Raftol Nook the City of Bones


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Raftol Nook the City of Bones

Raftol is part of the Path Nightmares Adventure being used by the Companions of the Silver Apple campaign. The Companions are the house D&D group of the Toylab blog.  Feel free to use Raftol in your own adventure.

In the Path of Nightmares there lies a great bustling city of Gnolls.  It is unique for a few reasons notably because Gnolls normally do not build anything, much less a city.  This is not a city of lights and wonders though, this is violent place of mud and bones.

The following description of Raftol comes from the journal of intripid explorer Rickard Hix:

Crude is not an adjective I use lightly but it is does not begin to describe the savagery of this city. A city of Gnolls did entice in the curious explorer in me in that it is unheard of. In my imagination such a city seemed to be a nightmarish hellscape and on that front Raftol did not dissapoint me. It rises like a clawed hand against your senses, a festering pussing wound upon the world. 
The Gnolls here are different than other Gnolls. They carry themselves slightly more upright than others. They do manage to contain their inner violence to build and produce crude things. They speak in the tongue of Draconic and manage to do it well to the surprise and disbelief of all that hear it. This change in dialect and racial construction likely lies with the Dragonlord SlumberRuin they have long served. 
Drawing by explorer Rickard Hix

Upon entering the city you will be greeted by thousands of dens made of mud and dung sprouting up like corrupted fungus. Twisted roads connect the dens without any apparent plan, they spread throughout the hovels like viens of angry rivers made of bones. The roads and any structure of substance are made of bones, bones of many untold, and unfortunate souls who happened upon this predatorial pit. The lone, sizable stone structure is at the center of the city, a large circular plaza, with a dias; A road with stone pillars seeping into the muck lead to it. Each pillar bears the markings of a previous more sophisticated culture that has been all but swallowed by the crude mud dwellings surroundting them. The pillars of the ancients whisper out promising a mystery but their whispers are drowned out in the mad predatorial howling of legions of gnolls living around them. There is something here to be uncovered but the only the most brazen and stalwart archeologist has a prayers hope of uncovering it in this place. 
I would caution against traveling to this city. Even great warriors die here.
This is a place of constant civil war called scrumms. They happen like sport. After each scrumm hundreds are left dead, or enslaved. Bodies don't last long in Raftol but rather they are absorbed with startling efficiency back into the city itself, the primary building blocks of its own creation being the dead of its own denizens. For this Raftol the city of bones. 
Some Dragonborn do manage to survive in this city. Most seem to worship the local Dragon lord a Dracolich. They could be said to provide the city with a measure of sanity and reason. I would not however consider those that worship a Dracolich to be good. They should be treated with equal caution as one would approach the insane Gnolls.
If any credit can be given it is that these gnolls do make things. Ships float in its harbor, and leather and bone craftsmanship does exist in the city. Good luck trying to purchase items in this place though, and eating here is beyond precarious where you yourself are on the menu.

          ----From the Explorer Journal of Rickard Hix


Map of RafTol Nook:


Species breakdown:
Raftol is overwhelmingly a Gnoll city however the Gnolls have come to tolerate and even respect Dragonborn due to their worship and respect of Dragons.  There is a small group of Dragonborn who have come to the city as an act of patronage to the Dracolich SlumberRuin as well as to study the ancient ruins of the Ishadi.

  • Draconic Gnoll 98%
  • Dragonborn 2%

Government:
Raftol is ruled by various packs who are constantly vieing to control the city.  A regular event in the city is called a Scrum in which different packs unite together to violently push out other packs from their dens.  Generally, the most powerful packs tend to be located in the city center.

The highest Overlord of the City continues to be the Dracolich SlumberRuin however he often sleeps or leaves the city to its own devices.

Learn more about SlumberRuin at:


History:
Many years ago this location was home to an advanced Dragonborn civilization called the Ishadi.  The Ishadi were led by a great Silver Dragon named Darlatan.  The empire ascended quickly with many comparing it to the fabled Dragonborn empire of Arkhosia.  The rise of the Ishadi was painfully short lived.  Darlatan led successful campaigns against the evil Dragons and slew many.  His cadre of Metallic Dragons grew and along with the Ishadi empire they began to feel invincible.  An evil Blue Dragon that had been bested in combat by Darlatan named SlumberRuin had other plans.  He used his knowledge retrieved by Vecna to trick Darlatan and turned the great Silver Dragon's Skull into his own Phylactery.  In very little time SlumberRuin created an army of undead and razed the Ishadi empire to rubble.  Survivors of the city were few and it quickly was forgotten.

What was left of the Ishadi empire became the lair of SlumberRuin and his dark magic oozed into the once great landscape and left it as tainted as his own black heart.  SlumberRuin began to play with building up his own empire but the Dracolich was constantly thwarted by his own boredom and vanity and destroy anything of substance he created.  Eventually, he discovered the Gnoll a creature that could never rise to the point where it could threaten up, but could worship him and meet the demands of his own narcism.  SlumberRuin experimented on Gnolls fusing them with the blood of Dragons and making his Gnoll form the Draconic Gnoll.  The Draconic Gnoll built a crude civilization upon the old Ishadi Ruin and named the place Raftol.



The effect of the Companions of the Silver Apple on Raftol.



The Companions were met with a predicament when the Gnolls of Rafol kidnapped their guide Galen Moonblade.  They set out toward the city to retrieve him.

Before the Companions arrived the city it was being taken over TalArasha a demoness who was pledged with returning the gnolls back to the worship of Demons and away from the worship of SlumberRuin.

After the Companions defeated TalaRasha, many of packs were destroyed and dens changed hands.  The Companions joined forces with the packs of the Dragon Priests, The Forgotten Ones, The Kalte, and the Ripface to topple those loyal to TalaRasha in a scrumm.


The result of this was that the Dragonborn Gresh took control of the temple and the central areas of the City.  The Kalte Took over the docks of the RedScar's.  A new subservient pack of the Kalte Pack the Plutar took control of their old Dens.  The remaining Trail Walkers were allowed to keep their old dens but were now called labeled with a deragatory label of Rifar's Fallen.

The Forgetton Ones led by Grumm took over the Southern part of the City and turned it into 2 packs.   Crumm's Axes led by Grumm himself and the best warriors of the Forgotten Ones.  The other pack was the Deer Children led by Qasar and was a mix of low level Forgotten ones, Servants and survivors of Sulumba.

The Ripface took over the Northern Docks and even some dens in the city Center.  The old TalARasha dens were taken by Captain Brafa himself and named Bafra's Palace.


After the Companions the City was now held by 5 primary powers.  The Dragon Priests in the Center. The Kalte in the east.  The Forgotten Ones now Crumm's Axes in the South and a lesser power of neutral unaffiliated house in the west was led by the Jagteeth.

The Companions through maintain some relations with the leaders of these various packs.  It is unclear how long if at all present political structure will last.




Stay tuned for more updates from Toylab to see how the Companions of the Silver Apple on this terrible trek!



Also See...

The Path of Nightmares Adventure



For more Companions of the Silver Apple click here!




Dungeons and Dragons




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