Monday, July 18, 2011

Oerthly Encounters Red Hanlan & Black Harris Part 6

#5 Kalib, human male, (5th Level Fighter) twin brother of Kalife
STR 18/89, INT 8, WIS 8, CON 17, HP 41, AL LE

AGE 30

Physical Description:

Kalib has a fringe of dark hair around this head but is otherwise bald. He has a heavy, black beard and mustache. 6"4' tall he is very heavy and very muscular, muscle-bound actually. He has tattoos over his right arm and shoulder. Across the right side of his chest is the tattoo of a demon showing half of its face. He has a large wide scar starting at the top ofhis forehead and running across the left side of his head.

He wears a large black poncho when on a raid with a chainmail shirt underneath. The poncho is simply a thick piece of cloth dyed black with a hole cut for his head and a belt across his waist. Over his face he wears the mask of a grinning pig-like face.

His normal wear is worn farmer garb. He dislikes his chainmail shirt and only wears it on raids or when Black Harris tells him to.


Kalib was born on a farm in Furyondy, His mother died in child birth and his father took it out on Kalib and his brother Kalife. At age12 the pair beat their father to death, gathered what money and belongings were on the farm and left.

They were quickly caught and placed in a prison where they were even more quickly sold as workers for a nobleman's farm. The life actually suited them. The nobleman was smart enough to recognize strong arms and weak minds, and violent tempers.

At age 16 the pair had grown from oversized murderous children togigantic musclebound adults. The nobleman had them trained, as much as possible, in the art of combat, and kept them on as bodyguards, and since he dabbled in the free market of the underworld, as enforcers as well.

After a few years the pairs' brutal methods became too much for the nobleman and he passed on his dangerous employees to a traveling merchant and fence for stolen goods. In their early twenties they ended up working as hired thugs living in the Old Town of Greyhawk, which is where they met and joined up with Black Harris.

Personality and attitude:

Kalib is loyal only to his brother and Black Harris. He and his brother have a surprising fondness for cats, dogs and horses and will not abide any form of cruelty to these animals.

If his brother is killed Kalib will stop whatever he is doing and will cradle his brother in his arms weeping and crying piteously. He will not defend himself and the shock will reduce his intelligence and personality to that of a five-year old's.

Chainmail shirt (+2)
Two handed sword +2/+3 versus Hill Giants (He is completely unaware of this aspect of the swords enchantement)
Draft Horse named Matilda

#6 Kalife, human male,( 5th Level Fighter) twin brother of Kalib
STR 18/99, INT 8, WIS 8, CON 17, HP 41, AL LE
AGE 30

Physical Description:

Kalife's appearance is similar to his brother's but he has no scar and his tattoos cover the left side of his body, a duplicate of Kalibs. He is a little more muscular but it is only apparent when the two are standing side by side.

He also wears a rough cloth poncho on raids with a shirt of chainmail underneath and a mask shaped like a donkey's with one ear is missing.

See Kalib

Personality and attitude:

Kalife is very quiet and he only talks to his brother or Black Harris. He will support either in any situation. If his brother is killed he will go into a berserk rage, ignoring wounds, and attacking his brother's killer with fanatical strength (+4 to hit/+7 to damage). He will then go on to attack anyone not a brigand who is nearby. Afterwards, If Black Harris is around he will follow him everywhere and not want to be separated from him. If both are dead he will run off and live like a wild-man or beast, and his effective INT will drop to 3.

Chainmail +2
Two-handed Bastard sword +2/ +3 versus the Undead (as with his brother he has no idea that the sword has any special enchantment except that he doesn't need to sharpen or polish it (which suits him fine).
Draft Horse named Sara

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Minstrel Tales Riddles Storm on Land


These are a collection of Anglo-Saxon riddles. The authors are unknown and the prose can be a bit obscure but they fit so well into my Greyhawk campaign that I have used them often.

Storm on Land

Who of men is ready-witted and wise enough to say
Who drives me forth on my journey,
When I arise in my strength, exceeding furious,
When I resound in my might?

Sometimes I move with malice through the land,
Shatter the people's halls, spoil the houses;
The sky rises up, grey over the roofs;
There is noise on oerth, the death-pang of men.

When I stir the wood and the druid's groves,
When covered with water, felling trees
Bearing upon my back, the dwellings of men,
The coverings of the oerth, the beasts of the land.

Say who it is who covers me,
Or what I, who bear those burdens, am called.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Oerthly Encounters Red Hanlan and Black Harris Part 5

#4 Zeffin, human male, (Level 2 Cleric) Salin's assistant
Wis 16 HP 12, AL LE, AGE 18

Physical Description:
Zeffin has the fair-haired pale-skinned looks of a Suel. He wears a closely trimmed beard and mustache. His hair is also trimmed very close to his head. He has the fine scarring, though a bit less, as that of Salin. In his case, though, it is much more noticeable. His scars show as redish lines against his pale skin, and the more recent have a purplish look to them. He is tall, 6", broad-shouldered and thin-waisted.

On raids he wore a chainmail shirt and black pants with a white, featureless face mask. He has a black ceremonial robe with a grey skull on its chest. He now wears this on raids over his chainmail. In town he dresses in his armor and plain grey or brown pants.

Zeffin is from Sterich. His family is old and established. Minor nobility. They are western nobles and after years of conflict with the humanoids of the Crystalmist and Joten Mountains they began to make deals with these creatures of evil. First it was simply allowing passage so that raiders would not attack their land, soon their descendants began acting as fences for goods which these raiders brought with them. Finally they embraced the evil which they hadallowed past their borders. Zeffin is part of a growing cult of Hextor among his father's family and retainers. He was assigned to assist Salin by the superiors of his order.

Personality and attitude:
Zeffin is a sadistic and brutal individual. He is fond of torture and would rather save a few of their victims to practice on. Occasionally the band will take a prisoner and squeeze information out of them. The brothers Kalife and Kalib had been in charge of this information gathering but Zeffin proved to have a greater skill and exuberance for such work. He is loyal to Salin and has a touch of hero worship for the successful cleric.

Horseman's mace
Heavy Warhorse: "Beast", Black, with white streaked forehead and 3 white socks

Friday, July 8, 2011

Oerthly Encounters Red Hanlan and Black Harris Part 4

#3 Salin, human male, (Level 6 Priest of Hextor)
Str 16 Int 10 Wis 16 Con 15 Dex 12 Chr 12
HP 35, AL LE, AGE:24

Physical Description:
Salin is a tall man, 6"3' with a slim sturdy build. He has a swarthy complexion and thick black hair. He has a fine network of scars over his entire body due to the practice of ritual scarring. It is part of the faith of Hextor as it was taught to him by his family and his temple. These scars form a very light spidery pattern covering his entire body. He continually adds to this with scars earned by his abilities and for participating in certain ceremonies. While to the uninitiated these scars are meaningless, they would tell a sage learned in the ways of this cult of the deity the story of Salin's life as a priest and disciple of Hextor.

Normally Salin only wears his black robes decorated with rings of grinning white skulls during ceremonies. During raids he wears a plain black robe and a white skull mask. Now he wears his robes of priesthood during raids, though he still uses the white skull-face mask. Beneath his robes he wears an enchanted shirt of chain and a steel skull cap under his mask.

In towns and villages he dresses as a fighter in his armor and plain, serviceable trousers.

Salin is a Perrinlander by birth. His father, a mercenary, was a devotee of Hextor. Salin felt a strong calling toward Hextor and was accepted as a novice, swearing an oath of blood and steel on his 14th

Salin has only been a part of Black Harris' band for the last six months (still before the breakup with Red). He was recruited by Harris in the Principality of Ulek. Salin had been involved in a mission in the Pomarj and was reporting in to his superiors at the city of Gryrax. After hearing from a young mercenary devotee, Bismon, about Black Harris and consulting his superiors, Salin volunteered his services. While not a follower himself, Black Harris respects the powers of a cleric and the warlike nature of Hextor, and gladly brought Salin into his band.

Personality and attitude:
Salin views Black Harris as a project and a potential warrior of Hextor. Red Hanlan never showed the proper respect, and his chaotic nature irritated Salin's sense of discipline. Then Salin came up with his plan, and introduced Tess, an agent of the temple, to throw discord into the friendship of these two men. Something has gone wrong. At first the plan went beyond his expectations, but Tess was supposed to assassinate Red Hanlan at her earliest opportunity. Now she seems to have gone rogue and become his partner and paramour. Salin desires the death of this traitoress with almost as much fervor as Black Harris. Her failure to complete his plan will be a mark, a physical mark, of shame.

1st) Curse/Bless, Command, Cause/Cure lt.wnds, Dark/Light, Cause/Remove Fear.
2nd) Chant, Enthrall, Flame Blade, Hold Person, Spir.Hammer.
3rd) Animate Dead, Prayer, Pyrotechnics

Chainmail +2
Hammer of Pain:
This Warhammer, usable only by those of an evil alignment, acts as a +2 weapon to hit and damage. 3 times every 24 hours its user can cause a jolt of pain which will stun an opponent for 1-3 rounds of combat (save vs rods and the victim will merely suffer a -2 on their chance to hit on the next combat round). There is a 10% chance that the pain will be inflicted upon the user every time this special ability is used (non-cumulative). Stunned victims cannot attack, cast spells, lose all dexterity bonuses and add 2 points to their AC (AC2 = AC4 while stunned)

Warhammer ( used for spiritual hammer spell, Salin keeps 2 a dozen of these among the pack animals.

Set of razor-edged knives and sharpening stone ( Salin will never use these as a weapon, they are for ritual scaring only)

Heavy War Horse : Blood, a dark reddish-brown coated stallion.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Nosnra's Cousin

When I first DM'd G1 I fleshed out the surrounding area so that Nosnra could draw on reinforcements from neighboring hill giants.

Nosnra's Cousin

Only five leagues north-east of Nosnra's steading stands the hall of Karnash, Nosnra's cousin. His is a large and ancient hall though not on the same scale as Nosnra's.

23 hill giant warriors are sworn to his service. His dire wolves are numerous and they have a fearsome reputation, his ogre retainers are loyal and well treated and have been settled in the nearby caverns for generations.

In case of trouble Nosnra would first call upon his cousin and these forces would be the first to arrive at the steading.


Karnash is a powerful hill giant, large and fierce. He is not noted for great intelligence, but he has both cunning and experience. He dotes on his pack of dire wolves and they are the envy of the hill giants of the Jotuns. These dire wolves are larger and more intelligent than the normal breed, and pups from his kennel are sought after by other hill giant clans.

He is young for a chieftain, having inherited his father's position (after defeating all challengers, including his elder brother), but he is a proven warrior and leader. His wife, Krilla, is beautiful (for a hill giantess), but not physically imposing. Karnash went on a great quest to win his bride and returned after more than a year, barely within the time limit set by her father, Geffed, a powerful chieftain himself.

In the end Karnash returned with the head of some fierce and terrible lizard, and the tale of his quest was matched by the scars he bore from it. The skull of this monster is hanging from the rafters of his hall, a testament to both his courage and the great value he set on his bride.

Karnash has five children, three daughters and two sons. His oldest boy, Kariff, is a warrior apprentice but much prefers to spend his time with the dire wolves. He is small for a hill giant, taking after his mother, and Karnash does not view him as a likely candidate for chieftain. Karoak his younger brother takes more after his father and is likely to be apprenticed years ahead of time. He is his father's favorite but is a bit of a spoiled bully, though Karnash either doesn't see it or doesn't care.

The Hall

Karnash's hall is typical of the old style hill giant steadings. A long main hall with wings branching from the ends and private quarters branching from the center of the hall. It is in remarkably good repair and one wing, including guesting chambers and expanded married quarters, is a recent addition. Karnash spends a great deal of his treasury on upkeep and expansion of his hall. Upon becoming chieftain he went to great trouble in obtaining dwarven slaves and has put them to use in both his smithy and in supervising construction of new buildings and re-enforcing the structure of the hall itself. His kennels are large and extensive and are continually growing.


Hill Giants

Karnash (chief)
23 Hill Giant Warriors (12 Married)
Krilla (Karnash's wife)
12 Hill Giantess Matrons
15 Hill Giantess Maidens
37 Hill Giant children (17 male/20 female)


The ogres live nearby in a natural and expanded system of caverns and have served the hill giants for generations. Their leader is Gruush who is only of average ogre size but is very good with the dire wolves. Karnash made it clear that the ogre chieftain is who he wants the ogre
chieftain to be, end of discussion.

17 Males Ogres
32 Female Ogresses
53 Immature Ogres (male and female)


The Bugbears live in a warren of huts outside the main hall. The slave compound, similar to, but not as nice as the kennels, is between the outer wall of the hall and the bugbears' huts. A combination of factors whittled down the original clan of bugbears and recently Karnash induced (after only a handful of fatalities) a large tribe from the outlying hills to take up residence outside his hall. The survivors from the original tribe ( the Bloodyffangs ) are a down-beaten lot and are considering wholesale desertion. The new tribe (the Bone Crackers) are not very pleased to have joined the hill giants' service but their newly appointed chief ( the old one now just a smear under Karnash's boots) is smart enough not to show it. They've been taking out their anger on the Bloody Fang tribe who Karnash seems to have forgotten about.

17 Bugbears (The Bloody Fangs)
72 Bugbears (The Bone Crackers)
112 Bugbearlets +/- (high mortality rate)

Dire Wolves

The dire wolves live in a set of kennels built next to an outer wall of the hall. Karnash has a private entrance into the kennels from his personal quarters. These wolves are extremely well treated and well fed. Karnash as well as the other hill giants of his hall take them hunting on a daily basis. More than most other steadings Karnash's supplies itself by hunting rather than herding. A good percentage of hill giants and ogres will be out on the hunt continually, some arriving and some departing at all times. The pack is led by Fang and Claw, Fang is a gigantic dire wolf twice the size of an average dire wolf, but almost a lap dog when he is around Karnash who raised him from a pup. He is usually found at his master's side and will be at Karnash's feet during any meal. Claw is Fang's mate, a huge dire wolf bitch. She is young and has produced only two litters so far.

Fang, Claw
77 Dire Wolves
128 pups +/- ( pups are a source of trade with other Hill Giants)


Karnash considers his slaves as a resource and because of this they are actually treated much better than the average slave held by hill giants. He especially prizes dwarves for their usefulness as smiths,
engineers and masons. He is always interested in obtaining dwarven slaves. Karnash will always lame one leg of a newly acquired dwarven slave ( by severing the tendons) some will then die from infection and some will fight (hopelessly) to the death rather than allow this to happen. Since these rebellious fellows make poor slaves anyway Karnash sees this as a win/win situation. The dwarven slaves are kept in a special stone building next to the smithy and are segregated from the other slaves. They provide the know-how and skilled hands while the other slaves provide the blood and sweat. Because of this they are hated by the other slaves, sometimes more than the hill giants themselves.

The rest of the slaves are mainly orcs but there are a smattering of humans as well. The humans have banded together as much as they can and are led by a cleric who has managed to keep his abilities hidden from his hill giant owners as well as the orc slaves.

11 Dwarven Slaves (all lame in one leg)
183 Orc Slaves
39 Humans slaves
(1 cleric, 1 high level ftr {unknown to anyone except the cleric}, 3 mid-level ftrs, 7 low level ftrs)


Recently the hall has been seeing more and more guests arriving. Some come to trade, others to seek alliance or mediation with Nosnra and feel safer talking with Karnash first, while some bring slaves to sell.

At the time of module G1 Karnash has a group of 3 hill giants who have brought 5 dwarven slaves to trade for some of the dire wolf pups. Another male hill giant who has come to seek permission to go on a betrothal quest for one of the hill giantess maidens of Karnash's hall. Lastly, a neighbors son with 5 other hill giants and 12 ogres have arrived to go on a hunt in woods to the south which are shared by both Karnash and his neighbor.

Reaction Force

If Nosnra summons help Karnash will respond immediately. He will go in person and leave the hall in the charge of his sub chief and leave 5 of his own (disappointed) hill giant warriors behind.

Some hill giants will always be out hunting and Karnash himself hunts at least once a week, but his sub-chief will respond as Karnash would, except that he would send 1 hill giant out after Karnash and leave the most experienced hill giant warrior behind at the hall while he took the rest out to aid Nosnra.

1D4+5 Hill Giants, 1D4+4 Ogres and 1D10+12 Dire Wolves will be out hunting at any given time. These hunters will follow the first group to relieve Nosnra (though 5 will relieve the other 5 left behind
by the first group, since now it's their turn to be disappointed)

17 of His Hill Giants ( 1d4+5 hill giants out hunting)
10 Hill Giant Guests
15 Ogre retainers ( 1D4+4)
12 Ogres ( his guests' retainers)
Fang, Dire Wolf Pack Leader
40 Dire Wolves ( -1D10+12)