Now that I'm done with the Rookroost articles, at least for now, I thought you all might like the complete articles collected into one. I've given it another edit as well. It never ceases to amaze me how much you miss when you self edit. Big shout out to professional editors you're invaluable. Maybe someday I'll start a patreon so we can add a proper map to the text and some artwork. Just click and DOWNLOAD the complete collection of my Rookroost
Centaurs in the Flanaess come in two distinct varieties, the woodland types and the free roving centaurs that roam the expanse of plains in the Baklunich west and the grasslands that stretch across the northern Flanaess.
It is surmised among scholars that the centaurs encountered in the forested regions of the Flanaess are originally from the same stock as their plains cousins, despite being slightly smaller in stature. This is supported by the centaur's own mythology as they claim their origins are in the vast western plains.
According to centaur legend, which is handed down orally in stories and has only been written down by a few scholars, they began a migration east as the men who would become the Bakluni moved in and began competing with them territorially. During these wars for dominance over the plains, around -3,000 CY, the centaurs were at a significant disadvantage due to the humans' advantage in numbers and their more prolific use of magic.
While many centaurs were displaced and moved east, some still live in their ancestral homes, adapted to a life of competition, and continued ranging and staying away from the humans. Centaurs in these western lands are far more aggressive against humans and will attack them on sight if they have a sufficient numerical advantage, otherwise, they will flee and avoid confrontation. The centaurs that moved into the east are very wary of humans but far less bloodthirsty.
Moving into the northern plains of the Flanaess these centaurs dispersed. Tribes settled into what is now the lands of the Tiger Nomads, Wolf Nomads, Cold Marshes, much of what is the empire of Iuz, and the Barren Plains. At this time, some tribes even abandoned their traditional hunter-gather lifestyle upon the plains and took to living in the forests, with large numbers taking up residency in the Burneal, Vesve, Forlorn, and Fellreev forests. As the centaurs moved into the Flanaess, those who took to living in forests came in contact with the elves. With both races having strong ties to nature, they became mutual allies despite the centaur's general wariness towards other races. The elves living in the forests at that time helped the centaur’s transition to life there. This is particularly true of the Vesve centaurs, who have very strong ties with the elves and have adopted many of their elven customs.
Some groups of centaurs did push further south and east into the Flanaess, but the bulk of them remained in the north. However, of those tribes that did continue migrating south and east, they were nearly exclusively of the woodland variety.
The centaurs lived in the northern Flanaess for nearly a millennium before they came in contact with Flan tribes that had moved into the Flanaess and migrated into the north around -1740 CY. These encounters were relatively peaceful compared to the next wave of Flan people, the Ur-Flan lead by Vecna. The Ur-Flan and centaurs' meetings were brief and violent, leading to the centaurs fleeing east and westward away from this new Flan empire in the center of the Flanaess.
Eventually, this empire and the Ur-Flan faded from history. The Flan that remained on the plains afterward learned to live in an uneasy peace with their centaur neighbors.
The next wave of people to move into the centaurs domains in the Flanaess were the descendants of those ancient Bakluni tribes that had driven the centaurs out of their native lands in the west. These Bakluni fleeing the war between their people and the Suel moved into the lands now controlled by the Wolf and Tiger Nomads. These Bakluni, unlike the Flan, carried with them hatred and distrust of centaurs because of their experiences with them in the west. This lead to a violent clash between the two peoples. Like they had in times gone by, the centaurs were outnumbered and overwhelmed by the Bakluni tribes.
The tribes of centaurs in the northwestern were pushed eastward or sought shelter in the Burneal and the Vesve forests. The centaur tribes that fled eastward were moving into lands already dominated mostly by Flan tribes. The longstanding peace between the Flan and the centaurs turned into hostility and warfare. These conflicts were short-lived as many centaurs in the east moved into the Fellreev, and Forlorn forests seeking shelter. In the end, those tribes that remained on the plains were transformed into strong nomadic warrior tribes that learned to live alongside the Flan in peace.
The centaur tribes of the modern age live in relative harmony with their neighbors, be they elves in the forest or the nomadic Flan. Unfortunately, the animosity between the centaurs and the Bakluni tribes that evolved into the Wolf and Tiger Nomads remains.
During the Greyhawk Wars, as Iuz waged a war of genocide against the Barrens nomadic Flan, he waged war against the centaurs of the Barrens as well. Like the Flan tribes, the centaur tribes found themselves pushed to the edge of extinction before the war turned against Iuz, forcing him to pay more attention toward his enemies in the south.
Since then, the plains' centaurs have grown a strong bond of camaraderie with the remaining Flan tribes, and the two peoples now look upon one another as allies.
The centaurs of the Vesve were caught up in the war as well and fought alongside their closest allies, the elves. These centaurs still do not trust humans and work only in conjunction with them at the Veseve elves' behest.
Of all the centaur tribes, those who live in the cold Burneal forest have fared the best over these centuries of warfare. They have only contended with local tribes of Chakji and the Uirtag Flan they share the forest with. The centaurs have learned to share the sprawling forest with their human neighbors and are on good terms with them. The wars that have thinned the other centaur tribes of the Flanaess, fortunately, have never found their way into the Burneal. These centaurs are the most culturally savage of all the centaur tribes having the least contact with the outside world.
The forest-dwelling and plains centaurs' fighting styles have developed into similar but unique approaches to combat and warfare. Both use the same weapons for the most part, with their tactics setting them apart. Centaur warriors all carry hide-covered shields, spears, clubs, and either long or short bows.
On the plains, centaurs will attempt to keep their enemies at a distance and rain down arrows upon them. Only after they have sufficiently whittled down their enemy’s numbers do they close in to fight them. Plains centaurs are proficient at charging attacks where they will ride past their enemies just within range of their spears, stab at them as they ride past.
Woodland centaurs do not have the luxury of wide-open spaces. Still, they try to keep a distance between themselves and their enemies. Forst centaurs prepare ambushes to catch their enemies in relying on the element of surprise to inflict maximum casualties. Once the trap is sprung, they will launch several arrows, then melt into the forest and take up positions at another ambush. Forest centaurs are even more reluctant to close ranks with their enemies than their plains cousins. While slightly smaller than plains centaurs, the forest centaurs are still large creatures making it harder for them to navigate in thick forest.
The society of centaurs of the Flanaess is described for their kind in the various incarnations of the monster manuals. They are sociable with elves and gnomes, indifferent towards halflings and dwarves, and can be hostile towards humans. The level of hostility varies greatly depending on the region. The centaurs of the northern plains of the Flanaess are highly aggressive towards the Tiger and Wolf Nomads but on relatively good terms with the Rovers of the Barrens. They also hate all of those that work with Iuz.
Centaurs in the far west are isolationists speaking only with other tribes of centaurs. They are hostile toward all Bakluni and Paynim peoples. The western centaur tribes have taken to breeding and keeping packs of dogs with them, something their eastern cousins do not do.
The centaurs of the Burneal, and Forlorn forests are on good terms with local tribes of Flan and Chakji, but view all other humans as their enemies. These tribes also do not share the camaraderie with elves that the southern tribes have.
Of all the centaur tribes of the Flanaess, those of the Vesve forest is the most open towards other races and peoples. While still wary of humans, they have fought alongside rangers and druids enough to see and understand that not all humans are bad, just most of them. Their relationship with the elves of the Vesve is very strong. Because of this, the centaurs of the Vesve are the most culturally advanced of all the centaur tribes of the Flanaess.
Centaurs live in tribes existing of several extended families. The number of families varies but ranges between 4 to 8. The tribes are led by elders and the shaman of the tribe. Warriors are respected but are not the ruling class per-say. However, when a warrior reaches an older age, they are generally welcomed into the council of elders.
Centaurs of the plains live a traditional hunter-gatherer lifestyle and range from one campground to another in time with the seasons. They also live in large communal tents during bad weather. During the summer, they will traditionally only use lean-tos as a form of shelter.
Forest centaurs live a stationary lifestyle, usually making their homes in forest glades and clearings. They also build wooden structures or permanent tent-like structures. Forest centaurs also farm and raise certain types of livestock.
Centaur clothing is fashioned from furs and rough homespun fibers. They are not metal workers, and the bulk of their tools and weapons are made from wood and stone. They understand the benefit of metal weapons, though, and those that they can collect are prized. If and when centaur tribes barter or trade with other races, they usually are looking for metal weapons.
Unlike most other race’s centaurs have no gods that they worship. Their religion is based around the worship of their ancestors and nature. They believe that all things have a spirit that connects them to the one Great Spirt from which everything has evolved. All gods of nature and other gods are little more than an extension of this Great Spirit and should be respected but not venerated.
Each tribe has at least one elder shaman and a handful of lesser shaman that learn from the elder. When the elder shaman passes, one of the lesser shamans steps in to fill the void, becoming the new elder shaman.
Centaurs believe that one should try to live in harmony with all the spirits of the world. To them, living in harmony with nature is how one does this, and they see attempts to control, alter, and change the natural order of things as a perversion and unnatural. Damming a river, building a city, cutting down trees to sell the wood for coin are all perversions and anger the spirits.
Centaurs as Player Characters
Players wanting to play a centaur in Greyhawk should be aware of several things before choosing them, and they should talk with their DM to see how strictly they will apply them.
Most centaurs distrust humans or are hostile to them. Most centaurs also see other races that do not live in harmony with nature as evil races. To centaurs’ dwarves fall into this category. Because of this, most centaurs will find it hard to live and associate with most other races.
Humans unfamiliar with centaurs treat them with more of a sense of awe than anything else. They do not look at them with the same disdain they have for orcs and goblins. However, those with a history of interaction with centaurs will be wary or hostile toward them. Despite this, it is possible to play a centaur that has rejected some or most traditional ways of centaur life and now lives amongst humans.
The second thing that a player should consider is that the world is not designed for creatures of their size and make. Centaurs are much taller than average humans. Buildings and dungeons are not designed for four-legged and large creatures. Simple actions for a human, like climbing a rope, is nearly impossible for a centaur. Players should keep this in mind when choosing a centaur as a character. That being said, there are rules to be found in the Complete Book of Humanoids and in the Guildmasters’ Guild to Ravnica for playing centaur characters.
Name: Lavenvoranoth, Amethyst Dragon
Age: Old, 400+
Description: Lavenvoranoth is a bit larger than other amethyst dragons of the same age because of his fondness for eating. His scales are a sparkling lavender in color, and Lavenvoranoth can appear bored even during combat or highly stressful situations.
Personality: Lavenvoranoth likes to consider himself smarter than other creatures and above the petty back and forth squabbling between good and evil. The drake’s favorite pastime is eating, and considers himself a master chef. While Lavenvoranoth’s ego is boundless, he enjoys company, especially if he can have them over for dinner. If things do not go well, perhaps as one of the mains courses.
Location: Lavenvoranoth’s lives in a cave system on the rocky shores of Lake Abanfyl in the Griff Mountains. Due to his lair's remoteness, Lavenvoranoth often takes long trips to gather slaves for his mines or to just gather new tasty morsels to cook up. In recent years he has even started traveling for a little adventure.
Lair: Lavenvoranoth’s lair is a cave nestled into a rocky cliff face overlooking the waters of Lake Abanfyl. There is a rocky beach below the cave where small boats can be pulled ashore. The only other way to access his lair is by flying in as the mountains surrounding it are nearly impenetrable.
The Cave is divided into the dragon’s lair and a network of caves and mines. A small workforce of servants oversees a slave workforce mostly made up of captured humanoids that toil mining the gem deposits found there. Despite being slaves, Lavenvoranoth does not mistreat them. In fact, many come to enjoy their existence serving the dragon and turn from slaves to servants, while those that do not eventually end up on the dragon’s menu.
Lavenvoranoth’s horde is relatively small for a dragon of his age, as he sees little use in it. Besides a small collection of magical baubles, the bulk of his wealth is in gems minded from surrounding deposits.
Relations: Lavenvoranoth is well known among the humanoid tribes in the area surrounding his lair. The dragon will periodically hunt for new slaves for his mines and dinner table from among them. Some local tribes have even worked out deals with the dragon offering up some of their members as a tribute. Relations with these tribes are slightly better than others as Lavenvoranoth has agreed to help them defend their territory against other humanoid tribes for their compliance.
When Lavenvoranoth first arrived in the region, some of the tribes resisted him, which resulted in his eradicating an orc tribe and a band of hill giants. After he destroyed these tribe’s others soon learned that resistance was not in their best interest and fell in line.
Lavenvoranoth loves swimming in Lake Abanfyl and is on good terms with several large creatures that make it their home.
History: Lavenvoranoth has lived his entire adult life in and around Lake Abanfyl. While in his youth, he found the area's remoteness appealing, he has found the remoteness not nearly as appealing now that he has gotten older.
When the drake is not busy concocting new and exciting ways of cooking up humanoids, monsters, and fish from Lake Abanfyl, he has taken to exploring. One of his favorite places to explore is the ancient Flan ruins that can be found in the Bluff Hills.
Since the Greyhawk Wars, Lavenvoranoth has been making short jaunts into the war-ravaged Duchy of Tenh, and even up into Stonehold, but he prefers Tenh.
While Lavenvoranoth loves his current home, he has been giving some thought to relocating further south, closer to where all the exciting things are happening.
Adventure Hooks: Coming in contact with Lavenvoranoth is not easy to do when the dragon is in its lair due to its remoteness. However, in recent years with his traveling, it is possible to encounter the dragon in Tenh, or more likely in the Bluff Hills.
Since exploring the ancient Flan ruins in the Bluff Hills has become a hobby for the drake, adventurers looking to explore these same ruins might encounter him there. Lavenvoranoth tends to change shape into smaller reptile, bird, and mammal forms when exploring these ruins.
If Lavenvoranoth encounters adventurers while exploring, he will approach them to talk. If the topic of cooking comes up, Lavenvoranoth will be delighted to spend hours conversing about recipes and cooking techniques. He might even invite them to his lair for a dinner party on the off chance that he is impressed with a character's culinary knowledge.
Name: Ordrieneth, Gold Dragon
Age: Mature Adult 200+
Description: Ordrieneth is a sleek and glittering dragon. Her golden scales shimmer in the sunlight like a beacon, making it possible for sailors to spot her soaring through the sky during the day. She has avoided any serious scars or blemishes to her scales by preferring to fight at a distance with breath weapon and spells and only mixing it up in melee combat as a last resort.
Personality: Like most gold dragons, Ordrieneth hates injustice and foul play, but more than anything, she hates slavery. Freedom to live a just life she holds as her central ideal.
While she can be profoundly serious when she needs to be, Ordrieneth’s usual demeanor is pleasant and inquisitive. She is sympathetic, and her desire to help those in need pushes her to stick her nose into places where it is not welcomed often.
Location: Originally from the southern Crystalmist Mountains, Ordrieneth moved to the coast of Sea Princes on Azure Sea. From there she moved further south out over the sea to explore islands and jungles. Eventually, she settled on a small island southwest of the Tilvanot Peninsula. Ordrieneth prefers the warmer weather here in the south, and with the prevalent slave trade in the region to fight against, she felt right at home.
Lair: Ordrieneth’s liar is not a cavern or natural formation but instead is a castle that she, and her allies, have been building for the past 25 years. With stones carved out of volcanic rock, the castle's dark rock would look foreboding if it were not for the moss and creeper vines covering it. The entire castle and surrounding grounds are dominated by gardens, fountains, and manicured bushes and trees. Ordrieneth loves flowers and plants, and when she is not busy sinking a slave ship or freeing slaves, she can be found in her gardens.
In addition to the flora, Ordrieneth also collects many brilliant and fantastic beasts as pets in her gardens. The gardens are full of squawking birds, and melodic birdsongs drift pleasantly throughout the gardens and the castle, and monkeys chatter and jump and play in the trees. The gardens are like an open-air zoo full of fantastic animals, some of which act as guardians of her castle in her absence.
Ordrieneth is particularly fond of cats and has hundreds of them living on her island with her. From a staggering array of house cats to larger jaguars and panthers. If encountered on her island, she will always be in the company of a dozen smaller cats and 1d4 jaguars or panthers.
In addition to the animals, Ordrieneth has a small complement of servants and laborers who live on the island. These people are collected from the slaves that she frees and have no other place to return home to. These servants maintain her castle for her while she continues her fight against slavery. Some of these people make up the crew of her pirate ship, the Wind Reaver, although a number of them are also polymorphed cats. These cats, along with most of the cats that live on her island, have higher intelligence than average cats. The ones that she uses as crew for her ship range in intelligence from low to average intelligence.
Ordrieneth’s island also has a hidden cove where her pirate ship, the Wind Reaver, is docked when not sailing about the Azure and Pearl seas.
Relations: Ordrieneth the dragon is well known and hated by the Scarlet Brotherhood. The brotherhood is the main target of her war against slavery, but all that ply that trade and sail the Azure and Pearl sea know of her.
Her alter ego, Olara Windstorm, a buccaneer that hails supposedly from the pirate isles, is known as a whimsical pirate. Olara is finicky in the targets that she chooses to assault, and in reality, does so rarely. The guise of Olara is used mostly for gathering intel about possible movements of slaves and other nefarious deeds that she might want to put a stop to.
History: Ordrieneth moved into the region as a young adult and spent most of her early years exploring and looking for a suitable location for her lair. It was during this time that she learned of the Scarlet Brotherhood and their slave trade. Her decision to fight against the brotherhood and their evil practices lead to her choosing her lair closer to her chosen enemy.
Ordrieneth war against the brotherhood started slow. She knew that she must grow in strength and resources to take on an entire nation, such as the brotherhood, would be very dangerous. For the first 100 years in the region, she slowly built up her lair and allowed herself to grow more powerful. Over the past 25 years, however, she has become a well-known thorn in the side of the Scarlet Brotherhood. They have set a bounty on the drake of 10,000GP and have many of their spies busily searching for her.
Ordrieneth anticipated this, and while building her lair, she made sure to weave many protective enchantments and illusions around it. Ordrieneth has cultivated a network of adventurers through her identity of Olara. Some of those that she can trust know of her true identity, and some have even visited her island. Among those who have visited her island were several spell casters of considerable power that have added their own talents and spells to bolstering her island's defenses.
Adventure Hooks: Encountering Ordrieneth in her Olara form in a port city is possible as she is well known. Ordrieneth is always looking for adventurers that she can become friends with, especially if they might help her in her battles against the Scarlet Brotherhood. Of course, she would put them through a test to see how reliable they would be first.
Ordrieneth’s most common test for adventurers after meeting them is to hire them to conduct a raid on a slavers camp to free slaves. Ordrieneth is even known to follow along and spy on the adventurers to watch how well they do and ensure that they accomplish the task.
In this 19th and final installment for the City of Rookroost we take a look at adventure hooks in the city. Once again thanks to everyone that have given me inspiration from Nigel Findley, Erik Mona, Gary Holian, Sean K. Reynolds, Frederick Weining, Casey Brown, and all the fabulous BK authors and lastly Gygax himself.
1. The Council of Lords has a vacant seat, and the notice has been posted. If not already affiliated with a faction within the city, the characters are hired to deliver bribes, rough up the competition maybe even eliminate the competition.
2. The party is approached by a known merchant lord that dropped a key to his strongbox into the sewers. He saw one of those cursed Ratlings in the sewer run off with it, and he wants you to find it.
3. Someone is killing high ranking Iuzians. First is a priest of Iuz, then a Captain of the Red Guard, and now an Iuzian merchant. Elara Mornstar and the Congress have had no luck finding out who it is. They want the player's help finding the murderers before Mortoth cracks down on the city for the murders.
4. One of the Night Merchants approaches the party, asking if they can investigate a string of body thefts. A strange winged creature has been seen collecting corpses off the streets at night, and it’s cutting into their business.
5. Dogs have been gathering in larger and larger packs in Outwall. If that wasn’t bad enough, they have been systematically hunting down the gangs there. Some gang leaders have scrapped together some coin and want to hire the characters to figure it out.
6. A friend of the party's has come to them asking for their help. Bounty Hunters are after him, and he does not know why.
7. A friend of the Party's turns up in leg irons at the auction block. The bad news is that they were just bought and taken in a group back to the Iuzian hordes camp outside of town. The real bad news is most of the slaves bought by the Iuzians end up in soup pots.
8. An old lady has shown up in every quarter of the city selling pastries that are to die for. Everywhere she goes, there are long lines of people waiting to get one. The oddest part about this peddler is that Rookroostians are polite and patiently wait their turn in line no matter where she sells her pastries. Even when the pastries run out, the crowds only groan in disappointment.
9. The party has angered someone with enough funds to pay off the courts and the Talons. The party finds out they are wanted by seeing a wanted poster with their images on it.
10. A famine has gripped the city, and the characters have been hired to catch Ratlings, but not just for profit, but so they can be cooked up and fed to the masses in Outwall.
11. The party is relaxing in a local tavern when a bard starts singing a song. Quickly the characters realize that the tale he is singing is about them, and he is giving out details the party might not want public. How does he know what happened?
12. The party is hired to help the kobold clan that takes care of the cities sewers. The kobolds found something in the undercity that has changed a few of them into dangerous and deformed monsters.
13. As the night falls and the celebration of Darkest Night begins, one of the characters is a pickpocket victim. Still, they notice in time to see the thief run off into the night. In its place is a note challenging the characters to catch the thief if they can.
14. People recruiting bandits and brigands for a raid into the surrounding kingdoms is no big deal is Rookroost, but the Iuzians are doing the recruiting. Is this just a raid, or do they have something else planned?
15. Several NPC’s that the characters are familiar with have recently turned up with a small scar on their right temple. Each has a simple story explaining it away, like tripping and falling into cabinets. Other than that, all seems fine.
16. A group of wyverns brought to Rookroost for the gladiatorial games has broken free and are terrorizing the city. The owner has paid off the city to give him 24rs to collect his investment. The slaver wants to hire the party to capture them and bring them back…alive.
17. A man condemned to die by hanging from a gibbet cage in Raven’s Square is taking a long time to die. In fact, he has been hanging there for over a year now. Despite looking sickly and emaciated, the man is still clinging to life. The Talons hire the party to watch him at night for 4 days to help figure out how he stays alive.
18. Several street urchins have been caught in the past two days with their hands in the pockets of all kinds of Rookroost residents. They are not stealing anything. Instead, they are giving away one copper coin to these people, but why? None of the children know why they are doing it, even under magical questioning.
19. A city guard that works the Outer-city gate approaches the players and offers to let them know when the tribute shipments are being taken out of the city to the Iuzian army. All the guard wants is a cut of the profit if they can waylay the shipment.
20. The party is approached by one of the many rebel factions within the city. It could be Arnol Marsh with the Furyondians, Beanor Borralis with the Shield Landers, or Karst with the Horned Society for recruitment. To prove their sincerity, they will have to undertake a simple mission, of course.
21. A street performance with a stage magician and dancers has drawn a large crowd, including a guild leader or two. During the show, a demon pops into existence, seemingly summoned by the stage magician. After appearing, the demon wades into the crowd going after the guild leaders. One of the characters notices that a spectator cast a spell just before the demon appeared.
22. A Rookroost Raven approaches the players and asks for their help getting rid of someone killing some regular ravens and one of its extended family. The Raven promises to pay them with trinkets pilfered in the city. When the party confronts those responsible in Outwall, those responsible are a gang of kids armed with slings.
23. The party is approached by the thieves guild, the Congress, and wants them to waylay an incoming shipment destined to the temple of Iuz and turn it over to them. If the party accepts and captures the wagon, they find out the cargo is a half dozen slaves.
24. The party is hired to take a shipment of supplies secretly to rebels in the Fellreev Forest. They will have to avoid, bluff, or bribe their way past the Iuzian checkpoints along the way.
25. The party is hired to kidnap an important official in the city and turn them over to one of the rebel groups. The deal was set up through intermediaries, but when the party brings the official to drop off, Iuzians are waiting to accept the official.
I've collected all the 5E Warlock patrons and put them into one document that you can download and keep.
Name: Irvennaris, Silver Dragon
Age: Very Old 600+
Description: When Irvennaris is in his dragon form, he truly is a spectacle to behold. His fine scales gleam and shine in any light, and he appears as a majestic beast of pure metal until inspected. His mannerisms are never aggressive, and he does his best to calm those that see him in his draconic form.
Despite his magnificent appearance as a dragon, Irvennaris spends most of his time in the forms of humans, demi-humans, and even humanoids at times. He takes these forms to better fit in, among others, where he can do the most good. His favorite form is that of a kindly old monk that appears to worship no particular god. If asked or pressed, he will simply ask those who pose the question of whom they worship and if he can help them.
Personality: In all forms, Irvennaris is mild-mannered and soft-spoken. He wishes to help and possibly enlighten those he meets. He encourages them to pursue lofty and morally just pursuits. To Irvennaris, life is best lived when helping others. He has a soft spot for small creatures and has gained a knack for communicating with them as if he was a druid.
Location: Originally born in the Raker Mountains, Irvennaris came down long ago to mingle with the inhabitants of the Flanaess. He has spent much of his time traveling around the eastern Flanaess in the Great Kingdom and the nations that emerged after its demise. Since then, he has gravitated westward and has spent time in Nyrond, the Urnst states, and the Pale. Despite this, Irvennaris travels wherever his fancy takes him as he cares not where he goes so long as he can help others.
Lair: Irvennaris lair is a most fantastic place and was gifted to him by none other than the goddess Ehlonna. The goddess gave Irvennaris the lair as a gift for his kindness and the care he shows to the animals. The lair is a cavern that is located deep under the Grove of the Unicorns. The cavern is simple and has a small stream that flows through it and is illuminated by soft glowing moss. A single tree grows in the cavern's center with silvery bark and leaves. The leaves always rustle as if a slight wind is blowing. The tree is another gift to Irvennaris from Ehlonna.
Irvennaris’ lair has no entrance except by using the magical handle that Ehlonna gave him when she gifted him the lair. To enter, Irvennaris finds a sizable tree and places the handle against its trunk, which causes a door to appear. Once passing through the door, the handle magically appears back in the person's hand that placed it against the tree trunk, and the door will disappear. The doorway leads to a tiny pocket dimension with a soft glowing silver light at its center. If someone walks into the silver light, they exit the pocket dimension and pass through the silver tree into Irvennaris’ lair under the Gove of the Unicorns. Irvennaris retires to his cavern to rest and meditate when he needs to relax. He usually stays in his dragon form the entire time that he is in his lair.
Irvennaris has no horde of riches or treasure. However, he has taken the treasure from those that he, unfortunately, has fought and defeated in the past and then given it to others. Magical items he collects in this way are locked away in his lair to prevent them from being used by others to do harm or cause evil in the world.
Relations: Irvennaris is on particularly good terms with not only Ehlonna, but also with Allitur, Berei, and Zodal. While he does not travel with them, Irvennaris is visited by the deities generally once a year to check up on their dear friend. Irvennaris does not have any relations with the kingdoms of men, elves, or dwarves. However, he does enjoy the company of gnomes and halflings to the extent that he might stay for short periods in their villages. Irvennaris works to help all the world realize that they should not need such things as governments if we all helped one another.
History: Irvennaris has lived a quiet life ever since he left the Raker Mountains as a juvenile to see the world. As he travels, he gravitates to others that believe in his philosophies and loves spending time whiling away sunny days talking about philosophy with sages. He also loves to walk with druids in the wild, enjoying the beauty of the Flanaess, but his primary calling and love is helping others.
Irvennaris is drawn to conflicts not to help fight against evil but to care for those affected by it. Watching pain and suffering hurts his soul, and if he is unable to help those in need, it is like a torment to him. He has recently found himself in the Shield Lands during the wars but has been traveling around busily as there are so many in need.
Irvennaris only fights to protect others that can not defend themselves. If he is confronted with violence, he will simply flee rather than fight.
Adventure Hooks: It is very easy for adventurers to meet Irvennaris as he gravitates toward troubled areas and is frequently found in cities and villages as he wanders around the Flanaess. Irvennaris will gladly help adventures if he deems their quest worthy. He will share stories and talk philosophy with any that will engage with him in such a dialogue.
If characters are on a quest that Irvennaris feels is important enough, he might even give them a gift to help them. Even if asked, he will never agree to fight unless it is to save the innocent, and even then, he will attempt to not kill his foes.
Irvennaris never gives his real name to those that he meets unless he trusts them. Instead, he can provide several simple names, but he mostly goes by Irv.
Age: Ancient / Venerable 800+
Description: Dorrannarryth is a fit and robust copper dragon with his glossy coppery scales tinged with a dark green around the edges. A hugely impressive beast physically, Dorrannarryth rarely uses it to awe or impress his prey or possible friends. Instead, the dragon prefers to rely on what he considers his best asset, his sparkling personality.
Personality: Dorrannarryth, like most copper dragons, is a bit of a braggart and cocky, but never rude. Not an intellectual by any means, Dorrannarryth thinks that he is exceptionally clever and quick-witted and has a slew of rude limericks, bawdy jokes, or impressive ballads and epic poems memorized impress those he meets. He enjoys a good conversation or even debate and will try to coax even those he might be intending to gobble up into one before eating them.
While he has lived around the Rift canyon for most of his adult life, the sudden change in the region's fortunes has him considering his legacy and wants to start up a family and has been traveling from the Rift Canyon on trips looking for a mate.
Location: Dorrannarryth has lived in several different places around the Rift Canyon located in the Bandit Kingdoms. It has provided him with a never-ending supply of humanoids, monsters, and bandits to play jokes upon and feed on. Dorrannarryth rarely travels more than several leagues away from the Rift Cayon, except on his trips looking for a mate.
Lair: Dorrannarryth has had the same lair for the past three hundred years and has little desire to move again. The simple cave entrance on the southern side of the canyon’s cliff face hides a labyrinth of tunnels and passages at the center is a maze where Dorrannarryth has stockpiled hundreds of traps that he finds funny if not deadly. His trove has been gathered from centuries of robbing the local bandits that have been foolish enough to anger him, or not laugh at his jokes.
Relations: Dorrannarryth has poor relations with all of his neighbors. Even before the Iuzians showed up, the Rift Canyon was full of bandits and brigands and monsters. Some bandit lords tolerated him because they had to, but no one in the region liked Dorrannarryth. Durand Grossman, the self-proclaimed Plar of the Rift, has been trying to win over Dorrannarryth to help him and his resistance fighters. Dorrannarryth has no desire to, but he rewards Durand for visiting him by giving him trinkets from his horde sometimes.
With the arrival of the Iuzians Dorrannarryth has become slightly alarmed that they will drive away all his friends (Those who tolerated his stories and jokes) and leave him with just the dreadfully Iuzians as playthings. While Dorrannarryth does not respect Iuzians, he has not gone out of his way to target them specifically. They have, however, become his most frequent target for his hunger and his practical jokes.
The Iuzians, Cranzer, despises Dorrannarryth and has hunted the drake on two occasions. During one hunt, he lost the dragons trail and was unable to locate him. During the second hunt, he was nearly turned into lunch along with the giant vulture he was riding. After this last altercation, Cranzer has left Dorrannarryth alone and shown no more hunt him down. The fact that the dragon has shown no desire to control the Rift Canyon or help the bandit resistance has helped the wizard come to this conclusion, along with narrowly escaping his maw of sharp teeth.
History: Dorrannarryth has been a centerpiece of the Rift Canyon for centuries, but all the dragon seems to care about is practical jokes, riddles, poems, and the like. A wizard and scholar named Morment Drarmer, from Rookroost, even came once to record the dragon's tales. After meeting the dragon, he quickly realized that he was the butt of a practical joke by his associates in Rookroost, who fooled him into undertaking the assignment.
Dorrannarryth's lack of threat has always been his best defense against the region's bandits and humanoids. As soon as they realized all they had to do was humor the drake, and he would leave them relatively unmolested, they did so. Because of this, Dorrannarryth mostly targets monsters and other nasties found in the rift to prey upon for food.
Despite this unspoken mutual agreement between Dorrannarryth and most of the region's inhabitants, there is usually a handful that finds the courage to try and take on Dorrannarryth for his horde or to be rid of the bothersome drake. These would be dragon slayers quickly learn despite his terrible jokes and singing. Dorrannarryth is a vicious opponent who has no problem with devouring anyone who seriously challenges him. These attempts have never brought Dorrannarryth's wrath upon the region's bandits as he realizes that not all of them are out to get him. In fact, Dorrannarryth believes most of them are fans of his.
Adventure Hooks: It is not hard for characters in the region to meet Dorrannarryth as the dragon often swoops down out of the sky upon unsuspecting travelers to tell them a joke or two and to chat. Befriending the dragon is also easy as he loves an audience and anyone that likes his performances. The dragon might even help the adventures if they try to be friends with him.
The bandits of the Rift Canyon are always on the lookout for dragon slayers that might be able to take care of Dorrannarryth. While they desire to be rid of the dragon, they will only hire the most competent adventurers to do the job because no one wants to anger Dorrannarryth.
In this 18th installment for the City of Rookroost we take a look at unique monsters in the city. The stats that I have use this time are for 1st/2nd editioon. Once again thanks to everyone that have given me inspiration from Nigel Findley, Erik Mona, Gary Holian, Sean K. Reynolds, Frederick Weining, Casey Brown, and all the fabulous BK authors and lastly Gygax himself.
ACTIVITY CYCLE: Any
INTELLIGENCE: Semi- (2-4)
NO. APPEARING: Variable
ARMOR CLASS: 7
HIT DICE: 3
NO. OF ATTACKS: 1
DAMAGE/ATTACK: 2-8 (2d4)
SPECIAL ATTACKS: Nil
SPECIAL DEFENSE: Nil
MAGIC RESISTANCE: Nil
SIZE: M (4’-6’ long)
MORALE: Steady (11-12)
XP VALUE: 75
In a town such as Rookroost, protection is something that does not come easy. With so many rogues and cutthroats skulking about through the streets finding good, and affordable protection is a hard thing to do, and that is where the Rookroost Hound comes in.
Originally hounds and war dogs were common amongst the raiding parties that would spill over into neighboring lands. It was common for a raiding party to have a pack to help with hunting and herding targets that the raiders might wish to take back as slaves. Back home in Rookroost, however, they served a different purpose, guard dogs.
To be effective guard dogs, loyal and not easily duped, Hound Masters in the city were continually breeding them to come up with a hound that served all those needs. After several hundred years, we have the common Rookroost hound. While cheaper than hiring a man at arms to guard your home or business, Rookroost Hounds cost double the amount of a regular war dog.
Highly trained, Rookroost Hounds know who their masters are and what people they can trust. Rookroost Hounds will not eat food given to them unless they are starving or it comes from their master. Through several weeks of training, Rookroost Hounds learn to recognize one human as their master and obey their commands without question. Rookroost hounds will willingly give up their lives to protect their master and or follow their orders.
It is common for shop owners and merchants to have one or two hounds guarding their businesses after dark, especially if they do not live on the premises. Those who can afford to might have a pack of them for guarding the grounds of estates.
While it is common, especially in Outwall, to see packs of stray dogs, Rookroost Hounds are never among their numbers. If a Rookroost Hound is seen to have gone rogue or feral, they are killed immediately to help ensure that their DNA does not become mixed among the general dog populace, creating packs of formidable dogs. The city pays a bounty of 5gp for the carcass of rogue or feral hound.
ACTIVITY CYCLE: Any
INTELLIGENCE: Average (8-10)
ALIGNMENT: Neutral evil
NO. APPEARING: 5-20 (5d4)
ARMOR CLASS: 8
HIT DICE: 1
NO. OF ATTACKS: 1
DAMAGE/ATTACK: 1-4 or 1-6 (by weapon)
SPECIAL ATTACKS: Nil
SPECIAL DEFENSE: Nil
MAGIC RESISTANCE: Nil
SIZE: S (3’ tall)
MORALE: Unsteady (7)
XP VALUE: 10
Ratlings are native to Rookroost, although groups of them, are called a mischief, have begun turning up further afield from the city. There are reports of them appearing in the Fellreev, Stoink, the Rift Canyon, and as far south as Redspan. Generally accredited to the former Archmage Asenneas, a member of the Rookroost Wizards Guild between 459-466 CY, Ratlings were another of his creations.
Ratlings are small, halfling sized, rodent humanoids. They are intelligent but have many of the same characteristics as normal rats.A few of the creatures escaped Asenneas’ laboratory and made their way into the Rookroost sewers and underground. Once there, they began multiplying at an alarming rate.
Ratlings have developed their own language, but it is little more than a sophisticated series of squeaks, squawks, and hissing. The language is too rudimentary to convey complex ideas. A comprehend languages spell will not work on them, although a speak with animals spell will.
While they can be encountered in the sewers or the undercity at all times of the day, they are rarely seen in the city during the day. After sundown, groups of Ratlings some out into the city to scavenge whatever they can find before returning to their homes under the city before dawn.
Ratlings dwell in clans with ever-changing dynamics. Leaders are usually the strongest Ratling in the clan, but this might only be for a few days, weeks, or months before being killed by a rival, the kobolds, or ratcatchers.
The city pays out a bounty of 5sp for each Ratling tail that is turned in. Because of this, there are groups of ratcatchers that roam the streets at night looking for them. These groups generally number around 4 to 6 people armed with crossbows and spears.
ACTIVITY CYCLE: Any
INTELLIGENCE: Average (8-10)
NO. APPEARING: 2-8 (2d4)
ARMOR CLASS: 6
MOVEMENT: 1, FL 27 (C)
HIT DICE: 1-1
NO. OF ATTACKS: 1
DAMAGE/ATTACK: 1-2 (1-4 special)
SPECIAL ATTACKS: Special see below
SPECIAL DEFENSE: Nil
MAGIC RESISTANCE: See Below
SIZE: S (2’ long)
MORALE: Average (10)
XP VALUE: 55
The Ravens of Rookroost are a common sight everywhere in the city. Flocks of the birds called either a congress, an unkindness, horde, or a murder are found everywhere. The birds predate the city's founding, having lived upon the small hill upon which the city was built. A myth has even grown up around them, stating that the city of Rookroost will never fall so long as the ravens roost there.
Living among these flocks is a larger raven variation far more intelligent than the average raven. A Rookroost Raven has a normal human's intelligence and can speak and even use rudimentary tools that can fit in their talons.
Picking them out from among the hundreds of thousands of regular ravens in the city is not too hard if trained in what to look for, but communicating with them is difficult. Rookroost Ravens are reluctant to make contact with humans, demi-humans, or humanoids and keep their distance. However, one can win the trust of them by feeding them regularly and talking to them over time.While Rookroost Ravens live amongst the larger raven population, they usually live in small family units.
Rookroost Ravens generally live by scavenging what they need, and their diet is the same as a normal raven. They love to play practical jokes like stealing small items from one person and placing them in another persons' home. Stealing laundry left out on a line to dry, or heckling people in crowds to try and cause fights.
Rookroost Ravens pick up languages easily and speak up to eight of them. They also can imitate perfectly voices that they hear. Even if they only listen to the person speaking for as little as a minute, they can perfectly replicate it.
The Guild of Wizardry has a large number of Rookroost Ravens that work for them as spies. These ravens will hang out in places where they might overhear important information. Thus, it is general practice to have all conversations of a sensitive matter indoors if they can be. Despite this, many people forget because the city is crawling with them, and they are just part of the background.
Name: Surgalythia, Bronze Dragon
Age: Old, 500+
Description: Surgalythia is a spry and slightly leaner bronze dragon. Her rich bronze scales gleam and sparkle more than usual from her constant preening. What Surgalythia lacks in draconic might she makes up for in agility and speed on the ground, in the air, and swimming. Those who meet her often say that her hooded eyes make her seem lazy or sleepy even when fully awake.
Personality: Surgalythia is highly inquisitive and has led to the dragon's regular sightings around the Nyr Dyv. She has grown in power and size to the point that she generally does not fear most other creatures, even in human form. She will commonly change shape into a dolphin to follow ships and or swim up and explore rivers that feed into the Nyr Dyv.
Despite her age, Surgalythia still retains a giddiness and energetic disposition and is willing to play. Another of her favorite pastimes is changing into a child to play with other children in coastal villages of the Nyr Dyv.
Surgalythia enjoys meeting new people and becoming friends with them. She generally does so in an altered form of either an older woman or a girl of 8 to 10 years old.
Surgalythia despises pirates and those who take pleasure in hunting and hurting other forms of intelligent sea life. She has been known to sink ships that hunt dolphins and other creatures regardless of whether it is for food or sport.
Location: Surgalythia spends the bulk of her time living in and around the Nyr Dyv; however, when winter sets in, she migrates south to the Olman Isles for the season. While there, she spends her time fishing and sunning herself on the beach until things warm up again around the Nyr Dyv. She has a favorite small island just off North Olman Isle where she slives during this time.
Lair: Surgalythia has two principal lairs, one at the Nyr Dyv between Salt Harbor and Nyrstran. The coast here is a rocky shoreline where she tends to perch and watch the water when not swimming in it. The other is her small island of the northern shore of the North Olman Isle.
Surgalythia’s lair on the Nyr Dyv is a sunken cave with a submerged entrance. She has expanded it to ensure plenty of dry areas for storing the treasures she finds from shipwrecks and ruins of the sunken archipelago of the Isle of Woe. This lair is protected by a pod of dolphins.
Surgalythia’s lair at her winter home off North Olman Isle is a simple cave just large enough to rest in when she wants to.
Relations: There are many stories around the Nyr Dyv of the sleek and fast bronze dragon Surgalythia. She doesn’t stay lurking around her lair for more than a few days at a time before her inquisitive nature sends her roaming about the lake. While out on these treks, she often will stop to help stranded ships or in need of help.
Despite her travel and general curiosity, Surgalythia does not have close relations with any local governments around the lake. Although since the war, she has taken an interest in the Shield Lands. During the war, Surgalythia was seen aiding the defense of Admundfort. To this day, she visits the island often to torment the Iuzian forces there. She has become such a nuisance that Vayne, the Lesser Bonheart in charge of the island, has brought unique monsters and mercenaries to help him deal with her. As of yet, she has had little problem dealing with those the Vayne has brought in.
Even before the Greyhawk Wars, Surgalythia has had little love for Zeech and the Principality of Red Hand. She saw him as an evil and despicable man and land and has kept a special eye on him. Surgalythia has more than once sunk ships from Red Hand that she suspects in engaging in piracy acts.
While Surgalythia has little official relations with the kingdoms surrounding the Nyr Dyv she does have good relations with the Rhennee barge people. She finds them a fascinating people with much potential, even if they are slightly misguided. She visits them in her dragon form to share information about the lake and also in the form of Talima, an elderly Rhennee fortuneteller, to speak with them on a more personal level.
History: Surgalythia migrated to the Nyr Dyv region as a young drake and fell in love with the region. While it gets a bit too cold for her in the winter, she loves the rich history, the people, and the lake's excitement.
Early on, Surgalythia spent most of her time in the western half of the lake around Dyvers and Greyhawk. She would change into a human to roam the streets of these cities, that is, until she had an encounter with Mizaab Zalen, a Greyhawk Dragon. Mizaab convinced the younger dragon that it would be in her best interest to not visit the city often or at all. While the meeting didn’t end in violence, the possibility of it was enough to put Surgalythia off the cities in the west and drive her east.
Since that time, she has had lairs on Walworth Isle, close to High Mardreth and Luekish, before settling on his current location between Luekish and Salt Harbor.
While her reputation around the Nyr Dyv has grown over the centures, she has not become overly close with any of the kingdoms surrounding it. Surgalythia has lived long enough in the region to see the rise and fall of kingdoms that border the lake. Despite the Shield Lands, she knows that all of them are far too self-centered to be considered truly good and honest lands. While the government cannot be trusted, there are many good people she does trust in the region.
Surgalythia doesn’t stray far from the water for too long, preferring to sun herself on beaches or play in the water. The number of sightings of her in the water far outnumber those of her soaring through the sky above it.
With the recent war and the loss of most of the Shield Lands, particularly Walworth Isle, Surgalythia has become even more vigilant and protective of her home, the Nyr Dyv. She attacks any Iuzian vessel or vessel she believes are in league with Iuzians. She generally will give them a warning to abandon ship before she destroys the boat, but she does not help those who go overboard to reach dry land.
Adventure Hooks: Surgalythia often disguises herself as a human and books passage from one location to another on the Nyr Dyv to learn information from the passengers. Characters could be passengers on one of these ships where she could pass along information about a dungeon or possible adventure to them, particularly adventures that would hurt Iuzians in the Shield Lands. Surgalythia might also tag along with any expedition searching for the lost Islands of Woe to ensure that artifacts from that great civilization do not fall into undeserving hands.