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Welcome to Midgard: Stannasgard

Stannasgard is the most open and cosmopolitan of the dwarven reaver kingdoms, a major trading enclave and a gateway to the Nieder Straits. For many merchants, it’s the farthest into Northern territory they care to venture. Mines are the backbone of Stannasgard’s prosperity, since the land is rich in veins of iron and adamant. Working from these superlative raw materials, the dwarves of Stannasgard have forged a reputation as master artisans,...

Tales of the Old Margreve: Baba Yaga

“The Margreve came before such recent inventions as gods and spells and names and language.” (Baba Yaga) The stories and legends of the Old Margreve invariably turn their attention to Grandmother—or Baba Yaga. The denizens of the forest often feel Baba Yaga’s eyes upon them while they travel under the canopy. Sages, scholars, and madmen discuss her connection with the forest, its connection with her. In their squabbles, they agree on only one...

Cult Activity: High Priests

The core rules provide options for cultists and cult leaders, but few options for other members of an occult organization. In particular, those who have sworn pacts to gain magical power are sorely underrepresented. Warlock NPCs This article presents a new NPC to help develop and fill out the membership and leadership of a profane sect. High Priests are the real brains and power behind the cult. The entry is presented in the same monster format...

Creature Codex: Alchemist Archer (Elf)

Hidden in the dappled shadows of the tree’s leaves, the elf ’s leather bandolier jingles softly. Leather armor dyed to match its surroundings, the nearly invisible archer removes a vial from the bandolier, quickly attaching it to an arrow. The well-kept bow does not creak as the bowstring is drawn. Mixing their knowledge of dangerous chemicals with their extensive weapon skills, these elves are devastating from afar. A Sharp Smell. Try as they...

Memoirs of a Lich: Illusion

Dear Osvaud, This is Osvaud. People who gravitate toward illusions are the biggest jerks in the wide world of wizardry. On a related note, we love illusions! Some spells kill, others save, but a properly wielded illusion causes a crippling existential crisis! The difference between a “good” and a “bad” illusion is all about Levels of Deception. This is a fancy way of saying you need to design lies in stacked layers with each level playing to...

On the Road with Phileus J. Abbertale: Beneath the Canopy

No predicament frightens me more than the terrifying realization of being lost. My first brush with the unsettling sensation took place during my teenage years. My parents introduced me to the unspoiled wilderness at an early age. Under their tutelage and vigilant gaze, I explored dark forests and other feral areas where many adults feared to tread. At the age of fourteen, I decided to apply these lessons during my first solo foray into the...

Midgard Heroes: Angelic Scribe

You study the angelic seals that bind the power of celestial messengers through their names, and you shape that power into magical effects. Beyond the seals and wardings themselves, you learn esoteric spells to call down the essence of the angelic host. Most angelic scribes take up their craft out of reverence and a desire to protect the righteous; a few tempt angelic wrath with their lust for power that’s otherwise beyond their grasp....

Warlock’s Apprentice: Owls, Roses, and Thorns

Elvish courts have always been strange places—to mortals anyway. They are somewhat like royal courts among humans, but because of elvish and fey longevity, the fey courts are far more dominated by single figures and for much longer periods, and these factors invariably leave their mark across centuries, setting down quirks, customs, traditions, and arcane and court law. Each founder’s interests often become enshrined in the magic, architecture,...

Tales of the Old Margreve Wallpapers

It’s October! So here’s a set of wallpapers for your computer, your smartphone, or whatever electronic device you’ve got. This month celebrates woodland adventures with the cover from Tales of the Old Margreve, by artist Eric Belisle. Bring on the creepy, foreboding, magnificent woods!           ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ Please, click on the image you want to download to expand it into a downloadable...

Welcome to Midgard: Northlands

In the North, life is harder than south of the Nieder Straits. In the fjordlands, running out of firewood doesn’t mean a chill night, but exposure to bone‑wracking cold or a trip into the dark and dangerous forest for kindling. Everyone from king to lowly thrall must work hard daily to survive. A life of indolence is unheard of—and impossible without help from powerful magic. Work-shy characters aren’t just lazy; they’re ostracized as threats...

Dungeons of Midgard: Vault of the Vermilion Star

For 10th-level characters. Angarika Flagellum is an ambitious flame dragon (Tome of Beasts) who established her lair in the Haunted Lands of the Giants, that portion of the Wasted West in the hinterlands of the Pytonne Mountains. Angarika plays a dangerous game, luring unsuspecting adventures to her lair, then slaying them to acquire their magic. While many of her other plots and ruinous schemes are more far-reaching, this particular ploy has...

Coming Soon: Tales of the Old Margreve

The forest surrounds you, darkness filling the spaces between the massive boles, as you try to keep the path. There is a certain stillness—a slumbering immensity—just under the surface that is simultaneously inspiring and terrifying, disorienting in its primacy. But the inevitable snap of twig or wind in the leaves continues to bring you back from your frequent reveries… Welcome to the Old Margreve! Forests in fantasy roleplaying games...

Creature Codex: Doom Golem

One hears a doom golem long before one sees it; a wailing of despair, a whisper of fate, like a lesser incarnation of death itself. Doom Golem Winter Bound. Made of antlers, bone, and steel infused with winter spirits of death and destruction, doom golems are the creations of evil wizards and doomsday cults. They invariably include a hangman’s rope, bones of an animal sacrificed to a dark god, and the captured final breath of a man sent to die...

Your Whispering Homunculus: 100 Notable Kobolds, Part Two

“Here he is master. Young Nadger at your service.” “M’nar, Great Master. How may a humble kobold of the bloodline of dragon turtles, so clearly shown by my attire, mighty voice, and bearing, be of assistance to you, my lord?” “Well now, Nadger. I’m having trouble with this squid necromancer…” Continuing our look at peculiarly dressed or mannered or behaving kobolds… Wears a knitted turtle shell Its tail is caught in an enormous...

Getting There: Alternative Transportation

Non-magical transportation in our fantasy RPGs is most likely by horse or horse-drawn cart. This makes it difficult to cover more than 30 miles in a day. Such a limitation may slow an adventuring party seeking far-off destinations, hinder industrial operations like mining or lumber harvest, or present a strategic weakness for a kingdom. There are ample reasons for a world to include a mode of transportation beyond traditional tamped earth or...

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