Monday, January 22, 2018

Return Into The Nightmare Realm of the Underworld - D1 the original Descent into the Depths of the Earth By Gary Gygax

"The final confrontation with the Dark Elves, the Drow, had instigated the giant alliance and its warfare upon mankind and its allied races! "

Wait you've covered D1 Descent Into The Depths of The Earth did you with
latter part of the Hundred Years War campaign idea using the  Lion & Dragon rpg system & the Dark Albion campaign as a  source book!?  So well yes & no.  The party is going to have to return to the Underworld once again!
Joan of Arc is dead! Events have turned chaotic & murky as the English take it on the chin & things are not going as the Dark Albion Elves had planned!

"Joan of Arc was captured by the Burgundians at the siege of Compiègne on 23 May 1430. The Burgundians transferred her to the English, who organised a trial headed by Pierre Cauchon, Bishop of Beauvais and member of the English Council at Rouen. Joan was convicted and burned at the stake on 30 May 1431.[76] (She was rehabilitated 25 years later by Pope Callixtus III.)
After the death of Joan of Arc, the fortunes of war turned dramatically against the English.[79] Most of Henry's royal advisers were against making peace. Among the factions, the Duke of Bedford wanted to defend Normandy, the Duke of Gloucester was committed to just Calais, whereas Cardinal Beaufort was inclined to peace. Negotiations stalled. It seems that at the congress of Arras, in the summer of 1435, where the duke of Beaufort was mediator, the English were unrealistic in their demands. A few days after the congress ended in September, Philip III, duke of Burgundy, deserted to Charles VII, signing the Treaty of Arras that returned Paris to the King of France. This was a major blow to English sovereignty in France.[74] The Duke of Bedford died on 14 September 1435 and was later replaced by Richard Plantagenet, 3rd Duke of York"

The factions of the Hundred Years war at at each other's throats. The Siege of Orleans has brought things to a turn around point. Things are falling apart and the PC's are going to have to revisit The Underworld where  the factions including Elves , Deep Ones, Svirfneblin, Derro, and many more are scrambling to keep even their own existence together!  Those alliances with the faction of the Underworld that the PC's made earlier are going to come in very handy.  The events here are going to be partially in the underworld & in the world above where the PC's are balanced between the various factions of The Hundred Years War & the Underworld. All the while they're going to have to skirt the powers of the Church whose already had Joan of Arc killed!

But the big unknown is the spawning pools of the Deep Ones deep below Paris. The party's meeting with
Blibdoolpoolp, the Sea Mother of the Deep Ones was no accident at all. There are hundreds of spawning pools deep within the dungeon tunnels of Paris that the Elves have no idea about. In Dark Albion these are directly responsible for the take over of Paris not so during the Rose War of the Lion & Dragon game . Witch cults of the Deep Ones & their alleys are going to have to be put to the sword lest the corruption of chaos spread to cause more problems later!

The alien gold reserves of the Deep Ones are cleaned out and these help to fund the efforts of shaky alliances with Burgondy.
Blibdoolpoolp, the Sea Mother of the Deep Ones is driven back with the help of key paladins & knights of Burgundy. But these alliances are fickle at best & shaky with violence at worst.  The PC's are going to expect double crosses & triple alliances as key families rise & fall with the whims of battle!

The Battle of Formigny (1450)

Events here are keyed to set up the French Recurrence because the PC's deal several blows to the Elves in the Underworld location of their ancestral cities in the Underworld. Then comes the next phase of the Hundred Years War.
The allegiance of Burgundy remained fickle, but the English focus on expanding their domains in the Low Countries left them little energy to intervene in the rest of France.[80] The long truces that marked the war gave Charles time to centralize the French state and reorganize his army and government, replacing his feudal levies with a more modern professional army that could put its superior numbers to good use. A castle that once could only be captured after a prolonged siege would now fall after a few days from cannon bombardment. The French artillery developed a reputation as the best in the world.[79]
By 1449, the French had retaken Rouen. In 1450 the Count of Clermont and Arthur de Richemont, Earl of Richmond, of the Montfort family (the future Arthur III, Duke of Brittany), caught an English army attempting to relieve Caen and defeated it at the Battle of Formigny. Richemont's force attacked the English army from the flank and rear just as they were on the verge of beating Clermont's army"

Here we're going to see new arrangements on the Chess board of Europe as Charles VII's successful Normandy campaign in 1450. So party members & adventurers are going to change once again. The old haunts & battle fields are going to give way to new ruins & dungeons. The real key here is their alliance with the Deep Gnomes which are some of the most powerful allies the PC's can make & they need it.

The Battle of Castillon on 17 July 1453 is the real pivot point in the real world but the PC's are going to be skirting the edge of Hell itself as they fathom what supernatural forces the Elves might bring to bare on the weak humans!
But don't think that the Deep Ones are completely out of the picture for they still have numbers out in the countryside surrounding Paris. They will be pushing back against the extinction of their old familiar breeding grounds.

"And yet I saw them in a limitless stream—flopping, hopping, croaking, bleating—urging inhumanly through the spectral moonlight in a grotesque, malignant saraband of fantastic nightmare. And some of them had tall tiaras of that nameless whitish-gold metal . . . and some were strangely robed . . . and one, who led the way, was clad in a ghoulishly humped black coat and striped trousers, and had a man's felt hat perched on the shapeless thing that answered for a head.
I think their predominant colour was a greyish-green, though they had white bellies. They were mostly shiny and slippery, but the ridges of their backs were scaly. Their forms vaguely suggested the anthropoid, while their heads were the heads of fish, with prodigious bulging eyes that never closed. At the sides of their necks were palpitating gills, and their long paws were webbed. They hopped irregularly, sometimes on two legs and sometimes on four. I was somehow glad that they had no more than four limbs. Their croaking, baying voices, clearly used for articulate speech, held all the dark shades of expression which their staring faces lacked.
But for all of their monstrousness they were not unfamiliar to me. I knew too well what they must be—for was not the memory of the evil tiara at Newburyport still fresh? They were the blasphemous fish-frogs of the nameless design—living and horrible—and as I saw them I knew also of what that humped, tiaraed priest in the black church basement had fearsomely reminded me. Their number was past guessing. It seemed to me that there were limitless swarms of them and certainly my momentary glimpse could have shewn only the least fraction. In another instant everything was blotted out by a merciful fit of fainting; the first I had ever had."
The Shadow Over Innsmouth by H. P. Lovecraft

The PC's are going to need every ounce of strength that their families have to push back against the tides of Chaos. Dark Albion's Cults of Chaos is a must here! The factions are now even more dangerous because they've been pushed to the breaking point. Tread carefully or this could be a family TPK as the Hundred Years War draws to a close and we dive in even more into the deep end next time!

The party gets pumped up to explore deeper into the underworld.
(Erol Otus, AD&D module Descent into the Depths of the Earth by Gary Gygax, TSR,)

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