Thursday, March 26, 2015

[Cold Frontier] Locations of the East - Pool of Darkness, Forest Witch, and Dead Village

Since I filled up the starting map of the Cold Frontier last time, let's start with a new one! Since the player characters are currently planning to move east, we add locations to that area next.

In this lonely hill region, there is a cave covered by dark vapors. There is always one of the Five Sisters of the nearby Silver Bird Tribe guarding this cave, warning trespassers away from this site of death and darkness. She can animate the nearby trees to help her defend the cave entrance from those who refuse to listen, though she may be willing to let others enter the cave if their need is urgent and their cause righteous. The cave itself is covered by impenetrable, magical darkness which resists magical sources of light and effectively blocks all visual senses - even of those who can otherwise see in the dark. Inside the cave entrance, several dire bats lair. Further in, the explorers will encounter a strange hexagonal structure originally built by the mothmen in order to perfect their soul collecting process, though its purpose is hard to decipher without vision. At the very center there is a large crystal which collects energy in the form of soul fragments representing dark emotions, and the spillover creates the permanent darkness in the complex - and it will also animate skeletal monstrosities from the many bones scattered within it. It may be possible to drain energy from this crystal with the right techniques, but doing so will attract the attention of the Mothman and result in visions of it as long as contact is maintained.

On an island deep within the inland swamps is where Moranna the Forest Witch can usually be found. She lives within the corpse of a colossal bandersnatch, perhaps the biggest of its kind, which she has animated with the help of plant magics. Guests who want to visit her will have to walk into the creature's mouth and pass through its throat before reaching her quarters. Moranna herself once came from the eastern realm of Gorchov in the Old World, from where she left after a dispute with her sister. She is no longer human, if she ever was, and maintains her life by jumping into the bodies of women who made deals with her. As one of the most potent magic-users on the continent, she is sometimes sought out by the desperate - although she always exacts a heavy price, such as one's soul or first-born child, or something else the petitioner will eventually regret deeply.

20 miles east of the Ghost Crab Village, a small Coastal Tribe village has lain abandoned for more than 50 winters. This was the result of warfare between the village - then called the Yellow Seal Village - and the Wolverine Tribe. The village was massacred, and the few survivors joined the nearby villages, while the Wolverine Tribe suffered heavy losses, and later reformed as the Silver Bird tribe. Ghosts of those slain on that day still linger. Recently, a puckwudgie has decided to make the village its lair, and started to control the ghosts. It has also begun to animate local animals to serve as zombie and skeleton minions. It eventually plans to unleash its creatures against one of the local villages for its own sadistic pleasures, but it knows that the villages are still too powerfully protected for the time being.

Note: A list of all Cold Frontier-related posts can be found here.