"The Sinister Secret of Saltmarsh"

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I am converting the classic adventure U1: The Sinister Secret of Saltmarsh to Dugeons & Dragons 4e. I was thinking of setting this adventure in the Moonshae Isles in the Forgotten Realms campaign setting. What do DMs believe is the best island/city in the Moonshae Isles to set this adventure? Thoughts?

I also intend to run U2: Danger at Dunwater and U3: The Final Enemy aka "The Underwater Series".

The village of Brannoch on the Island of Snowden?
fwiw: the small fishing village of Warlsbry is a favorite location in the LFR Moonshae adventures.
(it's on Alaron, on the west side of the isle opposite Callidyrr)
Brannoch looks like a good fit, as does Fenton on Gwynneth which is adjacent to the Meirig Peatlands.

Suffice to say, the Moonshaes look almost perfect. What changes will you make in your adventures to make them feel more FR-ish/Moonshae-ish?
Cheers Imruphel aka Scrivener of Doom
Thank you for the suggestions, Imruphel and mvincent.

Suffice to say, the Moonshaes look almost perfect. What changes will you make in your adventures to make them feel more FR-ish/Moonshae-ish?


I don't know yet and I am still researching. I was able to get a copy of the sourcebook Forgotten Realms: Moonshae Isles by Douglas Niles for Dungeons & Dragons 2e(?), or is it 1e?, and seeing what is still applicabable to 3.xe. I was thinking of beginning the campaign with N4: Treasure Hunt by Aaron Allston, then U1-3, then The Savage Tide Adventure Path with the addition of I1: Dwellers of the Forbidden City. I want to have an appearance by the Yuan-Ti somewhere in the campaign. But to be honest this is at the brainstorming and early research phase.

I was going to make the monster and wildlife encounters more Moonshae Isles like. Looks like the lizard folk and sahaugin are present in the Moonshae Isles. I am going to double-check that the monsters/wildlife in the adventure live in temperate zones and in the Moonshae Isles specifically. Doesn't look like you would find giant crocodiles in the Moonshae Isles. I would be delighted to hear of any thoughts or suggestions you might have for making the adventure more Moonshae Isles-like.
Postscript:

Is it just me, or are the similarities between The Sinister Secret of Saltmarsh and Paizo Publishing's Rise of the Rune Lords Chapter 2: The Skinsaw Murders by Richard Pett? The village of Sandpoint seems to be inspired by Saltmarsh and the location and history of Foxglove Manor seems to be inspired by the wizard's mansion. It seems that author Richard Pett was familiar with The Sinister Secret of Saltmarsh.

More information:
paizo.com/products/btpy8029?Pathfinder-2...
pathfinder.wikia.com/wiki/The_Skinsaw_Mu...

It appears that the Moonshae Isles have a very Celtic flavor. The Welsh word Caer meaning "fortress", "fort" or "citadel"/"castle" and the double consonants in place names, such as Callidyrr. I remember reading in the module that Saltmarsh was based on a 14th-century southcoast English fishing village.  Reviewers at RPG.net set the module at 14th-century Lizard Point (Lysardh), Cornwall.
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lizard_Point,_Corn...
www.rpg.net/reviews/archive/12/12776.pht...

I will give the inhabitants of Saltmarsh Celtic names or names in derivative languages. Make the Island of Snowden a Brythonic area? Thus giving the inhabitants of Saltmarsh (Brannoch) Cornish and Welsh names?

Although Warlsbry could work as a location, Brannoch seems to be in line with Baldur's Gate, which I am considering being the starting location of the Savage Tide Adventure Path rather than Tashluta in The Forgotten Realms.

Show
I was going to make the smugglers affiliated with the competing faction in the Savage Tide Adventure path and perhaps combine the backstory of the Sea Witch with the Blue Nixie. Perhaps attempting to sell the ship at the end of The Final Enemy in the city of Baldur's Gate and bringing the PCs to the attention of Lavinia Vanderboren or perhaps Lavinia Vanderboren coming to Brannoch to retrieve her ship.





Post-postscript:

Nice map of Sarifal and some of the Moonshae Isles, including the entirety of Snowden Island, that was also published in Dragon 376 in the article "Sarifal" by Brian R. James at the Cartographer's Guild forums:
www.cartographersguild.com/finished-maps...
www.cartographersguild.com/attachments/f...

Are the Maloren Sods a tidal marsh of salt-tolerant grasses?

Though the Mearig Peatlands seem to have two rivers flowing through them. One of these could be the River Dunwash Dunwater, if they aren't previously named.  It is also close to the Ossian Reef and the Strait of Leviathan. Peatlands seem like an ideal home for the Lizard Folk. Hmm...decisions, decisions.

Fenton or Brannoch...hmmmm? Is it a coincidence that Corwell is similar to Cornwall? Anyone know the population of Fenton?

The Raiders of Rauthym aka Northmen (Northlanders) seem to be a version of the Vikings (Danes). Perhaps throw in some references from Bernard Cornwell's The Saxon Stories?
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Saxon_Stories

Probably should get a copy of Dragon 93 376 if the location is Fenton on Gwynneth (Sarifal) Island.
Mike Schley also finished the other half of the Moonshae map covering the topmost islands. Do you have a copy already?

IMO, the Moonshaes are cold temperate; they're essentially an analogue for Ireland. While a crocodile might not be appropriate to the climate, a feymire crocodile certainly would be considering how closely linked to the Feywild the Moonshae Isles are.

And, yes, I also saw the parallels between Sinister and The Skinsaw Murders. Also, don't forget that Richard Pett is British so he would be rather familiar with the landscapes of the Moonshaes.

It's interesting that you're going to run Savage Tide in the Moonshaes. I can see some places where it will fit well... but there are other parts not so much - Chult seems a more natural fit. But, of course, it's your game.

One of the things I want to include an eventual Moonshaes game is a return to the idea of corrupting the Moonwells. In my notes, I am using Graz'zt as the BBEG and he is corrupting the Moonwells for at least two reasons:

1. It's tainting the gold produced in the mountains on Snowdown so that contracts and bargains sealed with this tainted gold acquire the potential to steal souls.

2. Once all the Moonwells are corrupted, Graz'zt can steal the whole Moonshae Isles as a new layer for his realm.

Actually, these ideas could also work with Demogorgon replacing Graz'zt. As for the sargasso sea encountered in Savage Tide, I had always intended to include that in a Moonshae campaign: just look at those massive seaweed "forests" on Mike Schley's maps!

I also see Demogorgon as the abyssal corrupter of primal spirits: that would be one of his/its/their specialties. I could see him warring with the Earthmother via the corruption of the Moonwells simply as part of his desire to corrupt primal spirits and, through them, all of Toril.

Hmmm, a revised version of Savage Tide would indeed be interesting in the Moonshaes....

As for your other questions about the Moonshaes, you're actually looking at pretty much the only sources already, other than Halls of the High King.

No need to look for Dragon 93: it's a short piece of fiction set in Ireland.

Anyway, you've definitely piqued my interest about your campaign so I hope you post more.

PS: Don't forget to check out the write-up of Saltmarsh in 3.5e's DMG2. I seem to recall some good ideas in there.
Cheers Imruphel aka Scrivener of Doom
Mike Schley also finished the other half of the Moonshae map covering the topmost islands. Do you have a copy already?


This one posted on Coroflot?
www.coroflot.com/mikeschley/Fantasy-Cart...
s3images.coroflot.com/user_files/individ...

Yes, that's the one.
Cheers Imruphel aka Scrivener of Doom
fwiw: the small fishing village of Warlsbry is a favorite location in the LFR Moonshae adventures.
(it's on Alaron, on the west side of the isle opposite Callidyrr)



Thanks for the link, I was wondering what Living Forgotten Realms was mvincent. Most appreciated. Cool

IMO, the Moonshaes are cold temperate; they're essentially an analogue for Ireland. While a crocodile might not be appropriate to the climate, a feymire crocodile certainly would be considering how closely linked to the Feywild the Moonshae Isles are.



I was able to locate a copy of Dragon 376 and read the article "Realmslore: Sarifal" by Brian R. James. The article has this to say about the Meirig Peatlands:

...the rich soil becomes increasingly saturated and acidic until one finds themselves sloshing through the vine horror-infested Meirig Peatlands. Trolls, feymire crocodiles, and bog hags roam this fetid swamp..."



So there is the feymire crocodile you mentioned. I presume that the Meirig Peatlands are also the home of lizard folk. I will also add fey to the encounter lists in the adventure. Make sure to have plenty of fairies, pixies, and sprites. Might also work in some firbolgs, moor hounds, and owlbears.

It's interesting that you're going to run Savage Tide in the Moonshaes. I can see some places where it will fit well... but there are other parts not so much - Chult seems a more natural fit. But, of course, it's your game.



A very interesting idea based on a misunderstanding of my previous post. I wanted to play U1-U3 before "There is No Honor" in the Savage Tide Adventure Path.  After U3, the player's will travel to Baldur's Gate, the Mhair Archipelego, the jungles of Chult, and then the "Isle of Dread" (Mother-of-Mists).

I have done some research on the name Fenton and found out that it means "town on the swamp" in Old English. This name is certainly similar to Saltmarsh.

I intend to have Fenton as a community of Ffolk and part of the Kingdom of Corwell. The events of U1-U3 are prior to the expulsion of humans by the High Lady Ordalf and prior to the attacks made by Amnite mercenaries. Fenton is also experiencing tensions from the influx of fey on the Island of Gwynneth and the expansion of Sarifal.

One of the things I want to include an eventual Moonshaes game is a return to the idea of corrupting the Moonwells. In my notes, I am using Graz'zt as the BBEG and he is corrupting the Moonwells for at least two reasons: 1. It's tainting the gold produced in the mountains on Snowdown so that contracts and bargains sealed with this tainted gold acquire the potential to steal souls. 2. Once all the Moonwells are corrupted, Graz'zt can steal the whole Moonshae Isles as a new layer for his realm. Actually, these ideas could also work with Demogorgon replacing Graz'zt. As for the sargasso sea encountered in Savage Tide, I had always intended to include that in a Moonshae campaign: just look at those massive seaweed "forests" on Mike Schley's maps! I also see Demogorgon as the abyssal corrupter of primal spirits: that would be one of his/its/their specialties. I could see him warring with the Earthmother via the corruption of the Moonwells simply as part of his desire to corrupt primal spirits and, through them, all of Toril.



I would be delighted to see these materials when you would be willing to share. You can send me a PM.

PS: Don't forget to check out the write-up of Saltmarsh in 3.5e's DMG2. I seem to recall some good ideas in there.



I am getting re-acquainted with Dungeons & Dragons. I played First and Second Edition Advanced Dungeons & Dragons and I am starting to re-aquaint myself with 3.x and 4 after a long absense. It seems that the City of Saltmarsh described in 3.5e's DMG2 is at least twice as large as the fishing village described in U1. Looks like Saltmarsh has grown and prospered by the successful conclusion of the events of the "Underwater" trilogy. The map and descriptions are a good starting point and I will be eliminating buidings, temples, and walls to make it the village described in U1 prior to the growth and prosperity described in 3.5e's DMG2.

 I will post more after more research and creative decisions concerning the adaption. I am certainly going to rename the adventure from The Sinister Secret of Saltmarsh to The Haunting of x House or The Haunting of x Hall because of the change of location and campaign setting. I am currently thinking of a name for the wizard's mansion. Andrigal House or Andrigal Hall? Perhaps rework the story of Andrigal Mansion and Jarthis Andrigal? The Sinister Secret of Fenton just doesn't roll off the tongue. Though I admit that I like the story of Foxglove Manor better from The Skinsaw Murders. Poor little Baxter Larenby.
Why Graz'zt and not Malar the Beastlord (Kazgoroth), Imruphel?

forgottenrealms.wikia.com/wiki/Malar

I guess in Third Edition Kazgoroth became an aspect of Bhaal:

forgottenrealms.wikia.com/wiki/Bhaal
forgottenrealms.wikia.com/wiki/Kazgoroth

In First Edition, Kazgoroth was an aspect of Malar.

Bane?
forgottenrealms.wikia.com/wiki/Bane
It's interesting that you're going to run Savage Tide in the Moonshaes.

fwiw: in 4e, the Isle of Dread has been placed in the Feywild.

This actually worked out great for me (and helps explain why adventurers might encounter the Isle unexpectedly, and sometimes have a hard time returning to it). I retconned my 3.5e Greyhawk Savage Tide campaign to have crossed over to the Feywild when encountering the Isle.

Also, the recent "Attack of the Tyrantclaw" Lair Assault took place in the Feywild/Isle of Dread.

It's interesting that you're going to run Savage Tide in the Moonshaes.

fwiw: in 4e, the Isle of Dread has been placed in the Feywild.

This actually worked out great for me (and helps explain why adventurers might encounter the Isle unexpectedly, and sometimes have a hard time returning to it). I retconned my 3.5e Greyhawk Savage Tide campaign to have crossed over to the Feywild when encountering the Isle.

Also, the recent "Attack of the Tyrantclaw" Lair Assault took place in the Feywild/Isle of Dread.




Interesting. Thanks for the information, mvincent. Looks like I have a lot of catching up to do since 2e.


The Living Greyhawk Journal  September 2000 names the house Makaster House. The reclusive alchemist is named Myrick Makaster.
The four mile trek from "Saltmarsh" to "Makaster House" is moor on the Island of Gwynneth according to Moonshae by Douglas Niles. The following random encounters are possible on the Moors:

2d10 Humans
1d8 Halflings
Irish Deer
Stag, Giant
1d4 Boars, Giant
2d20 Wolves
2d4x10 Bandits
1d100 Ravens
Brown Bear, Giant
Werewolf
1d4 Trolls
2d10 Goblins
Leprechaun
1d8 Dwarves
1d20 Firbolgs
2d12 Centipedes, Giant
1d10 Centaurs
1d2 Porcupines, Giant
1d6 Horses
1d4 Nymphs

Hmmm....no cows, sheep, or goats?

On the grounds of "Makaster House" (garden) the party will encounter harmless animals such as mice, voles, and rabbits.

In the house proper, the following creatures may be encountered:

4 Goblins
2 Giant Rats with 3 young Giant Rats
1 Giant Weasal
6 Giant Worker Ants

Not sure how to make U1 anymore Moonshae Isles like unless I change the nature of "Makaster House".

I guess I could make "Makaster" a worshipper of Bhaal to increase the house's sinister reputation? I presume that "Makaster" was a mage of evil alignment. Lawful evil? He seems to be a free agent according to the module. The house seems far away from the Fens of Fallon and encounters with Kazgoroth and the Blood Warriors. Was "Makaster" corrupted by Kazgoroth (Bhaal).

Thoughts?







Why Graz'zt and not Malar the Beastlord (Kazgoroth), Imruphel?

forgottenrealms.wikia.com/wiki/Malar

I guess in Third Edition Kazgoroth became an aspect of Bhaal:

forgottenrealms.wikia.com/wiki/Bhaal
forgottenrealms.wikia.com/wiki/Kazgoroth

In First Edition, Kazgoroth was an aspect of Malar.

Bane?
forgottenrealms.wikia.com/wiki/Bane



The chain of thoughts went something like this:

- Snowdown was invaded by Amn.

- Amn is a major centre of Waukeen's faith.

- IMC, Waukeen never got rescued from the Abyss so Graz'zt is still "in charge" of her church.

- What if "Waukeen" was behind the invasion of Snowdown? That would mean this is one of Gra'zt's plots.

- Graz'zt wants to expand his realm but he's superstitious and can only do things in 3s.

- From Snowdown, Graz'zt can corrupt moonwells and thus eventually "steal" Snowdown and parts of the Feywild to make two more layers for his realm.

-  For his third layer, he is aiming at Neverwinter. (This is actually the backstory for my current Neverwinter campaign.)

- One of the side effects of corrupting moonwells is that it also corrupts other things. In this case, it is corrupting the gold being extracted from Snowdown (IMC this is one of the major reasons for Amn's invasion).

- This corrupted gold can be used to trap souls that are then drawn to Graz'zt.

Anyway, that's the gist of it in a few bullet points. Bhaal doesn't really fit that, IMC.  
Cheers Imruphel aka Scrivener of Doom
I've read that Lliira assumed Waukeen's portfolio and saw to her followers from the time of her imprisonment until her escape aided by PCs in the adventure For Duty and Deity by Dale Donovon. Perhaps some deception perpetrated by Graz'zt led Lliira to believe that Waukeen had escaped her imprisonment from the Abyss and to release Waukeen's portfolio? Perhaps the "Waukeen" moved by Verin from Samora to Zelatar is another succubi and that the real Waukeen continues to be imprisoned in the Abyss by Graz'zt after the events of For Duty and Deity?

However, For Duty and Deity states that "The official Forgotten Realms campaign assumes that Waukeen is freed from her imprisonment and that she regains her rightful place in the Faerunian pantheon."

Perhaps instead of having Waukeen still imprisoned in the Abyss by Graz'zt and violating canon, the Harlot's Coin Heresy is in fact true?:

This heretical schism of Waukeen's faith teaches that Waukeen has been gradually selling off pieces of her divinity and virtue to Graz'zt in order to finance her church. They believe that it was for failing to pay her debts to him that Graz'zt imprisoned her during the Time of Troubles. These heretics teach that Waukeen earned her freedom only because she finally paid her debt to the demon, resulting in Graz'zt now owning the majority of Waukeen's godhood. The heretics thusly believe that all who worship Waukeen are really worshiping Graz'zt instead, and they're content with that arrangement.



Source:
forgottenrealms.wikia.com/wiki/Waukeen


This may also mean that Graz'zt rules The House of Barter, a quarter of the Marketplace Eternal? Perhaps Graz'zt aspires to replace Waukeen as the god of coins and wealth?
Postscript:

Or the Church of Waukeen in Amn may be in the control of the League of the Six-Fingered Gentlemen (sometimes the League of Six Rings), formerly known as the Scions of the Dark Prince, that wormed its way into the hierarchy of the Church of Waukeen during the time that Graz'zt had imprisoned the goddess in the Abyss. The League has been spreading the "Harlot's Coin Heresy."

Source:
forgottenrealms.wikia.com/wiki/Graz%27zt

Perhaps the League of Six-Fingered Gentlemen, working within the Church of Waukeen, was behind Amn's invasion of Snowden?
I (snip) However, For Duty and Deity states that "The official Forgotten Realms campaign assumes that Waukeen is freed from her imprisonment and that she regains her rightful place in the Faerunian pantheon."

Perhaps instead of having Waukeen still imprisoned in the Abyss by Graz'zt and violating canon, the Harlot's Coin Heresy is in fact true?: (snip)



Yeah, that's what I am saying is the background of my campaign.
Cheers Imruphel aka Scrivener of Doom
I would be delighted to see your campaign materials, lmruphel, when they are in a condition to share.
I post on a blog but some of the posts are incomplete and thus rather disjointed. (At least my spelling, punctuation and grammar are generally quite good. )

That said, I think there's some worthwhile stuff there if you're prepared to trawl: my-realms.blogspot.com.
Cheers Imruphel aka Scrivener of Doom