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The Land and Kevin's Wards in Dungeons & Dragons...
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 05, 2018 12:05 am    Post subject: The Land and Kevin's Wards in Dungeons & Dragons... Reply with quote

Long time, no post... anyway... (also probably in the wrong forum... so if one of you kind moderators would locate properly, I would be obliged.)

I've been running a game of Dungeons and Dragons at my local gaming group for just over 8 months now, entirely set within the world of The Land - where my players have essentially taken the place of Thomas Covenant and were tasked with going about the plot of Lord Foul's Bane. (Some characters, locations, timelines and lore have been changed to suit my needs, naturally.)

This has been both rewarding and confusing in many ways. But since I've chosen to use the Wards as the way to increase the power of the Lords, I have the problem of not being sure what they are...

Obviously we know that the first three were chests of knowledge (even if the third wasn't studied).
We can suspect that the sixth Ward contained knowledge or instructions which would lead to the mastery of the Krill.
Since the Krill was the trigger for Amok and thus, the seventh Ward.

So my question is, while we can't know what/where the third, fourth, fifth and sixth Wards were... what/where do you suspect they were?
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 05, 2018 1:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The third ward was found before the Clave - it was never stated where it was found or what it contained.

The Raver's memories showed Jeremiah the unaccounted wards, and their locations, at the end of The Last Dark.
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 05, 2018 1:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It did? Well damn, I must have totally glossed over that while reading it... I struggled with that chronicles, could I get a page reference?

Although the question still stands where the third Ward should have been.
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 05, 2018 2:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

bikebryan wrote:
The Raver's memories showed Jeremiah the unaccounted wards, and their locations, at the end of The Last Dark.

Do you mean ... ?
In The Last Dark was wrote:
While Jeremiah watched, helpless and unmoved, the Raver took him on a coruscating plunge through other memories, other expressions of recalled lore.

His passage was a whirlwind, a giddy chiaroscuro, a torrent of glimpses and insights. He did not try to grasp them: he hardly looked at them. Instead he simply accepted them; allowed them to be imprinted on his nerves, written into his brain. Some were millennia old: a jeweled casket sunk deep into the mire of the Great Swamp, a tapestry sealed in a cavern lost among the snows of the Northron Climbs, a periapt as crowded with knowledge as a tome. Others were immeasurably ancient: the creation of Forestals from the substance of an Elohim, the complex theurgies which had fashioned the Colossus of the Fall, the invocation of Fire-Lions. He did not need to make sense of them because they were already his, ready for his submission and use.

I am unconvinced that these are Wards. There is some similarity between the jeweled casket and the Second Ward, but that's it. But maybe there's more I am not seeing.

Forestal wrote:
what/where do you suspect they were?

I feel that "what" they were was very similar in each instance, except for the Seventh Ward. (Which, frankly, was special.) If there's an argument that they might be different, it would be that somehow the earlier Wards imparted the knowledge for conveying lore by means other than texts. For example, the lore in the Fourth Ward could be contained in a crystal which cannot be "read" without the first three Wards. However, there's really nothing that backs up this speculation (except the passage above, if you believe that is indeed about the Wards).

However, the "where" seems more complex. The First was given by the Giants. The second was in Mount Thunder, a place that they presumably would not be able to access without access to maps found in the First Ward, or the battle-skills necessary to get there. So: the Third Ward would be someplace that they could not find, could not even stumble into, without mastering the Second Ward.

In your game, you would be free to change this up, and frankly I would. It would be more interesting if each Ward came in a new form. New forms open up more possibilities that they can be hidden in plain site but unrecognized without the proper lore.

I think your biggest challenge, and so the one that you should design everything else around, is this: how do you manifest the "lore" that is necessary to find the Wards. Donaldson's plan was this: the first took none, by design. The second was revealed with maps and Sword-lore. You can copy that, or do something else, but from then on it will need to be more complicated AND more challenging AND more exciting AND more ingenious. Think about things like hiding one on the ethereal plane, such that an earlier ward teaches how to travel ethereally. Things like that. Like I said, this will be very challenging to design. Work THAT out, and the rest will follow.
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 06, 2018 2:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jeremiah tells Stave he can give him the location of the remaining Wards. What you quoted is the only thing that makes sense in regards to their locations.
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 06, 2018 12:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If those were indeed the Wards, which does seem to be likely, I think... I can see how a jeweled casket could be a Ward - probably contains more scrolls and tomes - maybe the casket itself had some magical significance too.

I can see how the periapt would make sense - conferring knowledge on the wearer, and as the Lords can communicate and share telepathically, disseminate the knowledge stored within that way would be highly efficient...

But what would the tapestry do? The only tapestries that I can recall in the Chronicles weren't magical, or even that important - Mhoram's Victory being the only one that I have even a glimmer of a memory of having any real significance.

Maybe again I've missed something in the last Chronicles, as I said previously, I struggled to drag myself through those books and the story didn't sink in at all, unlike the first and second.
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 10, 2018 5:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's possible that a tapestry could contain clues to gaining and using power among its many images, that a series of images could work like they were a series of directions.
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 11, 2018 3:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hahaha Forestal I am honoured that you have quoted my eclectic and indiscriminate self and much more considered Fist and Faith 😁😘

Bows deeply

Interesting insights all .. I shall return. Its been many years since Ive searched these pages.
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 11, 2018 8:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cord Hurn wrote:
It's possible that a tapestry could contain clues to gaining and using power among its many images, that a series of images could work like they were a series of directions.

So more like Amok than the first three Wards? A tapestry that leads the students to other sources of power - I certainly wouldn't be surprised if there were other things in the Land which were Earthlore potent, like the Earthblood, although certainly on a lesser scale. Any suggestions of anything that Kevin may know of which might fit the bill?

Skyweir wrote:
Hahaha Forestal I am honoured that you have quoted my eclectic and indiscriminate self and much more considered Fist and Faith 😁😘

I've only had those quotes in my signature since 2003 Wink (also realising what an obnoxious little scroat I was back then due to rereading my old posts, I don't know how you all put up with me.)
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 12, 2018 4:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I can't think of anything else at that moment besides what has been mentioned.

However back to tapestry for a moment - if you decide to use that it could "contain" power. One example - a certain user or level could touch it. Through their touch on certain parts of the tapestry have access to knowledge woven into the tapestry.

Or another possibility - is the tapestry could be placed on objects or walls and have some sort of effect on that object or wall/etc. Example placed on a certain wall provide an unknown opening or change the nature of the wall to a needed element - crystals,.etc
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 13, 2018 12:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

samrw3 wrote:
I can't think of anything else at that moment besides what has been mentioned.

However back to tapestry for a moment - if you decide to use that it could "contain" power. One example - a certain user or level could touch it. Through their touch on certain parts of the tapestry have access to knowledge woven into the tapestry.

Or another possibility - is the tapestry could be placed on objects or walls and have some sort of effect on that object or wall/etc. Example placed on a certain wall provide an unknown opening or change the nature of the wall to a needed element - crystals,.etc


These are good possibilities, samrw3, and perhaps that's the Ward-like power of the tapestry. I guess I just assumed that the tapestry illustrated directions or instructions that led to finding another source of power. But maybe the tapestry works in one of the ways that you have suggested...it's hard to say.
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 13, 2018 4:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Your pushing my memory .. but indeed most Watchers can be obnoxious little scroats, its part of our rite of passage here. 😏
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 15, 2018 2:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cord Hurn, I actually loved your idea that the tapestry could be used as a map- thought I would just throw Forestal couple other possibilities.

Very Happy

Since we are not too positive about the powers and locations of some of the Wards Forestal has a chance to be creative and exercise some degree of liberties

I think as long as it is 'true' to the Land as it existed it could be fair game. For example, I don't think anyone with even just a passing knowledge of the books would consider a Eartpowerful cell phone or Concorde jet just to pop up Big Grin Laughing
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 16, 2018 12:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I tried to post a reply from my phone, but of course, it failed...

I really like the idea of touching the tapestry to try to unlock it's lore - I think I'll incorporate that, but probably make it another level deeper, changing what you learn, based on certain spells cast upon it from the previous Wards knowledge. So you would have the basic lore, then the advanced lore from altering the state of the tapestry. (Since in D&D, a magical item is quite hard to destroy, this seems reasonable to me.)

I have of course had to add some things to the Land from classic D&D which didn't belong there - more varieties of monsters, certain (but limited) magic items... But I'm trying to keep it as respectful to the novels as possible, while keeping it fun for roleplaying too.
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 22, 2018 1:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You could tie level advancement to mastery of the Wards, say you need to advance 3 levels per Ward?

Tapestries are often designed to tell stories, with a larger central story, but various smaller episodes surrounding it as a border. In game terms, each of these "subplots," as it were, could lead to a piece of the understanding needed to unlock the main image. The magic could work by each panel either absorbing the character or the party into an alternate dimension, where fulfilling their quest would provide understanding of that particular power or piece of Lore. Use of all of these elements is required to unlock access to the central quest, which will introduce the character(s) to the ultimate source of knowledge/power for that Ward, as well as provide a clue to the location or nature of the next Ward.
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 22, 2018 1:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just as an example from the books, I suspect that had the Lords been able to properly understand the First Ward, it would have led them to the Staff of Law, as well as the Second Ward. Since Drool had been the one to find the Staff, and they found the Second as part of their quest against Drool, it stands to reason that the finding of both would have been related and the proper culmination of mastery of the First Ward.
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 22, 2018 2:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Agree. The Staff was hidden in Mt Thunder somewhere, like the Second Ward was.

Did Lord Foul guide Drool to it?
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 22, 2018 6:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I always took it for granted that Lord Foul directed Drool Rockworm to the Staff of Law. But not before he gathered enough power to at least become semi-corporeal again - otherwise Drool's abilities would be unchecked.

Since Kevin knew that he would be destroyed by the Ritual, he knew that the Staff would be discovered down there, so yes, the second Ward was probably placed there for that reason - maybe even shortly before the final confrontation. Likely, the first Ward indicated that both could be found there, but the Lords never unlocked those secrets.
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 22, 2018 7:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Foul plays a very deep, long game, and generally doesn't get his hands so dirty as to directly show someone the way (i.e. "Hey, Drooley! If you look here and here, you will find the neatest toys to play with!") Drool had to at least believe that he found them on his own, even if Foul whispered a few hints in someone's ear, that eventually found their way to Drool. Of course, that doesn't invalidate your point, but I'm also thinking from a playability standpoint these are things you could incorporate to give your campaign the flavor of the Land, while still being true to the mechanics. (Not sure which edition you're targeting here, by the way...)
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 22, 2018 11:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Totally agree with you, Irrational. Foul almost certainly didn't do anything more than subconsciously suggest that maybe Drool wanted to take a walk today... maybe he wanted to throw some rocks around in this chamber today... something innocuous like that and suddenly, "what's that under this rock?!", the game is afoot.. or six, of staff.

I have been using the Ravers to spread misinformation and other "unknown whisperings" to lead people astray. This is for 5th edition, although I have had some friends express an interest in my running it using Pathfinder also, so that may happen at some point down the road.
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