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RPG Superstar 2015

Maure Castle / Ruins of Castle Greyhawk and Age of Worms


Maure Castle


Hi all, my Age of Worms campaign involves a tie-in of Expedition to the Ruins of Castle Greyhawk (and Return of the Eight by the way). My players are finished with Castle GH now, and are currently exploring Tilagos Island.

The wizard in the group expressed some interest in Maure Castle as he wonders if the Octych (not sure I spell it correctly) discovered in the recesses of Castle GH might be used to open a portal down there. He wonders because:
- they found the name of one of the Maure in the log of one of Zagyg's libraries,
- and because the rogue of the band, a Seeker, discovered that one Eli Tomorast, another Seeker, has developed an interested in Maure Castle...

Do you know if there is a mention of this Octych in the different official levels of Maure Castle ?

Thks for the help.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber

I've put the answer to your question below, hidden by spoiler tags...

Spoiler:
Yes, the very first location encountered on exploring Maure Castle in either version (WG5, Mordenkainen's Fantastic Adventure, or Dungeon #112) is the origin of the octych. This is an eight-pointed star chiselled into the floor of the corridor, which has "something missing" from each point. These missing items are eight differently-coloured metal triangles, each of which provides (one-way) access to a different plane or demi-plane. The orange octych found in EttRoG is one of these - but no details are given of where they lead. They were intended to be used as launching points for further adventures.


Callum wrote:

I've put the answer to your question below, hidden by spoiler tags...

** spoiler omitted **

Many thanks for the tip. I do not have easy access to the source (original module or Dungeon zines) but I own it. I will have a look.

Any speculation about the destinations / encounters involved ?

Are you aware of hints given by a Greyhawk mogol (Kuntz, Mona...) ?

Spoiler:
Octychs are supposed to open the way to the retreats of the last Suel Mages of Power no ?

Anyway, thks again Callum.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber

Spoiler:
In WG5, it states that the locations of the eight triangles, and the destinations they led to, would eventually be revealed as part of the World of Greyhawk range. This never came to pass, obviously. I imagine they would have led to places like Dungeonland and the Isle of the Ape, or the other worlds found through the doorways on level 4 of the Demonweb Pits.

In their update of Maure Castle for Dungeon Magazine, Jacobs and Mona introduced the idea that the star and octychs (as they now became called) were created by disciples of Slerotin, who were afraid to use Power Magic and thus decided to leave the Oerth and await the future learning of their descendants. This idea was carried through into EttRoG, where a single octych was also made available for discovery. However, the destinations were still left undetailed, as an opening for DMs to create adventures of their own. Given that many centuries have passed since their creation and first use, what might be found by placing an octych in the star is quite open!


Spoiler:
In addition to WG5 and the 3 Maure Castle issues of Dungeon, the Octychs are also hinted at in Erik Mona's "Absolute Power" RPGA Living Greyhawk adventures "River of Blood" and "As He Lay Dying."

Two octychs have been accounted for: the one in EttRoG and the in Dragotha's Lair in the Age of Worms adventure "Into the Wormcrawl Fissure" (in Dungeon Magazine 134,May 2006).

Rob Kuntz has also commented on the octychs to a limited degree in threads here at Paizo as well as on the Pied Piper boards but he hasn't revealed further mysteries that I recall.

Allan.

Dark Archive

A really cool way of using the Octychs in the campaign could be if say Kyuss manageges to win and the Age of Worms actually comes to pass. Either as a continuation of the AP or as a new campaign altogether the PC's need to hunt down all the Octychs in order to finally defeat Kyuss for good.

The campaign would involve finding the Octychs, traveling to strange places and deadly dungeons. They would be constantly at odds with various factions competing for the Octychs themselves for lots of diffrent reasons some good and some bad.

That would be wicked cool.


Rob's response over on the PPP boards:

===
The original version of this now-differently-named phenomena will be treated in an upcoming rleases from the Original Campaign; and I was thinking about those tie-ins just recently when organizing the "CATALOG". This will account for its beginning history, at least, not-with-standing variants of such as now exist.

From the original design intent, yes these were designed to be "jumping of pads" for future adventures, but it goes without saying that I included some more interesting alternatives since then, and as detailed in the unpublished notes for a related article I began crafting back in 2005: I. The Eight-Pointed Star [10m words]; which derives from over 25 listings of proposed articles and adventures seeded with GH lore I was combining in my Red Book file. Others in this vein I paste hereafter. Whether all of these can be done in context with all the name changes needed is a matter for future thought.

-- VI. Greyhawk's Spell Archetypes Based on the Suloise Ancient Texts [10m words]; XVI. The Suel Magi, Including the Ritual for the Invoked Devastation [12m words]; XII. The Yeomanry's Expeditions into the Sea of Dust [10m words]; XVII. Baklunish Ancient Magic, Formulas and the Colorless Fire [12m words]; XXI. The Lost Passage (adventure) [20m words]. ... --RJK
===

Threads @ http://piedpiperpublishing.yuku.com/topic/2636 for reference.

Allan.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber

Spoiler:
Thanks, Allan - I'd forgotten about the crimson octych found among Dragotha's treasure hoard in Dungeon #134. The destination that one leads to is actually specified - "a dangerous demiplane called the Pinnacle Peaks".


Callum wrote:
** spoiler omitted **

Interesting: I wonder where that demi-plane is....

Allan.


Saperlipopette! (French very polite/acceptable curse)

Spoiler:
I had completely forgotten about this second Octych in the Worms AP... My players are 2 modules ahead of it. I can expect them to be owners of 2 octychs shortly (well, provided they succeed in defeating some very old undead dragon...).

Mmmh after the AP, they will get the attention of so many more powers and factions (after Iggwilv, Iuz, the Circle of Eight, the thieves and Assassin's guilds of Greyhawk, the Seekers to name of few who could be harmful...)! If they manifest any interest in Maure Castle I think the Scarlet Brotherhood at least should attempt something before the end.

Thks for the suggestions above. I definitely need to design something now about the demi-planes... May be I can use the part about Kyuss in Elder Evils and design some epic additional adventure. Anyone knows if this could be relevant (I ordered it on Amazon a few days ago)? Or populate one of the demi-planes with another world (one of the Green Ronin or Necromancer Games campaigns perhaps). Are the Maure Castle levels of Dungeon easy to upscale for an epic party ?


Spoiler:
Egocentrix wrote:
I had completely forgotten about this second Octych in the Worms AP... My players are 2 modules ahead of it. I can expect them to be owners of 2 octychs shortly (well, provided they succeed in defeating some very old undead dragon...).

If its problematic, you could always remove the second octych: there's nothing in that adventure of the following ones that require it to be present.

Spoiler:
Egocentrix wrote:
Mmmh after the AP, they will get the attention of so many more powers and factions (after Iggwilv, Iuz, the Circle of Eight, the thieves and Assassin's guilds of Greyhawk, the Seekers to name of few who could be harmful...)! If they manifest any interest in Maure Castle I think the Scarlet Brotherhood at least should attempt something before the end.

To that list, I would consider adding: various other independent NPCs like Mordenkainen, Circle of Eight, Rary, Drax, Vecna, etc. Or, perhaps some new evil group seeking the octychs for their own nefarious ends (this is what Mona started to do with his "Absolute Power" modules).

Spoiler:
Egocentrix wrote:
Thks for the suggestions above. I definitely need to design something now about the demi-planes... May be I can use the part about Kyuss in Elder Evils and design some epic additional adventure. Anyone knows if this could be relevant (I ordered it on Amazon a few days ago)?

I can't help you there, as I don't own that book.

Spoiler:
Egocentrix wrote:
Or populate one of the demi-planes with another world (one of the Green Ronin or Necromancer Games campaigns perhaps).

Definitely a possibility: you could always boost Vault of Larin Karr into a demi-planar dungeon level, or toss them into Lance Hawvermale's Hawkmoon setting, which is rather close to GH in feel (it could be a sister world of sorts). Dropping them into Grim from FFG could also be interesting.

Someone above suggested the demi-planes from Q1 which is another good idea, as would be using some of the Fading Lands (first created by Carl Sargent; I catalogued a bunch of them at http://www.greyhawkonline.com/grodog/gh_sites.html as well, and Canonfire! has done at least one postfest on them, and several more were detailed in articles (just search for "Fading Lands" without quotation marks) and in the Oerth Journal, too (see my index for pointers, though it's likely not current).

Other ideas: send them to Luna (see Return of the Eight for some ideas), or to some of the various other demi-planes already hinted at/published (EX1/2; WG6; Greek Myths area, etc. from S4; X2's Averoigne is a great candidate, too, as is the Forest of Lanterns DCC from Goodman Games). Send them forward or backward in time (Land of the Lost/Lost World/At the Earth's Core). Etc.

Gygax's Hall of Many Panes may have some interesting ideas to pillage here, too, but I've heard it's very uneven, so I wouldn't pick it up just for this if you don't already have it.

Spoiler:
Egocentrix wrote:
Are the Maure Castle levels of Dungeon easy to upscale for an epic party ?

I think so.

Allan.


Hello Grodog,

As for the first part of your post above:

Spoiler:
Having tied-in with Return of the Eight and Expedition to the Ruins of Castle Greyhawk, the adventurers have met Jallarzy, Tenser and Mordenkainen a few times now, and the full Circle of 8 at least once. Also they had close encounters with Iggwilv (the real one, not only the fake), Iuz and Zuoken... One of them is an active Seeker and member of the Assassin's Guild of Greyhawk.

I don't know if I will drop the second Octych or not. May be so, and have them sell/transfer guadianship of the first to one of the Circle or Tenser. Then use it to start a new campaign with new adventurers (welcome to Maure Castle...).

Many VIP already appeared in this extended adventure path, not to mention those to come later in the adventure.

As for the suggestions for what is beyond the eight-pointed star:

Spoiler:
Many thanks for the ideas and recos. I will examine them. As they played through Return of the Eight, they have actually been to Luna where they defeated Tuerny and met Iggwilv.

Thanks for the infos about The Hall of Many Panes, I wondered if I should get it. May be I won't then.

Good adventuring on your side!


Egocentrix wrote:
Good adventuring on your side!

Thanks, and to you as well! :D

Allan.


One group that might have a propriatory interest in the Octychs also would be the Scarlet Brotherhood, who'd probably see them as the ne plus ultra of Sueloise artifacts -- they were only the last creations of the Suel Power Mages, after all :)


Pat Payne wrote:
One group that might have a propriatory interest in the Octychs also would be the Scarlet Brotherhood, who'd probably see them as the ne plus ultra of Sueloise artifacts -- they were only the last creations of the Suel Power Mages, after all :)

Yes, one of the possibilities listed above. One of the most interesting to me (I have never pitched them against the Brotherhood so far...)!


Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Modules Subscriber

How did you tie in return of the 8 with age of worms?

Spoiler:

doesnt return have the players rescuing Tenser, and isnt he already around and mentoring various wizards in AoW?


Werecorpse wrote:

How did you tie in return of the 8 with age of worms?

Spoiler:
doesnt return have the players rescuing Tenser, and isnt he already around and mentoring various wizards in AoW?

Offhand, I can think of several ways to tie together Rot8 and AoW:

a) if running Rot8 mostly-as-written:

Spoiler:
1. add some bits of lost lore about Kyuss to Tenser's Keep (also good lead-ins to Maure Castle that way, too)
2. have some of the AoW NPCs be the representatives who pull the PCs into the mix, instead of the background as-written in Rot8 (i.e., replace Jallizari with Allustan)
3. have some of the raiders that Iuz hired originate from within Diamond Lake, and/or change some of the background for the DL NPCs to worship Iuz

b) if running AoW mostly-as-written:

Spoiler:
1. change clues from DL/WC/AGoW to point to The Fortress of Unknown Depths/Tenser as sources to learn about Kyuss (heck, replace the whole "Library of Last Resort" with Tenser's Fortress)
2. insert the rescue of Tenser into AoW as a part of that plot; perhaps Dragotha/Lashonna/Kyuss fear Tenser's return---in particular---for some reason, and PCs are the ones who realize his criticality (replace Iggwilv with X above)
3. place Dragotha's phylactery in Tenser's artifact vault in Rot8, and leave the fortress as-is so that PCs must a) try not to loot everything in sight (Tenser is/was LG, afterall), and b) must still explore the keep pretty thoroughly to find the phylactery

Enjoy!
Allan.


Actually I chose to start Age of Worms before the events of Rot8 (before Tenser is back, that is).

Hence very easy and useful to run this in the middle of the campaign.

Cheers

Paizo Employee Publisher, Chief Creative Officer

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Thread necromancy, ftw!

I seem to remember including information about yet another Octych in the Living Greyhawk "Return to the Ghost Tower of Inverness" scenario from the second or third year of the campaign. That adventure (co-written be Creighton Broadhurst, as I recall), was a sort of unofficial third installment of the Absolute Power series.

The "Power" in Absolute Power is a reference to the Power Magic of the Suel, which (in my view) could have been unlocked by collecting the Octychs and untangling the eight adventures they led to.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Modules, Tales Subscriber
Erik Mona wrote:

Thread necromancy, ftw!

I seem to remember including information about yet another Octych in the Living Greyhawk "Return to the Ghost Tower of Inverness" scenario from the second or third year of the campaign. That adventure (co-written be Creighton Broadhurst, as I recall), was a sort of unofficial third installment of the Absolute Power series.

The "Power" in Absolute Power is a reference to the Power Magic of the Suel, which (in my view) could have been unlocked by collecting the Octychs and untangling the eight adventures they led to.

This thread, and its resurrection, have given me lots of great ideas for a metaplot I need to flesh out (involves restoring half of the Sea of Dust; the other half has already been restored). So thanks much!


Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber
Erik Mona wrote:
...the Living Greyhawk "Return to the Ghost Tower of Inverness" scenario from the second or third year of the campaign...

where can this scenario be found?


messy wrote:
Erik Mona wrote:
...the Living Greyhawk "Return to the Ghost Tower of Inverness" scenario from the second or third year of the campaign...
where can this scenario be found?

IIRC, it was available during the LG campaign, but it is no longer available now.

Allan.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Modules, Tales Subscriber
grodog wrote:
messy wrote:
Erik Mona wrote:
...the Living Greyhawk "Return to the Ghost Tower of Inverness" scenario from the second or third year of the campaign...
where can this scenario be found?

IIRC, it was available during the LG campaign, but it is no longer available now.

Allan.

I never really understood the whole "scenarios never available to the general public" thing, and now that LG is no longer around (to my knowledge), it bugs me to be reminded this appears to still be the case. [/rant]


Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber
BenS wrote:
I never really understood the whole "scenarios never available to the general public" thing, and now that LG is no longer around (to my knowledge), it bugs me to be reminded this appears to still be the case. [/rant]

yeah, and it bugs me that we've been given lots of tantalizing tidbits of information about the maure storyline, yet the adventure may never be finished and the story may never be fully told.[/rant]

:-(


messy wrote:
BenS wrote:
I never really understood the whole "scenarios never available to the general public" thing, and now that LG is no longer around (to my knowledge), it bugs me to be reminded this appears to still be the case. [/rant]

yeah, and it bugs me that we've been given lots of tantalizing tidbits of information about the maure storyline, yet the adventure may never be finished and the story may never be fully told.[/rant]

:-(

Unless you happen to be, or know, a card carrying and herald level RPGA member who has got his paws on said module (CORS3-03 Return to the Ghost Tower of Inverness).

There was in fact two versions of the same module : one for high levels, and one for low levels.

Here is the pitch for both : PCs get involved in the machiavellian machinations of the Seer of Urnst and follow the trail of a forged travel journal which led them to the tower. In the Water level (if you have the original AD&D module, you know what it is), they get the opportunity to free a trapped Silent One (from Keoland) owning the octych.

Almost nothing was said about the octych, except that it was "a triangular plane of deep blue metal, about the size of a garden spade's blade, radiating strong transmutation magic", which was desired by powerful factions such as Iuz and the Scarlet Brotherhood and would "definitively come to play in a future adventure". LG was a lot about "need to know" information, because a DM could be a player next time around.

So, there is nothing there which couln't be made up, and in particular nothing about what would happen if one or several octychs were inserted in the star pattern in front of Maure Castle Unopenable Doors...

Hope it helps.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber
Erik Mona wrote:
...the Absolute Power series...

which adventures are in this series?


messy wrote:
Erik Mona wrote:
...the Absolute Power series...
which adventures are in this series?

COR1-03 River of blood (about savage murders) and COR2-01 As he lay dying (body conveyance, unrelated).

The series died down when Erik Mona left the RPGA to become Dungeon's editor.


Erik's Absolute Power series is another one I'd love to see published one day!

Allan.


No kidding Grodog. Lost Erik-hawk lore is something I wish I could buy.


Haakon1 wrote:
No kidding Grodog. Lost Erik-hawk lore is something I wish I could buy.

Hey Erik---

Did you ever outline the rest of the Absolute Power adventures, or sketch out some other parts of the series? You seems to have tied daemons into the series from early on, which is a nice touch, since they don't seem to get as much play as demons in Greyhawk.

Allan.


Erik Mona wrote:
The "Power" in Absolute Power is a reference to the Power Magic of the Suel, which (in my view) could have been unlocked by collecting the Octychs and untangling the eight adventures they led to.

So Eric, did you ever outline the rest of the Absolute Power series?---would love to see that rounded out someday :D

Allan.


grodog wrote:
Erik Mona wrote:
The "Power" in Absolute Power is a reference to the Power Magic of the Suel, which (in my view) could have been unlocked by collecting the Octychs and untangling the eight adventures they led to.

So Eric, did you ever outline the rest of the Absolute Power series?---would love to see that rounded out someday :D

Allan.

You bet. Last time someone asked (was it I?), Erik Mona had way too much work on his plate to give thought to expanding other people's intellectual property (that is, GH).

Sad, almost as sad as the unfinished Maure Castle, but all we have left is the trading of existing LG modules.


I have an unverifyable report that Mordenkainen has one of the
octyhs in his possession.


Well ain't this fortuitous... just as I'm getting into reviving my Greyhawk-Planescape campaign (and updating the current events in Maure Castle) I stumble across a Maure Castle board.

And sure enough the question of the location of the Octychs has come up. So as I gather, these are the locations of Octychs we know about:

Spoiler:
1. Castle Greyhawk. 2. Dragotha's Lair 3. Warlock's Walk in Maure Castle. (which I didn't see mentioned here) 4. Ghost Tower of Inverness 5. One possibly in Mordenkainen's possession?

Star Voter 2014

Oooooh, shiny little gem, this thread!

Fits perfectly into my home brew campaign, fully based on strung-together RPGA Living Greyhawk modules (which I own, all of them... my preciousssss!)

My players have already run through 'River of Blood' and went into Bluto's house and found a reference to the Octych and saw the old eight-pointed star on the ceiling. And had a premonition of the 'Lowborn' as written in the module!

The Octych will be back, and a stop at Castle Maure is in the works, in many many levels...

Exciting!

But this thread is golden, as it fills in a few blanks for me. Thanks to all the contributors!


A'koss wrote:

And sure enough the question of the location of the Octychs has come up. So as I gather, these are the locations of Octychs we know about:

** spoiler omitted **

Now that's interesting: I wasn't aware that

Spoiler:
Warlock's Walk contained an octych.

I just checked the original manuscript and it's not mentioned in there (nor is the word "triangle"), so I wonder if this was added to the

Spoiler:
d20 version of Warlock's Walk published in OJ#23?

Some quick research found an octych mentioned in the possession of the ruling house of the Duchy of Urnst, as discovered in their vaults by the Seer of Unrst (OJ23, p. 24). He appropriated the octych, then lost it in the nearby ruins of Inverness. That summarizes the octych's presence in OJ23, and there's not one found in the Warlock's Walk trials themselves, so far as I can tell.

So, it looks like the known locations are still just:

Spoiler:

1. Castle Greyhawk.
2. Dragotha's Lair
3. Ghost Tower of Inverness
4. One possibly in Mordenkainen's possession?

Correct?

Allan.

Star Voter 2014

I guess this reference from 'River of Blood' refers to Castle Maure?

The Poems of Thalac Jiwo (value 30 gp, 2 lb.):
Written by Thalac Jiwo, also known as Thalac the Sighted, this is a collection of prophetic poems.
Although his prophecies are thickly buried in riddles, word-play, and vague descriptions, scholarly wizards agree that Thalac was an amazingly talented seer. The volume is written in Old Oeridian.
A poem near the middle of the book has been circled in blood red ink. Entitled "The Lowborn," the poem contains the following passage:

When the mystic device doth shine
o’er broken basalt walls
And nameless echoes sound
within the Dreadful halls
We’ve come upon the date
of the Gathering of Eight.

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