Hail. May the Gods Keep and Bless You.
If you are reading this, I pray that it is because you have consulted with a sage of my acquaintance, or mayhap gained admittance into a library where my works have been chronicled and stored for posterity. If this is the case, I wish you all the luck and joy of my writings -- may you find them of worthwhile information and lore. May what you gain from them protect you in these dark, Scarred Lands. May Denev's kindly hand rest gently upon your brow.
If, on the other hand, you are reading this because you have stolen it from one of the above, or perhaps even murdered me and taken it from my body, well, may the curse of Denev be upon you, thou cretin. Furthermore, I hope you are bitter and exacerbated at the fact that a target who seems to be nothing more than a poor, wandering druid with ink-stained fingers turned out to be precisely that, with not a snippet of gold to my name.
Neither case, however, changes the nature of what you now hold in your hands -- my writings upon the nature of these lands we call ours. Once, this land was Scarn, a land of great beauty, if not great peace. The Titans strode through the lands and all folk great and small cowered before them, even the children of the Titans, the Gods. But the Gods rose up, children of the Titans and children's children to slay their great forebears with weapons forged of great power.
Denev, the Mother of All the Land, sided with her children the Gods against her brethren the Titans and woe was birthed from that conflagration. Children slaying those who begot them has ever been an ill omen -- even among the Gods and Titans. And it was ill indeed. Ill for the Titans, who were thrown down to a one and rent asunder. Ill for the All-Mother Denev, who knew her crime of kinslaying, punished by having the essences of her brothers and sisters spilt the length and breadth of her body, scarring, searing and giving her pain. Ill for the races and beasts of Scarn, trapped between warring behemoths and used as minions and fodder in the Titanswar.
Only the Gods were seemingly unharmed by the Titanswar. Perhaps that is why I cannot trust them, deep in my heart. Oh, I honor them for their power, but I could never worship them. Not the way I do our Mother, who has suffered the pains of the Titanswar upon her very body that the folk of the lands might be liberated from the rule of the Titans.
I travel these lands now. Unlike many of my brethren, I guard no swathe of territory that I hold as holy. All of these lands are holy and I have made it my purpose to seek out and find where the land ails the most. I have chosen to seek out these places, which pain our Mother as a stigmata, an agonizing reminder of her choices. She suffered that we might be freed from the Titans. The least that we can do is understand, chronicle and learn about these taints.
Oh, make no mistake, though -- it is my intent to show glories as well as horrors. All things horrible and wornderful draw my attention; my attention and my quill. So, I travel. And I write. These, then, are my chronicles...
(Note: All of the following entries are in .rtf format, for ease of downloading and display.)
Chronicle I: Creatures of the Lands
The Man-O-Gore: A creature native to the Blood Sea, this foul man-o-war has been bloated on the thick ichor of that mere, causing it to swell to obscene size while still remaining practically unseen in the crimson waves of the Blood Sea. Its stinging tentacles can cause paralysis in those who come into their grip, pulling its hapless prey in to be drained of their blood.
Blood Siren: Another creature twisted by the Blood Sea, the blood sirens were once the merfolk who helped to overthrow the Titans during the Titanswar, battling their minions before they could rise up out of the seas. Sadly, it is the Titans who have the ultimate revenge, for these once-peaceful merfolk have been warped into the blood sirens by Kadum's filthy ichor.
Harpy Queen, Daemon: A demoness sent by Belsameth to her faithful harpies, the Harpy Queen is a ruthless spellcaster who culls the flock of its weakest links, trains the others in arts arcane and divine and leads them in violent conflicts for the glory of Belsameth.
Chronicle II: Enchantments & Artifacts of the Lands
The Oaken Branch: My own journal of magics which have been granted to me through Denev's blessings. These are druidic spells that I have found in my travels, been given as gifts, wrested from fierce foes or won in contests of skill. Yet others have come to me in dreams, granted directly by our All-Mother. I pray that others find these of worth and put them to the use our Mother intended -- the healing of the Land. [Updated: Some descriptions changed]
The Eclipsed Moon: A book of magics and other secrets taught among the hags, which I seized from a covey of those foul creatures who called themselves the Daughters of Mormo. I have discovered that though many of them were created by the hags or given to them by the Mother of Witches before her dismemberment, these magics can still be used by those with the power to do so. I pray that they serve that purpose, rather than giving our enemies yet further weapons.
Chronicle III: Places Great & Small
Dorin's Vale: A small, fortified town that is in the midst of some of the most horrifically scarred portions of our Lands. A remnant of the Seven Vales which were destroyed in the aftermath of the Titanswar, Dorin's Vale is a town of hardy folk who know that their loved ones, friends and family will all die unless they themselves battle the horrors which emerge from the blasted forests and hills around them. [Updated: Part of history changed; map link added in dorinlands.rtf]
The Inns of Dorins Vale: A collection of the finest inns and taverns in Dorin's Vale, including personages, fare and prices, as well as maps and history.
The Gleaming Coif: An unpresumptuous inn located in the city of Mithril, the Gleaming Coif is easily my favorite place to relax away from the wilderness. But the Gleaming Coif is known for another thing as well -- the ghost of the paladin who died on the very spot the inn was built, aiding in the battle against Kadum.
Chronicle IV: Folk of the Lands
The Frosted Oak: An erstwhile adventuring company made up of an Albadian princess and her tattooed sorceress-bodyguard, a half-elven druid of the Ganjus and an elven vigilant of the Ganjus Vigil.
Iron Dog Coster: An overland trading caravan of dwarves and their allies, the Iron Dog Coster provides essential goods to many towns and settlements throughout the Scarred Lands.
(Note: The following are items that I thought fans of the Scarred Lands might find useful. Enjoy.)
A Character Record Sheet, for the Scarred Lands, courtesy of Gary Lubben.
Scarred Lands Mailing List, a discussion mailing list for the Scarred Lands. I will announce updates of this site on this list.
Oakthorne's Chronicles, a message board for discussing the material on this site. Please, don't hesitate to leave me a message, or to strike up a conversation regarding one or more of these entries. Enjoy!
Further Lore, a links page with some interesting and useful links.
Monsters of the Scarred Lands, a series of documents organized by terrain type, with a complete listing of monsters from the Monster Manual, Creature Collection and Creature Collection II: Dark Menagerie, listed by CR. Includes guidelines for building random encounter charts, and a sample chart for the Perforated Plains!
About the Author
"Oakthorne" is legally known as Joseph D. Carriker, Jr. He is an English major and aspiring freelance game writer and designer. He was among the contributors to Relics & Rituals, where his name was placed in quotations, causing his friends to accuse him of using an alias. His contributions to that tome were Gutroot and Lilliandel's Flurry, spells created originally for his fellow tree-huggers and their bow-wielding buddies. He can be contacted by email.
Scarn, the Scarred Lands and all names associated thereof are © Sword & Sorcery Studios. No challenge is intended to that right by use of these names and concepts.