The Barrowbrook Frontier
Campaign worlds, whether published or just notes scrawled on a wiki, are full of a lot of crap that most players just don’t care about. So here’s twenty questions that even the most ardent stick-jock wants to know the answers to.
1. Where can we go to buy standard equipment?
The city of Mistwick has shops, smiths, stores and merchants to cover all of your basic adventuring needs. It sits on what used to be a prominent trade route, so prices are very reasonable.
2. Where can I find an alchemist, sage, or other expert NPC?
Mistwick, again, is sufficiently well-populated that experts of virtually every stripe can be found there. If someone of sufficient expertise cannot be found in Mistwick, then Pelunion would be the next likely stop, a day’s travel up the Old Spice Road.
There is rumored to be a very wise, very ancient sage living at the base of the Twin Titans, but that part of the western woods is treacherous.
3. Which way to the nearest tavern?
Mistwick features thirty restaurants, taverns and inns, with prices to suit any budget. Reputable adventurers tend to frequent the Drunken Champion, while more unsavory types prefer the Seedy and Dim.
4. Where can I go to hire mercenaries?
You could try the taverns and bars in Mistwick, but the more noted mercenary crews tend to frequent Hell’s Way Inn, a few hours south of Mistwick along the Old Spice Road. The lawless lands on which it is situated, combined with the atmosphere of revelry sternly enforced by the three brothers who run the inn, creates an environment very favorable to rough-and-ready types.
5. What is there to eat around here?
For adventurers, there are ample cuisines available in Mistwick’s many restaurants, and Hell’s Way provides for more exotic tastes. For those rustic types, bush meat is readily available in the grasslands and forests of Barrowbrook and the Southern Reaches. Care must be taken, however, as the deer and boar of Barrowbrook belong to the king, and the elves of Brightwood Forest protect their borders diligently.
6. Where can we go to get platemail custom-fitted for this monster I just befriended?
The best smith in the region is Raznor, who runs a foundry and smithy in the foothills of the Marblecrest Mountains. He is the only dwarf in the whole world who drinks, and is the kind of mad genius who would love to take on an odd job like bulette armor.
7. Where can we go to get some magical healing?
The local chapter of the Knights Hospitaler provide affordable healing services. They are a neutral organization, and are capable of handling both divine and arcane healing needs. There is a chapterhouse in Mistwick at the edge of the Bazaar district.
8. Where can we go to get cures for the following conditions: poison, disease, curse, level drain, lycanthropy, polymorph, alignment change, death, or undeath?
Basic restoration would be available at just about any organized, good-aligned temple; there are seven such temples in Mistwick. The aforementioned Knights Hospitaler are able to handle poison, disease and death, as well.
Curses cannot be removed magically; each curse has its own specific condition for removal.
Lycanthropy can be removed by anyone who knows the appropriate ritual, though a rare mushroom known as the Cup of Proteus is needed.
There are over a dozen clerics in Mistwick who are powerful enough to grant atonement for ill deeds committed under magical compulsion or alignment change.
9. What is the deal with my cleric’s religion?
See the section on Religion for a top-level explanation. What “the deal” is with your particular cleric’s religion is going to depend on which of the numberless gods and powers your cleric worships.
10. Is there a magic guild my wizard, sorcerer or other caster belongs to or could join in order to get more spells?
Short answer, not at this time. Arcane magic on Parthenos is at something of a nadir right now due to the influence of the Ostral-B. Most wizards are solitary scholars or mad hermits, and most sorcerers make their way by selling their services to powerful nobles in exchange for the protection a title offers.
11. Who is the mightiest wizard in the land?
The High Court Vizier of the Ostral-B Pair, Thrasymachus, is widely owned to be the most powerful wizard in the world. He lives in the fantastic city of Pheeds, amidst the riches of the Diamond Towers.
12. Who is the greatest warrior in the land?
There are several contenders for the title of “greatest warrior.” Depending on who you ask, the answer would be Illsacht the Beast-Walker, General Vorlax of the Ostral-B Pair, or a three-way tie between the Brothers Morgodos of Hell’s Way.
13. Who is the richest person in the land?
That would undoubtedly be Sethet, the Living God of the Ostral-B Pair. While he barely qualifies as a “person,” his personal wealth is the wealth of the empire and is therefore incalculable.
If you’d rather something a bit more local, the richest man in Mistwick is Brozwick Gainsborough, heir to the Gainsborough spice trade empire.
14. Are there any places on the map where swords are illegal, magic is outlawed or any other notable hassles from the law?
Well, apart from the poaching in Barrowbrook, not really. Weapons are not permitted in the presence of the King of Barrowbrook, Garalane IV, and unregistered arcane magic is outlawed in the lands of the Ostral-B Pair, but beyond that, there isn’t much that the wandering adventurer has to pay mind to.
15. Are there any secret societies with sinister agendas I could join and/or fight?
16. Are there any wars brewing I could go fight?
The Ostral-B Pair are in a period of quiescence, and the elves have closed their borders after the end of the Long War. Other than occasional goblin incursions, the world is presently relatively quiet.
17. How about gladiatorial arenas complete with hard-won glory and fabulous cash prizes?
Yeah maybe. Hadn’t given this one a lot of thought. Tell you what, if you’re really interested in gladiatorial arenas then talk to me about it and I’ll see about making something up.
18. Where is the nearest dragon or other monster with a hoard?
There are known to be dragons in Shadowlight Moor, and there are no doubt dragons in the Marblecrest Mountains. But the real prize is what is colloquially known to local sailors as Forlorn Castle, a giantish ruin situated atop the cliffs on Murron Island. On stormy days, smoke can be seen rising from deep within the ruin…
19. What monsters are terrorizing the countryside sufficiently that if I kill them I will become famous?
Well, no monsters per se, but convincing the Zardoz-K to stop their raids, either through diplomacy or force of arms, would be quite a feat. Likewise, Lord Blackwood has been a sinister presence on the borders of the kingdom for many years now.
20. Any legendary lost treasures I could be looking for?
Much of the world’s treasure has been claimed by the Ostral-B Pair during their various wars of conquest. The elves are not known for losing treasure, and the goblins are not known for having much of it to begin with. The giantish records are incomplete, though there are rumors of great riches hidden in lost ruins.
Finally, there are the local legends of a treasure beyond reckoning lost in the depths of the dungeons beneath Forlorn Castle…