Shadow of the Raven Research

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Research Mechanics

  • Research happens in 8 hour increments, with one roll per increment, its Difficulty based on the topic being researched.
  • Research Rolls Research Rolls are made using either Read/Write, Charm or Command
    • Character with the Appropriate Academic Knowledge gain +10 to the roll.
    • Characters without an appropriate Academic Knowledge check take a -20 to the roll.
    • Characters with Search Trained gained +10 to the Research Roll.
  • Research Assistant: Istvan can act as a Research Assitant for one character. He grants the following benefits
    • The PC's may ignore the penalty for lacking an Academic Knowledge skill.
  • Duplicate Topics: If you unlock a topic that you had alread unlocked, you gain 2 free shifts in that topic.
  • Unsupervised Research
    • Each Concealment or Disguise check grants 4 hours of Unsupervised research.
    • Multiple Failed checks may result in the characters expulsion from the House of Wisdom.
    • Research Checks may be made the Search or Read/Write.
  • Research Fatigue: A character may only engage in a number of Hours of Research equal to the lower of 1/4 their Toughness or Will Power. For each hour of research past that they must make Willpower check to stay focused.
    • Fatigue (Level 1):Receive a -10 penalty to all checks.
    • Fatigue (Level 2):Receive a -20 penalty to all checks.
    • Fatigue (Level 3):Research increments take 25% longer due to distraction, nodding off, etc.
    • Fatigue (Level 4):Research increments take 50% longer.
    • Fatigue (Level 5):Research increments are doubled.


Vysocina History

  • Vysocina has long been an independent pricnedom, with it's own language and culture. Until recently it was united, despite persistent intenral strife.
  • For the past 500 years (since 2051), Vysocina has been ruled by the VonDrakenhoff dynasty. During that time hey have defeated beastmen, greenskins and Chaos Cults. They have a reputation for being ruthless to their enemies and kind to their subjects.
  • Before the arrival of the VonDrakenhoffs, Vysocina was divided, ruled over by a smattering of lordlings and petty barons. It was not uncommon for entire villages to be lost to greenskin and beastmen incursions. The only stable center of power was the city of Ravenholm, which was ruled by the Church of Morr. This era is commonly referred to as the Vysocine Dark Ages.
  • Settlers from Araby settled in the southern reaches of Vysocina between 200 years before the founding of the empire and 500 years after it's creation. Araby encountered internal strife at the end of this period, and withdrew support for it's colonies.
  • Ruins and ancient records indicate that Vysocina was once a province of ancient Khemri. Their capital fell in a great disaster, and they retreated soon after. The name of the capital of Edku EL Dabar.
  • There was a small Dwarven presence in Vysocina during the rule of Khemri. After the Khemri retreated, the Dwarves grew into a great and prosperous hold, the dominant power in the region. And then with next to no warning they were gone.

VonDrakenhoff History

  • The VOnDrakenhoff Family has ruled over Vysocina for 500 years. They saved Vysocina from a Greenskin Invasion.
  • Vladamir VonDrakenhoff and Antionette VonCarstein came to Vysocina from Sylvania in the year 2051. On arriving they used Necromancy to save several villages from invading greenskins. They taught the local pesants how to truly fight, and used undead as shock troops against the greenskins.
  • Their conquest of Vysocina came to a head During the Battle of Ravenholm. Vladamir's army relieves the siege the city was under. Losses are heavier then they should be due to many undead being destroyed by Solveig Branmir , High Priest of Morr at Bohumir Cathedal. Solevig Branmir refuses to allow Vladamir's army access to the city, due to their use of Necromancy. Antoinette sneaks into the city, and captures Solveig in a violent and devastating magical duel. Solevig and many of his priests are given seats on short stakes by Vladamir.
  • Vladamir VonDrakenhoff and Antionette VonCarstein left Vysocina because neither wanted to become Vampires or other Undead. When they left they stole many great Treasures of the VonCarsteins.
  • The family continued to be Necromancers until the reign of Ivan VonDrakenhof, know as Ivan the Just. He invited an Imperial Wizard, the Hireophant Margaret Tolzen to act as an advisor, and help remove the lingering undead corruption
  • Vladamir and Antionette specifically came to Vysocina to seek out secrets of Ancient Khemri. They were hoping to find ancient necromantic rituals used by that empire, hoping to use them to defend themselves from the VonCarsteins.

Vysocina Religion

  • Most Worship in Vysocina is directed at the Quindeus. They are a set of deities made up of Ulric, Morr, Manann, Taal and Rhya.
  • Other deities with a presence in the area include Shallya, Myrmidia and Ranald. None have more then a single church and a few shrines. Ranald's worshippers mostly exist in the cities of Drakenschloss, Boltmere and Blutpool.
  • The Cult of Morr has long had a preeminent standing in Vysocina, and their clergy take responsibility for maintaining shrines to the Quindeus.
  • Chaos cults rise up on occasion in Vysocina, but until recently they were put down hard by the VonDrakenhoffs. There are no significant mentions of Chaos Cults in the past 200 years.
  • One of the most ancient religions in Vysocina involve the worship of a being known as the Raven.

Von Carsteins

  • The VonCarsteins are a noble family that rule over Sylvania in the Eastern reaches of the Empire.
  • They are a both a family and a Lineage of vampires that dates back into ancient history. They are obsessed withy purity of their own bloodline, and are normally select those who become vampires from among the best noble bloodlines, or those who show great talent.
  • The Von Carsteins were first heard of in Sylvania when Vlad VonCarstein marries Isabella vonDrak in the year 1797. This begins VonCasrstein rule over Sylvania.
  • In 2010 Vlad VonCarstein oppenly annonced himself as a Vampire and attacked the army. He had both a legion of the dead, and the loyal soldiers of Sylvania. Great battles were fought as the Empire tried to defend itself.
  • Vlad was slain by the Grand master of the Knights of the White Wolf in 2025. He returned in 2026 to slay the Grand Master with his own hand. It is said that he possessed a ring that would always bring him back from the dead.
  • Vlad's attack on the empire ended in 2051, when he was slain at the walls of Altdorf. His army was broken, and many of his lieutenants and necromancers scattered to the winds.

Castle Drakenschloss

  • Castle Drakenschloss is the seat of power of the VonDrakenhoff family.
  • The castle had originally been built into a fortress by the Arabyans, but it had fallen into ruins by the time the VonDrakenhoff's claimed it. They spent the next several generations reapiring and expanding it.
  • The castle foundation was built into what had originally been dwarven work. During it’s original construction they broke into a Dwarf Hold before resealing it.
  • Vladamir VonDrakenhoff and Antionette VonCarstein broke back into the Dwarven ruins while rebuilding the Castle. They extensively explored the ruins and discovered that they were the ruins of the city Karak Magaz. After their explorations they a group of Masons supported by undead work on an extensive project in the catacombs. Once work was completed, everyone who had worked on the projects was killed and their families compensated.
  • Much of the castle was designed by Antonette, who worked the geomancy of Castle Drakenhoff to draw power from what she described as the Great Wellspring.
  • A Journal fragment. "Do not draw upon the power of the Wellspring except under the most dire of circumstances. We were wrong about the nature of the Wellspring, and calling upon it's magic could endanger us all. This is no natural occurrence that the Dwarves took advantage of. It is something of chaos, trapped like a fly in amber.
  • The underworks of the castle and catacombs connected into an isolated section of the Dwarven Outerworks. This then connects into the Drakenschloss sewer system.
  • The Catacombs have multiple defense. Physical traps set with specific mechanical releases. A series of magical tests that can be broken through only by one of the treasures. Guardians that will only let one of the Bloodline pass who demonstrates skill with magic.

The Drakenhoff Treasures

  • The Drakenhoff treasures are a set of four Heirlooms that were brought with the VonDrakenhoff. They were used with great effect by the VonDrakenhoffs. The items are a Staff, a Book, a Ring and a blade.
  • The four Heirlooms were hidden away during the Reign of Ivan the Just. They were scattered to four remote locations.
  • The Staff of Azgar allowed it's user to raise undead. And could be used by anyone. The Von Drak tome is a guide to necromancy and can empower it's bearers spells.
  • Schattenherz was a powerful blade. It could strike at incorporeal enemies, create blasts of fire, and destroy magics sent at the bearer. Stories place Schattenherz in in Vysocina before the arrival of the Drakenhoffs, by several centuries, as it has long been a storied weapon.
  • The Carstein ring could reputadely bring it's wearer back from the dead if they were a Vampire. It also provided great magical protection. It was apparently worn by Vlad Von Carstein himself, and might be the key to his many returns from the dead. It was stolen off his hand after the battle by Antonette
  • Probable locations of the items are as follows. The Ring was hidden beneath Boltmere. The Staff is in caves north of Glitter Gulch. The Sword was given to a guardian at the Shattered Mountain.
  • They had the VOnDrak tome, it was given to their safekeeping by Margaret Tolzen.

Church of Morr

  • The center of Morrite Worship for the Border Princedoms is Vranovu Skalu. They maintain a good relationship with the Temples in the Empire.
  • There is a bitter rivalry between the Order of the Shroud and the Order of Augurs. The Order of the Shroud claims that Vysocina should be cleansed of the von Drakenhoff presence, and the Augurs claim it would be disastrous.
  • The Morrites of Drakneschloss are often at odds with the Raven Spire, being under intense pressure from the Von Drakenhoffs to ignore certain dictates from the Raven Throne.
  • Conclaves of Morr are only called rarely as even the Holy Father of the Raven Throne must abide by it's dictates.
  • The Knigths of the Raven have repeatedly asked for the right to purge Vysocina of Necormancers. The Princedom of Bhoma has stated that if a crusade is launced, they will rescind the right of the Temple of Morr to hold the Ravenspire.
  • The Augurs of Morr claim that while the VonDrakenhoffs have done many evil things, they have fought against a greater evil. When they fall, Vyoscina falls.
  • When the Society of the Quill left the Temple of Morr, the empty seat was left open for it. If they chose to return to the Temple, they would have the right to relcaim it and cast their vote at a Conclave.

Morrite Conclaves and Crusades

  • A conclave may be called by the Raven Throne. A minimum of 7 days must be given from the release of the messenger ravens and the start of the conclave.
  • A conclave may not be closed to any member of the clergy of Morr. As such it is always held in the Forum of Ravens.
  • Each seat is given an equal vote in the Conclave. How that vote is used is decided by the order it is assigned to.
  • A crusade of Morr may only be called by a vote of the Concalve. And it has only been done a couple of times in the history of Morr
  • All clergy of Morr are bound by the dictates of the Concalve. To go against the those dictates is a violation against Morr. The Brotherhood of the Raven left the Temple over a refusal to follow a dictate of the Conclave. That Dictate involved the destruction of tomes in heir possession.
  • The following Actions inside a conclave violate the Strictures of Morr.
    • Violence against a fellow priest.
    • Falsifying the Dreams of Morr - Penance is common afterwards.

Morrite History

  • The worshipp of Morr has long been one of the most significant faith's in Vysocina. His worship predating the Arabyan colonization.
  • The center of Morr's worship has been Vranovu Skalu for the past 500 years.
  • Before the arrival of the VonDrakenhoff's the center of worship was the City of Ravenholm (what is now Drakenschloss).
  • The Society of the Quill was once part of the Church of Morr, having been founded when the temple of Morr moved to Vranovu Skalu. It broke off from the temple 200 years later as it became increasingly secular. Accusations were thrown that they were more interested in worship of Verna then Morr.
  • During a time of great troubles from beastmen and greenskins, a pair of Necromancers took advantage of the chaos to establish themselves. While they did drive back the threats, they also consolidated power. They eventually drove the greenskin hoard against the walls of Ravenholm and destroyed I in concert with the efforts of High Priest Solveig Branmir.
  • The VonDrakenhoffs then called upon Solveig to submit to their power and he refused their unholy demands. They attacked him through stealth and treachery, and murdered him and many of his clergy. It was after this, that many of the remaining priests fled for Vranovu Skalu.
  • The church of Morr was only truly welcomed openly back in Vysconia during the reign of Ivan the Just. This was partly due to the efforts of the Society of the Quill to repair the burned bridges.

Dwarven History

  • Dwarves have no significant presence in Vysocina, other then small family groups of Surface Dwarves
  • Dwarven ruins can be found throughout Vysocina, but they left long ago. The Dwarves abandoned the land after repeated assaults by Greenskins.
  • The Dwarves used to have a great hold called Karak Makaz, that was buried deep beneath what would become Drakenschloss. It was famous for the quality of the smithwork that came from it, to the point where Dwarves would travel their to learn from their smiths.
  • Karak Makaz used to be called Grung Gorl, and was little more then a mining outpost. It was known as a trade outpost and Gromil Mine.
  • When the Daemon known as Erocan rose out of the ruins of Edku el Dabar, the Dwarves of Grung Gorl fought it hammer and axe. They attacked is army of Demons and cultists but soon had to give way. In the end, they lured it deep into the hold of Grung Gorl and bound it's power.
  • Many of the Greatest Runesmith of the Dwarven Nation came to Grun Gorl to strengthen the bindings on Erocan. They found a way to draw off it's magic to weaken it, and they used that power to strengthen their own runes. The hold soon changed it's name to Karak Makaz.
  • Hundreds of years after the name change, Karak Makaz was abandoned, but only after years of work were done to seal the entrances to the city, and many traps and defenses were emplaced, including a great clcokwork golem.
  • The city was only abandoned after it was discovered that Erocan was influencing the minds of many of the Runesmiths and dwarves who lived in Karak Makaz. A great civil war errupted in the city, with those tainted by Chaos eventually being completely slain. Once the city had bene properly sealed, most of the residents took the oath of the Slayer, to makeup for their great failure.

The Raven

  • The symbols of a Raven and a bird rising from an egg imagery has long been seen around Vysocina. This is one of the only symbols seen commonly depicted by humans, elves, dwarves, greenskins and Beastmenn.
  • Raven's are most commonly associate with the worship of Morr, however they are most often depicted as a flock, or as a secondary symbol. They are never referred to as just the Raven.
  • Folk worship of a Raven god as a protector and savior continues to this day, even though such worship has largely been subsumed into the worship of Morr. Some depcitions of the Raven show it as an Avenger.
  • When depicted by Greenskins, the Raven is usually shown as a fearsome figure, something to be dreaded and appeased.
  • The VonDrakenhoff family actively hunted those who would follow the Raven for the first 300 years of their presence in Vysocina.
  • The Raven is a local god Known as Erocan the Endless that was worshiped by the Cult of the Eternal Raven. It was seen as a herald of Renewal and Beneficial change. It was seen as the carrion crow that ate the old ways and gave rebirth to new.

Errocan the Endless

  • There is a god named Erocan the Endless, that has long been worshipped in Vysocina.
  • Erocan was worshiped by the Cult of the Eternal Raven. It was seen as a herald of Renewal and Beneficial change. It was seen as the carrion crow that ate the old ways and gave rebirth to new.
  • Erocan is a greater Daemon of Tzeentch, known as A Changer of Way
  • Erocan was summoned by it's cult to drive off the Khermri and their death cults. When it came it arrived in a great warpstone meteor with which it destroyed Edku El Dabar.
  • Erocan led it's cults and Daemons of Chaos and begun to strike at everyone who would not bow down before it.
  • The only significant resistance against Erocan was from the Dwarves of Grung Gorl. They fought it's forces every step of the way.
  • The Dwarves lured it into their hold, sacrificing many warriors to make Erocan think it was winning. They lured it to the greatest source of magic they had, a great Rune Forge.
  • They used their magic to bind it to the Forge, tying it's essence into the Gromil masterpiece. This allowed them to use Erocan's Magic, but also bound it permanently in place. So long at the Forge is intact, it's influence will still be able to be felt. If the forge is destroyed, Errocan will be banished.
  • It might be possible to Banish Errocan by destroying the Runeforge with a weapon that eats magic.