to discuss the foolish ways of men, and where their divine edicts are written to "keep the world sane." A mysterious "Keeper of the Lamp" is said to inhabit Telumar.

There is a poem written on the dwarven wall in an archaic tongue. There are significant Morgathian overtones in the rhyme. It says in part:

Those who seek the rule of dark and welcome steps of death,
Speak of the heart that longs for doom and rives the tears away.
Those souls, unshriven, cry for ease to Demon King, Vinreth;
And find no joy in form or mind, that kith or kin array,
Far more than power gifted to those stripped of living breath.

So come ye here, O mortal men, and leave the path of woe,
Bring forth the might of He Who Thirsts, smother all thy dread.
Full bold forsaker of the heart who loses fear and foe
And gives himself and friends forsworn 'til man and death are wed
And drinks the wind of absecessed soul debasing all his trow.

The Riddlemaster

At Anrist Point in the north of Hârn has a miraculous pool of hot springs. It is said that bathing in the pool can heal all ailments, even that of old age.

But the pool is guarded by a terrible monster known as the Riddlemaster. This beast will challenge all who approach with the words "riddle thee thrice". All who answer the three riddles are permitted to bathe in the pool, but are under geas never to reveal the Riddlemaster's secrets. Those who fail to answer the riddles are eaten.

The Heart That Broods

In ancient times the Elves ruled the island of Hârn. But humans breed far faster than the elder people, and came to outnumber them. Then King Daelda took his people and hid themselves away in forested Evael.

But some elves broke off from Daelda. Their leader was the sorceress Gwydriel, who spoke out against the king, and vowed to fight the "barbarians" until all mortal kind were slain. She took her followers and hid in the darker groves and forest and brooded.

It is said that the dark elves, the Morsindar, will steal human babies from the cradle and raise them as their own, to fight against their true parents. It is also said that it was the Morsindar who unleashed the Red Death upon the Thard Valley. Other schemes they have as well in their ageless hatred of all mankind.

Sword of Calsten

The Sword of Calsten is one of the more famous swords of Hârnic history. It was owned by King Calsten, who fought with the Dwarves against the Gargun. It passed down the line of Kaldor kings, and was used to dub knights of the realm.

The Sword of Calsten has spent many centuries among the most treasured items of Kaldor. That is, until it was stolen by thieves fifty years ago right out of the Royal Treasury. Torastra, the King of Kaldor at the time, received word that the Sword had been sold in open market to a noble in Chybisa. Using the Sword as a pretense for war, Torastra invaded the tiny Kingdom of Chybisa and a short war known as the Treasure War ensued. After a seige of several years, Torastra conquered Chybisa.

With Melderyn's help, the exiled royalty of Chybisa regained their kingdom, but in turn broke fealty with Melderyn. The Sword of Calsten has never been found.