Sunday, January 7, 2018

'Roman Holiday' A Mid Level An OSR Adventure Encounter Idea For Your Old School Campaigns

'The Fairies are coming to take us away, away, back to Fairyland to stay to stay!'
The children's nursery rhyme has sinister undercurrents to it.

So tonight I began to wrack my brain for an idea or two that might act as a mid point adventure encounter for either a Dark Albion or a Lion & Dragon game or any old school game. In AD 410 the last Romans left England & it was the dawn of a new era for history. But there was one particular Roman town that has a very dark history & to this day we don't know its name. There have been legends of fairy activity near the town of Wrexham for centuries interconnected with the Roman Empire.
"Approximately 8,000 years ago Mesolithic man ventured to what is now the Wrexham area. These people were hunter-gatherers and led a nomadic existence. They left little tangible evidence of their existence, save a number of small flint tools called microliths that have been found in the Borras area.[1]
A number of Neolithic (4300 - 2300 BC) stone axe heads have been found in Borras, Darland and Johnstown.
Two Bronze age mounds are situated within the town at Fairy Mount, Fairy Road and Hillbury on Hillbury Road. Both of these mounds lie within the grounds of Victorian properties in the south west of the town. It is likely that construction work within this area during the early 20th century eradicated other related features. The Acton Park Hoard[2] of skilfully made early Middle Bronze Age axe heads found in Wrexham suggests that this area was a centre for advanced and innovative metalworking industry.
The area surrounding Wrexham is well served by several rivers, including the Clywedog, Alyn and Gwenfro, all of which are tributaries of the Dee. These rivers would have served as highways for early man. Finds within the Alyn area reveal that trade was taking place along this river with places as far away as Ireland during the Bronze Age.
A number of Iron Age hillforts also exist within the surrounding area, perhaps marking a tribal boundary. These include Bryn Alyn (near Bradley), Y Gaer (near Broughton, Flintshire) and Y Gardden (near Ruabon).
At the time of the Roman conquest of Roman Britain, the area which Wrexham formed part of was held by a tribe called the Cornovii. The Cornovii held the lowland forests of Cheshire and Shropshire. Their tribal capital was at Wroxeter, near Shrewsbury. The original hill fort hillfort capital of the tribe was located on the Wrekin hill and one theory for the origins of the name ‘Wrexham’ is that it developed as a description of a settlement of men from the neighbourhood of the Wrekin: the ‘Wrocansaetan’ or ‘Wreocensaetan’.
In 48 A.D the Roman Legions reached Wroxeter and then proceeded to attack a tribe called the Deceangli who were based in what is now Flintshire. Around 70 - 75 A.D the Legionary fortress of Deva was constructed (modern-day Chester) and for the next 300 years was the home of the Twentieth Legion. " For my purposes my purposes a small Roman settlement of some twenty villagers was build near a fairy mound to guard against the encroachment of these vile creatures of chaos back into the world of men. They've decided to take back what belongs to them and in this case the fairy are going to take the village, the inhabitants, & the land around them!

If you as the dungeon master begin to look at many of the fairy creatures in The Monster Manual, The Fiend Folio, & The Monster Manual II there is more then a certain amount of malevolence about them. Add to the fact that Mab The Fairy Queen is in fact an aspect of Morgan le Fay of Arthurian legend.
Here the players are quite literally going to be up against the forces of chaos & they're going to need the help of one of the local druids. This adventure encounter is also pivotal point between the ending of one era & the beginning of another. Chaos is taking full advantage of this occult event.

Grabbing your copy of Deities & Demigods with the Arthurian Section might not be a bad idea.
They're basically pulling back all of their assets into one whole event for a possible future England. So its going to take lot of team work on the part of a party of experienced adventurers to riddle out what's happening. So perhaps a small contingent of knights, warriors, and adventurers plus a wizard might be just the party to start to do some of the investigative work for this.

So why does this adventure encounter work for the Dragon & Eagle Rpg system?! There are a few reasons first is the fact that its an England centric adventure idea set right at the dawn of the Medieval age. The occult & mythological overtones are all there to begin with & can be used to draw in adventurers as needed.

Coming into this adventure as a hack & slash adventure will get the PC's killed! Careful investigative work, occult consultation, paying attention to the native NPC's will yield results. But can the PC's prevent the fairies from taking away the village? Some careful reading into the legends of Queen of Elphame & another from Mythology Magazine have me convinced that its possible.
Several of the monsters of the Fiend Folio from AD&D first edition are tailor made for this style of adventure. The interactions between fairy & the mortal realm are perfect for dreams preceding events before the disaster happens.

There have always been strong connotations between 'the Underworld' of Roman mythology & fairy legends. There could be deeper connections with a Dark Albion Cults of Chaos not to mention a full blown Dark Albion Elven cult operating behind the scenes! This could also tie into an possible fully realized Fairyland cross over.

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