THE FORTRESS OF GREYSPIRE c. 1995, 1997, 1999 Thomas A. Miller firstname.lastname@example.org 0. Table of Contents I. Introduction II. History III. External Overview IV. Structural Notes V. Internal Layout VI. Ecology VII. Military Might VIII. Personalities of Note IX. Local Politics X. Maps & Keys XI. After the Wars XII. Adventure Hooks XIII. Toward the Future XIV. Footnotes XV. Credits I. Introduction The Fortress of Greyspire is many things: the castle of a great general, a bastion against the wild beasts that roam the Riftcanyon, a haunted remnant of ages past. This supplement is intended to give readers the basic information necessary to integrate Greyspire and its inhabitants into their own campaigns, and use it to add flavor, and perhaps mystery, to their Greyhawk settings. While not all of the fortress' details are included within, a core skeleton of basic, important information is provided. Individual DMs can expand upon this as they see fit. II. History Ages ago, more than men or even elves can remember, gods and their spawn walked the world. Fighting countless battles for reasons known only to them, these beings ravaged the face of the infant Oerth, the barren sites of their confrontations remaining as evidence of vast powers best left forgotten. But sometimes, the legends whisper, their battlegrounds and lairs were not destroyed by the eldritch forces they called forth. In these instances, places of powerful magic and fateful mystery were left behind for mortals to inherit, if they had the will and the might. One such site can be found in the scarred wasteland known as the Riftcanyon. Amidst the broken ground and craggy depths of this fell place, toward its monster-infested western end, rises a titanic crag of rock. On its own, untouched by any of the other stone towers that jut upward from the canyon's deep floor, stands the enigmatic place known as Greyspire to the mortals of this age. Said to have been ruled by a demon, a dragon, and a demi-god, each in its turn, Greyspire is now the home of a mighty general and his mercenary army. Marcus of Tenh first journeyed to Greyspire in the year 572 C.Y. along with a small number of companions. Whatever guardians and other dangers might have been there, he overcame all, proclaiming himself sole master of the fortress. Since then, none have successfully disputed this claim. (1) III. External Overview Greyspire is a massive place, as self-standing towers of solid rock go. Roughly square in shape, it measures approximately four hundred feet on a side. Its true height is unknown, for no one has ever ventured into the depths of the canyon floor to take a measurement, but its visible upper portion looms more than two thousand feet above the nearby canyon edge. This edge is the beginning of the land to the north of the Riftcanyon's western terminus; Greyspire is situated about seven miles to the east of this terminus. The fortress is about a hundred feet south of the canyon edge, and can be reached by way of a massive, natural stone bridge which connects it to the mainland. The bridge is better than fifty feet wide, and twenty feet thick; it has no guardrails or guideropes of any kind. (2) Scattered sparsely across the faces of the fortress are nineteen guardtowers, hewn from the very rock of the spire itself. These jut forth at various angles and heights, in such a way that no side of Greyspire is unguarded. Except for these towers, the fortress has no windows of any kind; even those built into the towers are protected by thick, criss-crossing bars of iron, with openings too small for even a halfling to squeeze through. Into the bottom sides of these windows are set sharp metal spikes, to foil climbers coming up from below. At the mainland edge of the stone bridge is a gatehouse, ninety feet wide and about four stories high. It has no windows, though the top of its twenty-five-foot high wall can be reached if one can somehow bypass the razor-sharp spikes and outward-jutting lip. The gatehouse has a single entrance, a ten-foot wide and very thick steel door. This portal is doubly-barred, and reinforced in other ways to aid against possible attack. The gatehouse also features rear walls, facing the canyon depths; its only fully open side is the fifty-foot- wide opening to the stone bridge. On the mainland side of the gatehouse are a number of lanterns, always lit after dark but never present during the day. About fifty feet away from the outer wall are five large firepits, set into the ground. Like the lanterns, these firepits are ablaze only at night, possibly by magical means, for no one has ever seen them being lit, much less refueled. The purpose of the lanterns and firepits, as well as more details, will be explained later. The massive stone bridge that leads to Greyspire is devoid of any features; perhaps its magic does not allow additions to its natural construction. The bridge ends at a pair of mighty stone gates, each twenty feet wide and high; these are also one foot in thickness. The twin gates of Greyspire are flanked by huge towers, one on each side. These towers are (like the nineteen smaller, scattered guard-towers) a natural part of Greyspire itself, cut from the solid rock of the spire. These two main towers are fully fifty feet high, and contain several small windows and arrow holes, all allowing easy targeting of any who set foot on the stone bridge. (3) Mists from the depths below constantly waft upward, sheathing the fortress in a dense fog most of the time. IV. Structural Notes Greyspire's entire body (including the guard-towers, the two main entrance towers, the stone bridge, and the rock it merges with on the mainland) is fashioned of ancient, powerfully-enchanted stone. This rock is of sufficient power to repel earth spirits, as it foils their attempts to mine or dig through it. (4) All tower windows are three feet square, protected by magically- augmented metal bars whose widest gap is scarcely five inches. The towers contain archers and guards (as detailed later) with ample stores of arrows, bolts, and oil. The guardhouse is not composed of the same enchanted stone as the other areas, but over the years, it has absorbed some of the magic of the adjacent rock. All this really means is that, should some mighty attack strike the area, the guardhouse would be destroyed long before anything else. While the frontal door of the guardhouse is formidable, it pales in comparison to the mighty double doors that guard Greyspire itself from external attack. Composed of a mystical amalgam of adamantine and Greyspire stone, these portals have never successfully been breached. (5) V. Internal Layout Those who have been within Greyspire have wondered at its vast chambers, its numerous halls, and its myriad secret passages. In fact, given the extraordinary resilience of the fortress' rock, it makes more sense that most of Greyspire's rooms were built within gigantic, naturally-occurring caverns, rather than from the magical rock itself. Indeed, this is the case; various parties have added individual rooms and complexes, over the centuries. One wonders what the fortress would look like if all the artificial rock, no doubt imported from surrounding areas, was somehow removed all at once. This aside, the current configuration of the fortress gives it roughly eight distinct levels (sometimes they overlap, making a good mapping difficult) which span the upper portion of the spire. Below ground level can be found two additional floors within a hundred feet; these are also part of the fortress proper. There are other levels below, but they have been sealed off by Lord Marcus himself. (6) Atop the roughly pointed peak of Greyspire lairs a pack of wild griffons. Marcus has made efforts to domesticate these animals, but this has proven to be a rather long and arduous process. In addition, a concealed chimney provides entrance and egress to those of his allies who can fly (see below.) (7) Of course, this chimney is not the obvious entryway it might seem. Protected by spikes, sliding blocks, and dangerous creatures, the passage is most lethal to those who are not expected, and who are unaware of the perils within. VI. Ecology Greyspire, as one observer once noted, is probably capable of housing a thousand troops. It would seem that whoever built it had this in mind, for one vast hall inside the fortress contains numerous side chambers, several hundred all told. Each of these can quarter a soldier or guest with reasonable comfort and privacy. While foodstuffs must be imported from the outside, Greyspire will never lack for water. At its center lies a spring, whose source is a natural reservoir far below. Whether magical or not, this spring is certainly a boon, for it ensures that those within the fortress will always have clean, cool water. Greyspire does not, of course, have any areas suited for either farming or gardening. Thus, its only real lifeline is the food which must periodically be brought in from outside. However, when one considers that this is a common weakness of all castles and fortresses, it ceases to seem much of a disadvantage. (8) The upper levels of Greyspire are inhabited by Marcus, his allies, his soldiers, and their horses; there is no indigenous life in the fortress, aside from these. The lower floors are another matter entirely; the exact nature of the creatures which dwell therein is unknown, but the menace they present is not easily forgotten. VII. Military Might Marcus, for years a wandering soldier and general, has assembled an amazingly skilled and well-trained fighting force. The bulk of his small army is organized into 20-man companies; each has trained and fought together, and is used to working as a unit. A archers (leather, longbow, shortsword) B light infantry (leather, small shield, shortsword) C infantry (chain mail, small shield, broadsword) D infantry (chain mail, spear, longsword) E infantry (banded mail, bastard sword) F infantry (splint mail, large shield, longsword) G heavy infantry (plate mail, battleaxe) H heavy infantry (plate mail, pike) All of these troops are 2nd level warriors, save the men of company G, who are 3rd level warriors. Each of the eight companies is led by a sergeant (a 4th level warrior with +1 weapon and armor.) Companies A-D and E-H each form an 80-man battalion, and each is led by a lieutenant (a 6th level warrior with weapon specialization and +2 weapon and armor.) Collectively, these two battalions form a 160-man regiment, which is led by Jason (see section VIII.) Similarly, companies I-L and M-P each form 80-man battalions, led by lieutenants; the collective second regiment is led by Rin (see section VIII.) This second regiment is armed and armored comparably to the first, and its men are all 2nd level warriors save company P, which consists of 3rd level warriors. Companies Q, R, S, and T are cavalry, armed with heavy lances and armored in chain mail. Its mounts are all heavy warhorses, armored in chain mail barding. These four companies consist of well-trained riders, skilled in mounted combat; they are all 3rd level warriors. In addition to the four companies' sergeants (4th level warriors as in the previous companies) the 80-man battalion is commanded by the renegade cavalier Ortho (see section VIII.) Companies U and V are dwarven infantry. Company U consists of 20 2nd-level dwarven warriors with chain mail and battleaxes. Company V consists of 20 3rd level dwarven warriors with plate mail and battleaxes. Each of these two companies is led by a 4th-level sergeant, and the collective force is under the command of the dwarf Noggin (see section VIII.) With the exception of companies B, G, H, I, K, and P, each company has been assigned a war-priest to assist in battle and wound-healing. These men are all 3rd level priests who are skilled in combat as well as magic. Companies U and V, of course, have dwarven priests. Currently, Marcus is searching for magi (and a few more priests) to bolster his infantry's strength. Ideally, he would prefer to have one wizard and one priest per company. However, this is proving difficult, for such skilled individuals who are willing to join an army are rare indeed. This brings the general military population of Greyspire to twenty- two companies (440 soldiers) plus 22 sergeants, 18 war-priests, and four lieutenants. In addition, the fortress houses the 80 heavy war- horses of the cavalry battalion. It is noteworthy that the warriors of Greyspire are all at least a little stronger, hardier, and quicker than average. Thus, they will tend toward above-average hit points and attack/defense capabilities. Marcus only accepts skilled warriors into his ranks, and most of the Greyspire force is specialized in a weapon of choice. In addition to its conventional forces, Greyspire's army contains one special unit. Designated Company X, this group performs scouting, sabotage, guerilla warfare, and anything else not suited to large numbers of troops. This unit currently consists of a 6th level human thief, a 5th level elven ranger, a 6th level barbarian warrior, a 4th/ 4th level half-elven wizard/priest, a 5th level dwarven warrior/miner, and a 7th level half-orc assassin. Company X specializes in destroying forts and outposts and finding ways into unassailable places. Exactly how one is invited to join this elite force is known only to Marcus and his close associates. OVERVIEW OF TROOP ORGANIZATION: Regiment Battalion Companies type commander --------------------------------------------------------------------- Regiment #1 = Battalions #1,2 = Companies A-H infantry Jason Regiment #2 = Battalions #3,4 = Companies I-P infantry Rin Battalion #5 = Companies Q-T cavalry Ortho Companies U,V d. infantry Noggin Company X special Gnerkil VIII. Personalities of Note Following are descriptions of all major commanders and companions of Lord Marcus. Jason (10th level human warrior, 93 hp; short and stocky; specialized in the short sword, wields a shortsword +4 of quickness; also wears chain mail +3 and bears a small round shield +2) Rin (12th level human warrior, 101 hp; tall and monstrously strong; specialized in the bastard sword, wields a bastard sword +1, flame tongue; also wears plate mail +3) Ortho (9th level human warrior/cavalier, 68 hp; very musketeer-ish; uses a lance +2 for mounted combat and a broadsword +4, defender for melee combat; wears field plate mail +1 and bears a nonmagical large shield) Noggin (8th level dwarven warrior, 79 hp; middle-aged; rather large and rotund for a dwarf, but a fearsome opponent nonetheless; wields a battle axe +3 and wears chain mail +2, also has a large shield fashioned from a bulette's hide) Gnerkil (7th level half-orc assassin, 39 hp; rugged, muchly-scarred, brilliant tactician and strategist; uses a shortsword +2, nine lives stealer as well as poisoned daggers; also possesses a cloak of the bat and a ring of vampiric regeneration) These captains are mighty indeed, and a prime reason why Marcus' troops are as efficient as they are. However, there are a few other individuals who help the general hold Greyspire successfully against unconventional attack, and lend their expertise to strategies and campaigns as necessary: Dhakab (8th/9th level human warrior/thief, 68 hp) A nomadic warrior from the western reaches of the Kettite lands, Dhakab is one of Marcus' oldest allies. The circumstances under which the two met are uncertain, but Dhakab must owe Marcus a great debt indeed, for he will fight to the death for his friend should it become necessary. Dhakab fights with a tulwar +3 of wounding, and wears leather armor +3. He also has a ring of feather falling and boots of striding and springing. O'Finnegan (8th level wood elven warrior, 63 hp) A tall, hard-drinking, rather boisterous elf from parts unknown, O'Finnegan is a master of the quarterstaff, eschewing all other weapons. His enchanted staff +3 enables him to attack at twice the normal frequency. He also has bracers of protection (ac 3) and wears a ring of fire resistance. O'Finnegan is a very forward, direct individual, one who always says what he means. Next to nothing is known about his history or personal motivations, but he follows Marcus without question. Friar Cas (7th level human priest of Fharlanghn, 42 hp) Short and rotund, the Friar is the token priest in Marcus' inner circle of confidants. He hails from the lands of Ulek, where he was a cleric of some repute before joining Marcus. An advocate of fine food and drink, Cas also maintains a small temple of Fharlanghn within Greyspire, for any of the troops who wish to pray. The Friar has very few possessions, but two are quite prized to him: his robe of protection +3 keeps him from having to wear armor, and his shoes allow him to walk for long amounts of time without having to rest, eat, or drink. He has been known to fight with a (nonmagical) cudgel when necessary. Rasta (gargoyle, 33 hp) One of the strangest of Marcus' companions, Rasta the gargoyle is a definite rarity: a once-evil creature whose ways have changed. However, it wasn't the gargoyle's choosing; blasted by a spell more than a decade ago, he lost his mind, and wandered an area of caves after that, bothering no one, unable even to remember his name. Marcus found him, and took pity on the creature; he paid a wizard to try and restore the creature's mind. It didn't quite work: the gargoyle's new personality was exactly the opposite of his natural one! Now, Rasta follows Marcus, to whom he is fanatically loyal (he doesn't quite understand that his _real_ mentality wasn't restored) and serves as a guard and messenger. Qeefus (9th level halfling thief, 35 hp) Like several other of Marcus' good friends and companions, the circumstances that led this halfling to meet and join Marcus are unknown. Qeefus is very competent at his craft, though he prefers to have others think of him as a halfling warrior. He isn't quite as obnoxious as most halflings, having a hefty pride instead of an inflated ego. Qeefus is one of the few within Greyspire who maintain contacts on the outside; the halfling is a well-respected fellow in Radigast City, capital of Urnst. It is he who co-ordinates shipments of food and supplies for Marcus, for he always knows the best prices and merchants to deal with. Qeefus does battle, when he must, with a dagger +2, longtooth and a dagger +4, defender; he wears gauntlets that allow him to use both of these weapons at once. The halfling also wears a ring of protection +3 to supplement his (nonmagical) leather armor. Sa-Cha (ogre mage, 42 hp) Sa-Cha, an ogre mage of great power, comes from a faraway place ("farther than you might expect," to quote the creature) where all ogre magi aren't chaotic or evil. Marcus apparently saved his life once, and took the blue-skinned giant into his service. All of the general's men have had to learn to live with the creature, even treat it as a friend. Fortunately, Sa-Cha is fairly easy to get along with, although his temper does flare up at times. (9) Gog (storm giant, 107 hp) This titanic being makes his home at the top of Greyspire, along with the griffons. He cares little for the day-to-day affairs of mortals, but he and Marcus have a deal: the giant gets food, drink, and other such things in exchange for occasional help with defense, should it become necessary. After all, a two-thousand-foot perch makes a great place from which to hurl boulders down on attackers. Wu (16th level human wizard, 37 hp) Of all Marcus' friends and allies, Wu is perhaps the humblest - and the most powerful. A stooped, wizened old man of obvious Baklunish heritage, Wu walks around babbling to himself, his white hair falling about his head in long wisps. Yet, this feeble man is one of the more powerful wizards on Oerth. Marcus and Dhakab found the ancient fellow in 569 C.Y. while wandering the kingdoms to the far west. In a bizarre circumstance, Wu had been taken while asleep in his simple hut, by superstitious villagers. These locals, none too clever, had decided that the "medicine man" was to blame for their poor crops that year, not to mention the disappearance of two children from the village. Bound and gagged, the old wizard was unable to free himself or speak in his own defense. The villagers were in the process of burning him at the stake when Marcus and Dhakab showed up. Needless to say, Wu did not roast that day, and Marcus gained a powerful ally and a trusted friend. Incidentally, the missing children had fallen prey to a foul werebeast that lurked in the nearby woods, a monster which Marcus sent to its end a short time later. Wu is a humble and simple fellow, eating only rice and drinking only herbal tea. He has only one magical item: a soiled, stained, but still fairly grey robe of the archmagi which also has deepockets sewn in. Last, but not least, is Marcus himself, the leader of all these soldiers and Lord of Greyspire: Marcus 18th level human warrior Neutral, originally from the Duchy of Tenh 6'3", 212 lbs, appears to be 27 years old dark brown skin, long black hair, black eyes 113 hp, ac -5 (1 from rear) speaks Common, Tenh, elven, dwarven, halfling STR 18/52 INT 15 WIS 14 DEX 17 CON 18 CHR 17 COM 17 Base thac0: 3 (+2 for str, +1 with cutlass only, +2 for dex) Base damage: by weapon type (+3 for str, +2 with cutlass only) rate: 5/2 (cutlass), 2/1 (all other melee) proficient with: cutlass (specialized), longsword, shortsword, dagger, longbow, shortbow, heavy crossbow, javelin, bola typical garb: chain mail on upper body, shield in right hand, longsword in right hand or at hip NWP: blind-fighting, hunting, mountaineering, survival, swimming, tracking other: ambidextrous notable allies: Justicarus Renonanondus (venerable silver dragon) Nigel Bloodstone (general of Perrenland) notable enemies: Heizog Glardaac (Heirarch of the Horned Society) Sharn (bounty hunter) Sentinel cutlass +5, defender (pommel is a carven dragon's head) detects enemies within 50' detects traps within 100' confers infravision, ultravision, true seeing upon wielder special purpose: protect wielder from harm special purpose power: sword will not leave wielder's hand until danger has passed other magical items: elven chain +4, small shield +2, small portable hole, ring of water elemental command, Daern's instant fortress Marcus has seen it all, having been a foot soldier, mercenary, adventurer, bounty hunter, and now, a general. Reportedly born in Tenh approximately thirty years ago, he was an orphan, his true parentage unknown. From the time he could walk, Marcus was deeply interested in swords, and began his combat training at an early age. Once fully grown, he left Tenh to travel around the world and learn new fighting styles and weapons, for by now he had decided that his was the way of the warrior. For almost ten years, he wandered from land to land, gaining skill and having adventures. While in Ket and other western lands, he studied the history and theories of battle strategy. In Perrenland, known for its fine mercenaries, he learned the art of command, serving as an infantry captain for two years. For the last few years, Marcus fulfilled one of his lifelong dreams when he began spending his time and energy forming an elite mercenary force, composed of fine warriors from all lands. This effort continued over the years, ultimately culminating in the taking of Greyspire. Actually, Marcus still recruits new soldiers, seeking them out on his own and testing their true intentions with his sword's powers. Many a prospective recruit has been turned away after Sentinel warned Marcus of less-than-true intentions. Marcus is a firm but fair leader, the sort who takes the trouble to learn the names of each and every one of his men. He believes that any person, no matter what their upbringing, is fully capable of becoming a skilled warrior. Despite his current role as a general and leader of men, Marcus remembers well his older days, and the good friends who he adventured with. He is more than either a general or an adventurer: perhaps the perfect combination of both. When he wishes to lead his soldiers on a campaign, he does so with great success; when he wishes to journey far away on some great quest, he also does so with great success. A variety of old friends, allies, and people who generally owe him are scattered about the Flanaess; no doubt some of these friends are closer than others. (10) Typically, Marcus hires his troops out to those who need a small but well-trained force. Of course, he avoids fighting on the side of evil, and tries to undertake campaigns whose successful finish will, in his opinion, make the world a better place. This typically means "humanoids beware" for those who know the general and his ways. The funds earned from his campaigns are used to pay his men, as well as buy new equipment, supplies, and sometimes a magical weapon or two. Marcus' campaigns never stray more than a few days' ride from Greyspire, and his ultimate goal is to have a force numbering more than a thousand. By that time, he would prefer to rule an entire section of the Riftcanyon. There is far more to Marcus than meets the eye, but the preceding sketch should give one a general idea. Whichever term is applied to the man, general or adventurer, fits him just as well. IX. Local Politics One might very well wonder how a group as powerful and independent as that described previously has remained unhindered by the Plar of the Rift, the self-appointed bandit lord who rules much of the wasted canyon. The reason is twofold. Firstly, Greyspire's base rests in the very worst area of the Riftcanyon, the area populated by the most fearsome and dangerous monsters. The Plar is only too glad to leave them to their own devices; being a reasonably intelligent ruler, he had come to realize that the area near Greyspire isn't worth the effort of holding it. Secondly, Marcus and his assorted allies are of sufficient power themselves to deter the Plar's attempts to take the fortress. (11) Something else of note is Marcus' policy regarding visitors. Since he doesn't allow strangers into Greyspire, those who pass through his lands seeking shelter for the night won't be let past the gatehouse. However, the area is admittedly a dangerous one, and thus the general has set up lanterns and fire-pits, in whose light and heat passers-by are welcome to camp. This is, admittedly, an odd arrangement, but Marcus' motivations are known only to him, and his men - as well as any passers-by - must obey. X. Maps & Keys There are eight complete levels at ground level and above; their maps are keyed as levels A (ground level) through H (uppermost level.) There are six known floors below ground level, only two of which are directly connected to the upper regions of the fortress. These are keyed as levels U (highest altitude) through Z (lowest.) Following is a summary of these twelve primary levels and what each contains. Each has a 20' ceiling in its chambers and a 15' ceiling in its connecting passages; all of these passages have rounded tops. level altitude of floor description ------------------------------------------------------------------- A 0' wrt/ground level guardposts, ready rooms B + 60' wrt/ground level armories, mess halls C +120 quarters D +150 E +180 F +280 G +310 H +490 U - 60 storage cellars V -120 W -300 remains of battle with demons X -340 possible extraplanar gateway Y -420 ambient slime beings Z -460 subterranean caverns, access to Riftcanyon floor XI. After the Wars Marcus actually profited greatly from the events of the Greyhawk wars, for they provided ample work for him and his soldiers. The funding and contacts gained from the years of total warfare will go far toward helping Marcus augment his forces and their equipment. This in no way lessens the impact of Tenh's fall at the hands of the Stonefists, though, and Marcus is heartsick over the loss of his homeland, although there isn't much he can do...right now. Still, Lord Marcus mounts frequent scouting missions to lands near his fortress. The intelligence he has accumulated, especially with regard to Iuz and the Bandit Kingdoms, would prove highly useful to certain interested parties. The master of Greyspire would likely be willing to exchange such information for money, magical items, or other commodities. XII. Adventure Hooks There are several scenarios that might get an adventuring party involved with Greyspire and its denizens. Several possibilities follow: * While traveling in or nearby the Riftcanyon, the party helps some Greyspire troops (perhaps led by one of the commanders) against humanoids or monsters. * While traveling in or nearby the Riftcanyon, the party finds itself overmatched by humanoids or monsters, but is saved by Greyspire forces. * The party finds itself forced toward Greyspire, chased across the area by hostile forces. * The party is hired by someone in a faraway land to deliver a message or item to Lord Marcus. * The party, journeying through the Riftcanyon region, comes across a great battle...a siege of Greyspire itself, by a force of humanoids and monsters. * Marcus or his minions seek out a PC wizard or priest, to see if he or she is a potential new recruit. * The party, somehow on the Riftcanyon's fog-shrouded floor, is surprised to come across an ancient, seldom-used passage: the fabled lower entrance into Greyspire's dungeons! Of course, it is doubtful that they will understand what they have stumbled upon. * To protect against recently-increased bandit activity, the party is hired to safeguard a supply caravan headed across the barrens to Greyspire. * Rumors reach the party's ears...rumors of an evil lord who terrorizes the surrounding land from his great fortress. Such tales might be spread by disgruntled humanoids and their allies, or the Plar of the Rift (in an attempt to rid himself of Marcus and his forces) or perhaps even agents of Iuz, in an undercover role. They don't call him the Prince of Lies for nothing. * Marcus finally decides, at long last, to clean out the monster- infested lower levels of Greyspire. Naturally, such a job will require hired help of the bravest kind... XIII. Toward the Future Lord Marcus has a number of short- and long-term goals, most of them military in nature. Although Greyspire is equipped with various siege devices and large- scale weapons (catapults, ballistae, etc.) the fortress is seriously lacking properly trained soldiers to man these weapons. Although an extended siege upon some foe is hardly practical for a force such as Greyspire's, Marcus would still prefer to have the capability. As mentioned previously, more spellcasters would seriously augment the power of the various companies, and the army as a whole. Such a compartmentalized distribution of magical power could only be superior to the current situation (wherein Wu assists the army if necessary, but is the only wizard of note among Greyspire's forces.) An aerial assault force isn't out of the question, especially if the griffons can somehow be tamed. Lord Marcus would reward, and well, one who could accomplish such a feat and help train riders to fight effectively while in flight. The possibility of hiring giants, taming bullettes, and otherwise attempting to enlist the aid of monsters has not escaped Marcus. He isn't sure how to pursue this idea at the moment, though, and has been forced to concentrate on more conventional soldiery. XIV. Footnotes (1) The demon lord N'Gasai, during its 66-year exile to the Prime Material plane, resided for a time in Greyspire. What remains of N'Gasai's additions and modifications can still be found in the sealed lower levels of the fortress. The venerable gold dragon Archibald Halafaster inhabited the fortress from 347-391 C.Y. and was, thankfully, responsible for destroying most of the creations and sentinels of N'Gasai. The few which remain, however, are no doubt as dangerous as they are cunning. It is uncertain which demi-god, if any, actually lived in Greyspire, but one thing is for certain: neither the demon nor the dragon added the nineteen guard-towers that cover the fortress' face. Further, it seems unlikely that mortals could have added these towers and integrated them successfully into Greyspire's existing stone. The truth may never be known. (2) Greyspire is located at hex T3-68 on the Oerth map. (3) The ancient dwarven stonemason Micathin Rockcutter was once heard to say. "That thar bridge ain't natural. Never seen such a thing - even me enchanted axe could nae dent it. Whatever the heck it is, it falls beyond the ken of dwarves an' men." (4) More than one gifted sage has speculated that the entire area of Greyspire has been blessed by the spirit of Ulaa herself, such is the rock's strange property to repel earth elementals, xorn, and other such creatures. (5) Legend has it that the evil archmage Yirkiloth the Red tested the power of the portals, launching a meteor storm of epic power against them. The blazing meteors are said to have bounced away in all directions, one particularly large one coming back to reduce Yirkiloth and his horde's leaders to ashes. (6) In 573 C.Y. a tribe of strange monsters came up from the lower reaches. Though they appeared vaguely humanoid in form, these creatures had many of the powers and resistances of demons, and proved exceedingly difficult to destroy. Thus, Marcus gave the order to seal the lower depths, and it was done. It is quite possible, however, that an isolated passageway exists, leading downward through Greyspire to the very floor of the Riftcanyon. Of course, only a select few are sure to know of such an exit. (7) The griffon lair atop Greyspire contains 17 of the creatures: five adult males, five adult or young adult females, and seven infants. The entire pack is extremely wary of any intruders, and Marcus has realized that they make better roof guards than mounts. Thus, he has left them alone for many months now, in the hope that they will thrive and reproduce. (8) Greyspire's priests are capable of conjuring certain amounts of food if necessary, and they are experimenting with edible fungi and roots that can be grown in the fortress' dark halls and caverns. However, unknown to all but Marcus' inner circle of confidants, the general possesses a unique artifact: the Hearth of Bounty. This small fireplace will never be devoid of tasty, nourishing food, and its output is used to supplement Greyspire's rations on a daily basis. (9) Sa-Cha was "acquired" by Marcus while he and the halfling adventurer Kup Swiftfoot were journeying amongst the planes. Marcus was tricked into a bet by a clever githzerai, but he ended up turning the tables on the extraplanar creature, and won Sa-Cha as a prize. Though Marcus didn't want a servant, the ogre mage was bound by some strange pact, and insisted on serving Marcus for the required time: nine years. Thus it was that he returned to the plane of Oerth with Marcus and Kup. The exact condition of the ogre mage's servitude is known only to himself and Marcus, and perhaps Kup Swiftfoot. (10) One such friend is Nigel Bloodstone, General of Perrenland and second only to King Franz himself. Another is a nameless tracker and hunter who roams the vast expanse of the Burneal Forest, to the far north. Of course, such powerful allies always seem to be balanced by equally powerful enemies, such as the bounty hunter Sharn. Whatever bond joins these four men is as mysterious as it is powerful. (11) In 574 C.Y. the Plar of the Rift sent a punitive force to Greyspire, to negotiate the fealty of Marcus. When they were denied entrance, a small army emerged from the nearby hills, ostensibly to lay siege to the fortress. That was the last that anyone heard of those troops, for none ever returned from the campaign, and yet Greyspire stood, and Marcus within it. The Plar has assumed that fell beasts from the canyon depths were involved, but is not sure, since none of his men returned to tell the tale. He has subsequently declared Greyspire to be cursed, and adamantly refuses to have anything to do with the place. This, of course, suits Marcus' purposes just fine. XV. Credits I'd like to thank Joe Katzman, for inspiring me to write something like this in the first place - and then helping me flesh it out when it got rolling. Thanks also to Leonard Bottleman and Marcus Hodges (no relation to Marcus of Greyspire!) who helped me proofread and fine-tune this work. Hopefully Greyspire is the first of many such works to come.