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Gate of Bones

This Avenytr Adventures location is for characters of any level.

Located on the southwest side of the Baevonian Mountains, the Gate of Bones, sometimes known as “the Boneyard” is one of three gates holding Baevonia Pass. Securing the path up the mountain to Baevonia Pass on one side and staving off the wilds of the K’naghi Savannah and the roaming hordes of undead from Valindar on the other, the Gate of Bones is the first line of defense into Baevonia and former Chonia.  

The Baevonians crave law and order to such an extent they’ve struck evil alliances and made shady deals to further their own dominance in former Chonia. The Baevonians have become so obsessed with crushing the Chonians, they have forgotten the true threat in the region: Valindar, City of Eternal Death, ruled by the Great Lich King. 

Current Events. In recent years, hordes of the living dead have been streaming out of Valindar. The Baevonians justify any foul deeds and their need of Chonian slaves all based on the fact that they are the only thing holding back the Lich King and his forces from overrunning former Chonia. At the same time, the Baevonians are not supplying the Gate of Bones with enough soldiers and supplies necessary for its survival. Resources are being diverted off to regional conflicts with the Chonians and there’s not enough to also supply the Gate of Bones.  

Arrival of the Adventurers. The characters enter the Gate of Bones just before it comes under siege, with undead forces surging up the exterior walls and gaining entry through windows, arrow slits, and any other means they can find. As the Baevonians struggle to hold off the dead, the characters are thrust into the action. This onslaught of undead is covered fully in the adventure Brush with Death at the Baevonian Stronghold, available in Mini-Dungeon Monthly #8 (feel free to adjust enemies to fit the adventurers’ current level). An extensive overview of the Gate of Bones continues below. 

Guard attitude and morale. Those stationed here are less concerned with the offensive in Chonia and more focused on holding this stronghold. While the Baevonians here are fully loyal to their country, there is a growing number who are discontent with the lack of resources and support coming from Baevonia Pass. The soldiers seem more concerned with when the gates will fall rather than how. 

  1. Entry from K’Naghi Savannah
    This gate opens up into the west, toward the K’Naghi Savannah and the lands beyond. The Baevonians do not take this route and although traders and travelers frequent this road, they have been less frequented as of late, likely due to roaming undead, either that or those traveling the road never make it here alive. 
    The wooden ramps shown on the map to the right and left of the top line of pillars are used to lower travelers, their mounts, wagons, and cargo into tunnels which exit onto the road to Baevonia Pass to the northeast. 
    Each of the entry pillars has a special ward usable by a creature in contact with the pillar and speaking the words “We are Baevonia. Our blood runs thick and strong. Feed me with might so I may fight on.” is healed for 2d4+4 HP. The pillars are usable only by Baevonians and each works but once per day, replenishing as the scintillating rays of dawn creep over the claw-like, jagged mountains.  
  2. Fountain of Life
    A stone fountain dating back to Grekian times, this flowing work of art is quite out of place in a military stronghold. The curves of the fountain make it appear as if made entirely of water, transformed to stone just as the water sprung from the ground, this stone fountain now holds the actual water which flows continuously from the source, a small spring that is a miniature gateway to the Elemental Plane of Water. Drinking this magic water requires a bonus action and imbibers are healed 2d4+4 HP.
    After drinking from this fountain, a riddle appears upon the stone, glowing with an orange-red light and written in Grekian. It reads: All across the countryside, to front doors he travels, but you never let him in. Answer: “Paths” or “Roads”. If answered correctly, a faint path of blue light with floating motes of silver appears and begins to snake its way throughout the stronghold, eventually leading right through a wall and out into the wilderness of the Baevonian Mountains. The magic path continues for miles, much of which requires professional climbing gear and eventually ends at the distant Ruins of Rultmoordetailed in the adventure Restoration of Vasi’s Waterclock in Mini-Dungeon Monthly #9. 
  3. Guardian Statue: Law
    This statue of the famous war hero Grektharia represents law and enforcement for the BaevoniansGrektharia stands tall and honorable in a unique garb and heavily decorated, for she created the Baevonian Blackguard, an elite group of guardians that watch over the General (or Emperor) of Baevonia. If the main gates are breached, this statue transforms into an armory golem to help protect the Baevonians and the fortress. Two bookshelves in this room hold 222 books on law enforcement and similar subjects. One book, located and identified with a successful DC 23 Intelligence (Investigation) check is a tome of clear thought, although it is difficult to translate, being written in Grekian, a mostly dead language.  
  4. Guardian Statue: Order
    This is a statue of Ciomtian, a famous judge, and represents order for the Baevonians. If the main gates are breached, the statue transforms into a stone golem to help protect the Baevonians and the Boneyard. A shelf nearby holds 23 books of both Baevonian and Grekian origin, most are about law and building a structured society although some of the Grekian tomes warn of “tightening the bonds of order too firmly around the neck of one’s own citizens so that they choke and strangle on their own unhappiness and malcontent.” An incandescent blue sphere (ioun stone of insight) can be found with a successful DC 25 Intelligence (Investigation) check, hidden inside a small section of this book where the pages have been perfectly cut out to hide it. The stone has been here since Ciomian himself hid it away.  
  5. West Barracks
    Military cots and beds occupy most of this room, half are filled with sleeping soldiers. Chamber pots in need of emptying stink up the barracks, mixing with the sour smell of sweat. Stairs lead up to the second floor, an eating hall lined with arrow slits all facing the K’Naghi gates. The second floor connects the east and west barracks. Meurtrière (murder holes) are located on the second floor and used by the soldiers to drop oil and rocks onto enemies from above. If the Gate of Bones comes under attack, the majority of the Baevonian guards stream out to the main gates (area 1) in order to protect the stronghold while a select few remain behind to fire arrows or drop oil and rocks via the murder holes from above. The number of guards occupying the Boneyard varies greatly depending upon how many undead attacks have occurred recently, and if Baevonia Pass has sent reinforcements. Typically, there are at least 50-75 guards stationed at the Gate of Bones and as many as 75-150. (LN, guards) 
  6. East Barracks 
    This room is nearly identical to the west barracks (area 5). If any enemies enter the stronghold proper, Captain Heighbron (LN, city watch captain) emerges from this room to join in the defense of the Gate of Bones. A small, walled-off, private office is tucked away in a corner of the barracks for the captain to conduct business, such as requesting additional soldiers and supplies from Baevonia Pass, a request that frequently comes back declined or unanswered. 

Quests from Captain Heighbron

Captain Heighbron is in dire need of assistance from any outsiders who are willing. The captain requests a meeting in private, so as not to appear needy and keep discussion discreet and out of the ears of ever-vigilant Baevonian officials. The following quests may be given to the adventurers if they are willing. 

  • Convince the colonel in Baevonia Pass to send reinforcements, at least 50 soldiers, and enough food for another month. This will be a near-impossible mission to fulfill but it is that which is most important to the captain. It is unlikely the colonel or any of her high-ups will meet with the adventurers. If someone is able to make a successful DC 30 Charisma (Persuasion) check they can at least get an audience although Baevonians are less than receptive to outsiders and the colonel will still refuse the request. Even if the characters fail, the captain will still reward them for their efforts with food and refuge anytime they need it, here in the Gate of Bones. 
  • Investigate strange writing on the Fountain of Life (area 2). The ancient Grekian writing on the fountain has long dumbfounded the Baevonians, even those knowing a bit of Grekian. Perhaps the adventurers can decipher the strange writing that appears after one drinks from the fountain. The catch is, that until one has drank from the fountain for the first time, the writing is not visible.  
  • Take a bundle of letters to the pass. Most of the soldiers have loved ones living at or near Baevonia Pass. If the adventurers can take a bundle of 35 letters to the pass, they receive 10 GP from the captain. For each letter personally delivered, they’ll receive an additional gold piece and curry some favor amongst the soldiers at the Gate of Bones and their loved ones, perhaps even receiving places to stay in Baevonia Pass including meals, and even some weapons, armor, and items as needed.  
  • Reconnaissance on a local orc tribe. Numerous tribes of orcs live in the Baevonian Mountains but none is more notorious for attacking shipments bound for the Gate of Bones than the Bulk’Wa tribe. The Bulk’Wa live in ancient Grekian ruins adorned with devils and are said to revere and even summon these evils into the natural world. While some soldiers have approached the location before, only one woman made it back alive, the rest of the soldiers were slaughtered by what the woman reported to be “otherworldly evils”. Soon after her return, the woman came down with a strange illness and was dead in days. 
  • Reconnaissance on the undead hordes. Hordes of undead have been released from Valindar and are currently roaming the desert wastes and the K’Naghi Savannah. Their intentions are unknown although occasionally, one of the hordes brushes up against the mountains and sends hundreds of undead soldiers to attack the Gate of Bones. Captain Heighbron believes the Lich King of Valindar is testing the Baevonian’s defenses in preparation for a larger assault. 
    The captain would like any information the adventurers can glean via a reconnaissance mission into enemy territory. The mission will not be easy and is not for the faint of heart. The captain warns them that some may not return but provides horses, food, water, supplies, and anything else the group needs (so long as he deems them trustworthy). He will reward them by gifting them a magic family heirloom of the Heighbron family. 
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Baevonia Pass: The Three Strongholds

This Aventyr Adventure location is for characters of any level.

Each stronghold is presented with information on the location, typical inhabitants, and three seeds you may use to spawn your own adventures.  

Baevonia is known throughout the land for its impenetrable strongholds and meandering, fortress-like walls that reach like arms throughout the mountains.

Baevonia Pass

Baevonia Pass is a rocky northeast-southeasterly road with steep slopes and crags looming on both sides. There are three Baevonian strongholds that protect the pass from Chonians, orc hordes, and the dead from Valindar. Each of the strongholds charges a toll to pass; a tax is also imposed on all goods bought or sold within the confines of Baevonia. The fees are justified by the protection the strongholds and soldiers provide as well as the upkeep of the road itself and frequent patrols for orcs and monsters. 

Baevonia (southwest) and Former Chonia (north & northeast).

The Three Strongholds 

Isav’s Gate. This gate and small stronghold were named after the renowned river Isav which once flowed with such great force, fish were said to leap into the hands of those who stood close to her shores. Nowadays, the river has completely dried up and Isav’s Gate is but a dusty trading post and stopover for travelers, traders, and refugees escaping the Chonian-Baevonian war. A toll is taken by Baevonian soldiers before one may gain entry. There is a small tavern with a common room to sleep in. A shrine to the Axiomatic General has been built in one of the guard’s barracks, all are welcome to pay their respects and leave an offering. Nearby rivers and streams provide Baevonia Pass with plenty of fresh water, though there’s little left once the occupants have had their fill, the trading companies barrel up the rest.
Typical inhabitants. LN Baevonian soldier, LE Baevonian Sergeant, NE nomadic trader, NG non-Chonian refugee 

  • Lost boy. One of the refugees begs the party for help. Her little boy, just 5 years old, has gone missing and she fears he wandered out of the settlement and into Chonian lands.  
  • Wandering monster. A monster has been marauding the area and people are disappearing but each time a contingent of Baevonian soldiers moves out to intercept, the monster is gone.  
  • Abnormally hot. The weather is getting unbearably and abnormally hot for this time of year and the trickle of water from Baevonia Pass is getting smaller with each passing day.  
The wilderness at Baevonia Pass.

Baevonia Pass. A proper town and trading post interspersed with the resident bulk of the Baevonian army, the appropriately named Baevonia Pass is no small stronghold. The walls themselves span numerous crags and mountain peaks while the stronghold proper surrounds and protects the town which organically spawned up around it. The Stronghold at Baevonia Pass is home to army barracks, training grounds, siege equipment yards, mining operations, trading companies, taverns, festhalls, and slave yards. There is a sizable temple and altar to the Axiomatic General here, the largest and most lavish in all these lands.
Typical inhabitants. LN Baevonian soldier, LE Baevonian Captain, LE established trader, N human trader, NG Chonian slave, NE High Priest of the Axiomatic General, NE nomadic thief, LN dweorg dwarf miner 

  • Locust idol. High Priest Katorn of the Axiomatic General offers the party 500 gp to retrieve a small stone locust-like idol from Pinnacle Rock in the K’Naghi Savannah.  
  • Strange sounds. Brigadier Lentwolt holds the pass until the three Baevonian generals return from their skirmishes with the Chonians. He is worried by his soldier’s reports of strange noises and shadows in the corridors below the extensive wall systems. 
  • Broken equipment. Siege equipment has been damaged by an unknown vandal. While the guards follow their leads, the yard chief needs someone to help repair the equipment and will pay in the form of gold or an old treasure map. 
Manu Vig, Paladin of the Axiomatic General faces off against a horde of dead at the Gate of Bones.

Gate of Bones. Named after the onslaught of undead attacks from Valindar, this gate is the last of its kind before one enters the K’Naghi Desert & Savannah where the dead roam far and wide. Most passing through this gate are coming from the desert and looking for safety from the wandering dead or the unpredictable tribal warriors of K’Naghi. The rest are traders coming to make some coin at the pass, then they bravely venture out again, in search of opportunity. A stronghold built only as a gate and army barracks, this place is sparse and utilitarian but built to withstand a fairly intense assault from the southside. As of late, the captain on duty has been sent reinforcements in the form of criminals who are in the process of being reintegrated with society; needless to say, the captain, known as Heighbron, is less than pleased.
Typical inhabitants. LN Baevonian Captain, LE Baevonian Soldier, LN Baevonian Soldier, NE Baevonian Soldier (former criminal), CN Baevonian Soldier (former criminal), N human trader (passing through) 

  • The dead. Undead forces move in the night and attack the stronghold! There’s no way out and the party’s help is needed. Play the adventure Brush with Death at the Baevonian Stronghold 
  • Healing fountain. A shrine to Vasi provides an endless supply of clean, fresh water to the contingent stationed here and even has magical healing properties. There is a riddle etched into the stone in ancient Grekian.  
  • Falling morale. The soldiers need a good diversion to help their spirits after months (and even years) of facing combat with the dead. One soldier wants to plan something special and surprise the others, perhaps the party can help. 

 

 

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The Chonians & Baevonians

THE CHONIANS & BAEVONIANS

The Chonians

Typical alignments NG, CG, N
Common Backgrounds Folk Hero, Hermit, Outlander
Basic Appearance Tan skin, brown and black hair worn long, almond eyes, toned muscles, wearing leather clothing and carrying hides on horseback yet also dressed with enough fineries to allude to ancient roots in civilization.

The horse-riding Chonians have long been nomadic warrior-archers, traveling from one place to another due to the dangerous and chaotic nature of the world in which they live. Many times, the Chonians have settled between the mountains and Lake Chonia, even giving these lands their name, but time and time again, the Baevonians marched down from their mountain strongholds to wage war and destroy everything the Chonians had built up over the years.

If attacks and war with Baevonia weren’t enough, the Chonians have the orcs to contend with, not just a few, or even a few hundred, but thousands of orcs which stream like rivers of bloodshed from the mountains and envelope the land in a cacophony of bent blades, rusty axes, and heads of enemies on pikes.

The Chonians only wish is to create permanent settlements for their people so they might practice the natural way of plains life like their tribal ancestors once did.

Unfortunately, some of the Chonian people would rather ride their mounts off into the dusty sunset, raiding and pillaging Baevonian traders and anyone who might have something of value or something to eat. These “bad seeds” frequently draw the attention of the Baevonian military which marches down out of the mountains to crush anyone responsible or harboring these criminals.

The Baevonians

Typical alignments LE, LN, LG
Common Backgrounds Acolyte, Soldier, Variant Criminal: Spy (within context of the law)
Basic Appearance Black hair cut short and covered by helm, dark eyes heavy with ages of war. A muscular and heavily-scarred body covered in finely made, heavy plate armor from head to toe, holding an ancient family blade in one hand, a shield with Baevonian crest in the other.

The mountain stronghold dwelling Baevonians, laden with heavy armor and weapons, protected by stone and steel, guard the lands of former Chonia with their lives, holding back the forces of evil and the tide of darkness that would otherwise wash over the known land.

Driven by a passion for lawfulness, the Baevonians seek order in all things, no matter the cost. Known to forge questionable alliances and dark deals just to hold their position in the world, forcing order upon others is not just expected, but required.

Punishment for breaking the law in Baevonian society is more than just what the local magistrate may deal out as a sentence, the guilty individual will be shunned from society to such an extent they typically commit ceremonial ritualistic suicide to appease the Axiomatic General or willingly take a position in the front lines in any major assault, hoping to either prove themselves or die trying.

Welcome to Aventyr Adventures! A system agnostic series (with some D&D 5e) designed for GMs and players to enjoy the exploration of new lands together. These blog entries are 100% free for you to use along with existing Aventyr Campaign Setting content.

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