Gold Community Okay -- Your Turn
    > Return to the Temple of Elemental Evil
        > The Village of Rastor
New Topic    Add Reply

<< Prev Topic | Next Topic >>
Author Comment
Yellowhippo
A cup of coffee
(5/20/03 10:01 pm)
Reply
The Village of Rastor
Hi,

I've been reading this board and some of the excellent logs for some time now.

I am planning to run RTTTOEE after I have finished my current campaign, and have been using this forum as a chance to improve the adventure.

The one area in the game that is rather weak is the village of Rastor. Unfortunately there wasn't anything like the detail provided for Hommlett.

I am curious as to what other DMs used for Rastor. Did you just make something up? Did you model it on anything else? Do you know of any websites that detail Rastor? What changes did you make to Rastor?

I know this isn't a major issue in running the game as I could easily 'create' a village for Rastor but if there is something that I could use or model Rastor on then it would allow me time to concentrate on other areas of the game.

Thanks

Yellowhippo

madfox
A guitar
(5/20/03 11:11 pm)
Reply
Re: The Village of Rastor
Isn't there a long discussion about Rastor in one of the stikey posts, either the FAQ or the Best of the Boards? It is certainly a point of discussion that turns up regularly...

Siobharek 
A guitar
(5/20/03 11:57 pm)
Reply
ezSupporter

Re: The Village of Rastor
I don't think that any posts were actually preserved for posterity. I'm pretty sure that there's no Rastor in the BoB.

One idea that sticks with me is adding a small keep and a degenerate noble family to the village. This nobleman is of course completely dominated by Tal Chammish and other (unspecified?) denizens of the ToAC. The whole thing was influenced more than a little by an H.P. Lovecraft story.

The same poster also remarked that since Mt. Stalagos was only 6 miles away, it would be quite plausible for the proximity of such great evil to produce strange mutations. Given the new info in BoVD about effects of lingering evil, that would be a strong possibility indeed.

Other than that, Rastor - as written - is too poor to offer the PCs anything. It's a stopping point en route from Hommlet to the CRM, and as fully half of the population knows about ochre-robed people from the mountain, it's a piece of cake for any PC with a Charisma above 6 to gather information that will lead him in the right direction. About the only other purpose of Rastor - again, as written - is for Tymerian to warn the PCs from just flying over the crater and into the Fanes.

Apart from the above, I know that a good many posters here have used Rerrid Hammersong as a minor contact/patron to steer the PCs towards the lost temple of Moradin. This, of course, works best if the party includes a dwarf.

Once the temple is found, it affords the PCs a safe place to stay, as Rerrid & Co. move in at once. Not a few posters have allowed their PCs this luxury until it is time for the party to head for the Fanes. Then Thrommel is dispatched to turn all the common dwarves into vampire spawn and Rerrid into a full-fledged vampire. One poster made the nasty suggestion of having Rerrid the Vampire be crucified, and moan piteously when the PCs enter the temple (think Mines of Moria here). As the PCs take hold of him to get him off the cross/wall/whatever, Rerrid is in a fine position for a grapple as the spawn rise behind the PCs...

Personally, I ran Rastor pretty much as written. I emphasized the incongruity of orcs and dwarves living peacefully in the same area, and I boosted Tal Chammish a little to at least give him a fighting chance. Other than that, and the fact that I had some gnome merchants move in once Tal was dead, I didn't use Rastor much. And my party has ceased stopping over in Rastor for fear of bringing down the wrath of Hedrack on the little town.

To sum all this up, here's what I think everyone should focus on in Rastor:

The Tanbrosh situation. Depending on your preferences, this can drag out or be dealt with quickly. Make sure that whatever consequences arise from the PCs' actions are carried through. I'm sure that many Rastors have been depopulated because Tal was killed and the PCs moved on. Also look out for the opportunity to get a PC hooked.

Tymerian. She was part of a party that also included the bard in the Fire Temple. Andorax suggests that the party also included Vister the paladin and.... the insane monk (?). Make up a complete story for her about how she was captured and how she escaped.

Rerrid Hammersong and the other dwarves. Are they the last of the original denizens of the Stalagos mines? How much can they tell about the layout of the mines. IMC, The Stalagos mine was created by a large clan a little to the north. This clan, living in the fortress Dorob-Kilthduum was overrun by orcs and is now haunted. The Rastor dwarves are survivors from Dorob-Kilthduum and only came to the CRM after Dorob-Kilthduum fell. The orcs' attacks were of course orchestrated by the Doomdreamers, so when the refugees came to Mt. Stalagos, it, too, was under attack, and their memories are clouded by that. Read more about Dorob-Kilthduum and a fuller take on the County of Verbobonc in Oerth Journal, issues 8 and 9.

The Orc/Dwarf dynamics. These guys actually live together in peace! If the PCs go medieval on the orcs, Rastor may become less than enthusiastic about having them.

That's all I can think of for the moment. Have I missed anything?

Siobharek
...it is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing.

Edited by: Siobharek  at: 5/21/03 12:04:13 am
Grumgarr
A boxing glove
(5/21/03 2:10 am)
Reply
Re: The Village of Rastor
That's all good stuff Siobharek!

Here's my take on Rastor.

I wanted Rastor to come across as an Old West frontier boom-town gone bust. Right down to the swing-door saloon and run-down cathouse. Grim hardworking men and women, with an undercurrent of simmering violence waiting to erupt.

The gold rush of prospectors moving in around Mount Stalagos was the real reason humans moved into the area...the dwarves had laid claim to the rich veins in Mount Stalagos itself, but the rest of the area was rich in volcanic deposits too, so a lot of folk got rich quick, and the town grew up to relieve the prospectors of some of their wealth...enter the Doomdreamers...
The dwarves get slaughtered/driven out by the DDs and their summoned elementals and demons. Suddenly the richest veins were off-limits. Only the long-lived dwarves remember anything other than rumour and hearsay about the priests - almost everyone in town knows that the crater is occupied by some priests and that they have guards to ensure their privacy...no-one in town goes near the crater if they know what's good for them...the priests leave folk in town alone for the most part, so they're just the 'old haunted house on the hill' to most folk in town. Plus they come to town for supplies.
Out of town, folk go armed and don't travel alone - giants and other dangerous creatures haunt the hills at times.
The occasional well guarded merchant caravan detours to Rastor - providing a brief flash of colour and variety in an otherwise drab, shabby town.

The orcs moved into the area a generation or more ago and after tense beginnings and not a little bloodshed an uneasy truce developed - orcs now trade in town, though they don't live there - their camp is in the hills nearby - a track leads off into their territory...heavily armed groups approaching the orcs' camp will be treated as enemies...if you want to go see the orcs, tread softly. Racial tensions between the dwarves and half-orcs of Rastor still flares once in a while, fuelled by old anger and strong drink.

Rastor is now a rough-and-ready backwater, almost lawless. That's far from a license to do whatever you want though. Outsiders making trouble will get on the wrong side of more than just their 'victims'. There are still good folk in town, but it's a place to get lost, so drifters and folk on the run or looking to forget their past or be forgotten end up here too...people drift in and out and the town is slowly fading away as the prospectors' finds become thinner over time...
Eventually only the stubborn dwarves will remain, hoping that someday they might reclaim Mount Stalagos.

The Doomdreamers wealth and funding for their plans has come in large part from the rich veins of gems, gold and even some mithril found in the Stalagos mines - they have not been idle since taking over - now the mines are mostly played out and no longer worth the effort, given their other, more pressing plans.

Causing trouble for the priests or their supply-wagons in Rastor may bring reprisals down on the town - the blame for this will be laid squarely at the feet of the PCs who will find whatever welcome Rastor offered turned to cold-eyed resentment, even violence...and, of course, the cult has its own 'spies' in the town.

Grumgarr

Edited by: Grumgarr at: 5/21/03 2:12:36 am
Siobharek 
A guitar
(5/21/03 2:13 am)
Reply
ezSupporter

Re: The Village of Rastor
Thanks, Grumgarr. Yours is, I might add, very solid, too. With the orcs as "Indians", the Wild West boom town analogy is complete. Funny, then, that the only lawman in town is Jardeth the orc :)

This might become an FAQ/BoB entry. Preferences, anyone?

Siobharek
...it is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing.

The guy from Belgium
A song from the sixties
(5/21/03 2:59 am)
Reply
Re: The Village of Rastor
i think it woud look nicely in the FaQ section, as it is a question that surfaces on a regular base...

nice take on rastor by the both of you by the way!

Philip

http://users.pandora.be/Philip/dnd

Andorax
A guitar
(5/21/03 6:28 am)
Reply
Re: The Village of Rastor
I had some of the same thoughts here as Grumgarr... not exactly the same, mind.

I saw Rastor as being a city built to support and facilitate trade with the CRM. Dwarves determined where it would be so as to draw a line saying "nobody comes any closer than here". As an anchor point, they built the Temple in the very center.

Humans moved in and build all sorts of buildings all 'round. The few bits of solid dwarven construction mixed in with everything from well-made large structures to shantytown shacks (and the quality of one's work reflected on how the Dwarves dealt with you, of course).

Now, it's a very sad place. IMC, Rastor is the home of the last reminants of the dwarves of the CRM. Rerrid himself was a youngster, just about to go into the clergy and be welcomed into the temple when everything went wrong.

There's too few dwarves to attempt any retaking of the CRM. There's too few for anyone to move anywhere else without "destroying the clan". They're hanging onto a way of life they can't ever get back. As a result, it takes more than just "discovering" the Temple...the Dwarves have to be either very compellingly convinced or be absolutely certain they can return safely before they'll abandon the only home the clan has left, Rastor.

Enter the Orcs. The Dwarven hatred of the Orcs continues unabated. They have no love for the foul creatures, and would love to see them all dead if they could manage it. Alas, two things stand in their way. First, the Dwarves are too few, and dare not risk their dwindling numbers on a pointless gesture. Second, the human population wouldn't abide it.

Why? Well, with the Dwarves no longer mining, the main reason for Rastor to exist as a trade town is gone. Much of the town is gone, many of the people moved on. Those that remained had to invent a whole new economy, and have welcomed the Orcs as trade partners in the place of the Dwarves.

Now, gem traders and metal merchants have gone into furs and exotic animal bits, supported by Orcish trappers.


I even worked this into my campaign early on...on the road to Rastor, the party ran into the corpse of an Orc trapper, complete with gear appropriate to a Ranger and four or five large steel bear traps. The Orc's chest had been completely caved in by a massive blow.

Later, when they camped that night, they heard a yowl in the distance. Investigating, they found a Mountain Lion who had fallen afoul of one of the still-set steel traps...and two rounds later, the Grey Render who had "adopted" the Lion comes trapsing into the area...lacking the intellect and manual dexterity to free his friend.

An interesting encounter, and dilema for the PCs...how to free the (injured and angry) Mountain Lion without being turned into a gooey paste by the angry and irrational Render.

"Whadda ya mean, Orcs get levels too?!?"

Edited by: Andorax at: 5/21/03 6:30:14 am
Infiniti2000
A guitar
(5/21/03 6:54 am)
Reply
ezSupporter
Re: The Village of Rastor
Awesome stuff, guys! This is very much in time for me, too. Please put all three on a sticky thread (FAQ is okay for me)! Also, check out the map posted on Zans's site in the Rastor section. Hopefully, someone could also include some more information there.

madfox
A guitar
(5/21/03 8:40 am)
Reply
Re: The Village of Rastor
In mine version Rastor appeared to be an idellic town at first glance. The streets were clean, the houses had nice colors and the people where nice. It all looked too nice to be precise and this put my players quite on an edge. In my campaign I treated the village as being under the firm control of the Temple, who wanted to use it as a first discouragement to curious adventurers. Something in the trend - 'Nothing to see here. Nothing wrong. Please move along to the next adventuring site.' They even had protected the villagers on an occassion or two against raiders. Mind you, I depicted Rarrid as a neutral aligned cleric of Dumathoin. He was much more interested in protecting the community then vanguising evil, which let to some arguments with the PCs as well. To save traveling time, I also made him 9th level.

Of course, it did not take the PCs much time to see through the illusion. So they decided to leave the place alone, except for the occassional forray to buy food or to have secret meeting with Tymorian.

The guy from Belgium
A song from the sixties
(5/21/03 9:42 am)
Reply
Re: The Village of Rastor
in my version, rastor was a filthy town

imagine a 18th century industrialised town

several forges burning day and night, smokestacks spewing black inky smoke into the air which clung to the buildings

the air was heavy and hot, the sky barely visible in those rare instances when a strong wind dispersed the canopy of smoke

day and night was hard to distinguish

sweaty individuals on the streets, moving to and from the forges or charcoal pits

industry: iron forges, charcoal pits, ...

races: mostly humans, some orcs and some dwarves

very filthy atmosphere, my players were glad to get inside the inn where there was 'fresher' air :D

Philip

http://users.pandora.be/Philip/dnd

errant42
A song from the sixties
(5/24/03 6:34 pm)
Reply
Re: The Village of Rastor
I posted a detailed write-up of Rastor a few months ago, including the NPCs mentioned in the book as well as several new cultists involved in a horrific conspiracy. I think the thread was called "Rastor Information" or some such.

ZansForCans 
A trophy
(6/8/03 11:36 am)
Reply
Re: The Village of Rastor
Which I finally got around to tracking down here.

This certainly belongs in the BoB/FAQ as much as anything else above, IMHO :) Or, if you have it in an alternative format, please consider donating it to the archive, errant! I'm crafting my Rastor right now and am stealing shamlessly from just about everyone ;)


Group Editing & Authoring Support
flexible campaign management for the web
info :: demo

ThirdWizard 
A song from the sixties
(6/8/03 12:58 pm)
Reply
Re: The Village of Rastor
I'm working on a timeline concerning how the events transpired in my own verison of Rastor. Some of my main points are:

Rastor started out as a simple trading post for diamonds and other minerals in the mines. The town eventually grew up around it, and thus Rastor is built with good dwarven construction in the center, where most dwarves still live, and other construction built around it, a marked difference in how different areas of the town look.

Also, Rastor's population used to be much larger. I've divided the city into three districts, the Dwarven Built or Old Rastor (being the center), the Outer District or The Squatters by dwarves sometimes (being northern Rastor), and the Forest of Rastor (being the south east Rastor). These areas are fair size, but are mostly empty, and the Forest is completely abandoned and overgrown.

Old Rastor is mostly a living place for dwarves, but also contains some of the main forges and other such craft areas. The Outer District is where everyone else lives, and its where most of the day to day life of everyone here happens. The Forest of Rastor is the leftovers, the current population simply can't live in a normal size town, so it was left to rot away.

Right now Rastor focuses mostly on farming (although the soil isn't very good in the shadow of the mountain - very rocky), and dwarven crafts. It's actually becoming known for inexpensive dwarven crafted weapons and armor, although its so far out of the way the dwarves can't live off of this very well.

Most dwarves here are clinging to some kind of hope that someday they'll take back the mines. Rerrid especially wants Tulian's Eye...

For my take on the orc/dwarf relationship, I'll put up part of my timeline-in-progress. Note that I have the campaign beginning in the year 588.

451 – The mines around the crater are over halfway completed when creatures coming from the Underdark are encountered. The dwarves pull their militia back into the mines and Rastor is left to fend for itself for the most part. With the dwarves busy, orc raiders establish a hold on the road leading to and from Rastor led by a powerful leader known as The Axe. Rastor has grown to a size of over one hundred in merely five years.
452 – A group of adventurers slay The Axe after his year of terror, decimating the remaining orc tribe. The orcs are still a small threat, but are paid off by merchants and back off. The dwarves are too stubborn to send for reinforcements from the Thulen Clan and fight off the attacks from the Underdark with severe casualties.
455 – Having beaten the invaders, the dwarves have almost completed the ring of mines around the crater. A great diamond is discovered in the mines and the dwarves name it after the leader of the Thulen Clan, Queen Tulian: Tulian’s Eye. The orcs have begun to work with the traveling merchants and now actively hunt bandits in the area for compensation.
458 – The Crater Ridge Mines are completed and the dwarves extensively mine the interior. Plans for moving to the inner ridge are begun, and the bridges are constructed. The orc tribes have coalesced under new leadership, but have no interest in banditry having grown used to the payoffs from the merchants. They begin interacting with Rastor more openly. The dwarves dislike this, but the orcs have become important to their operations in Mount Stalagos.

So, I had the dwarves be busy fighting attacks from the Underdark (and Kuo-Toas) so the injured orc tribe ironically filled the role of protecting the merchants.

I also made the mines very old. They were begun 141 years before the adventure takes place. Many generations of orcs and humans have passed, but the dwarves who once carved out the mines are still around and remember it. It's an interesting concept, with the dwarves still remembering the mines' creation and the others barely even knowing why the town was created in the first place!

And why is Jardeth so loyal to Rerrid? Well, his great grandfather was saved by Rerrid and swore a blood oath to protect him! This oath has been passed down through the generations. The tail has also grown over the years with Rerrid slaying a giant beast with his bare hands. In actuallity it was an owl-bear and he had help from orcs. ;) But, he just chuckles about the story, thinking its harmless. He treats the family well, and they've lived in Rastor for about 50 years. Jardeth's father is still alive and well respected in the community.

And the orcs in the CRM origionally came from Kreugna's tribe. They were put down years ago, but then returned to try and take over the tribe again, wanting to return the tribe to raiding and pilliaging like "real" orcs. But, Kreugna put them down, although she's starting to grow old and can't hold an axe like she used to. The young leader of the splinter group, Murant, recently took over after the leader was killed by Kreugna but she wouldn't follow them into the mines. Now they're not sure what to do and are wishing they hadn't fled into the CRM. I'm trying to think of a way to tie this in for a plot the PCs could get involved in.

<< Prev Topic | Next Topic >>

Add Reply

Email This To a Friend Email This To a Friend
Topic Control Image Topic Commands
Click to receive email notification of replies Click to receive email notification of replies
Click to stop receiving email notification of replies Click to stop receiving email notification of replies
jump to:

- Okay -- Your Turn - Return to the Temple of Elemental Evil - Home -



Powered By ezboard® Ver. 7.246j
Copyright ©1999-2003 ezboard, Inc.