|| DRAGONQUEST Newsletter March/April 2001
|| Volume 6 / Number 3
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C O N T E N T S [v6/n03]
Editorial -- Mechanicians and Alchemists Wanted
Frontiers of Alusia Explored: Gryphon Valley -- Jason Winter
The East and West Bounders
Beast Mistress Phiraz Stalsil and her Gryphon Hunters -- Jason
DragonQuest NET: DragonQuest Players Association
EDITORIAL: Mechanicians and Alchemists Wanted
Once again, there is not a lot of new material being submitted for
upcoming DragonQuest Newsletters. Rather than putting out a general
request for new material of any sort (although I will gladly take
any new submissions), I thought I might stimulate some fresh ideas
by making a couple of specific requests.
I would like to do an upcoming special issue on Mechanicians and
Alchemists (or, if I get *really* lucky, a special issue on each).
There is a lot of potential in both of these skills, but there is
not a lot of guidance as to what sorts of things these two
professions can build. There must be lots of things out there from
various campaigns that different PC Mechanicians and Alchemists
have built or created.
Send us your ideas of things that you, or your PCs, or that other
characters have had in your campaigns, and we'll put together a list
of useful items. This doesn't need to be more than just a sentence
or two, so everyone can contribute! Other things that are related
to these two skills, as well, will be useful.
FRONTIERS OF ALUSIA EXPLORED: Gryphon Valley and the East and West
-- Jason Winter <Alarian@u...>
This section of the Newsletter will take a new section of the lands
of Alusia each month and better define it. In addition, it will
attempt to give one or two unique locations that can be found in the
region and define them as well.
This month, we bring you Gryphon Valley and The East and West
TERRAIN TYPE: Plain
DANGER LEVEL: Extreme
ENCOUNTER FREQUENCY: 2
ENCOUNTER CHANCE: 40%
ENCOUNTER TABLE MODIFICATION: +25
The East/West Bounders
TERRAIN TYPE: (Rough/Mountainous)
DANGER LEVEL: High
ENCOUNTER FREQUENCY: 6
ENCOUNTER CHANCE: 25%
ENCOUNTER TABLE MODIFICATION: +10
Gryphon Valley and the surrounding mountains make up a vast
area in Alusia, covering an area of approximately 100 square miles.
It is a shallow valley named for the creature that inhabits it. Due
to the large numbers of these creatures that inhabit the valley, it is
also almost totally uninhabited by humanoid life. As such, all non-
animal encounters in the region as well as the surrounding mountains
should read as encounters with Gryphons. The area known as Gryphon's
Gate, should use the encounter tables from Gryphon Valley.
If it wasn't for the Gryphons themselves, this valley would
be a very pleasant place to live. It is warm much of the year and
the soil is rich and fertile. By the time summer comes to an end,
the plains grasses of the land reach a height of 4-5 feet throughout
much of the valley. It is over and in these grasses that the Gryphons
spend much of their days, either searching for prey or feasting on
their catches. In the evening, they return to their nests located in
the mountains that surround the valley. It is only because of the
richness of the valley that an animal population can still survive
and actually prosper even with the heavy hunting of the Gryphons of
Other than the vast sea of grass, there are only a few points
of interest in the valley. The first is a ruined village called Stony
Meadows and is near the point on the map called Stony Ford and the
is located at the point Called Gryphon's Gate.
[See graphics file]
This is the location of the first (and only) known attempt of
the valley by humanoids. The attempt was made approximately 40 years
ago and the village they attempted to establish was called Stony
It only lasted several years, at which point the few remaining
abandoned the project and returned back to more hospitable lands.
is known about the life of the village is this. The people were
from the region of The Braxtor Holding and were aware of the dangers
faced them before they left. But with the leadership of a band of
mercenaries known as Triaglafron's Fist they thought they could
in keeping the gryphons at bay. They were wrong. While it's true
during the next two years, over 100 gryphons were killed, over 60% of
100 or so villagers were lost as well as 80% of the twenty-five man
mercenary band. It was a bloody two years with the constant threat of
attack. By the second year most of the survivors rarely ventured
Fields went fallow from the fear of being attacked while attempting to
attend to them and it was even said that on several occasions the
attacked the villagers while they were hidden inside their homes. All
all it was a spectacular failure. About the only "successful"
remains today from their attempt is a stone ford that crosses the
Mirimar next to the abandoned village. It is the only place in the
where the river may be crossed easily. All that remains of the
itself, are the ruins of several stone buildings, and the almost
unrecognizable rotting remains of a dozen or so other buildings along
shore of the river.
Gryphon's Gate is the only easily accessible path into Gryphon
Valley. At its widest point, it's approximately 3 miles across, and
for a little over 10 miles. While not a simple or easy journey, it is
only way that one could bring wagons or other larger such objects
valley. While the mountains in the region rise sharply to a height of
approximately eight-thousand feet in this area, the pass has a gentle
to a height of twenty-five hundred feet before beginning it's decent
down into the valley. It is through this pass that the Beastmistress
Stalsil and her group of Gryphon Hunters enter the valley when they
capture Gryphon and Gryphon eggs to take back to the city of Braxtor
training and sale. (See Locations of Interest below for more
on her and her group.) Other than the relative ease in which you can
the valley, there is little else of interest here.
THE EAST/WEST BOUNDERS
The East and West Bounders are simply the regions that "bound"
Valley. It is a rocky mountainous region with little plant or animal
The peaks of the mountains are cold and snow covered most of the year,
valleys rocky and lifeless. The main features of interest in these
though are the countless caves and openings that fill the region. It
unknown how so many caves came to be in these areas, but most believe
were not naturally formed. Because of the great abundance of the
these regions, the Gryphons of the Valley have countless places to
their homes. It is unknown just how many Gryphons there are that
Bounders and Valley, but many scholars believe it to be close to
Even with the high numbers of Gryphons in the region, here in the
bounders where cover is much easier to find, there are humanoids that
found hidden away deep in the caves under the mountains. These
commonly known as the Bounder Orcs. (See Locations of Interest below
information on these groups.)
The only other point of interest in the region lies in the West
It is a trail that was discovered many years ago that allows passage
Braxtor Holding into Gryphon Valley. It isn't large enough for
during the two years that Stony Meadow was in existence, several
pack horses successfully made the trek over the mountains.
It should be noted that while the gryphons main hunting lands is
Gryphon Valley, it's not unheard of for gryphons to attack the
the farms in southern regions on The Braxtor Holding. Reports come in
or twice a year of such attacks, but fortunately frequent or regular
are extremely rare.
Locations of Interest
Beast Mistress Phiraz Stalsil and her Gryphon Hunters
See separate article below.
The Bounder Orcs
The orc Tribes of the Bounder regions and many and varied. All
characteristics though. Below is given an example of a typical tribe.
The Bloodtooth clan is lead by a ruthless leader by the name of
has been leader of the clan for the past two years after defeat its
This is the way leadership has been determined in the clan as far back
as anyone can
remember (which isn't far). The caves they call home were moved into
about the same
time Karok took command. It was after he discovered the caves that he
he was ordained to be leader and attacked and killed the old leader.
Karok isn't a good leader, but he is strong. There have been
quite a few
attempts of overthrowing him since he has taken command due to his
skills, but as of yet, no one has been able to defeat him. Currently
there are 37
members of his tribe. 14 adult males, 18 adult females and the rest
under the age of 10.
People of Note:
PS: 24 AG: 24 MD:21 MA: 3
WP: 15 EN: 21 FT: 22 PC: 12
PB: 7 TMR: 6
Skills: Short Sword: 5
Unarmed Combat: 4
Equipment of note:
Pouch of gemstones he keeps hidden in his sleeping furs worth 600sp.
Karok is not the most intelligent, even as orcs go. If it wasn't for
strength and agility, he would have been killed long ago for his
inability to lead his clan. But, what motivational skills he lacks
with his words,
he makes up for in violence. In the two years since he has taken
leadership of the
clan, he has killed no less than seven tribe members for failing to
listen to his
orders. Those seven don't include those that failed to take over
leadership of the
tribe either. Because of this, his clan is in a slow decline. In the
months, nine members have slipped away in the night to seek better
elsewhere. In its current state, the clan has a little more than
members it had two years ago when he took over. He is aware of this
and it bothers
him to no end. It is also part of the reason he lashes out so
violently against the
others to fail to follow him. He blames all the current troubles of
the clan on the
their unwillingness to follow him unquestionably.
I have included some maps this time of some of the areas of interest.
You will note
that they are fairly small. If you would like full sized versions of
you may request them from me at Alarian@u...
In addition, for
those of you
that have Campaign Cartographer 2 version 6 or later, you may also
request the .fcw
files from me and I would be happy to send them to you.
I also have a full sized map of the entire campaign map for
those of you that
might not be familiar with the Alusia Campaign world. This file is a
needless to say (Over 2 meg for the .jpg version and over 43 meg for
the .psd version!).
But if you would like a copy of that as well to help you better follow
free to ask. You can take a look at a shrunk down version of the map
on my web site at:
Next month, I will be taking you on a journey into the Filgiso Forest.
considered to be a dark and foreboding place, but is it really, or is
that just what
the inhabitants want outsiders to believe? You will find out next
BEAST MISTRESS PHIRAZ STALSIL AND HER GRYPHON HUNTERS
-- Jason Winter <Alarian@u...>
[Note: The NPC information is provided separately for GMs who may want
these characters in a campaign. Players should consider checking with
GMs before reading this section.]
While not exactly a Location, the Beastmistress Phiraz is well
for her uncanny ability of capturing and raising Gryphons. Her
are Beast Masters as well and number 14 in total, although it is rare
than 10 to accompany her on a gathering mission. Her official
located in the city of Braxtor and it is from here that the rich and
come from all over Alusia to purchase one of her trained gryphons. In
given year, she has between 5-10 gryphons with which she is willing to
She is extremely picky though as to who she will sell one to.
alone are not sufficient to purchase one of her gryphons. Phiraz
leaves the day to day chores of running the business to her second in
Mayla Riven. Mayla is a Beast Master as well and fiercely proud of
it. She has
been in charge in Braxtor for the last 7 years and excels in the role.
is a drawing of their business. [See graphics file]
There is no key to the map, although in general the front of the
is devoted entirely to an office space that allows Mayla to run the
the business and to living quarters for the other workers of the
second floor is devoted entirely to the living accommodations of those
there. The rest of the building is filled with stalls and cages of
to accommodate the creatures that are caught and brought in. In the
is also a large area open to the outside that allows the trainers to
creatures outside for exercise when needed. Phiraz herself is rarely
Unbeknownst to all those not affiliated with her business, Phiraz has
training compound located in the ruined city of Pariegos in the Vale
about 20 miles South-East of Gryphon's Gate. This compound is much
and functional than her business in Braxtor. There are a few wood
used for living quarters and a large stable area used to house
Other than her compound, the city is deserted, and she finds this
suits her and
her team well. At any given time, as long as there are Gryphons being
there is a minimum contingent of 6 Beast Masters stationed here.
her main business in Braxtor, where a larger variety of creatures can
the compound in Pariegos is solely designed for the training of
People of Note:
Phiraz Stalsil: Human Female - Beast Master.
PS: 18 AG: 17 MD: 16 MA: 5
WP: 23 EN: 22 FT: 22 PC: 18
PB: 6 TMR: 5
Skills: Beast Master: 9 (Avians, Fantastical Avians)
Short Bow: 7
Equipment of note:
+5 OB Broadsword
Phiraz Stalsil - The first thing one notes about Phiraz is that she is
not a pretty
woman. In fact, she is far from it. It was this feature that lead
her into her
current profession of Beast Master. One where the animals she cares
for are able
to ignore her looks and see her for who she is by how she acts and
Over the years she has grown to have a great dislike as a matter of
fact for the
human race in general and prefers to spend her time away from the
cities and people
and concentrate solely on training Gryphons. Her one true passion.
The only time
she ever leaves her training compound is when she takes her current
stock of Gryphons
to Braxtor to find new owners for them. She then spends several
months in town
teaching their new owners how to ride and treat them. As soon as she
Gryphons are comfortable with their new owners, she immediately
gathers her hunters
and they proceed back to gather another group of Gryphons. All
members of her
Hunters are Beast Masters as well and all have been trained by her
Mayla Riven: Human Female -– Beast Master.
PS: 15 AG: 17 MD: 15 MA: 8
WP: 22 EN: 18 FT: 21 PC: 15
PB: 14 TMR: 5
Skills: Beast Master: 7 (Avians, Fantastical Avians)
Short Bow: 7
Equipment of note: None
Personal Notes: Mayla is a rather plain looking middle-aged woman
that was the
first Beast Master to be trained by Phiraz. She has been with her for
15 years now and is fiercely loyal to her. At the age of 28, her home
destroyed by her, now dead, abusive husband in a drunken rage. By the
was over, her farm home was burned to the ground and her 7 year old
was dead. Fortunately her father was the mayor of the small village
she was from
and he was so outraged by the incident, that he gathered the men of
and went out and took her husband and hung him from the nearest tree.
long after this that Phiraz happened by on her way with two Gryphons
in tow. She
was mesmerized by the creatures and in the one evening Phiraz spent in
was determined to accompany her and learn her ways. Phiraz agreed and
the two have
been good friends ever since.
Below is listed an ""average" Gryphon Hunter. There are a
total of 14
this group not including Phiraz or Mayla. Note: While Phiraz and
Mayla are both
female, the Gryphon Hunters are actually predominantly Male.
Gryphon Hunter: Human -– Beast Master.
PS: 17 AG: 18 MD: 15 MA: 8
WP: 19 EN: 18 FT: 21 PC: 12
PB: 15 TMR: 6
Skills: Beast Master: 4 (Fantastical Avians)
Short Bow: 5
Personal Notes: All Gryphons Hunters wear a uniform. It is Forest
Green pants and
shirt with a Rampant Yellow Gryphon emblazoned upon the chest. When
also have a full faced mask that they can pull down which completely
face except for eyes and nose holes. In addition to the above skills,
there is always
at least one or two members of the group that has between 2-4 ranks in
healer as well.
Most of you should be aware of this already, but Snafaru has been busy
re-establishing the DragonQuest Players Association web pages. He has
been updating the membership list, and getting other pages back in
order and up to date.
It's good to see that the DQPA is continuing, and that those pages
a new webmaster to keep them updated. I hope that we will have the
opportunity to publish some comments from Snafaru (the new DQPA
and/or John Rauchert (Acting DQPA President) to discuss what is new
with the DQPA.
Take a minute to check it out, and, if you are a member, make sure
your personal info is correct; (A lot of us have changed our email
since we joined the DQPA). If you aren't a member of the DQPA
now is the time to join.
DQN Subscriptions -- If you aren't on the list, send email with your
name and your email address to: dqn@b...
### End of DragonQuest Newsletter v6/n03 -- March/April 2001