February 29, 2008
The Hârn Religious Team is defunct, but the fine work they have produced over the years is preserved here on Lýthia.com. Just click on the link in the menu above.
Please understand that this is no longer possible to submit any new material for the HRT, but you can always make your material available as a download in the regular way.
With thanks to Jim Chokey for providing the files, and Magnus Lyckå, who started it all back in 1995.
February 20, 2008
Eliten Manor lies on the Genin Trail between Qualdris and Ternua in the Kingdom of Kaldor. It’s a wealthy manor located at an important crossroad and has been well managed for the past few decades. An older product from the Sword & Shields site, Eliten Manor was produced in 1998. It’s obviously early on in his mapping career, but all the elements are there for his later success, and Eliten Manor is still quite a bit better than the fan-produced material of other systems.
by Patrick Nilsson
February 18, 2008
Lerenil, first town inland from the sea on the Ulmerien River in Chybisa. The stronghold of the Baron Legith and his fearsome wife, Laowyn, Lerenil is a town full of intrigue and mysterious happenings. Lerenil is completely detailed. There is a castle with an ancient tower, a large pottery complex whose owner is not all he seems, a host of nobles with their own agendas, and in summer the town plays host to a tribe of Hodiri horseclans.
This 48pp piece (17MB in size) has all the depth you could want in a location description. The author’s maps and the many brilliant illustrations by Juha Makkonen and Ilkka Leskelä add vibrancy to the piece.
Lerenil was proclaimed Best Fan Article 2004 at HârnCon III, held in Ontario, Canada in July 2005.
by Paul Sudlow, with Sophia Tribad and Jeremy Baker
Trierzon Regional Module
February 17, 2008
South of Shorkyne and east of the island of Hârn lies the Trierzon region – the location of western Lýthia’s largest feudal kingdom, and one of the continent’s most densely populated areas. The Trierzon Regional Module provides information on the Trierzon region, including the kingdoms of Emelrene, Palithane, Emelrene, Tarkain, and the westernmost province of the Azeryan Empire. Combined, these states have a population more than twice that of the Hârn, Ivinia, and Shorkyne regions combined.
The Trierzon Regional Module consists of two documents. The Trierzon Overview (32pp) provides information on the history, culture, economics, and weather of the Trierzon region (including a new weather region based on Earth’s Mediterranean climate). Accompanying this is the Trierzon Index (150pp), which has entries on every settlement and geographical feature on the Trierzon regional map, as well as short articles on various cultural social features. The Trierzon Regional Module is meant to accompany the Trierzon Regional map published by Columbia Games, or any future map of the same region published by Kelestia Productions.
by Conal Smith
The Case for a Kaldoran Ocean Port
February 16, 2008
You know, since I first picked up Encyclopedia Harnica No. 1 way back in 1984 in a small Queensland country city, I’ve always loved Kaldor. But one thing has always bugged me about the kingdom; it has this commercial fair that goes on for over two months. I mean, a fair might take three or four days of trading, perhaps even a week, but two months? Sure, there’s the annual caravans that arrived from the four cardinal points of the compass, but seriously, who thinks mere caravans can transport enough cargo to keep a commercial fair going for over 2 months!
Before you go on, this post—in fact, the entire series—assumes that you have read An Ocean Port for Kaldor, and that you are somewhat familiar with the world of Hârn in general, and the Kingdom of Kaldor in particular. If not, then you probably won’t make a great deal of sense out of it.
The Great Summer Fair
It wasn’t until I read Life In A Medieval City, by Joseph & Frances Gies that I realised that it was possible. In that book, the Gies discuss the city of Troyes, located in the heart of the Champagne region of central France. It had two fairs a year, one July to August (the “Hot” Fair or Fair of St-Jean), and one November to December (the “Cold” Fair or Fair of St-Rémi). In 1250, the population of Troyes was roughly the same as Tashal (~10,000), but there were some significant differences which meant that Troyes could support two big fairs every year.
The area around Troyes is a broad and fertile plain. Well populated even in the early Middle Ages, the Champagne region was wealthy and easily accessible from Italy, Germany, Spain and the Low Countries. Well-heeled and well stocked with goods, the merchants of Europe descended on Troyes and other major centres in Champagne to trade almost all year round. For it’s time, Troyes was very advanced, had a stable government and, because of its location, there were few wars that bothered the city.
Tashal Isn’t Troyes
But Tashal presents a few problems for merchants that Troyes didn’t have:
- it’s far away, and made to seem even further by the ocean gap between the continent and the island;
- you have to deal with creepy wizard-enforced embargoes;
- there’s an arduous trek through wilderness teeming with ghastly barbarians and horrible monsters; and
- you have deal with semi-civilised kingdoms and primitive conditions.
So there are lots of reasons to think that the Great Summer Fair, as written, is not so great or so full of cool stuff that it could go on for two months. I mean, how many times could bags of salt, bales of fur, or a few Khuzan trinkets really change hands? As for wool, does anyone seriously believe anyone at the fair actually sees more than a few bales of wool? Don’t forget that wool is Hârn’s major export, but why would you transport it to Tashal from Vemionshire (let alone Kanday) only to transport it pretty much all the way back again on the way to Thay? Wouldn’t you be better off to bring a couple of bales of your finest to Tashal, and ship the rest directly to, say, Kobing? Or, if you are a Kandian merchant, ship it directly to Cherafir or Thay by sea?
It just doesn’t make sense to transport a whole bunch of luxury goods overland from Thay when the pulling power of your goods could easily force the Hârnic merchants to come to Thay. After all, it’s only a few more leagues in an already long journey from Kanday/Tharda, and little less convenient from Azadmere or Leriel/Lorkin. No, if Tashal is to keep its place as a central point of commerce for the island, and all the wealth that implies is brought into the kingdom, Kaldor must develop a port capable of taking ocean-going vessels. Only by eliminating the expense and danger of the overland trek can you convince foreign merchants to continue to arrive in Tashal.
More Positive Reasons
There are two more really good reasons to develop a port for Kaldor.
The first is that a Kaldoran port becomes an alternative to Cherafir and Thay, both controlled by Melderyn and the aforementioned creepy wizard-enforced embargo. A bit of adroit marketing, spreading the word in the inns, taverns and coffee houses of the continent, and soon the Larun are bypassing Melderyn altogether, for a more friendly haven (with appropriate bribes….I mean, bonding house rebates, of course!)
The second reason is that any ship offloading good in a Kaldoran port will want to load up with more goods, even if it’s only wool (high volume, low value goods). An empty ship earns her owners nothing; in fact it costs them money (in wages and upkeep). A central point to ship bulky goods like wool means that all those Hârnic goods will be coming through a Kaldoran port instead of a Melderyni port. That has to be good for the Treasury coffers!
But where is a good location for a Kaldoran port? How will you decide? Never fear, this question was raised a few years ago, and Robin Crossby and I batted it about for a couple of months. At the end of that, I wrote an article that many of you have probably already downloaded and read. If you haven’t, then click here to go get it right now. Of course, it’s completely unofficial because as of 720TR, there is no port or even any serious plans for a port. At least, not in official, or canon, HârnWorld material.
Once you’ve read (or re-read) the article, I’d love to hear your thoughts on the matter. And next time, I’ll discuss why the saving of Tashal as a commercial hub by building a port is also its death knell.
An Ocean Port For Kaldor
February 16, 2008
As at the beginning of 720TR, Kaldor lacks a port capable of handling ocean-going vessels. In fact, Kaldor lacks much of a coastline at all, let alone anything that would be useful as a port. What locations are even possible, and what are the advantages and disadvantages of each of them?
Back in 2002, this problem for Kaldor was discussed on the HârnForum but nothing definite was decided. However, it got me thinking and I discussed the issue with N. Robin Crossby. The article you can download here is the result of that discussion. In no way is this official material, because the official ‘history’ of HârnWorld is written up to the beginning of 720TR, and at that point, Kaldor doesn’t have a port. So this is speculative, something that GMs could use in a campaign if they wish.
This article forms the basis for a discussion (qv) about the consequences to Kaldor and the rest of Hârn of establishing a port at the location described.
February 13, 2008
Lýthia.com now has two different RSS feeds for your enjoyment. The first will provide you with all new posts. The second will provide your favourite feed reader with any comments to posts. I’ve also tied the RSS feeds into Feedburner, which allows me to keep track of statistics.
If you don’t know about RSS or feed reading or any of that stuff, there’s a primer on Wikipedia. Basically, it means you don’t need to come to Lýthia.com to read the posts; when you load up your news reader (or feed reader, whatever you want to call it) any new posts or comments made on Lýthia.com will appear. Only if you want to make any comments will you need to visit the site…and you are encouraged to do so! So, when there’s a new file to download, you can get access to it straight away, no waiting.
As yet, I cannot find any MODs to enable an RSS feed of the HârnForum software, but hopefully that will come along sooner or later.
Tahnaryn: The Black Magic of Kethira
February 12, 2008
Learned colleagues and fellow practitioners,
I do present to you at long last a summary of my findings on that obscure force I have narcissistically named Tahnaryn. It is my hope that you will finally accept that this basic and fundamental force of Kelestia does indeed exist, can be harnessed and deserves a comprehensive study by our organization. I cannot be reached through the normal means as certain members of the Morgathian church are interested in my whereabouts, but I will be present at the chantry for the winter’s solstice gathering. I will be demonstrating what mastery I have of these exciting forces for all.
Yours in service, Urbanal Tahnaryn
Morgat 14, TR 538
A while back I began developing another form of magic for use in the Hârn setting. The notion came about from me wondering just what “witchcraft”, as mentioned in the Law article, means. My definition of witchcraft usually involves evil magic and association with demons and the like. On Hârn that just means the divine servants of a banned god. I wanted magic, not religion or divinity and the convocations of the Shek-P’var didn’t really cover it.
Well, maybe witchcraft on Hârn doesn’t mean demon magic. Necromancy is another stereotypically evil magic form and it’s one that appeals to me. Yeah, I wanted necromancy, but Kethira already has it in the form of the Morgathian church and the morvra. I actually like the Hârnic take on undead, but I felt it could be expanded and here was the way to do it. The Morgathians might claim propriety over the undead, but that doesn’t mean it has to be so.
Now the trick was to fit my necromancy into the overall Hârn system, mechanically and philosophically. I really didn’t like the way CGI represented elven magic as simply a reorganizing of the Shek-P’var convocations. I wanted a new system. Likewise, I really do like the uniqueness of the Hârn setting and I wanted to fold this new magic into that setting as gently as possible.
What follows then is a set of design notes outlining the general concepts of the Hârnic necromantic discipline. While I have many more details written out, my intention is to complete the work, balance it out, and have it published in an upcoming Kelestia Productions rule book. Here’s hoping.
As the Principles of the Shek-P’var are described as the forces binding Kethira together, Anti-Principle is a force of entropy that tears it apart, that perverts the natural cycles of Kethira. It pulls at the very fabric of existence. Where it came from and where it exists natively is unknown. In the Kethiran planes of existence however, this force cannot exist unshielded. Direct contact between Principle and Anti-Principle is violently destructive.
Anti-Principle can exist on Kethira so long as it is shielded by an aura. It does however degrade the aura containing it over time.
Anti-Principle is the force behind Tahnaryn and is also the force behind the Shadow of Bukrai.
Bukrai is an entity that has an immensely powerful ego/aura. This aura is filled with Anti-Principle.
Bukrai has the ability to extend it’s aura into Kethira (generally through the use of artifacts and other beings) and infest other auras with it. This phenomena is known as the Shadow Of Bukrai.
Utilizing the power of Anti-Principle is the goal of the Tahnarist. To do so, he must either wrest a portion of the shadow away from Bukrai, or find a Jorum of the power. Either prospect is extremely difficult.
Once the power source has been acquired, the mage must absorb an amount of Anti-Principle into his aura and erect an internal barrier between it and the regular Principle already present. This barrier is difficult to maintain.
As Anti-Principle is not something freely available throughout Kethira, the process must be repeated on a regular basis. Otherwise, the actual manipulation of the force is very similar to the techniques employed by the Shek-P’var.
Tahnarism can accomplish many things: The animation of once living vessels (and projection one’s will upon them), disrupting active magics, utterly destroying objects and entities, and shielding oneself from other forms of magic are just a few.
February 12, 2008
Hasebe is a small village in the Nelafayn Hundred of Kaldor. It is intended to be a generic village where nothing much is happening. No murders, no magic, no intrigue and especially no nolahs! It may be used as a quiet locale for a needed respite from the trials and tribulations of adventuring life or as the innocent victim of a gargun, bandit or barbarian raid.
by Jonathan Nicholas
Friends, Foes & Followers — Part 10
February 11, 2008
Friends, Foes & Followers is a GM resource that uses a common format for presenting 2 pages of information about a character. The characters can be used in any way the GM sees fit; as NPC opponents, helpers or even emergency PCs for that unexpected player, making these resources no GM should be without. With artwork by Richard Luschek, this installment contains:
- an Agrikan cleric,
- a Peonian cleric,
- a Save-K’norran cleric
- a prostitute,
- a hideworker,
- an innkeeper,
- a litigant,
- an Odivshe mage,
- a mercantyler,
- a timberwright,
- a dilettante, and
- the Grandmaster of the Lady of Paladins fighting order at Cundras.
by Kerry Mould and John S. Daniel II