Strolen\s Citadel content. 
The Unseen Fortress
Locations  (Fortification)   (Forest/ Jungle)
Ancient Gamer's comment on 2007-03-30 07:21 PM
Okay :)

I will vote.

I loved this sub. I felt it was missing peaceful encounters and thus I added some as promised. While I only really like my last encounter (5) I do think this completes the sub. Now I can vote 5 and feel at ease with that decision.

Kudos on a sub well written! Go to Comment
The Unseen Fortress
Locations  (Fortification)   (Forest/ Jungle)
Chaosmark's comment on 2007-04-17 06:55 PM
A worthy war submission. Not all that much need be said, aside from good job! Go to Comment
The Unseen Fortress
Locations  (Fortification)   (Forest/ Jungle)
Murometz's comment on 2007-03-23 02:41 PM
wow, I am impressed. What a wonderfully detailed and well constructed location!

it almost goes without saying...the tables rock!! Go to Comment
The Unseen Fortress
Locations  (Fortification)   (Forest/ Jungle)
Murometz's comment on 2007-03-23 09:37 PM
as to your question, whether or not this qualifies as an island, I would say, yes.

btw, how big is the island? just curious. Go to Comment
The Unseen Fortress
Locations  (Fortification)   (Forest/ Jungle)
valadaar's comment on 2007-03-12 11:53 AM

Outer Band 

 The outer band is ring of forest 15-25 miles in thickness. The forest is very dense with closely packed trees and heavy underbrush. No paths wider then a deer-trail exist through the forest. The roads used to bring construction supplies were replanted long ago and the trees growth accellerated via magic.

The forest is naturally dark and dank, and carefully ensorcelled against fire. Attempts to clear the forest by burning will be limited unless high power magic is used. Even then, the fire will not spread far beyond the immediate area of the magical flame. 

The trees are largely a passive defence to stop or slow down major troop movements by making horses, wagons and siege engines difficult to move. Some of the trees present have special 'adjustments' to make clearing roads difficult.

Assume that one needs to cut at least 500 trees to clear 1 mile of pathway (1 per 10' of progress) along with extensive underbrush. The chance of a 'special' tree being encountered is as high as the GM would like it to be. The author would suggest a 5% chance per tree - it is intended to be a signficant obstacle for an invading army. See Appendix A for special trees.

In addition to the special trees heavily seeded through the region, the forests are inhabited by many creatures, great and small.

 One can use typical forest random encounters for the world in question, or you could use the list found in Appendix B, Random Forest Encounters.

Go to Comment
The Unseen Fortress
Locations  (Fortification)   (Forest/ Jungle)
valadaar's comment on 2007-03-13 07:57 PM


Some of the following are drawn from the great Walking Through the Forest When... Scroll 

1 -Angry Bear Additional Bears can be found under Concerning Bears.  

2 -Whispering Pines - Spooky, but nothing comes of it. 

3 -mp (Nighttime) 

4 -Charyn Slug(Nighttime at camp) 

5 -Cor-Spiders Giant webs will be encountered. 

6 -Mirruva Fox- Forest life encounter - not dangerous, just an event. On reoccurrence, substitute any desired temperate-forest wildlife. 

7 -Trapper Ants 

8 -Dire Vine or Black Leaf Bug swarm 

9 -Swarmsnake Pit 

10 -Selvaks On the prowl. 

11 - Dire Swine - Dangerous wild boars. 

12 - Grove of Dwarven Treeherds- Patrolling for forest despoilers, may or may not be hostile to PCs. Will be hostile if a road is being cleared in the area. 

13 - Giant Feral Boar - This massive pig-monstrosity is one of the more active defenders of the Forest. It is the size of a small elephant with massive tusks and vicious hooves. It is highly aggressive and will attack regardless of numbers. There is only one such Boar in the forest. If rerolled, substitute a similarly dangerous forest encounter. This is similar to the Dire Boars, but is a singular creature of great power. 

14 -17 Trap! (but only if there are active defenders to maintain them) 

1 .. Massive deadfall - Treetrunk will fall if trapline triggered. Tripline is about 1/4 inch and colored to match the local ground. 

2 .. Covered pit - 10' deep, optionally spiked or occupied by Swarmsnakes

3 .. Snare - Strong rope loop will snare a foot - mostly a nuisance, but will activate a noisemaker if the victim struggles. 

4 .. Whip trap - A springy sapling will lash across the path at face level. The sapling is studded with poisoned thorns (poison is weak due to effects of the elements, not likely to kill..) 

18 - 20 Defender Patrol (Again if active defenders present)

Go to Comment
The Unseen Fortress
Locations  (Fortification)   (Forest/ Jungle)
valadaar's comment on 2007-03-13 07:51 PM


1 = Tree is 'Ironwood' and is much more difficult to cut with an axe or other tool.

Assume a 25% chance of at least one 'cutter' being injured or having their axe broken.

2 = Tree has poisonous sap - 10% chance of cutter being subjected to poison of varying intensity.

3 = Widowmaker - Numerous heavy branches are 'dead' and liable to drop if the tree is subjected to hard shocks (i.e. Chopping). Damage varies from minor to lethal. Alternately, the tree might have structurally flawed wood, which causes it to 'kick' randomly when cut and not fall in the direction the lumberjack intends. 

 4 = Tree is an unusual and/or aggressive Tree -

Unusual/Aggressive Trees

1 .. Devil's Thorns. A large oak tree with dangerous projectiles. It may be easier to bypass it rather then cut it down. 

2 .. Medusa Tree. A very odd plant indeed, and should only be encountered once.
3 .. Broad Oak. A large, menacing oak tree. Add to this encounter one of the Dangerous Residents from below. 

4 .. Qanquen Trees. These trees form massive copses which create 'natural' walls. When encountered, it will increase the number of trees to be cleared signficantly. 

5 ..Rose Tree. This tree drops plenty of sharp debris making passage underneath painful to walk upon unless very heavy boots are worn. Beasts of burden will not move through such an area for this reason. 

6 .. Walking tree - Ent Analog. Currently resting and will not take well with would-be lumberjacks. 

7 .. Trailbane Pine. This tree will serve to either hold-up or misdirect the party, or possibly descend into conflict. 

8 .. Brawlingwood - Animated tree which strikes with it's branches.

9 .. Grappelwood - Animated tree which attempts to grab and hold victims. Will not let go until they rot away. 

10 .. Gorgewood - Like grapplewood, but will attempt to deposit victims into various large maws equipped with jagged wooden 'teeth'. 

11 .. Skullcracker Oak- Animated tree which drops coconut-like nuts. 

12 .. Skullcracker Oak- Animated tree which throws coconut-like nuts.

5 = Tree has been seeded with many iron spikes and other debris to make cutting it dangerous and difficult.

Assume a 25% chance of at least one 'cutter' being injured or having their axe broken.

6 = Tree is home to dangerous residents

Dangerous Tree Residents

1 - Mundane Hornet's Nest - if the tree is not examined before attempts to cut are made, will swarm and attack any would-be lumberjack.

2 - Explodestools - Large odd-colored mushrooms cover the base of the tree. If they are disturbed, they will burst violently, knocking nearby people back and creating clouds of choking spores. 

3 - Selvaks have been introduced intentionally into the forests. They are not a real threat for an army - the movement of troops will scare them off, but against an adventuring party, they are quite dangerous. 

4 - Huge Spiders (Any reasonable sized available will do.) Will not attack unless the tree is significantly disturbed. 

5 - A swarm of Aboral Swarmsnakes will drop onto those disturbing the tree. 

6 - Consult Appendix B: Random Forest Encounters for something disturbed by the chopping.

7 = Sentry Totem. Scattered through the forest are trees that have outlandish human and animal faces carved into them. Any intelligent being who comes within 30' of one of these faces, and is in the visual arc, will trigger an alarm which will alert the defenders of the Fortress, who will begin active defence. At the GM's option, these totems could also be an active defence - attacking with spells, etc. 

8-10 = Tree rapidly regrows at the rate of 1' per day until 30' height reached unless stump is burned out or completely removed.

Go to Comment
The Unseen Fortress
Locations  (Fortification)   (Forest/ Jungle)
valadaar's comment on 2007-03-12 03:59 PM

Middle Band - The Lake 

 The middle band is essentially a huge moat - a lake. It is quite large and surrounds a large island which contains the inner band as well as the main compound. It's thinnest point is about 1 mile wide and it's thickest is nearly 4 miles wide. (The thinnest span coincides with the thickest portion of the outer band.)

The lake can be categorized into three regions - Outer shallows, deep water and inner shallows.

Outer Shallows

The outer shallows are characterized by a great mass of cattails around most of it's circumference, though there are sizable gaps easily found. In these shallows lurk many leeches of the mundane sort, mosquitos and an unusual frog species. These frogs have unusual calls. It has a distinct mournful sound which at night leads to a demoralizing cacophony.

The shallows have some unseen hazards as well - in addition to the occasional inhabitant (see Appendix C, The Shallows) there are deep pits filled with quicksand-like silt. These generally are placed where the water is already about 3' deep and it is fairly easy for any who step into the holes to sink below the water.

Also, a little further out (10-20') is a ring of large rocks which only allow about 6" of space between top and water surface. There are a few channels however, but these are not immediately obvious. 

Deep Waters 

The deep waters of the lake range from 30-100' in depth and is home to a wide assortment of creatures, some of which could make passage over the waters interesting. See Appendix D - Deep Water Encounters for possible encounters. 

Inner shore 

 The inner shore is more heavily fortified then the outer shore. Around much of the island (north,northeast and northwest), the water stops at shear cliffside, where no landing is possible. 

West,Southwest and South are all heavily obstructed by large rocks - vessels with more then 6" draft cannot get closer then 30'. The water is still quite deep at that point, and any who disembark will find the bottom about 7' down. In addition, the shore is just as marshy as the other shore, and shares the same hazards and possible encounters. (Again, see Appendix C). 

The Southeast and East shores are much more open with less obstacles. There are two major channels wide enough to allow for small numbers of fairly sizeable boats to reach shore. These beaches are very rocky and slippery, and numerous large boulders litter the beaches, creating subtle channels and choke points, but not large enough to provide a great amount of cover. These will not greatly affect small parties, but large forces will be slowed by these rocks, and will be compressed into tight formations

Landing on the Southeast and East shores will force the invading party to deal with some of the most dangerous of the Inner Band defences. If there are any major forces on the island to repel invaders, it is here where they will stage their main defensive action here, trying to kill any invaders before they reach shore.

Go to Comment
The Unseen Fortress
Locations  (Fortification)   (Forest/ Jungle)
valadaar's comment on 2007-03-12 04:04 PM

Inner Band - Cliffs, Trees and Gardens

 Unseen_Fortres.jpg|middle|Continent of Neyathis 

 The above map shows different terrain types,

1. Cliffside
2. Forest
3. Garden
4. Green Fields
5. Barren Clearing

The content of these are as follows: 

1. Cliffside: 

 The north end of the island is much higher then the south end which slopes down to the waterline. At the northmost end, there is a sheer cliff nearly 200' at the top. The cliff face is nearly vertical and Mountain Grace grows in fissures and cracks.

If the island is being actively defended, there will be defenders at the top of these cliffs to rain rocks, arrows and other missile weapons against climbers. This chaos makes it even easier for a climber to accidently disturb the flowers.

Mountain Grace
Mountain Grace is a relative of Morning Glory, and is a long, rambling vine that bears very large mauve flowers. These flowers emit a fragrance which has highly narcotic affects and will expel a significant dose when disturbed. Naturally, falling asleep while climbing is hazardous in the extreme. This flower is useful in creating Sleep related poisons

Once the crest of the cliff is achived, the landscape is of similar character to that of the Green Fields, but without any of the dangerous plants. If the defenders have need of living spaces outside those contained in the central complex, it is this area where they will be located.
It is possible that mundane gardens, farms and other supporting facilites will be located in these sectors. Any encounters will be with defender patrols, should any exist. 

2. Forest: 

 The forest on the island is a more dangerous and intense version of the outer forest. These regions are a maze created by hundreds of Qanquen Trees. Within the maze can be found many other dangerous trees - see APPENDIX A - SPECIAL TREES, Unusual/Aggressive Trees sub-table for possible encounters. No large animals nor defender patrols will be found in these very dangerous areas. 

3. Garden 

After coming ashore on the easiest approach, the would-be invaders are presented with the vast Garden of the Fortress.

It appears as a massive cottage-style garden with seemingly random patches of plants of all description. A warren of pathways wend through the varied foliage and these lead to scores of little nooks and clearings.

The plants of the garden are quite dangerous to any not properly equipped or informed of the correct path through the garden (The garden is large and complex enough that virtually no chance exists for the unknowing to bypass all of the dangerous encounters). Case in point is the Giant Foxglove, a huge patch of the flower forms the first real obstacle to the garden and those in the know will be wearing fine dust masks to screen out the toxic pollen, or will have otherwise protected themselves against poisonous vapors.

All other encounters are randomly determined (or selected by the GM) using Appendix E: Garden Encounters, but party should encounter at least two dangerous encounters per 'band', more if they explore the bands rather then make their way through them.

In addition to the encounters, the PCs will see all varieties of garden flowers, both common and rare, as well as occasional topiaries, statues, and other mundane items. The walkways are commonly Miremoss with stepping stones, but in other places dirt, cobblestones, gravel and even wood are present. If desired, the occasional clearing could contain a dangerous tree. 

4. Green Fields 

These fields appear to be overgrown meadows. The tall grass is actally vissewort and also conceals the presence of Scorpion Grass and Death Nettle, which grow here in exuberant quantities.

If the Fortress is actively defended, the vissewort will act as an alert system in this region. 

5. Barren Clearing 

This large area is picked clean of plant life and is pockmarked by holes in the ground and large heaps of earth. It is a giant colony of mundane fire ants. There are scores of 'nests' which all interlock and it is not possible to cross this area without being attacked by massive numbers of the creatures. Generally several score to several hundred will crawl unto intruders and then will attack en masse, stinging simultaneously.

Go to Comment
The Unseen Fortress
Locations  (Fortification)   (Forest/ Jungle)
valadaar's comment on 2007-03-13 02:14 PM

Main Complex 

The complex in the centre of this array of defences can be many things. Here are a few suggestions. This sub is an open Codex/Scroll so that others may add their own ideas on what should be at the center of it all. 

5.1 The Forest Mage

A reclusive mage by the name of Hyuthar has painstakingly built this facility as a base of operations for when he begins his attack against the kingdom of Ythar. Since he expects that his involvement will eventually be uncovered, and a punitive military strike dispatched, his defences have been built to repel that invasion. As for smaller scale incursions by adventuring parties, he feels confident in his powers as a magi to destroy them. He will hold back and allow the various hazards to take their toll before assaulting the PC's directly. He may employ hirelings, constructs, or summoned beasts to attack them in the 3rd band of defence.

The center complex will be very unassuming, consisting of small to mid-sized wooden huts. They will, however, be as strong as stone and some will be much larger then their outsides would suggest.

 5.2 The Druids 

 The center complex is a druidic holy site and pilgrims are allowed to visit, but will be carefully led through the layers of defence, blindfolded, by the druids.

Any uninvited incursion will be resisted at all layers by the druids, who will use all of their spells and abilities with deadly intent. Trees will be animated, waters turned into raging froth, and dangerous beasts beyond those already noted thrown against them.

The center of the complex contains a grove of the most ancient and sacred trees and could be the meeting place for all of the Druids on this continent. No artificial structures apart from a simple stone circle exist on the island. 

5.3 The Apple Tree of Selilion 

 There are no active defenders, but the center of the island is the location of this fabled tree.
In this case, the defences of the Fortress will be less lethal and tuned more to deter invasion.
The defences were put in place by a long-lost order of Druids who sought to prevent the tree from gathering more victims.

A small stone keep in very poor repair is at the center of the island, though powerful magic wards remain. In the center of the keep's courtyard is the Tree. 

5.4 The Monks of Mahrua 

 This order of monks is dedicated to the study of life and are experimenting in breeding and genetics. This site and the monks are a state secret - sort of a medieval area 51. The forest is rumored by the locals - all of which are quite distant from the forest - as the lair of demonic beasts and ghosts. As a dangerous state secret, the defences are at full lethality.

In addition to the monks themselves, the facility is defended by crack Royal troops disguised as monks, but with good quality armor and weapons, as well as spellcasters (if appropriate).

The nature of the research can vary - Creatures of war, poisons, diseases, magic herbs, etc.

The center facility is a campus consisting of numerous simple, but well built, stone buildings and special gardens.

As with the Druids, all layers of defence will be actively defended once they are alerted. 

5.5 Allifendae Trees 

 The last large grove of these trees in the region are located here. The center of the island bears no active defences, similar to 5.3. The defences were put into place by a special society within the local Elvish nation, who then quit the area out of fear. More recently, the presence of these trees has been discovered via intense divination by a powerful local wizard, who may hire the PC's to bring back some bark, or better yet, a sapling or cutting.
Go to Comment
The Unseen Fortress
Locations  (Fortification)   (Forest/ Jungle)
valadaar's comment on 2007-03-15 11:10 AM


Random Encounters

(Many drawn from the worthy Denizens of the Swamps, Bogs, and Fens submission!)


1. Leeches! Either regular leeches or Pacranite Leeches. In any case, there will be a lot of them. 

2. A PC steps into the territory of one of many Sabre Crabs which lair along the shore's edge. 

3. Swamp Rays skulking in the muddy waters. 

4. Greenflies-Aquatic parasitic wasps making nuisences of themselves. 

5. Northern Sandkoi - one of these beasts lives in the lake and can be encountered on either shore. If rerolled, another large, dangerous fresh-water encounter could be substituted. 

6. Blackfly/Mosquito Swarm - An unusally dense swarm of the little besties will lay siege to the party. (Unlike mosquitoes, Blackflies take a small bite of flesh). 

 7. Wrapper waiting to wrap someone. 

8. Jewel-of-the-Mire Lightshow at nighttime. 

9. Periccus vine- Boon for Alchemists. 

10. Silverblooms- Not dangerous, nice plant. 

11. Fresh water Giant Mussel- Watch your step. 

12. Karnan - A turtle to eat, or be eaten by. 

13. Giant Dragonfly - 10-12' long, wingspan double that. 

14. Giant Waterbeetle - 6' long with short-sword sized mandibles. 

15. Freshwater Kraken - Not as big as sea-going kraken, but large enough to be a serious issue. 

16. Moose - Large, grumpy swamp-dwelling deer relative. 

17. Giant Eel, Electric, Freshwater. 

18-20. Water-borne defender patrol (if actively defended)

Go to Comment
The Unseen Fortress
Locations  (Fortification)   (Forest/ Jungle)
valadaar's comment on 2007-03-15 11:39 AM


1. Generic Giant carnivorous fresh-water fish.
2. Topal (Lake Squid)
3. Dead heads (waterlogged logs floating below the water) will cause damage to boats.
4. Random violent weather - Severe wind gusts, squalls and other phenomena making water passage difficult.
5. Wild Dunkleoustous - Not so generic carnivourous fish.
6. Jewel-of-the-Mire - Intersting display
7. Freshwater Kraken - As per shallows encounter
8. Giant Algae - No real effect other then slowing down vessels, and harbouring leeches.
9. Karnan- Dangerous turtles - Lunch or be lunch.
10. Defender patrol (If fortress actively defended)
Go to Comment
The Unseen Fortress
Locations  (Fortification)   (Forest/ Jungle)
valadaar's comment on 2007-03-16 04:00 PM


1. Giant Foxglove - Found in small patches throughout the garden. One should not remove any dustmasks in the garden. 

2. Death Nettle - Plant has razor-sharp spines all highly venomous and unpleasant. A passive plant, but wil overhang paths and be easily brushed against unless PCs are cautious. 

3. Pixie Flowers - Found on mundane or not-so-mundane garden statuary. 

4. The Wizard's Rube - A showpiece flower that moves on it's own. 

5. Samhain's Kiss- Evil spirits could be nearby. 

6. Arcanis - A small patch, easily overlooked, but can qualify as 'treasure' in this strange locale. 

7. Rapacious Snapdragon - Will launch many vicious biting attacks. 

8. Crystal Hornets - Flying about - will investigate magically equipped intruders. 

9. Singeweed - If distirbed will trigger a chemical reaction creating great amounts of heat 

10. Spitting Euphorbia - Will direct spurts of poisonous, caustic liquid at intruders. 

11. Miremoss - Miremoss is used on most pathways through the garden. Normally there are stepping stones available to allow passage without becoming... mired. Paranoid PC's might avoid the stepping stones, suspecting traps. 

14. Garden statuary (mundane or animated and dangerous) 

15. Vissewort Patch 

16. Scorpian Grass lining a Miremoss covered pathway. 

17. Compost Pile full of Myrie Bugs 

18. Group of Voracious Slugs 

19. Regular tall grass infested with Grassbiters

21. Tatterdemalions-of-the-Flailing-Leper making a spectacle of themselves. 

22-30. Defender Patrol (If fortress actively defended, otherwise reroll.)

Go to Comment
The Unseen Fortress
Locations  (Fortification)   (Forest/ Jungle)
valadaar's comment on 2007-03-23 01:41 PM
Okay. Done for now. Sheesh. Go to Comment
The Unseen Fortress
Locations  (Fortification)   (Forest/ Jungle)
valadaar's comment on 2007-03-23 03:10 PM
Would love to have enough encounters to make all of the tables percential! But that would be silly :) Go to Comment
The Unseen Fortress
Locations  (Fortification)   (Forest/ Jungle)
valadaar's comment on 2007-03-23 04:10 PM
Will try and reformat that part tonight. A map would be ideal, but I have not had much luck getting pictures to work here...
Edit: Sadly code does not seem to work.... Go to Comment
The Unseen Fortress
Locations  (Fortification)   (Forest/ Jungle)
valadaar's comment on 2007-03-24 08:02 AM
It's 2 miles + the area of the center in diameter, so 3 miles in diameter would be a suggestion. Go to Comment
The Unseen Fortress
Locations  (Fortification)   (Forest/ Jungle)
valadaar's comment on 2007-03-27 08:12 PM
I appreciate the feedback, and of course I have a few return comments, though I agree with you in the main.

It was intended as a fortress and as a submission for the War quest, so my mind was not focused so much on peaceful or quirky encounters, though the sub would benefit from their inclusion - and I am looking forward to your additions :) Go to Comment
The Unseen Fortress
Locations  (Fortification)   (Forest/ Jungle)
valadaar's comment on 2007-03-30 07:34 PM
Thank you AG. I did want to add 'fixed' encounters, but lacked the inspiration and energy at the time. Yours are a wonderful addition and I will attempt to build on these as time allows! Go to Comment
The Unseen Fortress
Locations  (Fortification)   (Forest/ Jungle)
valadaar's comment on 2009-01-10 07:28 PM
Added in Muros most excellent Tatterdemalions-of-the-Flailing-Leper to the garden encounters. Go to Comment
Total Comments:

Join Now!!

       By: Scrasamax

Orcela - Also called an Orc-Cat, these robust and semi-feral felines are twice the size of normal house cats and are often seem in the retinue of orcish settlements. The animals are fast and mean enough to survive among the adolescent orcs while keeping the scavengers and rodents at bay.

Ideas  ( Lifeforms ) | April 14, 2005 | View | UpVote 3xp