Campaign Update #14: All Stretch Goals Unlocked!
Peter Bradley enters the fray! He is offering 7 original pencil sketches based on art that will appear in Darkenfold Adventures. Each is $100.00. If you want one, please add that $100 to your pledge and MESSAGE US here please as soon as you do as these are very limited and we need to keep track of the count.
To expand the Darkenfold environs through publication of two more adventure setting modules C6 Ends Meet and C7 Castle Upon the Hill and to update the previous C Series adventures. These adventures will be vehicles to bring the forest and the adventures to life with 3D maps, isometric views of towns such as Ends Meet and Greenbriar, encounter tables, NPCs, monsters, more detail on the occupants of the forest and through all this, make the Darkenfold a realm of adventure like no other!
What is the Darkenfold?
The Darkenfold is a forest set in the world of Aihrde, the official campaign setting for C&C. It is ripe for adventure. It is also home to 5 published adventures and the preferred area of play for Stephen Chenault, of Castles & Crusades and World of Aihrde fame, in his home game as well at conventions and pick-up games.
The Darkenfold holds more significance than that however, for in many respects it launched Troll Lord Games the company with the adventure module C1 The Mortality of Green. The adventure was originally written in the early 1980s and submitted to TSR for publication consideration. The esteemed Roger Moore mad notations on the book and returned it to Steve. Years later it became the cornerstone adventure that Mac Golden (founding member of TLG) and Steve used to launch the company.
Later it was was followed up by a bevy of other adventures C2 Shades of Mist, C3 Upon the Powder River, C4 Harvest of Oaths and C5 Falls the Divide. All these adventures take place beneath the eaves of the forest.
For a complete write up, scroll further down the page...
What's in the Two Adventures?
C6 Ends Meet: This adventure brings the characters back to Ends Meet and encounters in the town and the famous Cockle Burr Inn and Tavern where the Green Wizard's power has reached.. The adventure comes with a complete isometric view of Ends Meet, and the tavern and is people with a host of NPCs to propel the adventure.
C7 Castle Upon the Hill: the Green Wizard has long ruled the southern environs of the wood and controlled the southern flow of the Mistbane. He has brought darkness and evil to even this dark wood.
Growing the Adventure
What we'd really like to do is overhaul the whole series. Bring them all up to speed with the new format, put new maps in them and make the whole more usuable and alot more fun.
Maps are hugely important. If we hit the appropriate stretch goal we'll redo all the maps in a 3D format much like this:
$2000 C6 & C7: Achieved! We've funded. Steve will write C6 and C7!
$4000 One Big Book: Achieved! We are going to combine all 7 adventures into one big book (perfect bound). We will overhaul the maps to reflect the style above, remove any redundancies in the text and include new art for the old publications. This book will go to all backers at $59.00 and above. Plus we'll include Darkenfold Expansion Book in your package print/digital (retail value $15.98). For $20.00+ backers we'll include the digital copy of the Area map. NOTE: $20.00 level backers STILL receive the individual copies of C6 and C7.
$5,000 Map Book: Achieved! We are going to pull all the maps and make a separate booklet for them for ease of play. These will be in a tear away notepad or otherwise formatted for ease of use. Digital copy for $20 level and Digital and Print copy for the $59+ level.
$6000 Box It: Achieved! There are too many working parts. We are going to put all this in a box! $59+
$7,000 Villages of the Darkenfold: Achieved! We are going to give the other villages in the Darkenfold the same treatment we give Ends Meet! New maps, NPCs fleshed out. These villages will be: Greenbriar, Willowbreak, Green Lonesome (sheesh there is a lot of Green in these names) and Eastfold...with lesser treatments give to Petersboro, Elne and Lunenberg tossed in for good measure. This will make all these towns perfect launch pads for adventure. Some content will appear in C6 and C7, some in the boxed set. Backer will receive content according to their pledge level.
$9000 Tales of the Darkenfold: Achieved! Steve will spin a series of short stories about the legends of the Darkenfold, including the original tale Mortality of Green, the legends of Alice and more! $59.00+ print/digital. $20.00 level digital.
175 backers: Achieved! If we hit that number of backers we'll include Shaman of the Mire to all backers at $10.00 and above! Produced by Arcana Creations! Digital content only.
$10,000 Maps in Full Color: Achieved! Peter Bradley will render the maps in full color. Each will be set on nice card stock and in the box set in individual sheets. $59.00 level and above!
C1-C7 Darkenfold Adventures: The complete set of Darkenfold adventure in one bound book (as per the stretch goal). This includes the village expansions! ~ $15.00 Digital only.
C1 Mortality of Green: Pursue Qaugmire the troll into the depths of the Darkenfold to retrieve the sapling of the Great tree. Introduces Ends Meet. ~ $8.00 print/digital, $5.00 digital only
C2 Shades of Mist: South of town lies the small village of Alice. Long abandoned, it is haunted by the ghosts of its past. ~ $8.00 print/digital, $5.00 digital only
C3 Upon the Powder River: Down the banks of the Powder River lies adventure both wild and dangerous. Hints of the Green Wizard. ~ $8.00 print/digital, $5.00 digital only
C4 Harvest of Oaths: Follow up along the Mistbane hunting on the Bolan Drops on the journey to Ends Meet. ~ $8.00 print/digital, $5.00 digital only
C5 Falls the Divide: In the ruins of Gurthap keep are powers of the old gods that have been roused. ~ $8.00 print/digital, $5.00 digital only
Codex of Aihrde: Full color hardback book exploring the World of Aihrde. 300 pages. ~ $40.00 print/digital
Players Guide to Aihrde: Players content including racial classes, spells, powers of the gods etc. ~ $25.00 print/digital
The Darkenfold (excerpt from the Codex of AIhrde)
The Darkenfold marks the beginning of the southern wilderness. It was once part of a greater forest, the Ethvold, which spanned across the Valleys of Kayomar, from the Rhodope in the east to the Bergrucken in the west, the Amber Sea in the south and the Blaudun Timberland, the Crown of Tefnut, in the north. Those days are long ago, when the world was occupied by dragons, and men were young.
Now the Darkenfold is much reduced, stretching only several hundred miles from the Danau River in the east to the doorsteps of the Rhodope Mountains in the west. In the south, the Great Soup Marsh hems in the ancient trees, and the forest continues in wild growth from there to the Shelves of the Mist in the north. It is said that the Eldwood, that other remnant of the Ethvold, holds the heart of the Ethvold, but the Darkenfold holds its dark memories. It is an evil woods, filled with its own wild abandon and creatures of ill intent. Those who live there know that the trees and the soil hold memories of their past, deeply rooted in black earth and soft soil, and the trees do not forget the axes of those that have plundered them of their glory.
The edges of the Darkenfold are hemmed in by long lean oaks. These young trees with their leafy green branches hang to the ground to mingle with the thickly tangled thorns and bushes growing in the rich black soil. Travel here is not easy due to the thick bramble which oft times overgrows the few existing paths.
As is known, the forest has an Otherworld presence, and it is always pushing out, trying to reclaim what it lost. Thus, on the edges of the Darkenfold, lie a tangled fence of deep vegetation. Thick, entangling grasses grow high, coiling into the overhang from young trees. Within are brambles and briars and dark flowers whose aroma causes men to sleep and to dream.
Beyond this tangle lies the old wood. Here, giant dark-wash oaks, heavy with foliage, mark the heart of the forest. These peculiar trees are native only to the Darkenfold and give it its name. The mature trees are covered in a greyish-black bark that literally absorbs light; whether a torch, campfire, lantern, or sorcery, the trees drink it in, consuming it, making the forest dark on a bright day. At night, however, the forest is dark beyond imagining.
Note: Anyone with twilight or dusk vision is limited to 30 feet, deep vision at 60 feet, and dark vision to 45 feet. All other light sources are cut by 75%.
These great trees tower above the moss covered ground, their leafy canopies blotting out the light of the sun. However, grassy knolls, open meadows and slow-running brooks pocket the forest deeps and break the sinister visage cast by the old trees. Here, where the sun shines, lilies, bluebells, hyacinth and other wild flowers bloom. At night, the light of the moon and stars spill through, and when the evening is still, the fey come out to dance, sing, and play. The forest is thick with these creatures. Remnants of the Ethvold, they came here long ago, before the Wall of Worlds girded the earth from the trackless wastes of the Void. Sprites, nymphs, nixies, and pixies, as well as water lilies, blue bells, and the like abound throughout the deep recesses of the forest. There are darker fey as well; bogarts, shadows, bullworts, and carp snails are often found causing mischief. Indeed, many believe that the Darkenfold’s nature is derived from the Queen of the Unseelie Court who resides in the forest’s southern reaches, beyond the Downs, in the Lilly Fare.
Two main roads cut through the forest. The larger of the two, the Old Post Road, meanders through the upper reaches, veers north and emerges in the Broken Steppes. The Southern Way, a spur of the Old Post Road, is overgrown and weeded with small trees and is slowly vanishing back into the depths of the Darkenfold. Both roads are vestiges of the Age of Winter’s Dark, when the Empire of the Horned God attempted to conquer the forest. The Old Post Road in particular rises several feet above the forest through which it cuts, being fashioned of several layers of gravel and topped by cobbles. There is enough slant to provide run off, and two long, shallow ditches run the whole length of either side of the road. In many places, the cobbles have cracked and slid away into the ditch, or the road itself has sunken into the moist ground. There were once way posts along the road, which the ungern and orcs used when traveling these dark eaves. They were generally one or two-room stone buildings with wood shingle roofs, but those have fallen into ruin for the most part or vanished into the forest entirely.
The Southern Way was never paved, and its condition reflects that. Its track is still visible in most places, but in some it has vanished into the wood, being covered in young growth trees and brush. The ungern began work on it at one point but gave up when the Winter Dark Wars began. The pile of rubble from the cobbles and equipment lies still where the Post Road and Southern Way join, though much of it is overgrown with weeds and the like.
Few men venture into the Darkenfold. Those who do are a hardy lot with stout axes and stouter wills. Some settle in the few clearings or along the old roads, and build strong wooden houses beneath the dark trees and along the meadow tracks. It is unknown what motivates them. Whether some crime or want of justice has driven them, or whether they desire a piece of earth far away from the civilized world, they find a dangerous home in the Darkenfold.
Where the Old Post Road and Southern Way meet lies the small village of Ends Meet. Once a thriving trade town, it has since fallen on hard times and has slowly wasted away to a rump of a community. The remnants of an old stone wall surround portions of the village. The wall is in ruins and rarely rises above three feet in height. A small inn and trading post, the Cockleburr Inn and Tavern, encompass the pride and joy of the slightly suspicious, but overall friendly villagers, who number about 300.
Another village, Greenbriar, resides under the folds of the wood. Smaller than Ends Meet and sporting only a tavern (the Long House), Greenbriar sits astride the Westerling River. The hundred or so hearty souls who inhabit Greenbriar are a friendly, if cautious, bunch. The size of the village makes them far more vulnerable, and thus more watchful, than their neighbors in Ends Meet.
There are other habitations, Willowbreak on the Powder River, Bent's Trading Post, and the abandoned village of Alice, but beyond those most people live in the forest to get away from others.
A small band of dedicated rangers have taken on the onerous task of protecting the forest and the folk who reside there. They call themselves the Rangers of the Knot, for they meet in a glade wherein two ancient trees have wrapped their boles around each other.
The rest of the vast forest provides hunting ground for those creatures whose motives and concerns are little bent towards the good of men. Evil goblins band together and roam the forest. The most notorious of these foul goblins have taken up residence in a thicket of bramble and trees to the south called Broken Vale. Their leader, Horntooth, is intelligently wicked and merciless. The Downs to the south of the Broken Vale are rolling, forested hills and comprise the heart of the ancient wood. They stretch for many miles to the very borders of the Great Soup Marsh. The Downs are peopled by elves and some gnomes, goblins, and other creatures of ill intent. A few hardy humans live in those parts, and they share their world with all manner of beast, animal, and monstrous creature. In the Downs are the hunting grounds of some of the greater and lesser miasmal dragons, the Nakal Dragons (see Monsters & Treasure of Aihrde) being the most common. The fierce creatures are highly predacious and hunt all manner of creature.
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Risks and challenges
One of the greatest challenges we face is creating such a large book and maintaining the quality of the printing and binding. In order to do this, we must find a printer with the knowledge and capabilities to execute a book of this size and have it look polished and professional, something we take great pride in. This will cost more than the usual printing so Kickstarter becomes essential in raising enough capital to give this book the quality it demands and deserves.
We are confident that with a successful Kickstarter we can bring this product to the world not only as a great resource, but also as a great looking book.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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