Wednesday, October 14, 2020

Night Below on Oerth

From: "Mike Wilson" <>

Date: Fri, Aug 14, 1998 10:52 PM

Subject: Re: [GREYHAWK] - Night Below on Oerth

> I'm planning to run the Night Below campaign in the Greyhawk setting. I  would certainly insert Haranshire in the Grand Duchy of Geoff, 4 hexes  north from Gorna - on the map of the old GH boxed set, you know, just next  to the coffee stain ... :-*, and the action should take place in 592 CY.

> Would one of you have suggestions about running this scenario in a best  location on the Flanaess ?

Here is somethings that were sent to greytalk and/or other lists sometime ago on this subject. Here is one such message. The authors email is in the message ...

Date sent: Fri, 20 Feb 1998 13:54: 10 -0500

Send reply to: The GREYtalk Discussion List


From: Dan_Collins@PAPY.COM

Subject: Re: [GREYT ALK] Night Below


If you can stand further posts on this topic, here are my notes on the subject (hope y'all can read 'em).

Perhaps it's worth mentioning that I'm a 1st Edition, '83 boxed set purist...


"Night Below" is well located in the World of Greyhawk nation of the Yeomanry.

To do so, note the following:

Maps and Locations

Modify the maps by turning all of them 90 degrees clockwise, i.e., what was north becomes east. Also, halve the distances shown on all large scale maps.

The map of Haranshire is at a scale of 1" = 1 league (covering about 30x45 miles). It covers all of hex K5-164. Note that the area is basically a valley in the low foothills of the Crystalmists (note Halfcut, Patchwork, and Blanryde hills}, near some of the highest mountains in the world; the Churnett River runs from Thurmaster to Milbourne, north into the Yeomanry before meeting another river which ultimately drains into the Javan.

The "Strategic Underdark Map" in Part II is at a scale of 3/4" = 10 miles, covering about 100 miles (3 hexes) in a general south-by-southwest direction. The tunnels run a further 15 miles south from the City of the Glass Pool to the Sunless Sea, which is at the scale shown (about 30 miles across), taking up hex M5-166.

Probably all the areas need further development. The Underdark needs many more tangled passages, and a far less straight-shot to the Sunless Sea. The southern bank of the Sunless Sea should show openings into the D1-3 area maps, and could use extra encounters. The above-ground Haranshire area should be more populated (to account for the levels of NPC's in the area) and defended (against ogre, giant, and troll raids). Milbourne has 800 inhabitants, Thurmaster around 600. Palfrey's Keep would obviously be a first line of defense against monster attacks from the mountains.

Note that Haranshire is also fairly close to the "Lost Passage of the Suloise" (WOG p. 27), whose northern terminus is only some 100 miles to the west, in hex N5-162. This massive tunnel also intersects certain caves which connect to the D1-3 areas (around the area of hex P5-164). It does not, however, directly connect with any of the "Night Below" locations.

The County of Haranshire

The land overseen by Count Sandier Parlfray needs a few changes from that detailed in "Night Below". First of all, it's a little more populated:

Milbourne is a village of about 800 inhabitants. Its church is minded by a Priest of 3rd level. It has some 200 families (voting men), a council of 13 Spokesmen, and it sends one Grossspokesman to the general council in Loftwick.

Thurmaster is a village of some 600 people (120 families/votes; 10 Spokesperson council; 1 Grossspokesperson as mayor). It has a wooden wall to protect it from ogre raids when they occur; furthermore, its defense is greatly bolstered by the Warlock Tauster (8th level), who is given much leeway -priveleges and gifts -- by the Duke in return for helping with the place's defense when necessary. He has a wand of fireballs which he keeps fully charged (he made short work of a nasty band of trolls from the Shrieken Mire several years ago). He very much dislikes people disturbing him, which is why he lives in this small, out-of-the-way burg to do his studies and research. People generally treat him courteously, not mentioning his status (shushing children and scowling at strangers who ask too many questions).

Harlaton is a hamlet of 300 people. This is about 60 families/votes, and 5 Spokespersons. With the surrounding thorps it elects its own Grossspokesperson. In addition, another 20 or more thorp-sized habitations should be placed throughout the hills, woods, and along the rivers of the area (for example, about 70 people live in huts around Palfray's Keep). Total population is around 3,000 people (about 600 families -- in the right range for the Yeomanry's average of 1650 people per hex). Note that across the border in Keoland, average population is, again, around 1,400 per hex -- about one "village unit" every two hexes.

The river-valley of Haranshire is quite fertile, but the greatest wealth comes from the mines in the hills -- which produce quite a bit of silver and gems (generally semi-precious sard and sardonyx, base value 50 gp), enough to support the economy of the area's villages. Some of the most adventurous miners trek into the mountains to the south, seeking greater riches, but this is perilous business at best.

Rangers are so numerous in the area for one very good reason: they get lots of practice combatting giant creatures from year to year. The rangers are quite well respected, and very necessary to the region's defense.

Life in the Yeomanry

Count Sandior Parlfray holds rank as one of the "several score of greater landowners" in the Yeomanry (there is about one per hex), eligible for election to the national post of Freeholder (he never sought the position). He does not "rule", as that is done by councils of elected spokespersons in each village, but he does collect certain taxes from those living in the fields to which he holds title. The Count has a small force of mounted seajeants who patrol the area around his castle.

Note that elections in the Yeomanry are open to those who have borne arms for the country, plus artisans and craftsmen -- approximately the head of every family, 20,000 or so in the country. The are over 15,000 Spokesmen and the Council of Common Grossspokesmen itself numbers about a gross.

In Haranshire, there are about 600 voting men, 50 Spokesmen in various councils, and 4 elected Grosspokesmen. About 300 men are eligible for muster into the army at any time (see next section for typical statistics) -- many are already familiar with fighting ogres and other humanoids.

There are communities of Dwarves (in the mountains), Halflings (along pleasant lowland rivercourses), and even High Elves not far from Haranshire, and units of these demi-humans assist the army when called up. Most problems come from bands of bandits and brigands, wild hill- and marshmen, and bands of ogres from the mountains. Occasionally worse creatures such as evil giants and trolls lumber down from the Crystalmists as well, however. 

Gods worshipped in the Yeomanry are generally lawful and good and of Oeridan origin. The towns sport churches to Ulaa, Zilchus, Delleb, and Trithereon (largely supporting an independent, democratic people who engage in much trade and mining). The people of the countryside also do service in season to the Church of the Winds (Atroa, Sotillion, Wenta, Telchur, Velnius), Berei, and Fharlanghn. Rogue-types may favor Kurrel or Olidammara, while the evil prefer Erythnul or lncabulos.

In particular, the city of Longspear has a large church to Trithereon which was intrumental in leading the whole Yeomanry to independence from Keoland over a century ago. The people of this former trading post are fiercely independent, and even the olvenfolk show respect for the Summoner.


The soldiers/militia of the Yeomanry are generally equivalent to the "Men, Patrol, Levies" units. It has been stated elsewhere that the armies use the crossbow, but (I suggest that) the longbow is in fact far more useful in time of war -- the Yeomen having learned effective use of the longbow from their High Elven allies. (A shorter type bow is used when hunting in the woods.) Thus, the typical (lowlander) soldier has the following equipment (looking not unlike a high elf on patrol):

Typical Yeoman Soldier

ring mail or studded leather armor (AC7)

5' longbow and 40 arrows (2 quivers), or

12' long ash spear

long dagger

hard boots, small helm, belt

backpack with 1 or 2 weeks iron rations

Total weight: up to 65#

Move rate: 9" (Men, It. armor)

Level 0, THACO 21, average 4.0 hp

The typical Yeoman is fair-minded and brave, being a freeman in a democratic state (rather than being a mercenary or normal army-camp type). The bowmen account for about 1 out of 4 of the whole army (often 50% of any small patrol), and have proven most useful against marauding humanoid bands, and even somewhat effective against cavalry (much as real-world English bowmen). The lightly-equipped Yeoman is as mobile as heavily-armored cavalry, and can often fall back in front of an advancing force. Serjeants and leaders will wear chain or banded (chain with cuirass) mail, and be mounted on light warhorses.

The Yeoman effectiveness is best shown in their dealing with rampaging monsters such as ogres. When a typical ogre band (numbering around a dozen) meets up with a standard militia patrol (numbering around 3 or 4 dozen) and attacks, the Yeomen will get 4-6 longbow shots off in the two or three melee rounds it takes for the ogres to charge upon a front row of waiting spears. It is typically quite effective, and the low-intelligence, chaotic ogres have yet to come up with a better response to the Yeomanry's well-practiced tactics.

Elsewhere, the small (less-well used) cavalry units supplied by the greater freeholders are somewhere between light & medium in rank (horses are HD2, AC6 in padded barding; riders are F1 serjeants wearing chain mail with lance and long sword, ACS. Averaged ACS, hit points 7.25).

Mountaineers provide heavy, pole armed troops (level O Regulars: hp 4.5 average, THACO21, ACS in chain mail, MV9" as Men, normal armor; commonly use halberds or the lochaber axe). Some light slingers are also available as skirmis hers.

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