Posts by Troy E. Taylor

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Grand Duchy: Forested Cathedral Is the Traveler’s Sanctuary (Part 2)

Visitors to the abbey may experience any or all of the following; roll a d20 if you wish for the result to be random. Stantannis, a centaur cellarer. He is always eager to share the message that accurate accounting leads to good stewardship of the bounty the green gods provide. Festugal Rime, a gnome master …

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Grand Duchy: Forested Cathedral Is the Traveler’s Sanctuary (Part 1)

The Forested Cathedral—often called the Gem of Jerriberg—is the centerpiece of a vibrant abbey that venerates the green gods of Yarila and Porevit. Larger temples buildings exist, notably the Twinned Cathedral in Reywald. Epitomizing the heart of the faith, though, is this sprawling campus, with its vineyards, cultivated fields, meditative fountains, libraries and scriptoriums, open …

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Grand Duchy: Grandma Volksleek and the Huginn Shipwrights of Gemport

The black-feathered and sharp-beaked huginn clamber upon the ribbed frames of unfinished vessels in Gemport’s ship construction yard, mallets, saws and measuring sticks in hand. In a town famous for its many skilled shipbuilding companies, the descendants of Grandma Volksleek have carved out a spot of distinction. The cogs of dark wood that leave the …

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Grand Duchy: Named Threats of Dornig

Adventurers take heed. Many think the Grand Duchy is solely a place of palace intrigues, where elves and elfmarked scheme and plot. While that much is true, monstrous threats remain. Beware undead guardians of abandoned crypts, crafty wildcats, fiends that lurk in library stacks, and perversions of the natural world. They assail the unsuspecting and …

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Grand Duchy: Spring Intrigues at Court

The Beloved Imperatrix’s court is a regal setting, befitting the station of the Copper Sphinx Throne. To be sure, Regia Moonthorn sets the tone for the day—playful, amused, concerned, or icily disapproving—but she always commands the respectful attention of her courtiers. Outside the court’s closed doors, nobles, diplomats, and merchants jostle, boast, accuse, plead, plot, …

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A Crib Sheet for the Council of Waterdeep

My gaming table likes the nitty-gritty of political roleplay. In Hoard of the Dragon Queen, they enjoyed those moments of interacting with their traveling companions along the Trade Way headed north. With Sword Coast faction notables gathering at the Council of Waterdeep, The Rise of Tiamat campaign provides another opportunity to foster that style of …

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Grand Duchy: Sails of the Nieder Strait

“A dragon-prowed longship appeared over the swells bearing down shortly after sunset. Was it a raider from the Northlands? She stayed with us, yet we only saw her in profile by moonlight. In the morning, though, the lookout reported the pattern of her sail, two bold green stripes on her sides, Donar’s gold hammer on …

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Grand Duchy: Meet Me at Treadwell’s

Experienced travelers, including adventurers, who plan an extended stay in Hirschberg inquire: Are there any vacancies at Treadwell’s? The boardinghouse sits on the intersection facing the Street of Blades where it meets the Road to Salzbach. It’s hard to miss. The two-story, L-shaped building is painted smartly in maize, with its shutters and trim in …

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Grand Duchy: Ingenious Uses for Native Slate

According to the Midgard Campaign Setting guide, slate is a common commodity in Hirschberg and Bad Solitz, and through trade, available throughout the Grand Duchy. From roofing materials to tombstones, folk have found ingenious uses for it. Here are three other uses for slate, two of which are magical. Novice’s Slate This tablet-sized chalkboard resembles …

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Claude Gellee - The Enchanted Castle

Grand Duchy: Adulterine Castles of the North

A persistent, even nagging, feature of the Imperatrix’s reign has been the presence of adulterine castles, fortresses without royal license or outside the crown’s control. Across the great northern kingdom are scattered hundreds of castles, fortresses, and towers. These adulterine strongholds are something of an incongruity in a kingdom that is otherwise stable and secure. …

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Saint George and the Dragon - Raphael

Grand Duchy: Traits From an Elfen Kingdom

Who knew that grandmother’s stories told beside the evening fire were entertaining and contained elements of elf history? Did you ever wonder why warriors from Reywald and Donnermark often favored the warhammer, traditionally a dwarven weapon? And who doesn’t trust a resident of Salzbach to taste-test the contents of an unmarked potion? Players who create …

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The Love Song, 1868–77. Sir Edward Burne-Jones

Grand Duchy: Familiar Faces of the Movable Feast

Of late, the Beloved Imperatrix tolerates much mischief and merriment in her court—a nod, perhaps, to the elf nation’s relation to the frivolity of the fey. So, it’s no surprise that among the most familiar faces at the Movable Feast these days are a clown soldier, a prized winemaker, and a philanderer of the forest. …

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J. W. Waterhouse (1849-1917) The Favorites of Emperor Honorius, 1883.

The Grand Duchy: Intrigues from the Current Season at Court

Every season brings a fresh round of disputes the Imperial Court must entertain. Feel free to use them as scenarios for roleplaying-focused sessions or as seeds for adventures across the Grand Duchy. Here, then, are the petitions large and small brought to our Beloved Imperatrix, Regia Moonthorn Kalthania-Reln van Dorig. Rings to Rule Them All …

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Wondrous Items of the Grand Duchy

Some of the magic of the Grand Duchy is Deep Magic, fey-inspired and unique to the forested lands protected by the Beloved Imperatrix Regia Moonthorn Kalthania-Reln van Dornig. But clever travelers and adventurers have learned to exploit such ancient arcana and incorporate it into useful wondrous items. Here are a few of those items, crafted …

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Hirsh-Dammung’s Units of Irregulars

Hirschberg’s tradition of uniformed service runs deep. It is so ingrained that the locals boast that the bedclothes of its first soldier, Praeter Yohanis, are as stiff as his starch-pressed dress reds. But even the elfmarked castellan of Castle Reln recognizes that a life of strict military discipline is not for everyone. The defense of …

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