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A Safe Passage through Britannia


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A Safe Passage Through Britannia

Commissioned by Lord British

Compiled by Nystul, Magician to the Court

Transcribe by Austin Grossman, Scribe

CONTENTS HEREIN

Introduction by Lord British

*    *    *    *    *    *    *   *

3 A Brief History of Britannia   

*    *    *    *    *    *    *   *

5 Britannia Today

*    *    *    *    *    *   *    *    *    *    * * *

7 Reconstruction

*    *    *    *    *    *    *   *    *    *    *    * * *    *

9 Leaders of Britannia

*    *    *    *    *    *    *   *    *    *    *    *

10 Other Planes of Reality

*    *    *    *    *    *   *    *    *    *    *

14 Virtues

*    *    *    *    *    *   *    *    *    *    * * *    *    *    *    *    *

15 Character Classes

*   *    *    *    *    * * *    *    *    *    *    *

16 Magic

*    *    *    *    *    *    *   *    *    *    *    * * *    *    *    *    *

18 Bestiary

*    *    *    *    *   *    *    *    *    * * *    *    *    *    *    *

20 Conclusion by Nystul

*    *    *    *    * * *    *    *    *    *

28

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Be it known, that in this troubled time of reconstruction, I,
Lord British , have decreed that there shall be assembled a manuscript,
entitled A Safe Passage Through Britannia.

This document shall serve all  those who would travel within my lands, and
adress a new generation of Britannians, who are only now coming of age and
exploring the world around them. Those who are unschooled in history  shall
learn of Britannia's glorious and turbulent past, and of the troubles that beset
these lands. They shall learn of the Stranger, a  hero from another world, who
triumped over these troubles an became the Avatar. More, they shall learn of
our most recent trial, through the insidious corruption of  our land by the
Guardian,  soul of evil, and his failed attempt to enter our realm in physical
form. In addition, those who read this work shall be taught what little we know
of the worlds that lie beyond our own. 
Those  who  would walk  the  paths of adventure shall learn of the many 
professions that able young women and men may follow in this world , and the 
physical and mental skills they must acquire in order to achieve mastery over 
the trials that shall beset them. They shall be introuced to the arcane forces 
that underlie the reality of the visible world, forces that wizards can martial 
at their command . And most importantly, the reader shall learn of the Eight 
Virtues - the Way of the Avatar - the moral principles that maintain an 
atmosphere of peace and mutual benevolence among our citizens. 

Lastly, there shall be included a Bestiary, a catalogue of creatures, including 
both those that occur in nature and those that are the creations of sorcerers, 
those  that  live naturally an those  unnatural beings that
have  died once, yet live on in some form. Let the Wise Adventurer take note of
what is contained in this section, as knowledge of one's opponent is often the 
key to survival. 

For the purpose of compiling this knowledge, I  hve enlisted the
unequaled wisdom and scolarship of Nystul, Chief Magician of the Realm. I can
imagine no more complete source of information and advice for the young 
traveler.

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A   BRIEF   HISTORY  OF   BRITANNIA

The history of Britannia is a long and turbulent narrative, which for conve-
nience I shall divide into seven parts, corresponding to seven crises which
menaced the land. 
The  earliest  recorded histories take place during a period
known as the Age of Darkness. At this time, the land as a whole was known as
Sosaria, and Lord British ruled a smaller nation called Britain. This was a 
chaotic and difficult  period  to  live  in  -  rival states  were  constantly 
at war with  one another, and bandits and monsters roamed freely over the 
countryside, preying on those weaker than they. It was in this period that the 
Triad of Evil came forth to  threaten the land. 

The first  of  these  was  Mondain,  a  young  man  who  had
slain his father (a powerful and respected sorcerer in his own right), and 
seized a powerful magic jewel, which he believed could make him immortal. He and 
his evil servants  ravaged the land  and  began  building  a  kingdom  of 
darkness  that threatened  to  encompass  all  Sosaria. It  was  at  this time  
that the  Avatar, then known only as the Stranger, first came forth from the 
other world, to answer the call  of  Lord  British. It  was the  Stranger  who 
defeated  Mondain,  and  restored peace for a brief time in Sosaria. 

This peace soon ended, however, with the rise
of  Minax, Mondain's  apprentice  and his  child bride. Minax  organized the  
evil beings  of Sosaria  under  her  powerful  direction, and again  devastated  
the land with dire sendings. Again, the Stranger appeared and battled the evil 
confronting the land, traveling through time and space, finally tracking Minax 
to the Time of Legends before slaying her. 

After the  demise  of Minax, Lord British,  widely recognized for his  wisdom  
and  virtue, ascended  to the rulership  of  all  Sosaria. Soon, though, a 
mysterious fiery island rose from the sea, and once again peace
in  Sosaria was disrupted.  This time,  the  Stranger assembled  a  group  of 
four heroes, and these four crisscrossed the land and braved the horrors of 
Britannia's underground dungeons, until they had located and destroyed the 
mighty Exodus, mystic child of Mondain and Minax's union, part human and part 
machine. 

This was the end of  the Triad  of Evil,  and  in  the ensuing  celebration 
Sosaria  was renamed Britannia, a single nation united under the rule of Lord 
British. A period of growth and prosperity followed, and Lord British turned his 
attention to philosophy, the nature of virtue, and the perfectibility of 
humankind. In each of Britannia's eight cities he established a shrine devoted 
to the study and perfection of one of the Eight Virtues. In addition, he founded 
institutions devoted to the

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three great principles of Truth, Love and Courage. The call went out for one who
would  become  the Avatar,  the  living incarnation of these  abstract virtues
and principles,  and  once  again the  Stranger answered this  call.  This  
mightychampion of arms now became a moral hero, as well, and aided by eight 
strongCompanions, at last  retrieved  the Codex  of  Ultimate Wisdom  from  
within  theGreat  Stygian Abyss. It  was  shortly thereafter that  disaster  
struck  the  land.Bringing  the  Codex  to  the  surface triggered  a violent  
seismic  upheaval  thatopened up a vast complex of caverns, the Underworld. Lord 
British led an expedition  to map the  caves,  and  was  captured  by the  
Shadowlords of Falsehood,Hatred and Cowardice, who had been released from three 
shards of Mondain'slost Gem of Immortality. Lord Blackthorn, ruler of the land 
in British's absence,was possessed by the Shadowlords, and instituted a vicious 
totalitarian government. Once again, the Avatar, aided by the Companions, stood 
fast in defense of Britannia, this  time  as  rebels opposing Blackthorn 's  new  
regime. In  time  the Shadowlords  were  destroyed,  our Lord  British rescued  
and  Blackthorn  exiled.Peace  flowed throughout the  land for  years,  until  
it  was  discovered  that  the Avatar's earlier victory in claiming the Codex 
carried its own terrible price. The upheaval  following  the  retrieval of  the 
Codex  destroyed  the  homeland of  the Gargoyles, an ancient and civilized race 
living on the far side of the world from Britannia. Unwittingly, the Avatar had 
partially fulfilled an ancient prophecy of the Gargoyles, that a false prophet 
would one day steal their most holy artifact(the Codex of Ultimate Wisdom), 
destroy their homeland and then lead a genocidal  war  against  their  race.  
The Avatar had  already  fulfilled  two-thirds of  this prophecy  (by  
unwittingly stealing  the  Codex  and  triggering  the destructive
earthquake), and the Gargoyles were not eager to see it completed. They invaded
Britannia and  captured  all eight  of  the  sacred  shrines  of  Virtue. The 
situation seemed  desperate, until the  Avatar  realized the  true reason for  
the Gargoyles' hostility. Displaying wisdom as well as martial prowess, the 
Avatar resolved the interracial  conflict  by  giving both humans  and  
Gargoyles  access  to  the  Codex. There  followed another  period  of  peace, 
this  one lasting  almost two  hundred years. In this time the Avatar returned 
only once more, in a little-known expedition to prevent a foolhardy wizard from 
allowing a powerful demon, the Slasher of Veils, to gain access to our reality. 
Unable to destroy the Slasher, the Avatar banished it to the Ethereal Void, 
inadvertently setting off a volcanic eruption that destroyed, once and for all, 
Britannia's Great Stygian Abyss.

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BRITANNIA TODAY

The  Guardian,  and the story  of  the  Black  gate .
In  recent years, an  extradimensional being who styles  himself  "the
Guardian" made a stealthy attempt to conquer this world. Of this being we know
little - only that he wields great sorcerous power and is utterly evil. With the 
aid of the wizard Batlin, he created an organization known as The Fellowship, 
which claimed devotion to the establishment of a new spiritual philosophy. The 
higher initiates of  The Fellowship  were  gradually  seizing  power throughout  
the  land, spreading corruption, and carrying out the Guardian's hidden 
purposes. At the same time, the Guardian created in Britannia three gigantic 
blackrock "generators." One of these, the Cube, allowed him to speak to his 
followers telepathically; a second, the Tetrahedron, disrupted the magical ether 
that powers magic in Britannia and drove magic users such as myself temporarily 
insane; and one of these, the Sphere, interrupted the functioning of the 
Moongates. 
Blackrock is a magical substance, a black gemlike material unworkable by any 
known physical means, which is opaque to all magical energy. Meanwhile, the 
Guardian's followers were engaged in the construction of the Black Gate, a 
magical portal which would  give the  Guardian  physical  access to  our  plane  
of  reality. 
Indeed,  it seemed that the Guardian's plan was well on its way to success. Had 
it not been for the Avatar, returning for the first extended period in 200 
Britannian years, all might have been lost. But it was the Avatar who first 
discovered the sinister true nature of The Fellowship, who disabled the three 
blackrock generators, and who, finally, discovered the location of the Black 
Gate itself and destroyed it. I must emphasize  the  extent  of the  Avatar's  
self-sacrifice  in this  matter,  as the  Black Gate  represented  the  only  
means  of return travel  to  the Avatar's  homeland, Earth. 

Since that time, we of the realm have been engaged in a massive project
of reconstruction.  The Guardian's  corruption  was widespread,  and  has left 
us with many confounding problems.  For  example,  we  must  reintegrate 
reformed Fellowship members  into  society, revitalize  the  economy, 
rehabilitate  those afflicted  by  serpent venom  and clean up  Britannia's 
polluted landscape. I can only count it as our good fortune to have the Avatar 
here in Britannia to assist us in this, and to guard the realm from any future 
menaces.

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A warning:

Although The Fellowship  has officially  been  disbanded ,  many  of its
members  have survive , and there are rumors that it still exists and operates 
in secret.

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RECONSTRUCTION

The Reconstruction is a nationwide effort to repair the social and environ-
mental corruption spread in Britannia by The Fellowship. It is being exe-
cuted  at  all  levels of  government, from Lord  British and  the  High  
Council  of Britannia,  to the citizens  of each town.  On a  personal  level,  
individual  citizens are examining their own lives, deciding for themselves how 
they were touched by the  Guardian's  influence,  and  what came of  it. 
Some  cities,  such  as New Magincia, were relatively untouched by the 
devastation. Others fared far worse. One of the slowest areas of Reconstruction 
is Buccaneer's Den - it is as if all the evil ferreted  out  in  other towns  
has fled  there  and  made  itself at  home.

Although  it appears  a  more  pleasant place  to  live  than  it  was  a  year 
ago, it remains a hub of smuggling and piracy. Jhelom is another tumultuous 
area, as civic leaders work hard to tame the town's violent spirit and 
harness it to make Britannia's dangerous landscape safer.
The town of Cove is a much happier case - Nastassia, woeful guardian of the 
Shrine of Compassion, has come out of her seclusion, and is now busy leading the 
clean up of nearby Lock Lake, one of  the worst  hit areas. 

In Britain, Mayor  Patterson,  although  a  Fellowship member,
remained in office after the Black Gate fell. I must say he has done an 
excellent job since  that  time;  Britannia's  largest town thrives under his  
leadership. Minoc, the town of artisans, is now flourishing, thanks to a 
rebalance of trade practices in that town. Mayor Burnside reports that work is 
also in progress to reform labor policy in the nearby mines. 

Moonglow regrets the temporary loss of one of its famous twin scholars - Nelson 
is in Britain for a year, to study the extensive archives  of Castle British.  
However, Moonglow,  home of  both  the Lycaeum and Brion's observatory, 
continues to be a center of scholarly activity. I would encourage aspiring 
scholars  and  sorc e rers  alike  to  study  there. 

In  the small farming community of Paws, the fall of The Fellowship had one 
regrettable consequence -  the closing of  Feridwyn's  shelter  for  the poor.  
Though  embittered by the loss, Feridwyn and his wife are hard at work raising 
the money necessary to reopen the establishment, this time without the policy of 
exclusion to non-Fellowship members. 

As of this writing, we are still waiting to see the sad isle  of Skara  Brae 
resettled,  after  the tragic  accident  that destroyed  its  entire population. 
Thus far, none have proven bold enough to occupy a house on this once-haunted 
isle.

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LEADERS OF BRITANNIA

Although  Britannia  began as a  monarchy,  Lord British soon  altered his
government to include a constitution, and a Council made up of one repre-
sentative from each of the eight towns of Britannia. To this day, Britannia is 
governed largely on a local level, by the mayor of each town - it seems there is 
little need for Lord British to take a hand, except in times of crisis. It is 
true, however, that the Eight Virtues set the standard for just government in 
Britannia. When the highest officials meet, it is at Castle British, and it is 
there that Lord British's personal staff resides.

Any citizen of Britannia should know a certain amount
about its most prominent citizens, and I enclose herein a brief list. The 
downfall of The Fellowship sent many of our prominent citizens into disgrace, 
and led to an extensive political reorganization, and thus it would profit any 
Britannian citizen to reacquaint him- or herself with the leading citizens of 
the land. Some of these people hold high office, and some wander the land 
without specific responsibilities.  All, though,  have played  a  prominent  
role in Britannia's past,  and, in this time of Reconstruction, are responsible 
for shaping its future.

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Lord British heads the Great Council. Like the  Avatar,  he  is  a  native  of 
the  world called Earth, and as  a result he  enjoys  a much  longer  lifespan
than  native  Britannians. Since the  earliest  days of  Sosaria he has lead his  
people, and  through  his great wisdom  gradually  rose to  become  Britannia's
philosopher-king. Lord  Draxinusom is  still  titular  head  of the Gargoyle 
nation, even though the organization of the  Gargoyle  people  has  grown  more 
and  more  diffuse since they were  forced to move to Britannia. All still 
respect him  as  a  wise  ruler  who  saw his people through their most 
difficult period.


SIR DUPR,
who recently became a Knight of the
Realm, has been a  battle-companion to  the Avatar
since the days of Exodus. He is as dependable a fight-
er (and drinking companion) as one could wish for.


FERIDWYN,
a native of  Paws, has only recently
been acknowledged as one of Britannia's most philan-
thropic  citizens. A  former  Fellowship member,  he  is
one of the few who actually succeeded in using The
Fellowship's resources for the good of the community,
by establishing a shelter for the destitute.

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Geoffrey
first  achieved fame fighting at the
Stranger's side during  the  Quest of  the  Avatar. In
recent years  he  has  become  one of  Lord British's
most trusted aides, as well as his chief bodyguard.


Iolo
the bard has been a companion to the Avatar
since the days of Mondain's assault. Like the Avatar
and Lord British, he was born on Earth, although he
has chosen to spend his life here in Britannia.


Julia
the tinker  is  widely  known as a  mechanical
genius, in addition to the fame of her heroic conduct
in the recent time of crises in Britannia . Her temper,
too, is legendary.


Miranda
is  one  of only  three women on  the
Great Council of Britannia, and is perhaps the most
progressive of  Britannia's  leaders.  She  is  an outspo-
ken  supporter  of  an  equal  role  for  women  in
Britannian society, and also serves with distinction in
ameliorating Britannia's environmental crises.

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Nelson,  
although temporarily in Britain,  heads
the Lycaeum at Moonglow, and is widely considered
to  be  the  most  accomplished  scholar in Britannia,
with the possible exception of the Gargoyle Inforlem.


I,  Nystul must perforce,  though with  humility
and with no small amount of embarrassment, include
my  own  name  in  the  account, as Court Magician to
Lord British.


Patterson
is mayor  of the  town  of  Britain,
largest  city  in  Britannia.  Although  Patterson was
elected largely due to his extensive backing from The
Fellowship,  he has  since  proved  himself  a worthy
and able  mayor, and retained his  office  after The
Fellowship was dissolved.


Lady Tory
is a person of remarkable empathic
ability. A resident of Serpent's Hold, she is frequently
sought out for advice on personal matters.

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OTHER PLANES OF REALITY
The extraplanar menace of the Guardian has awakened in us a new aware-
ness of the existence of other planes. It has long been known that some
such as the Avatar and Lord British travel back and forth between the worlds of
Earth and Britannia via the Moongates, but it is now evident that there are many
more dimensions to the multiverse than just these two. Clearly, Earth is a plane
more accessible to Britannia than most others, but why this should be, and what
other planes lie nearby is as yet an open question. 
It has also been observed that events and even individual people on Earth 
and in Britannia resemble one another to a degree not understandable as 
coincidence. 

It seems that in many respects the two planes exist in parallel to one another, 
as if a certain principle of symme try or connectedness operates among planes 
that come in contact with one another. Or perhaps in this case causality lies in 
the other direction - planes which resemble one another are more likely to come 
into contact with one another.

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VIRTUES
The  Eight Virtues  represent the  highest ideals of  Britannian  society,  as
delimited by Lord British, and one of the major goals of the reconstruction
is their recovery and  continued  practice. Most Britannians strayed  far  from 
the path of  Vi rtue  during  the  time of  the Black  Gate, and it  remains  to 
be  seen whether those coming of age at this time shall be able to recapture the 
pursuit of Virtue. It is hoped that the Avatar will lead by example in this 
effort, ever fulfilling and re-fulfilling the Quest of the Avatar: to strive for 
mental, physical and ethical perfection, and to battle both the evil within 
oneself and that outside in the world.

The Eight Virtues are here set forth in short form, with the hope that these 
brief explanations convey  something  of the  spirit  of each  virtue. However,  
the most profound  understanding  of  any virtue is not  to be  found on a 
printed page, but must  rather  be discovered  through  experience  in the 
world. The  most  precise exposition of the nature of virtue conveys little when 
compared to the compelling example of someone truly practicing virtue in his or 
her dealings with others.


Honesty
is the  pursuit  of  truthfulness,  with  respect  to  oneself  and  with
respect to other beings.


Compassion
is the quality of empathy, of recognizing and sharing the feel-
ings of others.


Valor
is the courage to uphold virtue, even in the face of a physical or psycho-
logical threat.


Justice
is the wisdom that perceives what is right and wrong in human action.


Sacrifice
is the placing of the interests of others and the ends of virtue over
one's own well-being.


Honour
is the courage to stand for truth regardless of the circumstances.


Spirituality
is a concern for one's own inner being, and awareness of the
love that unites one's own inner being to those around one.


Humility
is the recognition of the worthiness of all beings, and the percep-
tion of one's own place among them, regardless of one's own personal accomplish-
ments or mistakes in the world.


The  Eight  Virtues  may be summarized in  the form  of  three  great  
Principles:

Truth, Love and Courage.

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CHARACTER CLASSES
For those who wish to include travel and adventure in your lives, there are a
number of professions open to you, each focusing on the practice and per-
fection of a given set of skills.


Mages.
Members of my own profession, the mages, devote
themselves to  the manipulation  of  magical  forces  to  achieve
their ends. Intelligence is the sine qua non of the magic-user,
useful for learning and casting magic spells, and also for devis-
ing original ways to apply a familiar spell to a knotty problem.


Rangers.
Rangers  tend to be loners,  solitary  hero e s
schooled in woodcraft and natural lore. Experts in
stealth and tracking, in the wilds they are deadly foes.


Shepherds.
Shepherds are drawn from fiercely inde-
pendent  rural  peoples.  Often  forced  to  fight wild  animals
and hostile neighbors to defend their flocks, their simplicity
and humility  can  be  deceptive.  They  vary  widely in  their
abilities - some are skilled in folk magic, others in combat,
still others in stealth and woodcraft.


Fighters.
Fighters  devote  themselves
wholly to all forms of the art of physical com-
bat: unarmed  fighting, hand-to-hand  weapons
and  missile  weapons. Their  power  over  others
consists in  their unparalleled excellence  in the
manipulation and application of physical forces.

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Tinkers.
A  tinker  is skilled at all manner
of  crafts  and mechanical tricks. For survival
they rely on their thorough knowledge of traps
and locks, and  their ability  to  repair damaged
weapons and armor.


Paladins.
Paladins are  a  specialized  group  of
fighters,  devoted  to physical fighting  on  behalf of  the
cause  of virtue. The ideological  basis  of  their combat
training lends them a heroic charisma which often wins
others to their cause. Their courage and perseverance in
the face of evil often wins them the victory, where war-
riors of less firm conviction fail.


Bards
Bards travel  the land, learning of  brave  and
extraordinary  deeds  (often committing  a  few  themselves
along the way) and preserving their memory in song. Not
only are they learned and quick-tongued, but anyone who
travels on foot as much as they do should be able to hold
their own in a fight, and perhaps hurl a spell or two when
the need arises.


Druids.
Because  of  their devotion to  and  understanding
of  nature,  druids  are  a  much-needed  profession  after
Britannia's time of environmental devastation. Most druids do
not go  heavily arm o red, and rely instead on their mastery of
spell-casting and  woodcraft  to  evade  combat, or utilize  their
surroundings to their own tactical advantage.
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MAGIC
Since my recovery from the Guardian's assault, I have been
exploring several new aspects of the magic arts. While most
citizens of Britannia are familiar with the more common, reagent-
based system of magic, I expect that few are acquainted with the sur-
prising implications of my latest research. 
The first of these is the existence of runic magic,  a  form  of spellcasting  
which  originated  in the  Great  Stygian Abyss. 
It is suspected that the catastrophic magical events which occasioned
the creation of the Abyss weakened the walls that normally exist among the
many  dimensions of  reality,  and  this  weakening  altered  the laws
governing spellcasting that normally hold true for our own real-
ity.

In the practice of runic magic, there are no reagents to act
as  physical ingredients  to  the  spell,  and no  magic syllables  to  be
spoken. The principal component of runic sorcery is the runestone,
a  small rock  inscribed  with one  of the twenty-four  known
runes. Each of these runes has its own significance, a particu-
lar  meaning  and  application, which when combined with  other
runes  becomes  articulated  in a spell, a focused  release  of magical  energy
which accomplishes a particular effect on the world. 
The casting of the spell is accomplished through a complicated set of hand 
gestures. Even if a runic mage obtains all the correct runestones for a given 
spell, the appropriate gestures may yet be beyond his or her skill. It is a 
mastery of this element of the casting  process  that  separates the  
accomplished  mage  from  the  neophyte.

Currently,  runic magic  is  still too  weak,  too alien to  the known  laws  of
Britannian  magic to  be  effective. If, however, there were to be another 
weakening of  the  interdimensional walls,  the  knowledge might become useful.
However, if this were to occur it would be impossible  to  foresee how the rules

Page 19


of runic magic might alter, which spells would become easier or more difficult 
to cast, and whether new spells might become possible. 
I have also been investigating an entirely new realm of magic, 
one with its own principles and limitations:
the immensely powerful, large-scale magical castings employed by the Guardian
in his assault on Britannia. Although no Britannian wizard possesses anywhere
near the amount of mana necessary to use magic on such a scale, it is possible 
to deduce certain principles governing the Guardian's magic from what we
observed of his spellcasting. 
We know that in three cases, he created magical blackrock "generators" in 
Britannia. Since the Guardian has no  direct  physical  access to Britannia,  it 
may  be surmised that  he accomplished this  end  in  part  through  
intermediaries, who  performed some ritual which then allowed him to
exercise his power in our dimension. We may also note that in each of these
cases, his creation took the form of a solid geometric object which con-
tained a copy of itself, identical in form but much smaller in
size. It  may therefore  be surmised  that  the Guardian's  large - scale 
castings  have  a  certain symmetry to  them  - that  the creation  of  an  
object  of great  size  necessitates the  creation  of a  smaller,
similar object within it.

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Bats

Bats are small flying mammals, almost completely
blind, who  navigate  by  means of  high-pitched
squeaking  noises  - it is not known whether
magic is involved in this process. They are active
only in darkness, and tend to live in deep forest
or underground terrain.
We know of two major varieties of bat. 


Cave bats
are small and have a relatively mild disposi-
tion - they will usually only attack if provoked.
Although hard to hit, they can do very little dam-
age to a properly armored opponent, and can be
killed in one blow. They are, of course, more dan-
gerous when found in flocks.


Vampire  bats
are  larger  than  their  cousins,
and can also be identified by their red coloration.
They  are  vicious  predators,  and  have  been
known  to  stalk  and  kill human  prey.  The  wise
adventurer will  remain  alert  to  surprise  attacks
from above.


BESTIARY
Since the  Guardian's corrupting influence  touched  our  land, Britannia  has
once again been blighted with all manner of dangerous beings, which men-
ace  those who would  stray far  from  our cities  and  towns,  or  venture  
underground. These entities, some animal, some sentient and even some vegetable 
life, live apart from our ordered society, and prey on unwary travelers. 
As part of the  reconstruction, we  hope  to civilize  the more  intelligent  of 
Britannia's monsters, and  eliminate  those which  prove  hopelessly vicious.  
In particular,  the Avatar's  exploration  of  the  Great  Stygian Abyss  
demonstrated  that  trolls  and goblins are quite reasonable, and are capable of 
interacting successfully with civilized beings. What follows is partly the 
result of a systematic investigation on my part, but largely a matter of folk 
tales and hearsay.

Page 21


Bloodworms
Bloodworms are  a revolting menace. They are
large (up to  three  feet long)  carnivorous green
worms, usually found underground but  which
occasionally squirm their way up to the surface.
They are  mindlessly  aggressive,  and  will  attack
anything living, regardless  of  its  size.  Although
the bloodworm is easily killed, its bite is extreme-
ly venomous - more than one knight has died of
it, thinking  himself  invulnerable to  attacks  by
such lowly vermin.


Daemons 
Our plane of existence is occasionally visited by
beings  known  as daemon. Very  little  is  known
about  them,  save that they are  malevolent and
highly  intelligent.  Most  often  seen  is  the 
imp,  a small winged being about  the  size  of  an Emp,
possessed of a perverse sense of humor. Few have
seen them up close, as they prefer to circle 
overhead, dropping stones and hurling bolts of energy
at their foes. Of the other daemons we know almost 
nothing. A colleague of  mine  who  was  investigating
old works concerning the summoning of daemons
has of late disappeared, and I fear the worst. His
notes refer to a being called a "destroyer," but the
notes are largely incoherent.


Elementals. 
An elemental is a living incarnation of one of the
four  elements  of  nature:  earth,  wind,  fire and
water. Beyond this, I know little - their origins
are  unguessable,  their  motives,  inscrutable .
When angered,  they  are  capable  of  unleashing
great destructive force.

Page 22


Gazers 
These many-eyed floating spheres are the product
of  some perverse wizard 's  madness,  or  perhaps
genius, given that once created the gazers proved
well-adapted to  the subterranean  environment ,
and have multiplied in profusion. No one knows
what they  eat, or whether they  are intelligent.
Some have been  observed  using  magic, but  we
cannot tell whether this is a learned skill among
them, or some sort of innate ability.


Ghosts 
The dead  of Britannia do  not  always lie quietly.
Occasionally, one who has died will not depart in
good order, but instead something called a ghost
will arise  in his  place. Ghosts are  frequently
malevolent,  and  can  sap heat from the  human
body, as if drawing it off into some infinite reser-
voir of  cold.  The pale white ghost
is  easily  dispersed into air, but the 
dire ghost and the reddish aunt have a more tenacious
hold on their unnatural existence.


Giant Rats
Away  from towns,  cities,  and  domestic  settings,
rats grow to the size of cats or even small dogs.
Such rats usually live underground, eating small-
er  vermin, scavenging refuse left by other  cave-
dwellers, even  occasionally  cooperating  to bring
down larger prey.
The giant tan rat is the most common of these
creatures, but in the lower depths a thing called
the great grey rat has been increasing its numbers.
The knight  who  reported  this to  us  soon suc-
cumbed to an unidentifiable feverish disease, per-
haps  contracted as an infection  from the  many
bites found on her legs and torso.

Page 23


Giant Spiders
In the underworld, the ordinarily tiny spider can
grow to enormous size. The common  giant spider is grey,
and  is  the  size of  an extremely  large dog.
Giant spiders often  form mated pairs or  larger
groupings,  which  will  protect one  another in  a
fight.  They  rear on their  hind  legs  to bite  their
opponent. A single giant spider can be a challenge
- one  should always flee a larger  grouping,
unless one has the protection of numbers. 
The wolf spider is smaller, but can inject a powerful poison
with its bite. It is recognizable by  its  reddish -
brown fur. There are written accounts of a huge,
pale white breed  of spider  dwelling deep in the
underworld, dubbed the read spider, but I would
tend to dismiss this as hysterical exaggeration.


Goblins 
The  Goblin  race  originated  in  now-forbidden
experiments  among  the  earliest  wizards of  our
lands,  performed shortly  before  the  period  in
which magic  was  banned outright  in  Britannia.
Later, in the Age of Darkness, the man-machine
Exodus  bred  the  few  remaining goblins  into  a
substantial army  with which he threatened  the
land. After  the downfall of Exodus,  the goblins
fled into seclusion, forming two nations, the Grey
and the Green.

When  the  Age  of the  Avatar  began, Lord
British granted clemency to all "monstrous" folk
who  would pledge  to follow the path  of Virtue ,
and it  was  thus  that  many  goblins  came  to be
accepted  as  members  of our  society,  although
they continued to keep largely to themselves, and
to  dwell in their  own enclaves. I  would  advise
thee, though, to be wary of any goblins you might

Page 24

meet  on  the  road,  far  from  the protection  of a
town, as they are a violent people, and some still
cling to  their  old  practice  of  banditry.  Taken
singly, a goblin is weaker than an average human,
but for  this reason  they  frequently travel  in
groups.


Headless
The  headless  seem  to be the  result  of a bizarre
and  cruel prank on the  part of  some  powerful
human or possibly nature itself. Headless appear
as twisted human bodies, lacking any sort of head
or neck. It is not known how they feed, or how
they  sense the  world around them. However,
they do have  some means  of locating  an  oppo-
nent, and once they know a human is near they
will almost always fight to the death. They are a
vicious abomination, to be pitied and avoided.


Liches
Occasionally, an extremely old and powerful wiz-
ard will choose not to suffer a natural death, but
instead become a liche. In such cases, their bod-
ies  die,  but  their  minds  live on and animate the
rotting corpse. Liches are in nearly all cases soli-
tary, most being scholars who carry out magical
research in secret. Anyone capable of becoming a
liche  must  already be highly intelligent and a
master  of  arcane  knowledge. In  most  cases, a
liche is also completely insane.

Page 25


Lurkers
Lurkers are usually seen floating just beneath the
surface of a secluded lake or subterranean pool.
They rest with their eyes and a few tentacles pok-
ing just above the surface, alert for predators or
prey. In most cases, lurkers will not bother any-
one  who  does not actually  enter  the  water,
although they may track a person's position, and
follow along behind him. They present a greater
danger  in  the  water,  however,  as they are  well-
adapted to water-borne combat, and their body-
mass alone is enough to bar a swimmer's way in a
narrow strait. As lurkers sink out of sight when
killed,  it  is unclear  whether they  breath  air  or
water, or what shape their lower body takes.


Mongbats
These airborne primates are fast and tough, with
a vicious disposition. This hybrid species thrives
both below ground and above, where they dwell
in rocky and mountainous areas. Apparently the
concept of a fair fight is foreign to them, and they
prefer to  bombard their  enemy from above,  or
swoop in and score a hit, then fly off before their
opponent can retaliate. Mongbats are singlehand-
edly responsible for the fact that the best archers
in Britannia dwell near the Serpent Spine moun-
tains.


Reapers
The  legends  relate  that long  ago, an  enchanted
sentient forest sank underground in a great cata-
clysm, and  there  the trees  that composed  it
mutated into something that could survive in the
underworld. Reapers appear as ambulatory trees,
broken and bare of leaves. Their thick limbs can

Page 26


deliver blows of enormous power, and for all its
flexibility their wood is as resistant as any oak or
pine.  There  are a few  unconfirmed  reports of
magic use among the reapers.


Rotworms
The rotworm, cousin to the bloodworm, feeds on
decaying organic matter,  and  thus  has  no  short-
age of food in the underworld. These worms will
always attack when they sense flesh nearby, but
a re easily crushed  to  death with a well-aimed
kick. The only danger lies in being overwhelmed
by a large number of rotworms clustered around
a carcass.


Skeletons
No one knows what makes a human skeleton rise
and walk on its own, intent on destroying the liv-
ing. Some claim to have mastered the art of ani-
mating and controlling skeletons, but I have yet
to see proof  of this.  Others  theorize  that skele-
tons are not human bones at all, but emerge from
the rock itself in human form.


Slugs
Slugs  are little to  be feared,  only  avoided. They
writhe  mindlessly and senselessly from  place  to
place, feeding on  whatever  they  encounter.
Disgustingly enough, the flesh slug is a large
amorphous blob of gelatin, the color of pale pink
human  flesh. The  greenish acidslugs are  slightly
more dangerous, as they  are capable of  spitting
acid a considerable distance.

Page 27


Trolls
Long hunted and feared as monsters, these giants
have  only  recently  been  recognized  as  sentient
and, in their own way, civilized. They speak the
human tongue and band together in loose tribes.
However,  there  are  still many,  many  trolls  that
simply wander the landscape preying on smaller,
more vulnerable travelers, particularly the rarely
sighted great Troll. Trolls  are generally  agreed  to
be the strongest species to walk on two legs.


Wisps
Little understood by humans, wisps appear to be beings of pure energy, 
impervious to any physical weapon.  They seem  to have sources of  knowl-
edge that lie beyond our own reality.
I must mention here that the creatures listed above are only those known to fre-
quent Britannia's air, soil and waters. It is not unheard of for monsters from 
other worlds to wander into our own and menace the population, and thus one 
should at all times be prepared to encounter unknown foes, with unknown 
abilities.

Page 28


In conclusion, I  am not meant to close this document on such a
dire note! It is my  hope that the information contained in this work shall
inspirere readers to  set forth with hope and confidence along the path ways of
Britannia.  Our nation, so recently  devastated by the Guardian's corruption,
now  stands  ready to  be reclaimed and reshaped by the newest generation  of
adventurers. 
For  those  who will accept  this challenge, there exist countless
areas for exploration. The libraries of Castle British and the Lycaeum stand
open for those who would read ;  the  unexplore fields, mountains  and seas of
Britannia lie waiting to be  discovered and investigated by  those who  would
travel them. And for those few who would take the risk, the ancient uncharted
caverns  and waterways beneath Britannia offer both danger  and fabulous
rewards. I  urge you, reader, be  less  daunted by the risks involved , and more
inspired by  lands  yet unseen,  strange, beautiful and , yes, terrible  beings 
and artifacts yet to be found . Be wary of the angers, but ever mindful of what 
may be attained by the boldest and most virtuous among you. May thy path be ever
smooth, and thy steps never falter.


Court Magician,
in service to Lord British .

			  
			  



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