16 June 2024

Against the Court of Urdor – Part 3

Triumvir Town, Dawnfell, and the Crystal Glade

        [Kiren]                                    [Einar]

February 1000 2AH (Second Age of Humanity): 1st – 7th. 
(A recap of the adventure so far.)

In Part 1 of this tale, our protagonistsEinar Quicksilver, the Green Elf scout of Koronande, and Kiren Hammerstone, the Dwarf animist of the Halls of Pale Steel – were compelled by the malevolent Tantûraki wizard Zepheus to infiltrate the barrow of the Green Elf Prince Berethil. The ghost of Berethil, however, helped to free the adventurers from Zepheus’s control. In return, Einar and Kiren vowed to return the White Crown of northern Taaliraan to the prince’s sister, Queen Blàithnaid. Doing so, Berethil believes, will release him from his ghostly existence, as he had cravenly stolen the crown an eon ago, thereby greatly weakening his sister during the Great War that ended the last Age.

In Part 2, as Einar and Kiren fled the spider-infested jungle of the Weblands and entered the Cursed Lands, they encountered some members of the Company of the Morningstar: the Kirani ranger Karos, the Hathorian wizard Evrix, and the Tantûraki scout Zephyr. After helping the trio in their hunt for Zepheus by informing them of the whereabouts of the necromancer’s camp – and receiving valuable information and aid in return – Einar and Kiren travelled to the small settlement of Korlax’s Haven. There they agreed to help the bard Blarth recover his silver harp from a vile band of redcaps. Alas, poor Blarth was slain by a ghoul in the process, but the heroes freed two prisoners from the redcaps: the doughty half-orc Krumm and the flighty pixie Neriss. They also found Blarth’s silver harp and magical “pouch of loaves.” 

[The Cursed Lands]

February 1000 2AH: the 8th and 9th days.

Kiren, Einar, Krumm, and Neriss spend the day travelling to Korlax’s Haven, arriving in the small settlement in the late afternoon. En route, Einar notices a large black bird following the party from a distance. At the Storm’s End Inn, Old Wakkim mentions that Blarth’s family lives in the town of Misty Vale to the north and suggests that the dead bard’s silver harp be returned to them. 

The next day Krumm thanks Einar and Kiren for his liberation, telling them that they will “always have a friend in Thraz,” and departs. The Blue Elf herbalist Aethelia is saddened to learn of Blarth’s death and (like Wakkim) encourages the duo to go to Misty Vale to inform his family and return the harp. Einar asks Aethelia if she knows anything about Queen Blàithnaid. In addition to confirming the information that the two had gained from the Company of the Morning Star a few days earlier, she tells them that after creating the Lake of Mists by opening a gate to Faerie – and thereby destroying much of the assembled armies of both her foes and allies – the Queen created the Young Treelands to the north of her former realm (thereby creating a new barrier against Tantûrak).  

Kiren asks Aethelia if she knows anything about the ancient Court of Urdor. The Blue Elf shares what information she has: the Court served the Night Elf Queen Everekka during the Era of the Elves. This, however, is not new information for the party. Neriss, however, mentions that many of her people – along with numerous gnomes, merrows, and other Fey folk – fled to the distant island of Awallon to avoid the war amongst the elves over 3700 years ago.

[Neriss the Pixie]

Later that day the party departs Korlax’s Haven and travels north to Castle Triumvir. (The fortress was once known as “Castle Gloomfist” and held by orcish brigands. Two decades ago, though, an Arsilonian mercenary leader from the northern isle of Aldena – known only as “Lord Triumvir” – drove away the brutes with his soldiers and claimed the surrounding lands for himself.) 

There is a decent inn that lies in the shadow of the castle – The Moon’s Song – where the three travellers stay for the night. Neriss continues to pass herself off as a young Green Elf in order to avoid drawing unwanted attention.

February 1000 2AH: the 10th day.

[Triumvir Town]

Kiren, Einer, and Neriss reach the small hamlet of Triumvir Town before noon. They go to the Evening Feast inn, which is run by the friendly halfling innkeeper Marda “Fair Voice” and her five nieces and nephews. Also at the inn is a Kirani traveller, Jabbo “Far Walker,” who warns the travellers of a band of brigands, “the Dread Wolves,” that operate in the region near Dawnfell. Jabbo also mentions that many of the gorcrows of Urdor once served as the “Eyes of the Autarch” back during the First Age of Humanity. Perhaps they now serve the “Magician” of Tantûrak or his servant Zepheus?

[Jabbo the "Far Walker"]

Einar and Kiren meet with the reclusive Arsilonian loremaster Xerric later in the afternoon. The Green Elf makes a favourable impression, and a fruitful discussion ensues. Like his former employer Lord Triumvir, Xerric hails from the northern isle of Aldena and holds no loyalty or fondness for Tantûrak – indeed, he expresses disgust at the mention of Zepheus. He confirms that many gorcrows do indeed serve the Autarch, or his followers like the Magician and Zepheus, and often are dispatched to investigate disturbances in the Ethereal winds caused by the use of magic. 

[Xerric the Loremaster]

When asked about Queen Blàithnaid, Xerric restates many things already known by the duo. However, he mentions a strange island in the midst of the Lake of Mists and suggests that the Queen may dwell there. The island, he warns, is said to have a strange will of its own and thwarts anyone who attempts to land on it. Einar and Kiren thank the loremaster for his hospitality and assistance, and promise to inform him of anything they learn about Blàithnaid or the Lake of Mists in the future.

Returning to the Evening Feast inn, the travellers enjoy a fine meal. Marda flirts playfully with the slightly astonished Kiren

[Marda "Fair Voice"]

February 1000 2AH: the 11th and 12th days.

The party reaches the small village of Dawnfell in the late afternoon of the 11th. Two guards wish to prevent entry by Einar and Neriss, both of whom they identify as Green Elves, but Kiren manages to convince them to let them in. The three travellers then proceed to the village’s only inn, the Staff of Hathor. There they are greeted warmly by the Hathorian innkeeper Olga, who shows them to a private booth. She tells them that the village’s leader, Brynjar, has been hostile towards the Green Elves of the nearby Crystal Glade since the death of his daughter years ago. Olga also mentions that the village artifact – the “Dawnchime” – recently has been stolen. The Dawnchime helps keep the village safe from the trolls that infest the nearby jungle, the Wilder Woods. Apparently, the sound of the chime causes great agony to any trolls who hear it. Now that it is lost, the villagers fear an attack by the savage brutes any day. Brynjar blames the nearby elves for the theft. Olga implores the party to speak with the folk of the Crystal Glade to help resolve the situation. She also mentions the threat posed by the Dread Wolves and the presence of many menacing gorcrows in the region over the past year.

The next morning the party is rudely awoken by a band of guardsmen, who apprehend the party and bring them before Brynjar. The leader or “Thane” of Dawnfell is a grim looking Hathorian of middle years. He takes Neriss prisoner and demands that Einar and Kiren recover the Dawnchime for the village. Brynjar is convinced that the artifact is in the possession of the “Emerald Wardens” of the Crystal Glade, and hopes that Einar, as a fellow Green Elf, will be able to obtain the item from them. Distressed, the duo agrees to the Thane’s terms, and depart for the jungle. 


The two heroes begin to follow the trail that runs through the Wilder Woods, connecting Dawnfell to the Tantûraki village of Xarith on the coast. Einar soon spots a cabin to the south. They investigate and find it to be abandoned. It looks like it was once the home of a wood and plant gatherer. Inside, Einar finds a sapphire broach in the shape of a butterfly; it is clearly of elvish craftsmanship. The two then locate the wood gatherer’s map, although Kiren is stung by some wasps while doing so. Several locations are indicated on the map, including the Crystal Glade and the base of the Dread Wolves. It would seem that the wood gatherer disappeared recently – perhaps he was a victim of the bandits or some unwholesome beast? Worried, the adventurers return to the path.

By noon the two adventurers are approached by two Green Elf warriors. One of them, Ferris, agrees to take them to the Crystal Glade. The village is protected by a high wall of interwoven tree branches, roots, and trunks. A bright blue brook flows through the centre. Most of the people live high within the trees – much as do the folk of Einar’s hometown of Tauronde. One especially impressive tree, which has no dwellings upon it, is an Elbrinth tree, which is composed of mystical white wood and widely revered by the elvish people. (The last time Einar had seen such a tree was upon the burial mound of Prince Berethil, where two stood in silent vigil.)


The adventurers meet with the leader of the Emerald Wardens, Nuriel. This is the first time that Einar has met his cousin – during his fifty years of life, he had not ventured far beyond the borderlands of Koronande, and Nuriel had not journeyed to Tauronde during that time. But Einer knew well Nuriel’s mother, Yvenna. His aunt was a dear friend of his parents and had been an important scholar in Tauronde for many centuries. The initial reason for the duo’s journey to the Cursed Lands was so that Einar could deliver news of Yvenna’s assassination – by means of a mysterious poison – to her daughter, as well as his aunt’s cherished jade necklace.   

Greatly saddened by the news of her mother’s death, Nuriel thanks Einar and tells the adventurers that they should consider the Crystal Glade a safe haven for the rest of their days. She gives them accommodation in one of the many tree dwellings of the village. After news of Yvenna’s death spreads throughout the settlement, a beautiful, melancholic dirge is played by the Green Elves.

Nuriel informs the duo that the folk of the Crystal Glade have no knowledge of the whereabouts of the Dawnchime. She also provides the elvish perspective on why Brynjar loathes the Emerald Wardens so intensely: twenty-five years ago, Brynjar’s daughter Brynna was accidentally slain by one of the elvish hunters, Elva. The Thane subsequently had Elva tried and executed. Ever since that tragic incident, the folk of Dawnfell have been estranged from the Green Elves who were once their allies.

Over some refreshment, Nuriel informs Einar and Kiren of more recent troubles. The Crystal Glade had been protected for many years by a magical gem called the “Dragon’s Eye.” Recently, though, a band of vile trolls assaulted the village and stole the gem from the “Wyrdwood Tree” – the Elbrinth tree that the duo had noticed earlier. The Wyrdwood Tree had protected the Dragon’s Eye since its arrival in the Crystal Glade. Somehow, though, the trolls had broken through the village’s root wall and knew exactly where to find the gem. While most of the trolls were slain by the Emerald Wardens, one did manage to flee into the woods with the Dragon’s Eye, as he was assisted by a large murder of gorcrows that blocked any immediate pursuit. Without the magical gem, the village lies vulnerable to the vampires and other malevolent entities that dwell within the terrible Wilder Woods.

The two heroes spend the rest of the afternoon looking about the village. They encounter a strange creature named “Grizzy” helping the Green Elves repair the damage caused by the trolls to the root wall and Wyrdwood Tree. Grizzy (whose proper name turns out to be “Grissilfildun”) explains that he is a gnome animist. After a brief chat, it is discovered that Grizzy is from the same Fey enclave as Neriss. Upon learning of his pixie friend’s imprisonment, the gnome becomes quite upset and worried. He implores the adventurers to liberate Neriss and bring her to him. He also agrees to share some of his animist lore with Kiren. The two short bearded animists get along quite well.

["Grizzy" the Gnome]

The pair meet Nuriel for dinner. Einar and Kiren relate in greater detail their many tribulations since leaving Tauronde. Nuriel recalls Prince Berethil, as she was herself a young soldier during the war that ended the last Age. She expresses great bitterness towards the prince for his treachery – but is impressed by the duo’s quest to return the crown to Queen Blàithnaid. She also is grateful to Einar for investigating the poison that caused her mother’s death. 

Nuriel tells Einar and Kiren that the elves have tracked the troll who stole the Dragon’s Eye to a nearby ruin, which is known as the “Broken Temple.” The Emerald Wardens are wary of entering it, as it is a place that was once holy to the Tantûraki, and the Green Elves find human religious buildings unsettling. Nonetheless, they know that the troll is still there, most likely with some allies.   

The three infer that there must be some connection between the recent thefts of the Dragon’s Eye and the Dawnchime. Perhaps the Dread Wolves are cooperating with the trolls? 

They interrogate a Dread Wolf brigand that had recently been imprisoned by the Emerald Wardens. Using his magic, Kiren senses that the brigand – a Kirani woman named “Agandis” – radiates darkness. She is in league with servants of the Darkmaster!

After some persuasion and negotiation, Agandis agrees to reveal everything she knows, so long as Nuriel vows to let her go. Nuriel agrees, but with certain conditions. The prisoner will be freed only once both the Dragon’s Eye and Dawnchime have been recovered, and must take an oath to never engage in banditry or serve the forces of darkness again. 

With promises exchanged, Agandis explains that a deal had been arranged between the Dread Wolves and the trolls. The bandits agreed to steal the Dawnchime from Dawnfell. One of their minions – a farmer named Hamrick Tallowfoot – serves as a spy within the village. The trolls desire the Dawnchime because it prevents them from being able to attack the village. In return, the trolls agreed to steal the Dragon’s Eye. The gem is sought by the employer of the Dread Wolves – the dread necromancer Zepheus! It seems that the Tantûraki wizard has long sought the ancient elvish artifact. Agandis then tells the adventures about the various traps located around the Dread Wolves’ camp, and an enchanted pendant used by their leader, Vargus, to ignite fires. 

Exhausted by a long day of travel, investigation, and interrogation, the duo retire to their tree platform for the night.


The master page for the World of Ukrasia and this campaign is here.

The “Court of Urdor” setting (including the central part of the island) draws upon – but significantly modifies – ICE’s 1981 Court of Ardor campaign module by Terry Amthor. The map of the “Cursed Lands” is from the module’s main map, by Peter Fenlon. (I added a number of new locations to the “Cursed Lands” map – it should be obvious which ones are not part of the original map.)

The map of Triumvir Town is from the ICE campaign module, The Cloudlords of Tanara, by Terry Amthor. (I added the labels.) 

The picture of Einar is from the Neverwinter Nights CRPG (as is the picture of Marda). The picture of Kiren is from the Baldur’s Gate Enhanced Edition CRPG. The pictures of Jabbo and Xerric are from a “mod” for the BGEE CRPG. 

The picture of Brynjar is the Silence of Dawnfell adventure. The picture of “Grizzy” is from the Secrets of the Golden Throne rules and campaign book. Both books are for the Against the Darkmaster RPG, and published by Open Ended Games. 

Queen Blàithnaid is from the Against the Darkmaster core book. Nuriel, Brynjar, and other materials concerning Dawnfell and the Crystal Glade are from the Silence of Dawnfell adventure for VsD. I have extensively modfied both adventures for this setting and campaign. The map of the Dawnfell region is my own but draws upon the version found in the book.


  1. Really like your adventure and the setting! I'm curious how it will evolve and also how you have adapted the two modules to fit I'm your campaign (I struggle a lot when it comes to adapt prewritten adventures)

    1. Thanks Nicola!
      As for prewritten adventures, I simply use them as resources (NPCs, locations, story ideas) to mine and change as necessary to fit my campaign. I'm pretty ruthless in cutting things out (I cut about 1/3 from both adventures), adding things (usually relationships, events, or NPCs that better fit with my campaign), and modifying things as I see fit. Normally I end up with a about a page of notes and many things scrawled in the margins of the adventures.
      I may try to write a longer post about this in the future. :)


Blog Archive

About Me

My photo
I'm a Canadian political philosopher who lives primarily in Toronto but teaches in Milwaukee (sometimes in person, sometimes online).