Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Raids, Ruins, & Hersey In The Countryside - G1 Steading of the Hill Giant Chief (1e) By Gary Gygax & The Hundred Years War

 So what happens when the giants during The Hundred Year War start to stir in the Welsh terrorities?! The players have already gone through the N1 Against the Reptile Cult & that's been put down. Now reports of giants have begun to get reports that giants are raiding the countryside. 

Now here's the thing, a prisoner has escaped back to the authorities, & she reports a pagan hersey involved as well. She seen Ysbaddaden Bencawr; "Ysbaddaden, Chief of Giants, among them.

Illustration by John D. Batten (1892)

Whose Ysbaddaden?  Ysbaddaden Bencawr is  the chief antagonist of the early Arthurian tale How Culhwch won Olwen. And very dangerous as well as cunning;"Ysbaddaden Bencawr; "Ysbaddaden, Chief of Giants," is the primary antagonist of the Welsh romance Culhwch ac Olwen.[1] A vicious giant residing in a nigh unreachable castle, he is the father of Olwen and uncle of Goreu fab Custennin.

Culhwch's father, King Cilydd son of Celyddon, loses his wife Goleuddydd after a difficult childbirth. When Cilydd remarries, the young Culhwch rejects his stepmother's attempt to pair him with his new stepsister. Offended, the new queen puts a curse on him so that he can marry no one besides the beautiful Olwen, daughter of the giant Ysbaddaden. Though he has never seen her, Culhwch becomes infatuated with her, but his father warns him that he will never find her without the aid of his famous cousin Arthur. The young man immediately sets off to seek his kinsman. He finds him at his court in Celliwig in Cornwall and asks for support and assistance.

Arthur agrees to help, and sends six warriors to join Culhwch in his search for Olwen. They travel onwards until they come across the "fairest of the castles of the world", and meet Ysbaddaden's shepherd brother, Custennin. They learn that the castle belongs to Ysbaddaden, that he stripped Custennin of his lands and murdered the shepherd's twenty-three children out of cruelty. Custennin set up a meeting between Culhwch and Olwen, and the maiden agrees to lead Culhwch and his companions to Ysbadadden's castle. The warrior Cai pledges to protect the twenty-fourth son, Goreu, with his life." 

Make no mistake this turns 'G1 The Steading of the Hill Giant Chief ' by Gary Gygax into a full on inquistor's campaign starter module involving Dark Albion's Cults of Chaos . The PC's are going to be acting as the Black Prince's agents in the Welsh countryside. 

Edward The Black Prince is a major NPC influence here & isn't to be taken lightly. The PC's are going to report directly too him through mystical means. The major NPC villain here is going to acting through intermediatary NPC's so the chief in Gary Gygax's Steading is a vassel or chieftain of Ysbaddaden Bencawr
The PC's are dealing with the fall out of Arthur and Gwalchmai fab Gwyar efforts & this propels things ahead at break neck speed. The PC's are going to be up to their necks in this one. 

Culhwch at Ysbaddaden's court. An illustration by E. Wallcousins in Celtic Myth & Legend, Charles Squire, 1920 "Horses shall I have, and chivalry; and my Lord and kinsman Arthur will obtain for me all these things. And I shall gain thy daughter, and thou shalt lose thy life." "Go forward...and when thou hast compassed all these marvels, thou shalt have my daughter for thy wife."

The Drow are going to be mentioned & they have an entirely different agenda & its not a good one. "
Temple found under the steading is explicitly stated to be dedicated to the Elder Eye, which by 4th edition was synonymous with Tharizdun." And this might tie in with Norkers being a part of the mercenary armies of the Drow and  'The Forgotten Temple of Tharizdun' by Gary Gygax. 

The PC's are being manipulated from all sides here & they are going to be dealing with some very heavy duty foes. Extra player characters are going to need to be on stand by. Basically this is simply going to turn into yet another front in the Hundred Years war. The Drow are following an age old pattern set out by their Elven god ancestors to manipulate the humans. They don't bank on humanity's ability to cope with the mythological at this point. 

We'll get into the tie in with 

RPGPundit Presents: The Old School Companion 1 coming up! 

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