It’s Day 4 of the Big Push. Yesterday we went off schedule…it was creative, but we are in Germany, where the schedule is king.
The original schedule looked like this:
- Day 1: Jeff edits TCS up to Playing the Game; Ian writes Art Direction up to Playing the Game
- Day 2: Ian reviews Jeff’s edits and make any changes; Jeff reviews Ian’s art direction and makes changes
- Day 3: Jeff edits TCS from Playing the Game to end; Ian does art direction from Playing the Game to End.
- Day 4: Ian makes changes for Jeff’s edits, and Jeff review art direction
- Day 5: Map day: R-Maps, Cinsina Maps etc.
We were doing well, Ian was a little behind on the corrections from Jeff’s first read through, but not so far progress was stalled. But when Ian had some questions about visualisation we decided on a museum trip to align ourselves better. Jeff posted links to that trip here and here. All very interesting. The carved urns, with figures of their inhabitants whilst living from Etruscan necropolis’s provide great inspiration for Esrolian cities-of-the-dead and with the Holy Country such a dominant influence on Sartar (after all that’s where the settlers come from) we could see funerary walls in the Pockets of Boldhome where the urns of the dead were displayed for their living descendants. We also surmised that a Sartarite chieftain might be buried in something like the more ornate bronze urns of the Etruscan era.
The other major distraction was the House of Sartar and Kostajor Wolf-Champion. The Telmori are one of the major foes in The Coming Storm, and as such Kostajor and two of his sons, surviving members of the 5 Helkos brothers appear in the game. Now an important fact revealed in Wyrm’s Footnotes 15, is that Kostajor is a great-grandson of Sartar; so his line carries to blood of Sartar in its veins. The discussion ranged far, taking us into the foundation of the Telmori Royal Guard – Kostajor established it to protect his kin – to the potential fate of this part of the line. Digging through Greg’s notes we know that were 5 Helkos brothers, sons of Kostajor. Two die early, we believe at Grizzly Peak. Another dies at the hands of Jomes Hostalos during the Wolf Hunt. That leaves two: Goram Whitefang and Black Paws Helkos. Kostajor and his two surviving sons appear in The Coming Storm, as does Kostajor’s grandson, Ostling. Their dual position – leaders of the hated Telmori but also descendants and bodyguards of the royal house is something that we decided needed more emphasis than it currently had in the text. It also helps to enhance one or two of the episodes of the campaign that the PCs would have to confront the awkward problem of loyalty to the House of Sartar and the Cinsina hatred of the Telmori.
We also discussed the fate of this line of the House of Sartar as the Hero Wars progress, identifying that they all die out by the time Argrath turns on the Telmori – in that way he is not held back by killing his own kin. All but one die in The Coming Storm campaign, and we have an idea of the fate of the last one. But I want to avoid spoilers for players of The Coming Storm and any sequel right now.
In addition, ranging ahead of the end date of the campaign (1625) into the fate of the kingdom meant we realised that we should take the opportunity in 1624 of “Argrath’s Flight to Prax” to have Argrath meet with the PCs. The reason is the Sartar Magical Union, and the involvement of the 11 Lights as part of that, particularly in the conflict at Alda Chur in 1627.
All useful insights, that come best face-to-face. So if we are a little behind, it was worth it.