AR 1214-10-22 Thunder Rift Adventuring Map Details
Kendrick Map details:
Beech Hedge: A town of about 200 people in its hayday. It is run by an elected Burgonmaster. Known ex-Golden Eagle students living there:
- Melody Dayton – Human female wizard from Hippogriff cave graduating 4 years before the group
- Dillon Twitty – Human male rogue from Gargoyle cave graduating 4 years before the group
Black Knight Keep: All we know is those who have tried to go investigate it either report lots of undead and don’t try to get too close, or they never return. We have stopped sending anyone to check. None of the undead leave to plague anyone.
Black Swamp: 20 miles of un-walkable swamp that in the past people actually tried to fill in parts and live there. But that failed miserably. The Lizard folk claim it as theirs. Leaving them alone to their territory that few could live in has worked just fine.
Brichtwood: Home to a unicorn and a bunch of centaurs. They do not like any trespassers. Recent report of some harpies taking up residence in the cliffs above the woods.
Copper Dragon: When I first came to the valley, my guys and I ran into this copper dragon. He was a lover of puzzles. We were able to placate him so he did not eat us. We did not stay long as we did not want to chance pissing him off with a bad puzzle. I do not know what has become of him since. His name was unpronounceable to the dwarven tongue.
Corwin’s Church to Thor: Corwin was a human cleric just over a hundred years ago who settled in the peaceful valley. He was best friends to Tempest who built the keep near the church Corwin raised to Thor. None of us have checked up on Corwin’s decedents in quite some time.
Fatolas Hills: There used to be a large number of goblins and hobgoblins that use to live in the hills. They used to plague the Thunder Rift Keep dwarves. With my dwarven friends, we were able to clean most of the nest out and I earn the right to Shar’s hand and Gunthyr, my axe, the pride and joy of Shar’s father. I suspect the goblins and hobgoblins have increased in numbers without the dwarves being there to keep their numbers down.
Gauntlin Forest: My understanding is the Druid Samual has a grove in the forest up near Tempest’s Keep. The rest of the woods is pretty wild. The people of the different towns in the Rift use it for wood for building and burning. But no one goes in very far, except for the trappers and hunters. Off and on they report problems or disappear. The large lake at the center of it is said to have some type of lake monster. Creatures reported in the woods from time to time are: bugbears, gnolls, wyverns, giant spiders, along with the more normal, bears, big cats, and wolves. In the far corner of it there is rumored to be a small group of Rakshasa. If that is true, they truly keep to themselves as none have been sighted in any of the towns.
Gloomfens: The swamp was caused by a wizard vs warrior war long, long ago. The warriors in what is now called the Haunted Tower and wizards in the Wizardspire were once strong and fast friends and helped rid Thunder Rift of many enemies so they could live in peace. But humans having short lives forget the past too much. They soon had some type of fight about something no one remembers. The Wizards struck a great blow and caused the warriors in the Tower to die and the swamp to be created. No one returns from investigating the tower. Considering the great wealth of the warriors, I expect that there is a lot you could find if you could but get there. See The Haunted Tower or Wizardspire for more.
Grakenwood: This woods is known for its Owlbears and very strange Ogres. The Owlbears venture just outside the woods for food, so no farmers last long near the woods. The Ogres are not known to leave the woods. It is rumored that they are protecting something very precious. Ancient history says that there used to be a city in that area. A few have tried to check out the rumors but none have returned.
Kleine: This city was at one time home to around 500 people. It is run by an elected Burgonmaster. Known ex-Golden Eagle students living there:
- Kaya Little – Halfling female rogue from Gargoyle cave graduating 4 years before the group
- Martin Waits – Human male fighter from Phoenix cave graduating 4 years before the group
Kraal Ruins: Someone’s failed attempt to live in the Black Swamp. It is unknown if there is any treasure to be had there. Divination says it has partly sunk into the swamp so is not really usable anymore anyway.
Lake Ostrel: A long time ago, a barge carrying the king and princes of another land was coming to Melinir to meet the betrothed of the eldest son. They carried with them a substantial dowry as is customary, along with their magical armor and weapons. In haste, they instructed the captain of the craft to waste no time in travel. The barge master foolishly kept going after dark and ignored the early warning signs of an impending waterfall, or perhaps did not notice them. In any case, it is said that the barge plunged over the falls and nothing more was ever heard from the people on it. As far as anyone knows the treasure is still in the lake. Countless explorers have met death seeking this wealth and no one has found any proof of the tale. There have been reports of water creatures off and on the large lake as well so maybe they recovered it themselves.
Marshwood: The edge of the Black Swamp nearest Melinir can be walked in places. Special trappers from Melinir earn a living getting gators from there for special dishes for the wealthy as well as turning the skins into shoes, purses or leather armor.
Melinir: This city was once home to over 2000 people. The earthquake and plague cut that number down by more than half. But it has been increasing in size due to an open invitation to people from outside the Rift. Currently the city manager is Belcom. The King is Falsom and the Queen is Verona. Captain of the guard is Castrata (Cassy).
New Haven: A town of about 200 people in its hayday. It is run by an elected Burgonmaster. Known ex-Golden Eagle students living there:
- Eadulf – human male barbarian from Phoenix cave graduating 2 years before the group
- Zedena – female half orc of Sif from Hippogriff cave graduating 2 years before the group
Old Dragon Cave: This is the cave of the young black dragon I and my friends killed when we first moved to Thunder Rift. It was attacking people of the rift. The treasure was not that large, but it helped fund the first part of the Golden Eagle Clan Keep being built. We caved in part of the entrance to make the cave less inviting to dragons so another one does not move in. As far as I know it is still empty.
Old Mine: There are several old mines just north of Melinir. These have been abandoned except by the most fool hearty or desperate. This is because of the problems found in the Whistling Cave near them.
Raven’s Ruins: A man named Raven paid a huge amount of gold to have laborers from Kleine build a home at the edge of the burning hills. Word had it he was a loner. That was over a hundred years ago, and he has not been spotted since. It is unknown if it would be worth checking out or not.
Tempest’s Keep: Tempest was a great friend of mine back a hundred years ago. He came to visit the keep once near the end of his fighting career and decided to settle in the valley. Not wanting to impose on me, he built in the corner of Thunder Rift no one else had. A small town grew around his keep called Thorton. Our good friend Corwin built a church there and retired as well. I went back for both their funerals but have not been back since so I do not know how Tempest family has fared.
The Bone Hills: Desolate place that little but grass grows on rolling hills. We off and on get strange monsters that move into the area that plague the caravans. When that happens, we hunt them down so the caravans can move our goods to other places.
The Burning Hills: An inhospitable place to all but a few creatures. Goblins, kobolds, mountain lions and dire wolves roam the area. It is unknown why Raven would ever want to have a place built in it.
The Dark Pit: The edges of the pit can just be seen from the high plateau. No one knows what is down it or what caused it. It has been postulated that it was from some large explosion in the ancient city that supposedly dwelt in the Brakenwood.
The Haunted Tower: This was once a great training location for warriors. It was headed up by Sir Jameson the Defender. It was rumored to have been even larger than ours. Of course we train for more than just warriors. They were much more limited to what they did. By separating the Wizard from the Warrior training, I believe it led to the misunderstanding. It is one of the reasons we train all possible talents, not just how to fight. See Gloomfens or Wizardspire for more.
The Horned Hills: The northernmost edge has the route out of Thunder Rift to the other lands. A group of minotaurs live in the Horned hills and keep the passage free of monsters for a price. All caravans that use the route out are expected to pay 1% of the worth of the goods that are being carried through to ensure the passage is kept safe. The minotaurs keep the goblins that also live in the hills under control. IE: They hunt them to keep their numbers down. Guess they like the taste. Me I found goblin quite stringy and dry tasting.
The Monolith: In the grass lands between The Horned Hills and The Bone Hills lies what is called The Monolith. It is the lone tall rock in that grass lands. As far as I know it is just a strange but natural rock. It just looks weird in the middle of nothing.
The Wailing Plateau: Near the center of the Gauntlin Forest is a strange flat mountain. It is filled with holes that when the wind is heavy, you can hear wailing sounds coming from it. Rumors abound about it, but they are just that, rumors since no one has ever returned from investigating it.
Thorton: A town of about 100 people in its heyday. It is run by the current ruler of Tempest Keep. There has never been any Golden Eagle students from there. I suspect they teach their own.
Thunder Rift Keep: The entire area of the keep is just ruins. We cause a bit more of it to collapse when we tunneled in to get the dwarven treasure for Rogi, Wolf’s father. He is using it to help get the survivors restarted at Golden Eagle Keep, along with paying for the kids to go to the academy. The remainder he will use as he sees fit. There is little left there other than the bodies. We have decided to let that be their burial ground. We have let it be known that all of the treasure has been taken so we have no scavengers disturbing the dead. But we only went for the main treasure room. We did not strip any bodies nor try to get into any of the dwarf personal caves, so I am sure there is a few things left for someone able to get through all of the rubble.
Toriynn: A town of about 500 people in its heyday. It is run by an elected Burgonmaster. Known ex-Golden Eagle students living there:
- Hughye – human male bard from Hippogriff cave graduating 2 years before the group
- Geoffry – human male wizard from Hippogriff cave graduating 2 years before the group
Unknown Tomb: In the corner of the Horned Hills is what looks like an entrance to a tomb. We have never sent anyone to investigate just it. Those investigating the Black Knight Keep report seeing some undead roaming around near that section of the Rift.
Whistling Cave: This is an area of mystery. The dwarven shafts and their human additions create an intricate, interlocking network of tunnels and pits. There are only two known entrances into the Whistling Cave, but there must be secret entrances, for creatures continue to emerge from the cave even when watches were posted at the entrances. When the wind blows across the gaping mouth of the cave, the whole underground system resonates and produces an eerie, mournful whistle. This combine with the stories of the history of the cave, is enough to deter exploration of the cavern network now by the folk of Melinir. The history of the cave has been one of turmoil, strife, and hatred. Ever since the early days, when the dwarves were mining the Melinir Hills, the cave was an object of antagonism. Everyone involved in the mining of the area became mysteriously surly. Since we dwarves can be naturally sullen, no one thought anything of it for quite some time, not until the human miners began fighting among themselves as well. Soon after, the dwarves decided to pack up their tools and head back to the Thunder Rift Keep. The humans, eager to capitalize on this unexpected windfall, moved in within the month. Soon the human, too, became cantankerous after they began their operations. Only after several dwarven skeletons had been found in the mine, during a search for a vanished party of miners, did the humans think twice about their new business acquisition. When the search party finally found the missing miners, they discovered that all of the bodies had been hacked apart, as with a pickaxe. And the look on their faces was talked about for years. The only explanations the remaining humans could think of was that some malevolent force was at work in the cave and so they shut down the mining.
WizardSpire: The location of a great teaching school for wizards. They were renowned for their spells and ability to research new spells. After the severe misunderstanding with the warriors, they created a new spell that cause the Gloomfens to become a swamp. It is thought it also killed every warrior currently at what is now known as The Haunted Towers. Those warriors that were not in the Towers at the time got their revenge about a year later. From what is understood from papers left behind, about 8 warriors posed as wizard students and got entry into the Wizardspire. One night soon after that they rose during the night and slaughtered the wizards. As far as anyone knowns, the warriors also perished as they never returned. The wards were still up at the time, and no one has been able to get by them since. I suspect if you could find a way past you could find great treasure there.