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The Shadowscale Warren was a name given to the village and mound-fort base of the Shadowscale tribe of shadowslain lizardfolk in Shadow Swamp on the Plane of Shadow in the early 1370s DR.[1]

HistoryEdit

The Shadowscale Warren was erected some time in the early 1370s DR by lizardfolk, alive and undead, of the Shadowscale tribe. However, as more and more became undead, the day-to-day activities of survival were no longer needed and were abandoned by 1374 DR.[1]

In early Eleint of the Year of Lightning Storms, 1374 DR, adventurers in service to Mystra likely discovered the Shadowscale Warren as they journeyed through the Shadow Swamp and would have fought the main bulk of the tribe there. Warchief Kossaandar is presumed to have been destroyed in the fighting, after which any remaining Shadowscales scattered across the Shadow Swamp, a tribe no more.[1]

InhabitantsEdit

The majority of the Shadowscales dwelled here in the warrens, though there were other small settlements and outposts scattered throughout the Shadow Swamp.[1][2] Eight Shadowscale marauders stood in defense of the mound when the adventurers came, led by their warchief, Kossaandar. He was advised in magical affairs by the banelar Isti-Zar.[1]

The lizardfolk kept several beasts on hand as guardians such as a lesser knell beetle kept in a cage, and stirges and small vipers as throwing weapons. Kossaandar would lure giant crocodile in from the lake if new guardian beasts were required.[1]

A shambling mound was kept in the warren with regular offerings of animal carcasses. It served a dual use as guardian and waste disposal, but it ranged into the swamp to hunt for more as the undead lizardfolk stopped producing food waste. Two shocker lizards followed it back, eating its leftovers.[1]

Finally, the mound itself was infested with insects, and a swarm of centipedes could be unleashed.[1]

LocationEdit

Nestled deep in the grim Shadow Swamp, the warren stood around 3 miles (4.8 kilometers) from the Shadow Citadel, which housed the Dusk Lord's Passage, a portal back to the Material Plane. A muddy and winding swamp path connected the two, but it was slow going through the safe but difficult terrain. It could also be reached by following the Whispermere, the swamp's network of waterways.[1][3] Another, much longer and more densely grown trail meandered through the swamp to the Monastery of the Ebon Dome, some 15 miles (24 kilometers).[1]

StructureEdit

The warren was fashioned in and around a massive deadfall, a tangled pile of fallen trees over 200 feet (60 meters) at its widest. These included moss-covered logs, splintered stumps, and a number of still-living trees incorporated into the mass. The lizardfolk filled in the gaps and crevices with underbrush and mud for a crude wattle-and-daub construction, and in this way built their great mound.[1]

On the north edge, where the mound met a dark lake of the Whispermere, was a boat landing built from roughly hewn logs. Here was where the Necreme docked to bring Sharran visitors and take away captive lizardfolk.[1]

There were two entrances, and another "back door" provided for a shambling mound. To enter the mound, visitors (such as Sharrans) and returning Shadowscales simply called for the guards to come and untie the gates. However, given its crude construction, there were countless other ways in: concealed passages through the walls, an underground siphoning linking ponds inside with the dark lake outside, or to simply hack through the mud-and-wattle walls or ceiling.[1]

InteriorEdit

Inside the mound was a winding maze of low, close passages and crawlways connecting bigger, irregularly shaped chambers. Branches and roots jutted at random from all surfaces—walls, ceilings, and floors—with the Shadowscales making hardly any effort to clear a passage. Some rooms still had upright trees growing through them; these served as support pillars for the ceiling. The floors were packed dirt that was slick and uneven with damp, deadwood, and roots, while some areas were flooded with shallow bogs and pools of black water. Through much of the place, the ceiling was only around 5 to 7 feet (1.5 to 2.1 meters) high, while larger chambers rose to 10, 15, or 30 feet (3, 4.5, or 9 meters). The few doors, at the entrances and to the prisoner pits, were simple wicker gates of saplings and brush lashed together that could be tied to hold them in place. The interior was predictably gloomy as per the Plane of Shadow, with few torches to make the darkness less dim. The whole place was dank, and muddy, the air heavy with a damp and musky reptilian stink.[1]

By each entrance were guard chambers, where Shadowscale marauders stood on guard or in ready ambush. They kept jars holding stirges or small vipers, which they'd hurl at attackers, releasing the angry creature to attack living foes.[1]

Some chambers served as small dens, with crude pottery, wooden utensils, stone-lined fire-pits, and beds lined with moss. However, as the once-living lizardfolk passed into undeath, no longer needing food nor sleep, they gradually abandoned these places.[1]

However, some dens remained as private lairs for important creatures, as well as for storage of their loot, namely, the chief's den, occupied by the warchief Kossaandar. The largest den, with a high ceiling and a pool of water inside, it was adorned with the pelts of exotic beasts stretched over wooden frames and looted treasures left lying in heaps. The banelar Isti-Zar meanwhile occupied a large black pool in the center of the mound (this pool connected to the dark lake outside via an underground siphon).[1]

The largest and most important chamber was the great warren, a central hall. This held stone-lined fire pits and the high ceiling was held up by tree trunks. This was both a feasting place and where the tribe's chief held court. The lizardfolk also stored their tools here, including such things as fishing spears, flensing knives, and wicker baskets, as well as old pelts.[1]

There was also an egg chamber, holding a large mound of dry sand where eggs were laid and incubated and old shell fragments lay. Its entrance and walls were filled with scores of lizardfolk skulls gazing protectively over the tribe's nests, as the tribe believed in having the spirits of deceased kin watch over their unhatched young. Inscribed on one prominent skull was a glyph of warding that discharged an acidic blast on non-lizardfolk, placed there by a former Shadowscale shaman. However, as the lizardfolk passed into undeath, no more eggs were laid and no young hatched, so the egg chamber fell into disuse.[1]

The prisoner pit was blocked by the sturdiest gate and barred with two thick poles mounted in notches in the walls. Inside was a muddy pit some 6 feet (1.8 meters) deep where captured living lizardfolk were kept prior to transformation into shadowslain.[1]

Finally, the back door led to a den for the shambling mound. This little-used entrance was littered with wet bones still with flesh clinging to them and rotting vegetation.[1]

TreasuresEdit

Held in the chief's den were the tribe's treasures, mostly looted from the Shadow Citadel and of vintage Cormyrean design. These included 2420-gp in gold and silver coins, a set of four golden goblets worth 150 gp each, a large silver platter with etched hunting scene worth 370 gp. There were also scrolls of cloudkill and neutralize poison and a wand of lightning bolt, and a +1 frost short sword and a finely made +3 studded leather armor. The worth of these was lost on the lizardfolk. What they did value were the pelts of exotic animals, such as a dark giant frog, dark crocodile, and a quality sable. The shambling mound had its own trinkets, having killed and claimed the corpse of a woman from the Material Plane, her bloodstones and ring of counterspells lost in the filth.[1]

AppendixEdit

AppearancesEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 1.12 1.13 1.14 1.15 1.16 1.17 1.18 1.19 1.20 1.21 Richard Baker, Bruce R. Cordell, David Noonan, Matthew Sernett, James Wyatt (2007). Cormyr: The Tearing of the Weave. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 80–83,98–105. ISBN 07-8694-119-7.
  2. Richard Baker, Bruce R. Cordell, David Noonan, Matthew Sernett, James Wyatt (2007). Cormyr: The Tearing of the Weave. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 72. ISBN 07-8694-119-7.
  3. Richard Baker, Bruce R. Cordell, David Noonan, Matthew Sernett, James Wyatt (2007). Cormyr: The Tearing of the Weave. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 77, 79. ISBN 07-8694-119-7.

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