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Contents

Game details

Rules and System

This game was started using Torchbearer. Starting with Session 7, it is played using Dungeon World.

Campaign Background

The game is set on the Dimniyi Frontier of the Tsardom of the Sun, East of the Sea of Kalmius, on the shoulders of the Dimniyi Mountains. The Tsardom is recently founded and expanding rapidly, but focused away from the East. The Frontier was first captured and settled by the Tsardom about 150 years ago.

The characters are bogatyrs, persons who seek out a life of adventure and hardship on the frontiers of the Tsardom. Part medieval knight-errant, part Old West frontiersman, part scoundrel and ne'er do well, bogatyrs are admired by the locals when there is danger threatening, resented and feared in times of peace, and always distrusted as outsiders and wanderers.

The entire region of the Dimniyi Frontier was once, centuries ago, part of the ancient Khorafan Empire. However, that empire was shattered in what is now called the Deep War, a legendary genocidal conflict of great magics with the Nichnytsia (Night Elves). This war was so cataclysmic, it changed the geography and climate of this region and many other parts of the world. These days scholars debate who, if anyone, won the Deep War, as the traces of both the Nichnytsia and the Khorafani are often deeply buried, shattered, or well guarded.

Linguistic Touchpoints

With respect to thinking of names, consider the following cultural touchpoints.

  • Humans = The Tsardom: Ukrainian/Russian. The Vidma: Cornish.
  • Dwarves = Hungarian
  • Elves = Finnish/Estonian
  • Halflings = Georgian (e.g. the country, not the state)

Dimniyi Frontier Almanac

NOTE: Still working through major reorganization here, adding in multiple sessions worth of stuff and changing to Almanac format. Skalchemist (talk) 15:39, 30 December 2015 (EST)

Preliminary Map, may not be to scale or complete

Region: Sea of Kalmius

Freshwater Sea, Tempestuous, Unsafe, Neutral

Details:

  • Rugged merchant convoys
  • Tsardom war-barks on patrol
  • Carnivorous sturgeon as big as a horse
  • SPRING: Brief but violent storms
  • SUMMER: Daily rains and constant winds from the south
  • FALL: Fog and mist
  • WINTER: Ice floes and bitter breezes

Steading: Melitopol

Human, Metropolis, Lawful, Prosperous, Resource (Port)

a Bustling Metropolis on the Western side of the Sea of Kalmius, and the nearest thing to a major city near the Dimniyi Frontier. It takes a few days by ship to reach it from Nova Uzharod, and many days on foot.

Region: Northern Dimniyi Mountains

Rugged, Cold, Dangerous, Chaotic

Details:

  • Steep granite cliffs
  • Snowy ridges and peaks
  • Coniferous forest below the treeline

Region: The Psel Valley

Human, Growing, Temperate, Fertile, Civilized, Lawful

Details:

  • Fields of barley and oats
  • Sparse small villages
  • Wagon trains carrying people and goods

Steading: Nova Uzharod

Human, Growing, City, Market, Resource (Port), Lawful

a Busy Crossroads on the Eastern coast of the Sea of Kalmius. It is the doorway to the Tsardom for all the settlers on the frontier.

Steading: Zhovti Vody

Human, Town, Religion (Three Facers), Garrison, Trade (Nova Uzahrod), Lawful

a Religious Bastion southeast of Nova Uzharod. A holy site of the Three Facers, the state religion of the Tsardom, that worships the triune deities of Dazbog, Stribog, and Simargl. Similar to both Christianity and Hinduism. Dazbog is a cultural hero associated with the sun, Stribog a sky god of winds and rains, and Smargl is a winged dog-like protective spirit. Visually and ritually, very much like the Orthodox Church. (Clerics will likely be of this religion)

Steading: Polinali

Human, Village, Sacked, Dangerous

A small village, sacked by Nightingale's bandits. Refugees from Polinali are now staying in Oleksandr's tower.

Region: The Golmosha Pass

Steep, Frigid, Unsafe, Haunted

Details:

  • Rutted cart-road
  • Tight switchbacks
  • Ancient ruined guard towers

Steading: Jvari

Halfling, Lawless, Resource (Livestock), Resource (Poppy)

a Remote Village, at the base of the far side of the Golmosha Pass. Mostly populated by Halflings.

Region: Vidmovyvsya Hills

Rugged, Unsafe, Temperate, Contested (Tsardom and Kenedhel)

Details:

  • Rolling hills
  • Thick bushes
  • Remnants of farms and villages

A hilly region north of Brovary.

Steading: Brovary

MAPPED

Steading Tags: Wealthy, Steady, Garrison, Arcane, Need (Fruits and Vegetables), Trade (Nova Uzharod/Jvari), Emnity (Kenedhel), Guild (Rational Sodality of Thaumaturgists)

a Wizard's Tower, south of the beginning of the Golmosha Pass Road. Brovary is a place of power, recently wrested by Tsardom's magicians and sorcerers from some local magical types. As Brovary is home to the regional headquarters of the Rational Sodality of Thaumaturgists, it is filled with towers small and large, as towers are to wizards as snail shells are to hermit crabs.

Steading: Konotop

MAPPED

Steading Tags: Tiny, Trade Brovary), Resource (Fruits and Vegetables, Goats)

Small village north of Brovary, near the Golmosha Pass Road

Site: Campsite near a closed Chaos Wound

MAPPED

Avgust conducted a ritual here to close a chaos wound.

Region: Southern Dimniyi Mountains

Rugged, Temperate, Dry, Dangerous, Chaotic

Details:

  • Arid foothills
  • Exposed rock faces and cliffs
  • Perfectly carved works of the Korafani Empire

Steading: Vörös Kő Csarnokok

Chaotic

The Mansions of Red Rock, a Dwarven Halls dug into the foothills of the Dimniyi. They have existed for hundreds of years before the Empire, but are recent by Dwarven standards. Fairly small, recently experienced a "change in government".

Location: Secret entrance cavern

A small cavern with a secret door into the Mansions. Located above and to the southeast of the main entrance.

Location: Farming lodges and fields outside the entrance

Various farms and long houses that produce agricultural products for the Mansions. Violently evacuated as part of the "change in government" and abandoned.

Site: A small waystation along the road between Zhovti Vody and Vörös Kő Csarnokok

low walls, just a spot where travellers can rest in some security, often occupied by Rusuudani tribe merchants providing services such as food from their carts.

Site: Khamyanyii Khru

MAPPED The resplendent, terraced necropolis of the might Khorofan Empire - sheltering at the end of a wooded mountain valley in the remote north (where once, it is said, were tropical forests and verdant farmland!) the lonely and largely untouched Khorofan outpost still shows the signs of a brutal siege by Dark Elves. It is divided, layer cake like, into five progressively smaller but more exclusive layers.[1] An important element of Khorofani monumental construction is a tendency to build very tall narrow structures. Also, the adornments of many Khorofani structures are fractal in nature, equally detailed no matter how close you get to them.

Location: Concealed Campsite with Shelter on the 1st Terrace

MAPPED A pleasant and concealed location wherein travelers may take their rest in relative safety from the depredations of the savage Likho and their hideous carnivorous (but impressively surefooted ponies).[2]

Location: Collapsed Entrance Into Southern Drainage Channel

MAPPED A drainage chamber that channels excess water gathering on higher levels of the mountain, as to discourage erosion. [3] This is an excellent place to refill a thirsty traveler's canteen. [4]

Location: A Benighted Crater on the Third Terrace (reached via Southern Drainage Channel)

MAPPED Evidence of the horrors of the Dark Elf siege upon Khamyanyii Khru, this crater that mars the plaza of the third tier was caused by unnatural Dark Elven projectiles, and still bears a palpable taint[3]. It can be reached from below via the Southern Drainage Channel - though the traveler is cautioned to beware the possible weakness of the channel's wall section as approaching the Second Tier - the Second Tier is... not a desirable destination...[4]

Location: A Cunning Passage from the Third Terrace to the Fifth

MAPPED There is a way to climb the hillside, and circumvent whatever dark denizens await the unwary traveler on the fourth terrace of the complex but it will require a skilled guide to avoid the Likho infested caves that dominate the region[4].

Location: A Campsite in the Shadow of Pharnabazus' Tomb

MAPPED Huddling close to the walls the great entrance way of the Tomb of King Pharnabazus, there is a sheltered spot in which it is possible to camp relatively unnoticed without falling under the baleful eye of the Owl Griffins that are known to perch atop the highest spires of the complex[4].

Location: The Tomb of the Hakoom Shahina

MAPPED The wise traveler will eschew the frippery of Pharnabazus' monument to his own greatness, realizing that such secret knowledges and hideous powers as are buried within the silent precepts of Khamyanyii Khru, lie within the ostentatiously unadorned tomb of Pharnabazus' mysterious queen, the Hakoom Shahina [3][4]. The wise traveler will also have a mind to be wary of the hideous strength of Gariksokadron (the remaining elemental set to guard the secret places of the tomb) and the mind bending effects of the legendary Song of Fire and Water[5].

Region: Pryamador Forest

Rugged, Temperate, Dangerous, Chaotic

Details:

  • Lots of bandits
  • Oak and maple trees packed together
  • Small streams and deep gullys

A forested region south of Brovary.

Site: The Old Khorafani Road

Paved, Straight, Smooth

MAPPED An old road of the Khorafani Empire

Location: An isolated stretch of Road

MAPPED Halfway between Brovary Tower and The Slave Pits Of The Bandit Prince, lies an isolated stretch of road where the messenger's of the Foul Bandit Prince Volodymir were ambushed by the heroic agents of the Brovary in their quest to recover the lost Oleksander The Thrice Wise. [5][6]

Site: The Slave Pits Of The Bandit Prince

Abandoned, Rustic

MAPPED Lying along the imperial road that runs from Brovary tower to the Necropolis at Khamyanyii Khru, a small distance from the road and surrounded by the impenetrable second growth forest that characterizes the Dimniyi Frontier, lies the camp of the Foul Bandit Prince Volodymir One Nostril. It is in this camp that Volodymir was laid low and made prisoner of agents of the Brovary [5]

Site: Fort Knezik

Secure

A motte and bailey fort built by the Tsar's armies when they were conquering the area, recently captured by Nightingale's bandits. It has magically powered carved wooden alarm geese.

Region: The Nyttiduba

'Soggy, Dangerous, Twisting

Details:

  • Rotting trees and logs
  • Deep channels
  • Soggy moss-covered land
  • Eels and lizards
  • WINTER: Thin ice

A forested swampy area north of Nova Uzharhod.

Region: Kukkulat Avaamisestapitkäll

Patrolled, Elvish, Arcane

Forested rocky hills north of Nova Uzharhod, near to Elfland.

Steading: Kukallinen Koti

Elvish, Lawful, Town, Arcane, Garrison

the House of Flowers, an incursion of Elfland into the world, found north of Nova Uzharod.

Region: Forest of Chernobog

Human, Neutral, Unsafe, Mysterious

Details:

  • Flowering trees
  • Bees
  • Ancient shrines

The home of the Kenedhel, known prejudicially by the Tsardom as the Vidma. Known for Chernobog Jade, which is really a kind of amber but in shades of green.

Steading: Nancledra

Human, Town, Garrison, Mysterious

MAPPED Capital of the Kenedhel. Home to Ysella.

Steading: Bryluen's Lodge

Human, Village, Resource (Forest Bison)

MAPPED Home to Bryluen and her sons Padern, Piran, and Petrock.

Area: Somotniyikameen

Steep, Rocky, Snowy, Chaotic

A solitary mountain east of the Forest of Chernobog

Location: Abandoned Koschei Encampment

An abandoned encampment of koschei, formerly led by Volodomyr One-Nostril. Site of a pitched battle between Kenedhel and Koschei.

Site: Natalia's Shrine

Arcane, Dangerous, Holy

A strange cave in the forest. Outside of it, many people have hung offerings to Natalia in the trees.

Legendary Places

An ancient shrine/burial site

Irene discovered information leading her to believe that a beautiful gem known as Sitoutumattomantähti (in Elvish, the Unbound Star), cut from the eye socket of a long dead Nichtnysian warrior can be found at a shrine or burial site north of Nova Uzharod.

Eradain

Narbo's homeland. Currently unreachable.

Map References

  1. Source: "Map Sheet 8 Within Folio of Supporting Documents in Brovary Tower's Inquest into the Strange Case of Oleksander the Thrice Wise".
  2. Source: "Detail A, Map Sheet 8 Within Folio of Supporting Documents in Brovary Tower's Inquest into the Strange Case of Oleksander the Thrice Wise".
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Source: "Some Reflections on the Architecture of Khamyanyii Khru as Presented by Scholar Avgust Ruslan, an eye witness to it's site, with additional insights provided by his various associates, including Josef - a Dwarf."
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 Source: "Avgust Ruslan's Wise Traveler's Guide to Visiting Sundry Landmarks of the Khorofani Empire, including especially Khamyanyii Khru and containing also various tips and advises for the defeat of bandits and marauding beasts met upon the way".
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 Source: "Being a True Account of the March North of Avgust Ruslan, Initiate of the Tower, in Quest To Rediscover His Mentor Oleksander Thrice Wise As Well As to Record for the Glory of the Tsardom the True Paths Leading to the Fabled Necropolis of Khamyanyii Khru."
  6. Source: "Archival Document 278 of the Year XXXX, Royal Archive of Brovary Tower: Exhibit A - Being Intelligence Gathered in Apprehension of Emissary of Bandit Prince Volodymir of the Undignified Facial Scarring (aka One Nostril, aka Scarface, aka The Hideous)".

Characters and Denizens

Player characters

Past History

  • Irene (then going as Bridget) and Narbo once shared in a dubious adventure that led to a cave in and killed Kanute's cousin. Both thought the other had died, until they met again in Brovary much later.

Resolved Events

  • Avgust has the words "Seek here but ask me nicely" tatooed on his back. Narbo has the words "You may find what you will need". When they stand next to each other, the message reads "You may find what you seek here but you will need to ask me nicely". These tatoos were made on them while they were in a drunken (drugged?) stupor by the Vidma (Kenedhel), probably Jezibaba (Ysella) herself. The words are accompanied by a rough map of the are, with an X in the Forest of Chernobog. Narbo's tattoo is now changed, see below
  • Although Volodomyr One-Nostril had been captured by the Bogatyr and was in custody at Brovary, he escaped! He was seen again, see below

Current events:

  • All of the RST knows that Avgust sucked at Evocation on his recent leveling exams, and barely passed.
  • Narbo now has a new tattoo on his back, embellished from the old one, and this new tattoo is a "minor magical trinket" of unknown nature. Avgust still has the same old tattoo described above.
  • The Bogatyr found a letter on the Koschei messengers that had enslaved Narbo, from One-Nostril to Nightingale, asking for an alliance.
  • Although Volodomyr One-Nostril's Siege of Chernobog was utterly destroyed, he escaped!
  • Strange occurences indicate that the forces of Order are strengthening (ominously)! Allusions to the Servant of the Servant?
  • Josef saw Irene's eyes glowing behind her eyelids, what did that mean?
  • Two months hence when the moon is halved, after the battle with the Koschei, Josef has agreed to return to Ysella to show her how Pencast's Joyful Friend has changed him, in return for her letting him keep the shield.
  • Alexei left his pinky as a trophy for the trophy collection at Nancledra, much to Kevern's, the "curator", joy.
  • Irene has some hocus pocus on some coins in her possession.

Nonplayer characters

With the Bogatyri

  • Kariskka Sakari - a Star Elf, hireling to Josef. She is prone to melancholy violence. (Sent to warn Brovary of Nightingale's attack)
  • Marlon (Deceased), Petro and Tamara - three human Polinali teenaged refugees, loyal to Narbo. Reasonably Competent (+1 tag), Young (+1 Quality, -1 Wise), Loyalty +2, Instinct: Hold grudge/seek payback, Cost: Vengeance, HP: Able-Bodied 6HP, Armour: Leather 1, Damage 1D6+1, Tag: Warrior (damage +1 (included), no need to Order Follower to get them to fight unless opposition is terrifying/overwhelming). Marlon was killed at Fort Knezik.
  • Dmitri - A young monk training with the Order, loyal to Alexei, as a member of the Honourable Fighting Society. Passionate. Quality 1, Monk background, Tags: Body-wise, Athletic, Hardy, Warrior, Moves: Anticipate other's movements, Loyalty 2, Instinct: Act impulsively, Cost: Glory, HP: 9, Damage: 1D6+1.
  • Ivan - A young monk training with the Order, loyal to Alexei, as a member of an Honourable Fighting Society. Rational. Quality 1, Monk background, Tags: Religion-wise, Organised, Cautious, Warrior, Moves: Anticipate danger, Scribe, Loyalty 2, Instinct: Avoid Danger, Cost: Knowledge, HP: 6, Damage: 1D6+1.

in Brovary

  • Maniki the "Cook" - a hireling and cook for Oleksandr Thrice-Wise. Insisted on accompanying the bogatyri. He claimed to be afraid when he returned with Lyuba the Killer and One-Nostril to Brovary, but was he really? Why did he insist on coming in the first place?
  • Oleksandr Thrice-Wise - mentor to Avgust Ruslan, a famed Cartographer of great repute, and a Scholar of Brovary.
  • Lore-Master Vsevolod - friend to Avgust Ruslan, currently living in Brovary
  • Gyongi - an old dwarf who runs a high-end supply shop in Brovary
  • Sister Lyudmilla - the senior officiant at the Shrine of the Three Faces in Brovary.
  • Victor of the Mustache - a well known mercenary/caravan guard, often seen around Brovary. Acquaintance of Josef and Narbo.
  • Vassily - chief of the Day Watch at the North Gate
  • Sir Havril - Captain of the guard
  • Sister Ludmilla - in charge of the Order's monastary in Brovary
  • The Polinali Refugees - now staying in Oleksandr's tower, as Irene has signed a paper committing him to care for them.
    • Brother Roman - representative of the Order in Polinali (burned down by bandits), now caring for refugees.
    • Miron - village elder

Forest of Chernobog

  • Ysella of the Kenedhel - leader of the Kenedhel, known perjoratively as Jezibaba in areas controlled by the Tsar of the Sun. She would not let Avgust into her home, and barely tolerated him speaking.
  • Bryluen - a matriarch of the Kenedhel
  • Padern, Piran, and Petrock - Bryluen's sons. Piran is a scout.
  • Kevern - 'Curator' of the Kenedhel trophy collection. He desperately wants the Three Facers to stop sending missionaries, because he is sick of killing them and keeping their fingers as trophies.
  • Canute - Fellow tribesman to Narbo, sold Narbo into slavery, last seen in Narbo's distant land with a traitor's gold in his hands, laughing. Updated Status: not laughing.
  • Crantock - Chief craftsman of Nancledra
  • Branwalather - his 2nd son was killed by the Koschei
  • Corneves - Branwalather's grandson
  • Elawen - Branwalather's oldest daughter.
  • Austell the Butcher - a butcher in Nancledra.
  • Broine - a fellow tribesman of Narbo, brought to the area by Canute as a slave. Killed in the battle with the Koschei.

Nova Uzharod

  • Lilya the Steward - a friend to Lyuba, handles business affairs in Nova Uzharod for a Melitopolan patrician

Melitopol

  • Valentyn - rival cartographer to Avgust Ruslan

Zhovti Vodi

  • Oleg the Survivalist - a mentor to Alexei the Monk, lives at Zhovti Vody
  • Symon the Cartographer - a friend to Alexei the Monk, Chief Curator of the library in Zhovti Vody
  • General Valentina -
  • Bohuslava - Battle Mage of the Bronenosets
  • Dmitro the Centurion - stationed at the front gates of Zhovti Vodi
  • Oxanna the Embalmer - Master of burial preparations and overseer of Necromancer burnings
  • Aattoanselmi Eetuhannu - a moon elf, captive of the bandits and cell mate of Avgust. Freed by the bogatyrs from Fort Knezik.
  • General Valentyna "Tigerclaw" - In command of the Bronenosets, 7th Legion, currently stationed in Zhovti Vodi. She believed the bogatyr's warnings about Nightingale. The 7th Legion has come to the Frontier in response to a vision of the Tsar's astrologers.
  • Matyas - a Dwarven armorer and refugee from Voros Ko Csarnakok.
  • Tante Fruzina - Josef's aunt, a Dwarven refugee and maker of fine cookware

Vörös Kő Csarnokok

  • Izabella and Aron - parents of Jozef. Aron is a minor functionary in the former government, Izabella is a miner.
  • Brigitta - Armorer and friend to Jozef
  • Orban - a deceased dwarf, killed by the new government while fleeing to the secret entrance cavern.

Fort Knezik

  • Gyözö - dwarven bandit, was a high ranking lieutenant of Nightingale, now deceased with prejudice.
  • Lyubochka - a wizard, fellow student to Avgust when they were students. Ejected from the Sodality of Thaumaturgists for studying Kenedhel witchcraft. Was working with Gyözö, but leapt a mile away on chicken legs when convinced by Alexei and Avgust that they could help her figure out why Order was on the increase (and Narbo beat her boy Gyözö like an old rug).
  • Yuriy - an otherwise non-descript bandit at Fort Knezik, he had Avgust's hat for a brief and shiny moment in his life.
  • Bohdan - a remorseful young bandit captured by the Bogatyr. Alexei advised him to seek out the Order in Brovary and tell them the whole story.
  • Name? - a bandit captured by the Bogatyr, and more than happy to talk to keep from being eaten by a murder pony. Left to wander the woods outside Fort Knezik, hopefully he was untied? He may want vengeance at some point.
  • Klim the Mountain - a VERY large guy, henchman of Nightingale. Not smart, but did I mention he is very large?

Location Unknown

  • Lyuba the Killer - a Melitopolan assassin and associate of Oleksandr Thrice-Wise, who accompanied the bogatyri, but left quickly saying he had "urgent business" after seeing the letter to Nightingale the Robber from One-Nostril. What was the rush?
  • Uryk the Criminal - Mentor to Lyuba, lives in Melitopol but you never know where he might turn up
  • Eekuheikkimerithahti - a Star Elf who once lived in Kukallinen Koti, last seen swearing vengeance on Lubya for the murder of her family
  • Volodomyr One-Nostril - a Koschei bandit with a price on his head, captured by the bogatyri and returned to Brovary by Lyuba and Maniki. Later escaped and became leader at the Siege of Chernobog. Fled from the Slaughter of the Koschei that followed. He lost an eye there, so maybe he is now One-Eye?
  • Nightingale the bandit - leader of a group of bandits somewhere south of Brovary.
  • Nessa - Narbo's love, left behind in his homeland.
  • Sofia the Enchantress - who is she?
  • Vakhtang - a food cart owner, of the Rusuudani tribe of Halflings. Often found at the camping site between Zhovti Vodi and Voros Ko Csarnakok.

Organizations

  • Order of the Sacred Word (Alexei's Order) - A religious order devoted to studying and protecting all forms of text.
  • The Rational Sodality of Thaumaturgists - the licensing board/guild for sorcerers, magicians, wizards, and other practitioners of magic in the Tsardom of the Sun, with a direct commission from the Tsarina herself.
    • RST Enforcement Division - responsible for making sure that all magic practiced within the Tsardom is licensed. They take offenses VERY seriously.

Peoples

Dwarves

Dwarves do not think of themselves as part of the Tsardom, which the Tsardom is generally ok with as long as the dwarves don't make trouble and keep up commercial activity and ties. They generally have very stable, long-term political and social relationships, but when these relationships falter the result is usually violent and bloody. "Change in Government" in dwarvish is a synonym for "horrible slaughter".

Kenedhel/Vidma

A culture of humans that once lived in the region of Brovary. When the Tsardom moved in, they were kicked out by the Sodality on orders of the Tsar, and have since lived primarily in the Forest of Chernobog. They are well know for their strong tradition of witchcraft. They are called, perjoratively, the Vidma in the Tsardom. They speak a language distantly related to Narbo's.

Elves

Elves live in a far distant land called the West. The wise are not completely sure that this is a literal land, it may rather be a metaphor for a different plane of existence. What is known is that there are places where this Elvish world "intrudes" onto the normal world, where magic comes more easily, and that these places are the villages, towns, and other settled sites of the Elves. They come in four varieties that are known...

  • Sun Elves (Sontsenytsia) - in ancient times, the Sun Elves worshipped Law, and since then have become almost incomprehensible to normal folk. They live regimented, bizarre lives of ritual and ceremony that no one else can understand. They are only rarely seen outside of an intrusion.
  • Moon Elves (Mysyatsnytsia) - the Moon Elves are the ones most commonly seen. Really not all that different from normal folk, except for very long lives, a taste for magic, and more refined artistic taste.
  • Star Elves (Zirhkynytsia) - less commonly seen among normal folk, the Star Elves are more solitary in nature and prone to melancholy and violence.
  • Night Elves (Nichtnytsia) - as the Sun Elves long ago worshipped Law, the Night Elves worshipped Chaos. They became mighty and carved out a vast empire under the earth, with great magics and powerful weapons. Five hundred years ago they exploded from the depths, and did battle with the Khorofan Empire for supremacy over the surface. The war demolished civilization as it then flourished, but the forces of Law were ultimately triumphant, and the Night Elves were destroyed by powerful spells. Since that time, they have been heard of only in rumour, and as tales to terrify in the night.

Rusuudani Tribe

A wandering tribe of halflings. They live in brightly painted double-decker wagons and are renowned for the quality of their draft horses, whom they treasure. A group has been captured by the bandits at Fort Knezik.

Spawn of Chaos

Vorozhneki

Vorozhneki are races of intelligent creatures, maybe once humans, dwarves, halflings or elves, who have given themselves over to chaos for a very long time. They are often warped in bizarre ways from their original forms, and worship strange beings of violence and cruelty.

  • Koschei - large and dangerous, averaging over 2 meters tall, with massive round heads and huge noses. They are well known as bandits and slavers. Their bands are more commonly seen north of the Frontier, but the wealth of the Frontier has attracted them. The Koschei will pay for the nose rings of their fallen kindred, they use them in rituals of power. They also use disposable nose spoons.
  • Likho - diminutive beings that look like little old men with one eye. Bloodthirsty and cruel, like intelligent piranhas. They often ride sure-footed carnivorous ponies. Found in nests or hives in the mountains, often near the tree line. Likho surround the areas they live in with crude carvings in wood and stone.

Monsters

The Dimniyi frontier has its share of monsters, creatures that don't abide by the laws of nature and seem to exist only to spread foulness, evil, pain, and death.

  • Chuheister - massive bestial creatures, covered in a warty hide and built like 3 to 4 meter gorillas. They seem to appear out of nowhere and cause havoc, eating all the livestock and people they can get their hands on. After a week or so they will often disappear, to no one knows where. When killed (which is rarely), they will rot with a day to little more than a crumbling skeleton.
  • Chaos Wound Creatures - Creatures of almost pure chaos can be found near sites called chaos wounds, which are incursions of chaos into the normal world. These chaos wounds can take many forms, as can the creatures found within. These beings are often vile, frequently disturbing in appearance, and uniformly antithetical to life.
  • Gariksokadron - "Murderer of Smoke", a fire elemental guarding the Song of Fire and Water
  • Haspladionoksum - "Waiting Wave", a water elemental, once guarded the Song of Fire and Water. Now likely steam and vapor.

Other Beings

Samodiva

Spirits of woodland energy, neither truly chaos or law appear as beautiful women in flowing feathered cloaks. They glow and have fiery eyes.

  • Natalia the Green - a Samodiva, worshiped by the the Kenedhel. She clearly is in love with Narbo, and cursed him for a time. She says she will have him some day, but not today.

Works of Literature

  • The Song of Fire and Water - a sacred lyric, gifted to Pharnabazus by his wife, the Hakoom Shahina
  • Ancient Burial Practices of the Khorafani - including helpful diagrams!
  • Mountaineering, for Buffoons - a beginner's guide to climbing
  • Advanced Concealment Strategies - a guide by Oleg the Survivalist
  • Conquests Across the Sea - A detailed history by Admiral Karlson
  • Masterwork Armor - a handy guide to high quality armor-making written by Master Smith Kristoff
  • Myths and Legends of the Vidma People - A compilation of the unsophisticated writings left behind after the successful conquest of Brovary
  • Personal Diary of Gleb Demyanyik, first missionary to the 'Vidma' - once located in the Kenedhel trophy collection, acquired by Alexei
  • Natural Magiks - observations and theories by Professor Lorentz
  • Brovary Better Business Bureau Directory - a listing of local businesses recognized by the Tsardom
  • Azilard's Treatise on the Fall of the Khorafani and Night Elf Empires

Avgust Ruslan has created various notes/works detailing his travels

Through the Ages: Civilizations of the Past, Present, and Future

Alexei's unfinished manuscript expands on details learned from personal experience and scholarly references regarding such topics as: Customs, Traditions, Beliefs, Culture, Ideology, Power (source and application), Architecture, Government Structure, and role of Order and Chaos

Past

  • Khorafani Empire (Khamyanyii Khru, King Pharnabazus, Hakoom Shahina, The Song of Fire and Water)
  • Night Elf Empire
  • The Deep War

Present

  • The Tsardom (Rational Sodality of Thaumaturgists, Order of the Sacred Word, The Three Facers)
  • Koschei
  • Kenedhel/Vidma (Forest of Chernobog, History in Brovary)
  • [Narbo’s People] (Eredain)
  • Rusuudani
  • Voros Ko Csarnokok Dwarves

Future

  • Idealistic Society (Alexei’s perspective)
  • Likely Future (Alexei’s perspective)

The Story So Far

Chapter 1

  • Oleksandr's Absence
  • The Road to Khamyanyii Khru
  • Slave No More

(Friday, September 5, 2014 @ Derek's)

In the beginning of our tale, four stalwart adventurers (Lyuba the Killer (a Human Assassin), Avgust Ruslan (a Human Wizard), Alexei (a Human Monk), and Jozef (a Dwarf Adventurer)) were gathered in a tavern wondering about the disappearance of their friend and mentor Oleksandr Thrice-Wise. With Maniki, their helpful Hobbit Cook, they set off looking for him, heading for the site of his last known location.

On their way, they encountered a carriage belonging to a Koschei bandit in the service of Volodomyr One-Nostril. They challenged the Koschei, Avgust drawing particular attention to the laws they were breaking by crossing the empire's lands. Trying to avoid violence, Alexei tried to negotiate with them, and Maniki offered them wine. However, peace could not be maintained and battle ensued. Avgust blasted them with magic while Jozef and Lyuba attacked with weapons.

One of the naked slaves pulling his carriage was Narbo, a barbarian from a far-away land, saw this as his chance to escape his bondage and seek revenge on his captors. Although he failed, Jozef saw his plight and cut him free.

Soon, the Koschei were captured, all the slaves (other than Narbo) had fled into the forest, and the heroes were triumphant.

Chapter 2

  • Steps Retraced
  • The Great Escape
  • Pierced Nostril

(Saturday, October 4 @ Derek's)

A brief interrogation of the Koschei captives reveals that they would rather die than give up any information. While one of them takes an opportunity to prove this, the other is taken captive by the once-slave Narbo. The adventurers also search the carriage and fallen Koschei, and find some gear for the Narbo, as well as a mysteriously well written letter from Volodomyr, proposing an alliance with the infamous bandit Nightingale.

The adventurers (and Narbo) set up camp to discuss what to do next, and, at the prospect of a generous bounty, Narbo agrees to lead the way back to the slave camp where Volodomyr is waiting.

As the group nears the camp, an observant guard sounds the alarm and Koschei come running out. Some quick thinking allows Narbo to leave his half-dead captive as a distraction, while everyone sneaks around into the camp. Two more guards are distracted by another clever plan to free a group of slaves from a holding pit and inspire them to rise up against their oppressors.

Volodomyr is left with only two guards to defend him, and after seeing through a weak attempt to demand his surrender, the adventurers set upon him with the intent to capture him. A hard-fought battle leaves the group exhausted, but with a captive Volodomyr.

Chapter 3

  • Arrival at Khamyanyii Khru
  • The Trail of Oleksandr
  • The Aristocratic Dead

After some discussion, the party decided to split up - Lyuba would return to civilization with their prisoner, Volodomyr One-Nostril, to claim the bounty on him. Maniki decided he'd had enough of the Bogatyr life and elected to return to civilization. The two of them, prisoner in tow, set off with a promise to set aside the others' shares of the bounty.

The remaining members of the group, guided by their new companion, Narbo, set off for the ancient necropolis of Khamyanyii Khru in hopes of rescuing Oleksandr Thrice-Wise. After a rough trek, the group finally made their way to the valley and established a base camp upon the first tier of the complex. They set about seeing to their gear (and their stomachs!) ahead of their initial foray into the necropolis.

Late in the night, as Jozef took his turn on watch, he heard sounds echoing through the night and quickly realized that it was a Likho hunting party - Khamyanyii Khru was not completely uninhabited, and the danger to Oleksandr (and the Bogatyr!) was suddenly much greater. Upon discussion of this new information, the group decided that it might be safer to enter the necropolis from the first tier and attempt to make their way up to the higher levels from the inside rather than face the Likho and their carnivorous ponies.

The group made their way into the ancient drainage system via a collapsed section of the first tier, and Jozef led them through the icy water. They eventually found a series of pipes designed to drain water from the higher levels, as well as a nearby stairway that allowed access to the exterior of the second tier. Not wanting to venture outside unless absolutely necessary, the Bogatyr decided to climb up on of the drains that had less water flowing through it.

Narbo volunteered to lead the way, and quickly began his ascent. Initially, all seemed to be going well... and then the wall he was leaning against gave way and he found himself tumbling to the exterior surface of the second tier. As he stumbled to his feet, he realized that he could see movement in the trees growing about him. Soon, three ancient mummies stumbled towards him out of the woods, drawn to the presence of a living soul. Narbo prepared to defend himself as his companions flew up the access stairs to his aid. The battle looked to be a difficult one, especially when one of the undead creatures leapt unto the wall and clung like a spider...and then Avgust brought his mystic powers into play. In a burst of flame, the three mummies were reduced to ashes.

Hearing the moans of many more of the walking dead approaching, the Bogatyr quickly raced back to the stairs, collapsing the entrance behind them to prevent pursuit. They returned to the ancient drains below to plan their next move.

Chapter 4: Basilica

  • Counterflow Climbing
  • The Case of the Owl-Gryphons and the Tactical Retreat
  • Exploring the Basilica

(December 5, 2014)

Chapter 5: Ascension

  • Mountaineers
  • Exploring the Tomb
  • The Door-of-Certain-Doom Remains Closed

(January 24, 2015)

Chapter 6: Quest Complete

  • The Chamber of the Song
  • Fire and Water (but Mainly Water)
  • Oleksandr Returned

(February 27, 2015)

Chapter 7: Torchworld

  • Party Time
  • Map Mates
  • The Witch's Tower

(March 27, 2015)

Chapter 8: Into the Woods

  • Aligned Goals
  • A Perilous Journey
  • Ambushed!

(April 18, 2015)

Chapter 9: Chaos Wound

  • Clean Up Your Messes
  • Making Camp
  • The Ritual - during the ritual, Avgust was tempted to take some of chaos within himself, and also saw a vision of a strange figure in armor that seemed to hang like a beaded curtain, all in blue and gold.

(June 5, 2015)

Chapter 10: The Kenedhel

  • The forest path
  • Natalia's cave
  • Ysela is waiting

(June 26, 2015)

Chapter 11: Approaching the Encampment

  • Dream Quest
  • Natalia's Rejection
  • Surveying the Koschei

(July 11, 2015)

Chapter 12: Hatching a Plan

  • Convincing Ysella
  • Luring the Koschei
  • Natalia appeased

(September 18, 2015)

Avgust told Narbo that Natalia would only be appeased by giving her the most meaningful gift he could possible give her. He gave her his self-respect by fleeing (at first!) the battle with the Koschei like a coward. She was satisfied and lifted his curse, telling him she would have him some day, but not today.

Chapter 13: Servant of the Servant

  • Encampment disarrayed
  • Entreating the Hakuum Shahina
  • Boiled Elemental

(September 25, 2015)

Haspladinoskum was destroyed with a gem obtained by Avgust from the Hakoom Shahina. Irene was nearly killed in the blast, but had a disturbing tea party with death and agreed to change her lifestyle. She threw the gem away (!) and it returned to the Shahina. The bogatyr at first thought that Haspladinoksum must be enslaved by Canute, but it turned out the elemental was serving chaos freely.

Chapter 14: Order without Purpose

  • Concerning Events
  • Helping Refugees
  • First Taste of Revenge

(October 18, 2015)

Our share of the loot from the Koschei camp came to 247 coins, ~50 each. Alexei volunteered to leave his finger with the Kenedhel collection as a symbol that no more imperial evangelists will need to be killed. Recieved important diary of Brother Gleb in exchange. Jozef tried to enhance his shield, but found himself lost in a trancelike state. Kenedhel craftsmen have experienced similar occurences lately. Jozef tried to return the shield, but Ysella only laughed and told him to keep it. BUT, she wanted him to return in 2 months to show her how he had been changed. Ysella attempted to show Narbo a vision of his homeland, but the vision got caught in a loop - possibly related to Jozef's trance. Ysella was concerned and divined that the forces of Order were strengthening (in a bad way) resulting in "order without purpose". This information appeared to interest Avgust greatly and he immediately went on ahead to Brovary to research further. Others follow to Brovary later. Irene senses the path leading to the Unbound Star, though we don't follow it. A group of ~40 refugees were trying to get into Brovary when we arrived. The refugees' village was burned down by robbers in the south (part of Nightingale's group). The gates were closed to anyone not vouched for by a citizen of Brovary since attacks are becoming more common in the area. Irene convinced the guards that Oleksander Once-thrice-wise will vouch for them. Refugee group was let in and settled in Oleksander's tower. He is largely oblivious. Narbo took some of the refugees under his wing and convinced them to come with us to exact revenge on the robbers. Avgust left a note saying that he had travelled on to Zhovti Vodi to continue research (taking him right through robber territory). The party follows to Zhovti Vodi, and comes upon a group of robbers. An ambush quickly killed all but one robber, who was kept for questioning. Looted a valuable stolen jewelled hat pin and 100 coin.

Chapter 15: Finding Fort Knezik

  • Nightingale's Plot
  • Avgust Caged
  • Murder Ponies - At Last

(November 27, 2015)

Chapter 16: Burn the Plan

  • Goosepocalypse
  • Flaming Drunks
  • Charge the Keep

(December 13, 2015)

As we cut to commercials, the situation lies thusly:

  • Josef defends the bridge as he, Irene, and Narbo's 2 proteges rush towards the gate.
  • Avgust stands at the gate, sans equipment, having just heaped burning coals upon his enemy's head (so to speak)
  • Narbo lies on the ground in the middle of the keep, having just been poetically introduced to Gyozo and his axe
  • Gyozo stands facing Narbo with a smirk of superiority
  • Alexei stands on a ledge above, having gained control of the lever that controls the bridge
  • Lyubochka has just made an entrance and quieted the geese
  • Guards are running around in various states of fear and confusion
  • The moon elf is still locked in his cage
  • Narbo's 3rd protege is waiting with the horses outside

Chapter 17: Escape from Fort Knezik

  • Tamara's Revenge
  • Klim meets his match
  • Adjourn to Zhovti Vodi

(January 8, 2016)

Safe in town for the moment:

  • Meet General Valentina
  • Research the ascending Order
  • Resupply, etc.

Chapter 18: Making Connections

  • An audience with General Valentina
  • Oxanna the Embalmer
  • Lyubochka drops in

(February 6, 2016)

The Legion is taking care of Nightingale's forces Lyubochka is (traitorously) after the Unbound Star, but has been misled on location. Oxanna will hunt her down The party intends to go to Vörös Kő Csarnokok to investigate rumours of the return of the Night Elves

Reminders:

  • Stolen hatpin (800 coins)
  • 100 coins from bandits
  • 500 coins of stuff from Likho ambush
  • what happened to Attoanselmi Eetuhannu?
  • who kept the bone carvings?

Chapter 19: The Road to Vörös Kő Csarnokok

  • Dwarven Government
  • The Boy who Cried Wolf
  • Restless Spirits

(March 11, 2016)

In which:

  • Karisska Sakari returns. (soul sucking sword?)
  • Josef visits his aunt. (blinged up armour)
  • Halfling chip-wagons abound. (delicious!)
  • Narbo's bees emerge. (buzz buzz)
  • A flaming wolf-man runs. (also explodes!)
  • A snap blizzard obscures the way. (so cold)
  • The Shahina guides a spirit home. (to the Eternal Flame)

Chapter 20: Dwarven Politics pt.I

  • Desolate farmlands
  • Following the trail
  • Encounter on the bridge

(April 1, 2016)

In which:

  • Avgust creates an enchanted pendant
  • Josef initiates "negotiations"
  • Chaos infested dwarves are beaten back
  • Alexei captures a corrupted Domovoy
  • Narbo flips off the voice in his head
  • Irene displays a newfound talent
  • Many beards were lost

Chapter 21: Dwarven Politics pt.2

  • Busting Down the Doors (metaphorically)
  • Entreating the Ancestors
  • The Puppet in Blue and Gold

(April 30, 2016)

In which:

  • Barriers are busted
  • The ritualist is transported
  • No natural gas fuelled conflagrations take place, despite the prodigious use of pyrotechnics
  • The Dwarven ancestors protect their kin
  • The chaos dwarves and their leader retreat into the mines

Chapter 22: Into the Depths pt.1

  • The Chaos Spout
  • Fighting off the Rat Dragons
  • Night Elf Soiree

(June 4, 2016)

Chapter 23: Into the Depths pt.2

  • Lighting up the Golems
  • Street of Thorns
  • Sulphur Springs Denial

(July 16, 2016)

Chapter 24: Enemy at the Gate

  • The Final Ritual
  • The Alcanost and the Crowned One
  • The Ultimate Sacrifice

(August 26, 2016)

In which:

  • Alexei Denounces the Puppet in Blue and Gold
  • Joseph and Narbo wade into the dwarves
  • Irene frees the Alcanost
  • The Crowned One blasts Alexei
  • Narbo and Joseph blast the Crowned One
  • Avgust confronts his Fear
  • Hope springs eternal
  • Rocks fall, (not) everyone dies

Epilogue

  • Alexei completes and publishes his book, which (among other things) points out the moral failings of Tsardom and the complicitness of the Three Facers religion.
  • Irene finds someone to teach her about her gift of flame
  • Narbo returns to the Kenedhel for a time, then journeys home
  • Avgust spends his days making amends to the Legion he inadvertently poured his Fear into
  • Many tales are told in the Mansions of Red Rock of Saint Joseph the Protector who keeps the miners safe.

Custom Moves

New Game Terms

The Map

In the fiction, the Map is a physical object on the person of one of the Bogatyrs. In form it is likely a combination of actual maps, sketches, notes, etc., in a journal or map case or similar container. Outside of the Fiction, the Map consists of the locations noted above on this wiki; the wiki is the real world representation of the fictional Map.

Light X

Light is a tag found on equipment, objects, creatures, or anything else. It always has a numerical value associated with it. Objects with the Light tag generate useful light in dark places. If the tag is on an item of equipment, that item must be held, displayed, or otherwise available to generate light for the tag to be active.

Cartography

When you stop to take time to record information about your journeys into your Map, roll +INT. On 10+, you may record up to three locations on your Map that you have physically visited and spent some time in since the last time you used this Move. On a 7-9, you may record one.

Using your Map

When you travel between locations on your Map it is not considered hostile territory for the purposes of the Undertake a Perilous Journey Special Move. In addition, the journey will be uneventful unless you choose to take a risk on the journey. Risks might include making the journey in a lot less time, or hunting for opposition along the way, or searching the path for some important resource.

A Light in the Darkness

When you make a Move that requires a dice roll in darkness, check the available nearby Light. If there is less Light then the number of bogatyr in the group, take -1 forward for each Light that is missing, maximum -3 forward.

Moving up in the Magical World

When you take the exam to gain a Level in the Rational Sodality of Thaumaturgists roll +Int. On a 10+, you gain the level and the accolades of your peers. +1 ongoing in official interactions with the Sodality until your next exam. On a 7-9 you pass, but choose one: you are know to have almost failed a section by everyone, and will carry that blot on your record OR you had to pay a bribe, the GM will tell you who you paid off OR you had to cheat. On a 6 or less, you failed one section, tell the GM which. You'll have to retake it at some point in the future when you can demonstrate to your superiors your knowledge has improved.

Spoor of Chaos

When you paint yourself with chaos residue roll +CON. On a 10+ you have demonstrated your fidelity to the spirits of chaos, hold 3. On 7-9 hold 1. Spend hold while you wear the chaos residue to become more ferocious (+1 in a circumstance where ferocity matters). You are at -2 to social interactions other than violent ones while wearing the residue.

Items

Pencast's Joyful Friend

Currently in the possession of Josef A round wooden shield in the style of the Kenedhel with a stylized picture of a forest bison on it. Armor +1, Weight 2.

When you use the Joyful Friend in battle, the spirit of the Old Wisent will touch you. The GM will tell you how the Old Wisent changes you to suit his whim.

When you lead through the forest you can move freely across it as if it were open prairie.

When you charge the enemy to defend your friends, first laugh in the face of your foes. Then defend normally, except:

  • On a 12+, you throw your enemies backward and into confusion, as well as gaining 3 hold.
  • You can spent hold to throw an enemy back in confusion.

The Mask of the Shahina

Currently in the possession of Alexei A wooden mask with golden lacquer, once belonging to the Hakoom Shahina. On the inside are carved the words "Truth at all costs, and no human is truthful" in ancient Khorafani.

When you wear the Mask of the Shahina, anyone who speaks a lie before the gaze of the mask will become deathly afraid, as if threatened by their worst fear.

The Toiletries Case of Pharnabazus

Currently in the possession of Alexei An ancient and finely wrought wooden case, containing all manner of toiletries (hairbrush, toothpick, mirror, etc.) The exact contents seem to vary according to what is needed. Weight 1.

When you use the Toiletries of Pharnabazus to smarten yourself up and look nice, you will look as perfect as it is possible for you to look. At a minimum, this gives you +1 ongoing to any kind of social interaction where looking good might matter, but it could have many possible outcomes.

Narbo's Tattoo

On Narbo's back

This tattoo was once a stylized map of the Forest of Chernobog, the Vidmovyvsya Hills and the Pryamador Forest, with the words "You may find what you will need" worked into it. It has been altered so that it now also (in addition to looking like a map) also looks like a stylized beehive with 8 stylized bees swarming around it. Because of this tattoo, Narbo now understands the buzzings and whisperings of bees.

When Narbo offers something sweet and tasty to the bees, one or more will come out his back and buzz around and/or land on his shoulders and head. This is not painful, but is disturbing as hell to watch. They won’t be able to free themselves if Narbo is wearing something that covers his back. He gains hold 3.

Narbo may spend this hold in the following ways…

  • +1 forward on Discern Realities with respect to a situation where a bees eye-view or senses would be helpful, as long as Narbo listens to their whispers and buzzing.
  • Find something tasty and sweet to eat nearby.
  • Sting someone with a VERY painful sting. Narbo will now have one fewer bee on his back; a red welt-like wound will be left in its place that will never quite heal.
  • Take a message to someone who can understand the whispers and buzzing of bees and who is within range of a bee's flight.

When Narbo lays down in a bed or field of flowers, with his back open to the air and in the sunshine, the bees will all come out and swarm about. He can ask one question about things, people, etc., and the bees may, by tickling his back with respect to the map, tell him something that may answer that question. This would mostly be about locations, but who knows what knowledge the bees have?

Az Összeolvasztási (The Flattener)

This is a well made but very heavy battle axe with its name etched into the blade. +1 damage, Close, 3 Weight.

When you Hack and Slash with Az Összeolvasztási on a 12+ you also flatten your opponent to the ground. On a 6-, however, you will have to get your footing again in addition to taking damage, as the weapon has swung wide and knocked you off balance.

Lyubochka's Scrolls from Fort Knezik

When you use these scrolls to research or study the increasing Order, take +1 forward. 3 uses.

Gyozo's Maps and Papers from Fort Knezik

When you use these maps and papers to figure out or react to the plans of Nightingale the Robber, take +1 forward. 3 uses.

A pendant created by Avgust to help with dealing with the dwarves

Avgust created this pendant to help the bogatyrs negotiate with the dwarves. Specifically, he created the pendant to make anyone wearing it appear friendly to allies and friends of a particular deceased dwarf, Orban. Strangely, the magic worked too well, and the wearer of the amulet simply appears to BE Orban.

When you are wearing the pendant and confront a dwarf of Voros Ko Csarnakok the GM will decide if that person was an ally/friend of Orban. If they were, then you will appear to BE Orban to that person; they will treat you as Orban regardless of how absurd the situation may become. However, if they were not an ally/friend of Orban, the pendant has no effect.

Links

Pinterest Board

See the visual ideas board. Ask Hans if you want permission to pin to it.

Templates specific to this campaign

See also Category: campaign templates

Forms specific to this campaign

See also Category: campaign forms