The Many Worlds of D&D, part one

Dungeon Master

Dungeons & Dragons has never been about one single fantasy world. In fact, beginning in the 1980s, the game spawned a multiverse that stands on par with anything churned out in the comic book industry. Through the Advanced Dungeons & Dragons 2nd edition years especially, D&D became home to dozens of parallel fantasy worlds.

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Gremlins of Greystone Valley

Gremlin“I’m sorry,” Sarah said. “I didn’t notice we were being ambushed until it was too late.”

“Don’t be sorry,” Kay responded. “Gremlins can be all but invisible when they want to be. You probably wouldn’t have seen him even if you’d been looking right at him.”

“It wasn’t . . . really an ambush,” Dax groaned sluggishly. “To them, this is all a game. A very cruel game where somebody will probably get killed. And people wonder why I don’t like to think about ‘fun’ in this valley.”

Known as troublemakers and baby-stealers, gremlins have a reputation for cruel tricks and cunning traps. Like fey, they enjoy pranks, but they are much crueler about them. A faerie might have a laugh by turning a person’s nose blue, but a gremlin would find it funnier to cut that person’s nose right off.

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Conquest of Greystone Valley Excerpt: The Return

Castle DoorConquest of Greystone Valley is a sequel, but it’s also a good jumping on point for newcomers to Greystone Valley. Somebody has tampered with the memories of both Sarah and her mom, leading them to have forgotten many of their old adventures.

In the excerpt below, Kay and Dax have retrieved our somewhat amnesiac heroines and are bringing them up to speed. If you’re wondering what this Greystone Valley place is and who conquered it, here’s your chance to learn. Continue reading

Pathfinder Rogues Gallery: Samuel the Hunter

Samuel the HunterIn life, Samuel was a mortal bounty hunter. Originally self-serving and hard of heart, he grew less selfish with age, ultimately settling into a code of his own and never straying from that. When he died and found himself before the goddess of death, he received not a judgment but an opportunity to serve the goddess. He now serves as the huntsman of death, tracking those who alter the wheels of fate.

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Dwarves of Greystone Valley

Dwarves of Greystone Valley

Dwarf

“Believe me, if there was a better way to approach without being seen, we would take it,” Dax responded. “I hate those tunnels—they’re so dank and dreary. The moisture and cold air will almost certainly make my rheumatism act up. But Castle Greystone is surrounded by trackless foothills and thick forests. The southern pass is our best hope of getting to the Great City. The caverns are dark and deep, but they’ll bring us right beneath the city, although I’m sure we’ll all perish before we’re through.”

“So, what will we be facing down there?” Sarah’s mom asked. “Dragons? Trolls?”

“Worse,” Dax said. “Dwarves.”

“Dwarves?” Sarah asked. “Like short people?”

“Short, hairless people that live in the deepest caverns and . . . ugh . . . sing sometimes.”

“They don’t sound that bad.”

Dax scanned the horizon and took the lead as they got going. “Sometimes,” he moaned, “it seems like everybody else is speaking in a foreign language.”

Not quite fey but not quite humans, the dwarves of Greystone Valley inhabit the darkest depths of the mountains. They are fierce protectors of the treasures that lie beneath the earth, and often fight dragons and trolls, whose greed drives the dwarves into a frenzy. Continue reading

Conquest of Greystone Valley: Grimjaw

Grimjaw Dragon“Little Keeley, you weren’t there when Adlin cast me out. She said I couldn’t be trusted, that I had proven to be a threat to all other dragons. I would have shown her how much of a threat I really was if that big oaf Azal hadn’t been right there to protect her. They sent me aboveground where the dragon hunters dwell. They took my treasures away and collapsed my lair.” Grimjaw’s voice raised to a roar that shook the caverns. “And the moment they did that, their words and their laws stopped meaning anything to me!”

Of all the dragons Sarah met on her original journey to Greystone Valley, Grimjaw was the only one who proved himself a traitor. The house-sized, crocodile-mouthed dragon betrayed the girl and her companions, making a deal with the treacherous warlord Baelan.

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The Greater Deck of Many Things

Deck of Many Things

This artifact looks and functions very much like an ordinary deck of many things. The back of each card featured an intricate and ever-shifting ink pattern that seems at once to represent a viewer’s secret desires and a mocking grin. Those who look at the pattern for very long can almost hear a whispering voice urging them to draw a card.

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